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CCPS students earn awards at International Thespian Festival

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) high school students in school-based theater programs recently took their skills to the International Thespian Festival at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. The 28 students who attended were accompanied by five CCPS theater teachers.

For the first time in seven years, students competed in the festival’s closing ceremony showcase. There are 1,500 groups at the event and only nine groups are chosen to participate in the showcase. Two CCPS groups, out of the nine nationwide, were chosen to compete in the showcase.

The following students from Maurice J. McDonough High School placed in the Solo Musical Theatre category.

  • Brett Wood, sophomore, superior rating.
  • Tessa Fetterman, sophomore, superior rating.
  • Mikayla Nairn, sophomore, excellent rating.
  • Mya Sellers, sophomore, excellent rating.

The following students from North Point High School received superior ratings.

  • Addyson Jordan, senior, stage management category.
  • Renard Smith, senior, solo musical theatre performance.

The following students from St. Charles High School competed in solo categories.

  • Ricaria Lawson, senior, excellent rating, solo musical theatre category.
  • Kori Sobers, junior, superior rating, solo acting category.

The following students from St. Charles received the superior rating in the group musical theatre category in showcase.

  • Za'Nyah Brown, junior.
  • Cadence Dye, senior.
  • Angela Foster, junior.
  • Laila Franklin, junior.
  • Ashley Campos Gomez, senior.
  • Jaiden Holly, senior.
  • Zion Kosh, senior.
  • Ricaria Lawson, senior.
  • Marcuse Marshall, sophomore.
  • Daymond Parker, senior.
  • Elias Thompson, junior.
  • Kaelyn Williams, senior.
  • Brenden Wrenn, junior.
  • Nia Young, senior.

Seniors Joshua Pelzer and Kaylah Pratt from Westlake High School received the Thespy Award, which is a perfect score, in the duet musical performance category. They also participated in showcase.

Zion Calloway, a junior from Westlake, received an excellent rating in the solo musical performance category.

“Thank you CCPS and the Board of Education of Charles County for sending us once again to the International Thespian Festival in Bloomington,” Jana Heyl, lead theater teacher at McDonough said. “It’s such an amazing experience. Our students did a wonderful job in competitions, in college auditions, at shows and in workshops.”

CCPS drama/theater arts teachers that attended were Jackson Long from Westlake, Tessa Silvestro from North Point, Ben Simpson and Timothy LaBelle at St. Charles.

To learn more about the International Thespian Festival, visit


About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,765 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 38 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Mike Blanchard, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event. 

CCPS provides nondiscriminatory equal access to school facilities in accordance with its Use of Facilities rules to designated youth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).