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The Paw Print

Dean, director, teacher: Cynthia Crass bids farewell

Jennifer Godwin-Minto

Whether teaching theater in the classroom, directing student performers on the Garland stage, or mentoring sophomores in Haaga, Upper School 10th Grade Dean and Performing Arts teacher Cynthia Crass has taught and inspired generations of students, leaving an indelible mark on the Poly community.

Having taught at Poly for an impressive 34 years, Crass has contributed immensely to the Performing Arts department and become an invaluable member of Poly’s faculty and administration. This year, Crass served as the 10th Grade Dean and Coordinator, Theater: History & Application teacher, and director of the spring musical. It’s an understatement to say Crass has made a significant impact on Poly. As director of the school’s Fall plays, Winter plays and Spring musicals, Crass has advised and guided countless students. Her expertise, passion and creative artistry have enriched the student artist community at Poly, cultivating students’ collaboration skills, curiosity, dedication and confidence.

“Cinderella,” this year’s Spring Musical, was the final show Crass directed. Poly’s imaginative interpretation of “Cinderella” featured an urban, modern New York City setting, a creative choice made by Crass herself.

In commenting on her upcoming departure, Crass said, “I’ll miss the kids most. That’ll feel different. For me, most recently, the second Saturday of the show [“Cinderella”], when the alumni came back and the children made a little speech at the end of the show, was very special.”

“It was neat because it had my current colleagues, my older colleagues, my current students, who had lovely things to say, and my old students.”

While she leaves Poly, Crass is still committed to bringing stories to life on stage. She will become the next Executive Director of the Lineage Performing Arts Center, where she hopes to create opportunities for children in underserved communities to access quality arts education and programs. Her new role will enable her to extend her impact beyond Poly’s community, reaching and inspiring even more young minds. Within the past few months, Crass has also delved back into her own acting experience and recently performed as Fräulein Schneider in Joe Masteroff’s hit 1966 musical, “Cabaret,” at Lineage.

In addition to spearheading many efforts in the Upper School Performing Arts Department, as 10th Grade Dean and Coordinator, Crass supervised the sophomore Class Cabinet, grade-level events and grade-wide meetings with meticulous organization, grace and humor. Her role as a dean allowed her to support students academically as well as personally, guiding them through their sophomore years with empathy and wisdom.

“The people, the kids, my colleagues — they are what make Poly so special. I will miss all of the kids who are smart, motivated, curious and eager,” Crass shared.

The Poly community will miss Crass dearly, but we wish her well as she moves onto a new stage.

Cynthia Crass
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Maddie Delbridge
Maddie Delbridge, News Section Editor

Grade: 11

Years on Staff: 3 Fun Fact: I like drinking my coffee black. Favorite Movie: La La Land
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