As I write this, the actors in Grove High School's production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast are preparing for opening night.

They are shaking the jitters and nerves, pulling their "big britches" on, and getting ready to shine in front of a house full of friends and family.

Mixed in the talented bunch of students, we have veterans of last year's Wizard of Oz working alongside those making their stage debut.

The energy and enthusiasm is contagious. 

We are blessed to have Jeffrey Haynes, Andre Jones, Vera Yirsa and Amanda Pollan working with our students.

This quadruple threat of talent and grace bring out the best in our students. They know what buttons to push, and what encouragement to give, to help our youth simply shine.

I had the privilege of completing the playbook again, for the second year in a row.

I am continually blown away by the items the students include in their bios. The professionalism (and humor) shown by the cast is superb. 

We are blessed to have a growing arts department within our school system.

During a time when some schools are forced to make cuts in the art, music and drama department, district officials have gone the other direction.

In fact, the first musical birthed a new class at the high school - stagecraft.

A grant from the Grove Education Foundation For Excellence (GEFFE) provided the tools/equipment students used to build the sets for this weekend's show.

Some students are athletes, some are scientific gurus, some work with their hands, some go to trade school and others are artistic.

I'm glad we live in a school district that supports all areas. The efforts not only provide a well-rounded student, but a well-rounded community. 

This weekend our artistic students (and tech students) work will be on display. If you missed opening night, you still have a chance to catch the 7 p.m. performance on Saturday or the 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday.

Trust me on this. You want to make your reservation and attend. You'll regret missing this show if you let the opportunity slip through your fingers.

To the students involved in the production, from those on the stage and those behind the curtains. Thank you for stepping out to try something new to bring this story to life.

A wise person once said "Time is precious, waste it wisely." Thank you for using your time in this way. 

We appreciate how you chose to use your time, talent and gifts. This is truly a community gift, and one that is not taken for granted.