The Eagle's Tale

Howell takes center stage

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Howell takes center stage

Theater arts teacher Kylie Howell pours paint for junior Brantley Spinks as they work to prepare the set for the upcoming fall musical.

Theater arts teacher Kylie Howell pours paint for junior Brantley Spinks as they work to prepare the set for the upcoming fall musical.

Laura Smith

Theater arts teacher Kylie Howell pours paint for junior Brantley Spinks as they work to prepare the set for the upcoming fall musical.

Laura Smith

Laura Smith

Theater arts teacher Kylie Howell pours paint for junior Brantley Spinks as they work to prepare the set for the upcoming fall musical.

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Footsteps echo off the taut ropes of the pulley system, off the props and sets in various stages of construction, off the walls and especially off the vaulted ceiling of the auditorium. They sound quickly, somewhere between a stride and a bustle. The footsteps stop and are replaced with the sharp click of a lightswitch. The lights come up, and Kylie Howell beholds the stage for which she is now responsible.

Kylie Howell joined the staff of Canyon High School as the theater arts teacher Oct. 14, following the retirement of David Yirak.

“I’ve always been involved in fine arts,” Howell said. “I started taking theater when I was a kid. It’s always been something I’ve been passionate about.”

Before coming to Canyon High, Howell student taught with Yirak and taught children’s classes after school at Amarillo College, while also directing and performing. During the summer, she performed in both the chorus and as Aunt Anna in the musical drama “TEXAS.”

I’m hoping to do the program justice and to really inspire kids to love the arts.”

— Kylie Howell, Theater Arts Teacher

“I think the first year is known as the hardest year,” Howell said. “Coming in mid-year makes it even more challenging, but you expect those challenges, and you try to get through it and love your kids in the process.”

In spite of the difficulties associated with inheriting the theater arts program, Howell said she looks forward to beginning productions. 

“I’m really excited about musical,” Howell said. “I love getting to direct, and I love music. Musical was always my favorite part of high school, so I’m looking forward to getting it on its feet.”

Howell said she looks forward to one act play, but she is most excited about the overall process involved in opening any production.

“I love the rehearsal process,” Howell said. “I love getting to dig into characters with kids, and I love getting to see the journey of where they start and where they are opening night.”

Howell’s predecessor David Yirak taught at Canyon High for 32 years.

“Coming in after someone like Mr. Yirak, it’s so obvious how loved he was and is and how much he loves his students,” Howell said. “I’m just really looking forward to getting to know the school and the students in the way he did, and getting to have a relationship with the students and with the school.”

Howell said she intends to uphold the legacy put in place by Yirak.

“Canyon is known for having incredible fine arts programs” Howell said. “There’s this legacy there you kind of know about going into it. I’m hoping to do the program justice and to really inspire kids to love the arts.”

Howell said Canyon High has already been a good place to work.

“I’m really excited to be at Canyon,” Howell said. “Everyone has already been so wonderful and so welcoming. I just can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

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About the Contributors
Jaren Tankersley, Co-Editor in Chief

Salutations, I am Jaren Tankersley. I am a senior, and I am very excited to spend my third and final year on the Eagle’s Tale staff as Co-Editor-in-Chief....

Laura Smith, Adviser

I'm the adviser of the Canyon High newspaper and yearbook staffs, and I love starting my day with this talented staff. We hope you'll join us daily for...

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Howell takes center stage