William H. Myatt Scholarship

 

“Act well your part; there all the honour lies.” – Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man.  International Thespian Society motto

The William H. Myatt Memorial Scholarship is annually awarded to a Pleasant Valley High School graduating senior planning to major or minor in Theatre Education.  If no senior planning to major/minor in Theatre Education is selected, the scholarship may be awarded to a senior planning to major/minor in any theatre discipline. This scholarship is directed toward a student who seeks the opportunity to continue their theatre education at the collegiate level with the future goal of sharing that education as a teacher or teaching artist.

William H. Myatt attended Maquoketa Community High School.  At the time, MCHS contained only grades 10 – 12.  As a sophomore with a very small social circle, Bill was “double dared” to audition for the fall play which was being directed by a teacher new to MCHS, Mrs. Karen Tilton.  He had never been in a theatre or seen a play but auditioned anyway.  He had no idea what an impact that choice would have on his life.  Bill auditioned for Arsenic and Old Lace and was cast as the villain Jonathan Brewster.  He went on throughout his high school experience to participate in numerous shows (both onstage and backstage) and speech competitions.  These opportunities allowed him to major in Theatre Education at the University of Northern Iowa where he was heavily involved in the Theatre Department, Speech Team, and Interpreters’ Theatre – working as the Technical Director for Interpreters’ Theatre during his junior and senior years.

Bill graduated from UNI in 1984 and immediately began his teaching career.  He taught at Burlington (WI) High School, Northern University (Price Laboratory) High School, and Clinton (IA) High School before coming to PVHS in 1990 and retiring from PV in 2020.

Throughout his career he has seen students graduate from PV and have success as theatre/speech educators and as working theatre artists (both onstage and backstage).  Bill also served as Iowa Thespian Chapter Board Member and Director, Educational Theatre Association Board Member and President, and as President of the Southeast District of the Iowa High School Speech Association.  He feels it is important to give back to the artform and students that have given him so much.

Bill is also an avid Star Trek fan and wholeheartedly believes in Star Trek’s “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations” ideal.  It is his hope that this scholarship will help a theatre student to “explore strange, new worlds” and demonstrate to future generations the power of diversity to achieve as exemplified through theatre, especially theatre education.

The scholarship recipient will be determined by a committee composed of the PVHS Director of Theatre (Chair), PVHS Assistant Director(s) of Theatre, and an Educational Theatre Association Adult Member/Iowa High School Speech Association member not employed by the Pleasant Valley Community School District.  The Director of Theatre will organize applications for the committee with the help of the guidance office. The scholarship is for tuition only and will be paid directly to the institution the recipient attends. The scholarship will be granted for one year and is non-renewable. The selection committee retains the right to not award the scholarship if there are no eligible recipients in a given year. The scholarship will be presented to the recipient at the Senior Awards Program held prior to commencement.

Criteria to Apply:

  • Be a graduating senior of PVHS
  • Participated in Theatre and an inducted Thespian
  • Participated in Iowa High School Speech Association inter-scholastic speech events
  • Plan to major or minor in Theatre Education or another Theatre discipline
  • Pursue a post-secondary education which will lead to a Bachelor’s Degree
  • A GPA satisfactory for college admission

Scholarship Personal Statement/Essay:

  • Looking back on your time as a thespian and speech team member, how will your education at PVHS help you influence and benefit others as a theater educator or artist?