It's long been said that the only constant is change. The adage certainly holds true at Marquette Catholic High School.
From swelling of the campus footprint, to sweeping technological advancements in the classroom, to the welcome addition of students from other continents to our corner of Indiana, Marquette has managed to stay ahead of the educational curve due to its ability to change, or, adapt.
For the past 20 years, teacher and theatre director Amy Crane has been one of the few constants. And that's been great news for Marquette students who find a passion in the fine arts.
Crane has spearheaded the music and theatre programs on West 10th Street since her arrival in 1999. Her work has created a symbolic port for countless Blazers to launch their creative careers. Alumnae have spread their wings at prestigious institutions like the American Musical and Dance Academy, New York University, and the San Francisco Opera.
Yesterday, she was recognized by Most Reverend Bishop Donald J. Hying and director of Catholic schools Dr. Joe Majchrowicz at Innsbrook Country Club in Merrillville for her 20 years of service to Marquette Catholic High School.
Today, she sat down to discuss her motivation behind teaching, the different plays and musicals performed here, and much, much more.
Q: At what age did you decide to pursue teaching and what compelled you to do so?
I decided to pursue teaching when I was in high school. I went to Elston and LOVED performing there. At the time, there was no consistent theatre or music program at Marquette. I had several friends who went to Marquette that I did summer theatre with and thought it was awful that they didn't have the same performing arts outlets that I did during the actual school year. So, I actually said I was going to get my theatre teaching degree and come back to Michigan City and start a program at Marquette. Little did I know, two months before graduating from the University of Indianapolis I would get a phone call from then principal Pat Cannon saying they were starting music and theatre programs at Marquette in the fall and I had been recommended for the drama director position. I did the phone interview and the rest is history."
20 years is obviously a heck of a run as a teacher, but the fact that you're so involved with the fine arts at Marquette means you've impacted more lives and in a deeper way. How do you sum up your first 20 years when you try to digest just how many students you've helped?
Crane: "That's impossible. I also don't know that anyone can put a number on how many students they've impacted over the years. I just love it when a former student gets ahold of you and lets you know they are happy and doing something they love and that they look back on their time with you fondly. That's success in my book. As long as I continue to feel like I'm helping students, I will continue to do so. They are the reason I do what I do."
Q: What has been your favorite play/musical in your time here and why?
Crane: "I absolutely cannot pick a favorite show. I can tell you aspects I loved about each one - the fact that my first musical 'The Fantasticks' was the same musical my husband and I met during, the fact that students wrote the adaptation of the script for 'A Christmas Carol', the fact that we had a full orchestra in 'Music Man', the gorgeous costumes we had made for 'The Importance of Being Earnest', the closeness of the cast in 'Godspell'....I could go on and on. I remember them all and they are all a part of me."
Q: Do you find your job any different now that (freshman son) Wil is here as a student?
Crane: "Wil has been around the theatre at Marquette literally since birth. Having him here during the day is a bonus. I think it might be harder for him than for me because I keep a pretty close eye on him. What will be difficult for me will be May 2022 when he graduates and isn't around as much any more. Then it will be Ella who has to deal with me."
What has Marquette meant to you and how was it changed in the past 20 years?
A: "I honestly believe teaching, and especially teaching at Marquette, is my calling from God. I am where I was meant to be. There are good times, and there are bad times, but overall I love my students and I love my job. I am very blessed."