Southland College Prep Forensics, Theatre Director Honored by National Federation of State High School Assns

Patricia Wozney [L TO R], chairman, Illinois High School Association State Group Interpretation Drama competition; Cheryl Frazier, Southland College Prep Director of Forensics and Theatre; Dr. Blondean Davis, CEO, Southland College Prep. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Richton Park, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Cheryl Frazier, a nationally recognized forensics educator who is director of forensics and theatre at Southland College Prep Charter High School, has been named the Outstanding Speech, Debate and Theatre Educator for the National Federation of State High School Associations’ central section of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin.

During her speech, drama and forensics career, Frazier has been a seven-time State of Illinois champion of group interpretation, coached students who placed in speech State finals and is certified as a Two-Diamond Key Coach by the National Speech and Debate Association, a non –partisan, not-for-profit national educational honor society. 

A Matteson, Illinois resident, Frazier initially began a career in medical technology and later moved to forensic and theatre education.

After earning a bachelor of arts degree in medical technology from Drake University, Frazier served as a staff medical technologist at Mercy Hospital Medical Center in Des Moines and joined Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center, Chicago as a senior medical technologist. She spent 15 years as supervisor of the Medical Center’s special hematology laboratories.

In the mid-1980s, Frazier began the second leg of her career, earning a master of arts degree in Communication Studies at Governors State University and completing a secondary school teacher certificate at Roosevelt University.

Frazier joined Southland College Prep in 2011 as dean of students and director of forensics and theatre. In 2015, one of her Southland students was the National Speech and Debate Association’s poetry reading champion.

At Southland, Frazier has overall management responsibility for the school’s speech and forensics program. In addition, she works with Southland students who have participated in the regional and national August Wilson Monologue Competition and the National Speech and Debate Association.

Earlier in her speech educator career, Frazier was a member of the speech faculty of her alma mater, Thornwood High School, South Holland for eleven years when she held numerous positions as group interpretation technical director, performing arts club sponsor, production assistant, theatre manager and head speech coach.

In 1998-2000, Frazier was a member of the Department of Communications at South Suburban College, South Holland as an instructor where she taught oral communication and interpretation, acting, developed a speech team and worked with students to qualify them for participation in national forensics tournaments.

Earlier this year, Southland’s speech team placed first in the Performance in the Round section of the Illinois High School Association’s State speech tournament for the third consecutive year. The Southland troupe staged “Sarafina,” based on the 1992 movie of the same name.

In 2018, Southland won the IHSA’s Performance in the Round competition for “We Were Just Children,” an original piece by Lauren Wells, one of Frazier’s former students who is now a Southland speech and theatre faculty member. It is based on recollections of African-American young people who survived the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

In 2017, Southland’s Performance in the Round team took first place in the State speech tournament with its presentation of an African folk tale, “Anansi, the Spider.”

This is a release from Southland College Prep Charter High School .