Coach Maura Brew wins speech award

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Photo courtesy Ms. Brew

Ms. Roxy Janke presented this award to Ms. Maura Brew.

Lorenzo Cerda, Staff Writer

BSM English teacher and speech coach Ms. Maura Brew was awarded the Outstanding Individual in Communication and Theater Award early this fall. Given by the Communication and Theater Association of Minnesota (CTAM), the Outstanding Individual in Communication and Theater Award recognizes an individual who excels in coaching high school speech.

The Outstanding Individual in Communication and Theater Award does not have a clear selection process. The award is relatively random in that there are no defined prerequisites for winning the award. The only way to become eligible for this award is to be nominated by another member of CTAM.  The executive group responds to the nominations and, based on the merit and accomplishments of the person nominated, decides whether or not that person will win the award.

Brew was nominated for the award by Roxy Janke, a speech teacher who has been a part of the BSM speech coaching staff for the past three years.  

I’ve always said I loved coaching speech and directing the one act play because they’re both such rich activities and you’re helping the students find their voice.”

— Ms. Maura Brew

Brew received the Outstanding Individual in Communication and Theater Award at the CTAM Conference in front speech coaches from around Minnesota on September 15.

Upon receiving the award, Brew was struck by a flood of emotions and responses.  “Humbled, honored, beyond delighted, just humbled to be in that group. To look up and see so many accomplished coaches was humbling,” Brew said.  

The award speaks to Brew’s deeper love and passion for speech and the one act play.  “[The award is] icing on the cake,” Brew said.

For Brew, the award may be humbling, but it is recognition toward a philosophy that she dedicates herself to day after day. “I’ve always said I loved coaching speech and directing the one act play because they’re both such rich activities and you’re helping the students find their voice,” Brew said.  

The people in speech and one act play are what drive Brew to be such a dedicated and motivated coach.  The goal was never to win the award.  Rather, according to Brew, the award reaffirmed and recognized the value of speech and the one act play. “[I] genuinely see this as validation for everything that we do here for our speech program and one act,” Brew said.

Although this is the first national award that Brew has received for speech, her work as a teacher and speech coach have been noticed by the local and BSM community. Brew was a Section Coach of the Year in 2010, 2013, and 2015.