Newburgh Students Collaborate with Emmy Award Winner Jill Turner

Recently, Newburgh Free Academy students in drama teacher Terry Sandler’s Acting Class and William Walker’s Creative Writing class were treated to a professional workshop from Emmy Award winner Jill Turner. The collaboration was initiated by Sandler and Gary VanVoorhis, NFA teacher and President of the Hear the Music Foundation. The goal of the foundation is to bring professional mentors into the schools and teach students priceless real world experience.

According to VanVoorhis, Turner won the Emmy award in 2009 for Outstanding Writing in Animation. Turner is currently a freelance writer whose resume includes many of the top children’s TV shows now running on major network television. Her credits include: Jungle Junction (Playhouse Disney), Hosted Interstitials (Sprout), Elmo’s Movie Merry-Thon (Sprout), Jelly Jamm (Vodka Capital), WordWorld (PBS Kids) and Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! (Nick Jr.).

Turner had the students engaged as she showed them the process of how a writer creates ideas on a storyboard and moves to a final televised show. According to VanVoorhis, students saw first hand the positives and negatives of a freelance writer in today’s market.

“It was just amazing to see the connection Ms. Turner made with the future writers who all were so excited to meet her, as they recognized the television shows Turner has worked for. Anytime you have the opportunity to show students that what they are learning in the classroom has real world meaning is just terrific,” explained VanVoorhis.