Published: November 01. 2012 2:22PM
Written by Leslie Provence
Photographed by Josh Norris
Will Ragland is a theater teacher at Woodmont High School in Piedmont and was recently awarded Greenville County Schools Teacher of the Year for 2012 – 13. He has been teaching in the district for 10 years, initially as an elementary art teacher.
Ragland founded the award-winning Wildcat Players of Woodmont High and has built a theater program during the past five years that has grown to support a variety of courses taught by two full-time theater teachers and a department that produces professional-quality shows in a high school setting. Last year’s popular production of “Grease” was one of the most successful high school plays ever presented in South Carolina, costing more than $30,000 and seen by more than 3,400 members of the community. Ragland’s students are also active in the Greenville theater scene and many go on to study theater in college.
Ragland has also been performing in the Greenville area as an actor for 17 years in more than 50 productions. Some favorites include “The Rocky Horror Show” (he played Dr. Frank-N-furter) and Cabaret (emcee) at the Warehouse Theatre; “Sweeney Todd” (Sweeney) and “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story” (Buddy) at Centre Stage; “The Music Man” (Harold Hill), “A Christmas Carol” (Scrooge) and “Guys and Dolls” (Sky Masterson) at the Greenville Little Theatre; and “Peter Pan” (Hook), “The Wizard of Oz” (Scarecrow), and “Willy Wonka TYA” (Wonka) at the South Carolina Children’s Theatre.
Ragland holds a bachelor’s degree in studio art from Davidson College and a master’s in theater production from Central Washington University. He was honored in 2010 as one of Greenville First’s Best and Brightest Under 35 in Greenville Business Magazine. He also serves on the board of the South Carolina Theatre Association.
1. Where were you born?
Greenville; on March 23, 1978.
2. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
I’m an extroverted introvert.
3. What is your favorite movie?
“The Wizard of Oz.”
4. Is your desk messy or neat?
I rarely see the top of my desk due to the mess.
5. What is your favorite thing about Greenville?
The strong commitment to the arts.
6. What was your first car?
A blue 1983 Honda Accord hatchback I named “The Blue Flame.”
7. What was your major in college?
Studio art at Davidson College.
8. What is your favorite comfort food?
Anything on the menu at the Waffle House.
9. What is your idea of a dream vacation?
One in which I have to worry about nothing.
10. What is the coolest experience you have ever had?
I shook hands with the members of the band U2 at a concert in Baltimore. Bono asked me, “How’s it going?” and I said, “Good.”
11. What is the one thing people would never guess about you?
I would like to live on a farm.
12. What was your favorite subject in school?
13. What type of music do you most enjoy?
14. Are you a good dancer?
15. If you could invite five people living or dead to dinner, whom would it be?
Jesus Christ, Thomas Jefferson, Elvis Presley, Vincent van Gogh, and William Shakespeare
16. Whom do you most admire?
People who work to improve the conditions of others.
17. What would you do if you weren’t in your present occupation?
Something in theater, art or music — or maybe all three.
18. What makes you laugh?
Almost anything. I love to laugh.
19. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Catch up on sleep.
20. “I can’t live without my…” What?
|Will Ragland.Josh Norris|