Educators Begins Leadership Term Of National Association Board

By: Jul. 01, 2019
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Gai Laing Jones of Ojai, Calif. is beginning her two-year term as President of the Educational Theatre Association board. Jones was elected in 2016 and served as Vice President from 2017 until now.

Jones is a longtime theatre educator having served for 34 years as theatre and troupe director at El Dorado High School, in addition to instructing at several California colleges, theatres, workshops, and festivals as a teaching artist. She is the founder of CA Youth in Theatre and the author of Raising the Curtain, Activities for the Theatre Arts Classroom and Break a Leg, Tips for the Theatre Educator. She has also served EdTA as California chapter director.

Also beginning their board terms on July 1 are three individuals elected by members of the Educational Theatre Association in 2018. For the position of vice president/president, members elected Scott Wilson of Columbus, Ohio. Wilson has served EdTA in several roles at the national level including as an International Thespian Officer adult advisor and as a member of the Advocacy Leadership Network. Has served on the board of Ohio Thespians for 17 years and for four years as chapter director. He served on the National Core Arts Standards theatre writing team and has represented EdTA at 11 state Thespian festivals.

For the two positions on the board of directors the members beginning their terms are Helen Duranleau-Brennan of Davenport, Iowa and David Tate Hastings of Olathe, Kansas.

Duranleau-Brennan has served as chapter director for Iowa Thespians and intermittently has been a member of the Iowa Thespians board during the last 20 years. While teaching at the secondary level, she held several leadership roles and served on committees for the arts, education, and advocacy, including the Iowa Department of Education Literacy Committee. She also has served on the advisory board of Iowa Alliance for the Arts. Duranleau-Brennan was also inducted into the EdTA Hall of Fame on Friday, September 14, 2018 at the EdTA National Conference.

David Tate Hastings has served as co-chapter director for Kansas Thespians. For the last 16 years has taught theatre at Olathe South High School, which under his leadership received EdTA's Outstanding School Award. He has served on various committees for EdTA including the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards pilot and Theatre Educator Evaluation Workbook.

The Educational Theatre Association is an international association with more than 135,000 active members. EdTA's mission is shaping lives through theatre education: honoring student achievement in theatre; supporting teachers by providing professional development, resources, and recognition; and influencing public opinion that theatre education is essential and builds life skills. EdTA is the home of the International Thespian Society, an honorary organization established at nearly 5,000 schools, that has inducted more than 2.3 million theatre students since its founding in 1929. EdTA also produces the International Thespian Festival and publishes Dramatics magazine in print and online for high school theatre students, and Teaching Theatre, a journal for theatre education professionals. The Educational Theatre Foundation is the philanthropic arm of EdTA.


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