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Central drama teacher honored
Forsyth Central High School drama teacher Yatesey Harvey, center, guides student performers Sonnet Moore, left, and Alie Lepp during practice Friday. - photo by Jim Dean
A local drama teacher has been cast in a leading role among arts educators statewide.

Yatesy Harvey, who teaches at Forsyth Central High School, has been chosen as one of five Woodruff Salutes Georgia Arts in Education Leaders honorees.

The program is sponsored by the Woodruff Arts Center and its divisions, which include the High Museum of Art, Alliance Theatre and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

The program honors teachers, school and arts administrators, community leaders and volunteers statewide who have shown how the arts can have a positive impact on the lives and learning of young people in prekindergarten through 12th grades.

“I was shocked and delighted and thrilled,” Harvey said. “It’s very nice to be honored in that way.”

In Harvey’s honor, $2,500 will be contributed to the arts-in-education program of her choice.

The 21-year teaching veteran said she’d like the money to go toward Central’s theater arts program.

“If that’s acceptable to them, that’s my choice,” she said.

According to information published on the school’s Web site, Central’s drama department has won 15 regional one-act play championships and nine state one-act play championships under Harvey’s direction.

It notes that many of her students have gone on to teach drama or become professional actors.

Harvey taught Kelli Giddish, a 1998 Central graduate who is the star of Fox’s primetime drama “Past Life.”

The site shows that the performing arts centers at all local high schools are the result of Harvey’s “tireless efforts in supporting the arts” and that she has been a consultant for building theaters statewide.

Central Principal Rudy Hampton nominated Harvey for the honor.

“She has been the key figure in producing one of the best drama programs in the state and country,” he said.

“Mrs. Harvey has devoted her professional life to building a first-class drama department at Forsyth Central and to promoting the arts not only in the state of Georgia but throughout the country.”