Folger Education was pleased to present its first Shakespeare Steward Award to Susan Biondo-Hench on October 19, 2007, at the convention of the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of English Language Arts (PCTELA). The award honors outstanding contributions to the innovative teaching of Shakespeare in American classrooms.
Sue received the award at PCTELA from Folger Education's Senior Consultant on National Education, MIchael LoMonico. She later shared her thoughts about receiving the award in comments at a Folger event at the English Speaking Union (ESU) in New York on November 17, 2007.
Sue is a teacher at Carlisle High School in Pennsylvania. Sharing the Folger belief that the best way to understand Shakespeare is by performing Shakespeare, she helped establish the Central Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival which recently celebrated its 20th year. Every fall the Carlisle Shakespeare Troupe, which she founded, offers students an opportunity to participate in a student-directed Shakespeare festival.
Her contributions to the teaching field are legion. Sue edited the Romeo and Juliet unit of Shakespeare Set Free: Volume 1. Her lesson plans have been used by secondary school English teachers around the world.
A participant in the first NEH-sponsored Folger Teaching Shakespeare Institute in 1984, she went on to be a Master Teacher at the 1998 institute and will return again for TSI 2008. She has presented performance-based Shakespeare teaching workshops at many National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) conventions.