Mary Ruth McGinn

Mary Ruth McGinn will inspire us to think about how musical theater can be used to transform education in public schools.

As a teacher with 32 years of experience, Mary Ruth McGinn has sought innovative ways to meet the needs of her students. She has spent her entire career in schools where a majority of students speak English as a second language and where poverty significantly impacts the learning experiences and opportunities of students and their families. In 2001, she had an experience that altered her professional path in a profound way. She attended training sessions at The Metropolitan Opera Guild in New York City, lived the process of creating an original opera and used the process as a vehicle to teach curriculum and life skills in her classroom. Mary Ruth was inspired to share this way of thinking and learning. In 2006, she was granted a Fulbright Scholarship and a sabbatical from her school system to travel to Spain to develop and implement a similar program there. Mary Ruth returns to Madrid every summer to train a new team of educators. In the summer of 2018, she joined forces with The Kennedy Center to offer the opera training for teachers in the Washington Metro area. She currently teaches third grade at Stedwick Elementary School in Montgomery Village, Maryland where she is implementing a classroom curriculum based on the principles of authentic learning.