Melody Herzfeld leads the drama department at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Highschool in Parkland, Florida, and—through tragedy and triumph—has a powerful message to share.
Melody understands the power of afterschool firsthand, having led more than 50 theatrical productions since joining the school's faculty in 2003. Tragically, on February 14, 2018, a school shooting ended the lives of 17 students and teachers. During the shooting, Melody sheltered and protected 65 students in her drama classroom.
After the tragedy, the Parkland community underwent a communitywide grieving process and trauma-informed care trainings. Melody has been part of these efforts, with special attention paid to parents and support staff. Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have made headlines for their policy and advocacy work, including fighting for gun control in Florida and developing the national March for Our Lives protest in March 2018.
Melody’s drama students continue to shine, even in the healing process.
They performed “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent at the Tony Awards. Students of Herzfeld, Sawyer Garrity and Andrea Peña wrote an original sing “Shine” which has been performed many times since last year and was also captured in a music video written by alumna Brittani Kagan, the song and music video is a dedication to the 17 victims of the shooting and their families.
Learn more about Melody and her approach to hope and healing with her students in the wake of tragedy.
We hope to see you there!