Theatre Arts Department Chair Lara Wheeler Devlin '02 has received the 2019 Sister Carlotta Distinguished Service Award.
The award is presented annually to a faculty or staff member whose work, either inside or outside the classroom, has epitomized the school's mission and enriched the hearts and minds of students at Santa Catalina School.
Devlin, who started teaching at Santa Catalina in 2013, has helped turn the school's theatre productions into professional-caliber, can't-miss events. As one teacher noted in nominating Devlin for the award, the seasons are marked by the fall and spring musicals and the winter play.
In addition to her role as director, drama teacher, and department chair, Devlin is the faculty advisor for Safe Space and the performing arts clubs, is a member of Catalina's Health and Wellness Committee, and previously served as senior class dean. She also organizes an annual trip to New York City, where students are exposed to the best of theatre, dance, music, and art.
In announcing the award during a special ceremony on May 13 in the Rosary Chapel, Head of School Meg Bradley celebrated Devlin's commitment to educating the whole person. Quoting a teacher who nominated her, Bradley said, "Lara is not working to make her students create excellent productions, but to make the productions create excellent people." Indeed, Devlin has a signature saying: "The greatest character you will ever develop is your own."
"I am so touched," said Devlin. "It's not lost on me ... that I spend my entire life in a building that's named for [Sister Carlotta]. She retired my last year and was so present in our lives as students, so it has been an honor to be an educator here and carry on that tradition."