Mrs. Laurie D. Reeder
I serve as the coordinator for the Marion County Center for the Arts, the school's oldest and largest magnet program. I also teach three periods of Early College Effective Speaking. I enjoy building students’ confidence in their communication skills because I believe there is no skill more important than the ability to communicate in a positive manner.
My undergraduate work was at Troy University where I graduated magna cum laude while majoring in both Speech/Drama and English with a minor in voice.
My first teaching experience was at Crestview High School, my alma mater. While developing the acting and musical theatre programs there, I pursued my M.A. in Communication Arts from the University of West Florida in Pensacola. In 1987 my husband and I moved to Marion County where I taught speech, drama, and English at Dunnellon High for 8 years. While teaching at DHS I was named the 1994 Marion County Teacher of the Year, and I am still active in the county’s Golden Apple Academy of Teachers and was responsible for co-directing the annual teacher of the year awards ceremony from 1996 until 2008.
I served as the artistic director and head of the theatre program at Belleview High School and was instrumental in the construction of the school’s outdoor stage as well as the school’s Loft Playhouse. I wrote numerous grants to assist in the development of the theatre program at BHS, and while there I won a variety of directing awards for both Thespian Mainstage Productions and Critic’s Choice Awards for One Acts.
As the arts coordator, I believe that every student should be exposed to the arts whether or not he or she wishes to pursue that art form professionally. It is only through the study of performing and/or visual arts that a student truly feeds his or her soul. I am passionate about all artistic forms and honored by the opportunity to work with the outstanding arts faculty and students at West Port High.
I am married to fellow WPHS instructor, Spencer D. Reeder, and we are the parents of three daughters, two who graduated from West Port High School. Our oldest daughter completed her doctorate in audiology at LSU and practices at AIB, the American Institute of Balance in Largo. The second daughter recently completed her Master's Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and serves as the speech pathologist at Pleasant Grove Elementary in Citrus County. Our oungest daughter joins us as a fellow faculty member at WPHS after compleing her MA in Film Studies at the University of South Florida this past April.