Written by Riley M., Journalism student, Class of 2021
Mrs. Bach, teacher and theater director at New Life Academy, wasn’t always known for her fun and energetic qualities that she is known for today. In fact, she didn’t even know that she wanted to major in drama until 10th grade. “I was in high school when I first found an interest in the theater. I wasn’t good at math or science. Theater was the only place I could feel myself,” exclaimed Mrs. Bach. She goes on to say, “Theater is the one thing I would look forward to every year and unfortunately, it was only during the fall.”
When she wasn’t in the fall theater production, she would do forensic competitions. Mrs. Bach grew up in a small town where everyone knew each other in Kansas. She has two older sisters who were basically moved out when she was born. “Not everybody knows this, I grew up as a pastor’s kid and that’s why I didn’t have a lot of friends. In a small city, no one wanted to be friends with a Pastor’s kid,” says Mrs. Bach. “I rarely spoke in school. When I got home every day, I would explode and never stop talking. My mom asked me why I couldn’t share at school like I would at home,” said Mrs. Bach.
While in college for directing, her professor noticed that she worked better when directing kids. “It was easy for me to direct kids because they were younger and I didn’t care as much about what they thought of me.” After college, she lived on a cruise ship with her husband, fellow New Life teacher Mr. Alan Bach, for a few years. She started to break out of her introverted shell while on board. Everyone she was surrounded by on the ship was a theater person and were very loud. During this time, she wasn’t acting or directing and she says, “It really helped me focus on myself and others around me.” It was during this time when she realized that she had always worried about herself and what others thought of her. “I started worrying about other people and their souls more than myself,” said Mrs. Bach.
A few years later, Mrs. Bach moved to Minnesota and started teaching and directing. She says, “It was a fresh start.” She quickly got a job at 3 or 4 different high school co-ops and loved teaching just as much as she loved directing. She then got a job at New Life Academy and continues to teach and direct theater to this day. “Theater gets me energized after a long day and gives me life,” Mrs. Bach exclaimed after being asked why theater is her passion project. She plans on continuing to direct theater for years to come, depending on how busy life with her new son could be.
Mrs. Bach has been a great teacher and director while at New Life. She has impacted many students in very positive ways and it is reflected in how people describe her. Emma L., a current 12th grader in the fall musical, says, “Mrs. Bach is really sweet and passionate in everything she teaches and cares about her students and she has impacted me very positively.” During the many years that she has been here, she has influenced and helped many students to become better people.
“I’m hoping that theater can be that place where you can come and feel safe and feel free to be yourself. I remind my students that their identity is in Christ, that it’s not found in the applause, that it’s not found in what someone says afterwards, but it’s found in doing our best with the talents God has given us,” said Mrs. Bach.
On reflecting on her career as a teacher, Mrs. Bach is happy with her decision. “All of my sisters and parents are now pastors,” she said. “And I teach.”
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