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To whom it may concern:


It is my pleasure to write to you on behalf of Rachel Kurnos.  As the Educational Director of Company One and a drama teacher at Brookline High School, I have had the opportunity to get to know Rachel in a variety of ways.  In my time of knowing Rachel, I have had the pleasure of watching her grow and mature not only as a young woman, but an artist as well.


I first met Rachel in the summer between her eighth and ninth grade years.  She spent six weeks of the summer in my Stage One: Theatrical Training program.  During that summer I witnessed a fairly awkward teenager start to find her niche; she was very interested in the work and put all she had into it.  Rachel continued to attend the program, each year deepening her understanding of the process and strengthening her skills not only in theater but interpersonal skills as well.  In that time, I also was witness to Rachel gaining confidence in her own ideas.


It was during her four years at Brookline High School that I was able to watch Rachel really bloom in terms of her dedication to dramatic work.  Rarely have I seen a student work harder than Rachel to achieve her goals.  Rachel auditioned for almost every show she was able to in high school, but it was only in her senior year that meaty roles came her way.  Despite what I would imagine would be some disappointments in not being cast in roles she wanted, Rachel never let that get her down; she never gave up.  In fact, every year from her first to her last at BHS, she chose to direct and act in the Student Directed Festival, the crown jewel of the Drama Department’s year, an event that showcased not only students’ talent, but their passion and drive as well.


It was because of her drive and her love for theatre that I hired Rachel two years ago as a Counselor in Training for Company One’s Stage One: Theatrical Training program.  Because she had taken the program as a student for a few summers, she knew much of the curriculum, and was able to pick up the new curriculum very quickly.  Her greatest asset as an educator that summer was not her theatrical knowledge however; it was her sensitivity to the students.  Rachel was always attentive to not only the students who really needed it, but to all students.   


It has been an absolute pleasure to watch Rachel’s development through the years.  It is rare to find a student as creative, intelligent and sensitive as Rachel Kurnos.  I am very proud of her decision to continue her training in theatre, and am thrilled that Rachel’s path is leading her into the educational field.  I strongly recommend Rachel for your program.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any further questions at mvanderzee@companyone.org or my office at Brookline High School at 617-713-5222.


Thank you for your time,



Mark VanDerzee


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.