Courtesy of Natalie Branch

Stewart the Shakespearean

September 3, 2019

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If new FCHS English teacher Sarah Stewart starts talking about Shakespeare, you can rest assured it’s a subject near and dear to her heart. However, Stewart’s path to becoming a bit of a Shakespeare scholar was not a direct one. 

Stewart lived in Kissimmee, Florida, until she was 10 when she and her family moved to Bozeman, Montana. When she was 14 she moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where she graduated from Cheyenne High School. She stuck around to attend the University of Nevada at Reno (UNR) where she studied English Literature because of her passion for literature and especially, Shakespeare. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English Literature from UNR. Stewart said, “I’ve been drawn to Shakespeare since I was a kid. There’s just something about the way he creates characters of such variety. He does it all so well, the heroic, the grotesque, the beautiful, and the horrifying.” 

After that, Stewart moved to London, England to have easy access to the libraries and theaters. She also received a master’s degree in Early Modern English Literature from King’s College.  While there, she worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) as a consultant on their production of Hamlet. “I lived in England for two years and they were some of the most amazing years of my life. I went to the theater almost every week and tried to travel as much as possible. Being able to bounce between England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland was amazing,” said Stewart. 

One fun fact about Stewart is that she was an associate editor on an edition of Shakespeare’s collaborative plays for the RSC, as well as an associate editor on a volume documenting every copy of the Shakespeare First Folio in existence. “This is one of the most valuable books in the world, worth roughly $5 to $6 million a copy. I was lucky enough to travel to eight different countries to study these books in detail,” she said. 

Following her time in England, Stewart began working on her Ph.D. at Florida State University. After five years, she made the decision to leave the Ph.D. program in order to teach high school. “I realized that my passion was for teaching, not writing and publishing,” said Stewart. 

She’s now been teaching for a total of 11 years, eight of them teaching college and three teaching high school. Stewart has taught at the University of Nevada, Reno, Florida State University, and Osceola High School. She moved to Fluvanna County to be near her family, which includes cousins Jack and James Easter, who graduated from FCHS in 2018. 

As for being in Fluvanna, Stewart says, “Fluvanna has an incredible sense of community. I’ve only been here a short time, but everyone has gone out of their way to include me in that community and make sure I’m settling in well.” 

About the Writer
Photo of Natalie Branch
Natalie Branch, FCHS Jounalist

Natalie is a junior in high school and this is her second year in Journalism. She enjoys spending time with friends and and taking hikes with a view.

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