Memphis teacher nominated for Tony Award in first of its kind category

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — They said it was an honor just to be nominated, and that’s certainly true for an award as prestigious as the Tony’s.

A Memphis Theatre, Speech and English Teacher learned he won’t be receiving an award during the 2015 Tony Awards,  but he was glad to represent Shelby County Schools and his students for the first year the Tony’s have offered the brand new category.

“I feel fortunate to be nominated for this award, and after 16 years of teaching it’s a great honor,” said David Boone.

That very well could have been  Boone’s acceptance speech at this year’s Tony Awards.

Boone was nominated for the “Excellence in Theatre Education Award”, the first time a Tony has been given in that category.

“There was, you know, several nominations. Someone nominated me, and the committee selected me as a nominee and they evaluated all the resumes,” he said.

Boone told WREG he teaches Theatre/Speech at White Station High School and English and Introduction to Theatre at Messick Adult Center.

“It wasn’t a surprise to us because his performance is award-winning,” said Principal Rochelle Griffin

Griffin said Boone is an inspiration to students because of his personality and work ethic.

“What he does here at Messick is just amazing. First, the fact that he teaches at night. So after he completes his duties at White Station he comes here and has class from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday,” she said.

Boone found out this week the Tony will be going to Corey Mitchell, a Theatre/Arts teacher at Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte, North Carolina.

But Boone said now he’s even more encouraged to continue an acting career that started when he was very young.

“My first part I ever played was Jesus and the blind man. I played the blind man when I was in fourth grade,” said Boone.

He told WREG he wanted to continue another equally important role: that of a teacher for Shelby County Schools.

“Really, it’s that passion to want to educate students,  to see them grow and learn. And to make improvements in the classroom every day,” he said.

The Tony Awards air this Sunday night here on CBS.

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