News And Events

News And Events

2024 Annual Garden Party

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2024 ESU Atlanta Shakespeare Competition

Sixteen high school students competed in the annual ESU Atlanta Shakespeare Competition at the Shakespeare Tavern on Feb 25, 2024. Here are the top performers:

1st Place – Amelia G., St Pius X Catholic High School (Chamblee, Dekalb). Teacher Jami Warren. 

2nd Place – Mars W., Westminster School (Buckhead, Fulton). Teacher Kate Morgens. This is Miss Wilkiemeyer's second appearance on our stage. 

3rd Place – Charlotte C., Mount Vernon School (Sandy Springs, Fulton) Teacher Tyler Dale. 

Amelia G. will represent ESU Atlanta in New York City as a participant in ESU's 41st National Competition on April 15th at Lincoln Center. The 1ST PLACE winner of the National Competition will receive a fully funded summer study abroad at the BRITISH AMERICAN DRAMA ACADEMY MID-SUMMER CONSERVATORY PROGRAM at Oxford University.

1st Place Winner Amelia G. with ESU President Susan Phillips

Our ESU Atlanta Shakespeare Competition benefits from the many hours that students and teachers dedicate to preparing for this event. This is the second year in a row that St. Pius X has taken first place, albeit with a different teacher. Their last theater teacher was Tracey Buot, and Jami Warren is the current teacher. Westminster has participated since the early 1990's. Kate Morgens has been the teacher for many years, and her students regularly do well. Ms Morgens was inducted into Westminster's Hall of Fame for alumni who excel in the arts. She graduated from the school in 1991, and she is in good company – actors Brian Baumgartner and Ed Helms of The Office fame were two of her classmates! Mount Vernon High School has become a theater power-house in recent years due in large part to one student, Miss Arden Adams, who won our competition two years in a row, and placed third in another year! We are happy to report that she is continuing to pursue her passion for the stage as a student at Point Park University in Pittsburgh. She will graduate in 2025 with a BFA.

Thank you to Diane and Randy Brannen for the phenomenal job they do each year in organizing and presenting this event. 

Congratulations, Amelia!

See photos of the event

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General Membership Meeting - February 15

General Membership Meeting

Thursday, February 15, 2024 @ 4pm

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Dr. Manning Patillo Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Manning Patillo's contributions to the English Speaking Union were recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the October 2023 ESUUS National Conference. Charles Maddrey, Board Chair, presented the award to Dr. Patillo's daughter.

Dr. Manning Patillo joined the Atlanta Branch of the ESU in 1975 and served in many leadership roles over the years. As President and then Board Chairman, he led the Branch in implementing financial policies that continue to benefit us to this day, and in providing programs and community outreach that support ESU activities.

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The 2024 National Shakespeare Competition Starts Now!

News Photo

We are pleased to announce the kick-off of the ESU's National Shakespeare Competition! Schools in our region may enter now, giving students the opportunity to compete in The Atlanta Branch Competition.  The winner of the branch competition will travel to NYC to compete in the national finals at Lincoln Center!  

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2023 Teaching and Learning Abroad Scholar

Pierson Bauer
2023 Teaching and Learning Abroad Scholar

English Speaking Union Atlanta

The Atlanta branch of the English Speaking Union (ESU) is delighted to announce that Pierson Bauer has been awarded our Teaching and Learning Abroad (TLaB) Scholarship for 2023. Pierce teaches in the English Language Arts Department at Druid Hills High School in DeKalb County. He teaches British Literature and  journalism,  and sponsors the student newspaper. Pierce plans to use this scholarship to study English Literature at Exeter College, Oxford, this summer. The scholarship, for active classroom teachers, fully funds a study abroad program and provides a travel stipend.  

Pierce shares that  "In British Literature classes at Druid Hills, the majority of my students are in their final year of school, and this course, for many, is the final literature class they will ever take. If I can impart to them my knowledge from my time studying at Oxford, that would provide a unique opportunity for my students to grow as literature scholars in their final year before graduating high school."

ESU Atlanta wishes Pierce a successful summer of study as he prepares to spend July in Oxford, and that this experience enhances his connection to his students, colleagues, and community.

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2023 Annual Garden Party

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2022 General Membership Meeting

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Grants Activity Report

ESU Atlanta recently funded two additional $6,500 Dr. Manning Pattillo, Jr. Scholarships at Oglethorpe University  Oglethorpe will award the two Scholarships later this year to two Oglethorpe students in good academic standing, who demonstrate how studying abroad will contribute to their academic, professional, and personal aspirations.  


Kharynton Beggs is the most recent recipient of a Dr. Manning Pattillo, Jr., Scholarship; Kharynton recently completed her studies at the University of Oxford and returned to Atlanta earlier this year. Attached below is a news article about Kharynton. Kharynton will be invited to speak at an upcoming ESU Atlanta Membership Meeting about her studies at the University of Oxford.


At the end of 2021 ESU Atlanta made a $2000 grant to the Atlanta Shakespeare Company to help support Atlanta Shakespeare's program at the Boyce L. Ansley School.   Atlanta Shakespeare's program at the Ansley School focuses on the learning and development needs of the Atlanta area's homeless young children.


ESU Atlanta is currently considering creating a scholarship at an Atlanta area HBCU to assist an HBCU student to study abroad. It is expected that more information will be available later this year about this potential scholarship.

Kharynton Beggs '23 was the 2021 recipient of the Manning Pattillo Jr. Scholarship, presented annually by the Atlanta chapter of the English Speaking Union in honor of former Oglethorpe University President Dr. Manning Pattillo.

The scholarship is awarded to an Oglethorpe student in good academic standing, who demonstrates how studying abroad will contribute their academic, professional, and personal aspirations.

Founded in 1920, the ESU is a nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, which utilizes English as a catalyst to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational opportunities and cultural exchange. 

Beggs has been studying at the University of Oxford in England during the fall semester and will return to Oglethorpe in the spring to complete her junior year. But, she has been planning her study abroad experience for years.

"On my very first visit to Oglethorpe, my tour guide discussed all of the partner schools we had around the world – and from the very first mention of Oxford, I knew that I wanted to go," said Beggs, a psychology major from Charleston, SC, who is a member of the women's golf team and serves as an admission ambassador, peer academic advisor, and development assistant.

Utilizing Oglethorpe's extensive resources, Beggs took every opportunity to learn more about studying abroad.

"I attended information sessions held by the global education office, reached out to previous students who had studied at Oxford, and did my own research about the program and the university itself. While I decided very early on in the process that I wanted to study abroad, it was not without the support of the global education office, my advisor, and my family, that I was able to make this dream a reality."

She encourages other students to also explore studying abroad.

"Oglethorpe offers so many different options, there is a program for everyone. Additionally, there are so many resources out there to help fund your trip, and if money is the biggest concern, look into the cost of living of your desired program and look for external scholarships because there are so many out there."

"Being here in Oxford has been one of the greatest experiences, and I would recommend it to everyone. So, if this is something you really want to do, there are so many ways of getting there and Oglethorpe is extremely supportive in helping you reach your goals!"

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Danielle Reed Branch 2022 TLab Scholar

Danielle Reed is the recipient of our Branch TLab scholarship this year and will apply for a creative writing course at either Oxford or Edinburgh to enhance the writing classes she teaches at the Galloway School in Atlanta. 

She was a winner once before when she taught in Florida and studied at the Globe in London and had an amazing time.  She is a mid-career teacher with many years to influence her students, colleagues and community.

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