Educators Tapped For National Advocacy Leadership Role

Educators Tapped For National Advocacy Leadership RoleSeven members have been selected for the second class of the Advocacy Leadership Network (ALN), a three-year pilot initiative designed to train and empower members of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) in grassroots advocacy efforts on behalf of theatre and other arts education. Up to ten representatives will be selected annually in a competitive process.

The new members for 2018 are: Zachery W. Bates, Gloucester County Institute of Technology, Westville, New Jersey; Sharon Fenwick Chadwick, Liberty High School, Las Vegas, Nevada; Tami LoSasso, Lakewood High School, Arvada, Colorado; Lindsay M. Shields, Flushing High School, Brooklyn, New York; Christopher Veneris, South Guilford High School, Greensboro, North Carolina; Scott Wilson, East High School, Columbus, Ohio; and Erick J. Weeks, Pearl High School, Pearl, Mississippi.

Returning 2017 ALN members and their states are Anthony Cimino-Johnson, Virginia; Michael Daehn, Indiana; Helen Duranleau-Brennan, Iowa; Michael Fisher, Oregon; Shannon Horn, South Carolina; Alison Johnson, California; Jennifer Morgan-Beuchat, Kansas; Mallory Nonnemaker, Georgia; Zachary Schneider, Wyoming; and Teri Turner, Missouri.

EdTA is a national nonprofit organization with approximately 125,000 student and professional members that supports and promotes school theatre. EdTA is the home of the International Thespian Society, an Honor Society for middle and high school theatre students, which has inducted more than 2.3 million members since 1929.

The goal of the ALN pilot is to create an effective and self-sustaining network of advocates who monitor and share state-based arts education policies, legislation, and advocacy successes that can be modeled by others. This is an opportunity for EdTA members to become part of the arts education team of experts who can serve in this capacity.

James Palmarini, EdTA director of educational policy, said he was encouraged by the expansion of the ALN in 2018. "The concept of the ALN is based on the notion that networking can help resolve common and unique issues impacting theatre education, especially when you have trained and committed advocates. So, each year, as we add more states, we become stronger and more effective as ALN veterans help to mentor new members."

Palmarini is a nationally-recognized expert in arts education policy, serving in 2016-17 as a task force member, consultant, or presenter with the National Core Standards (for theatre education) coalition; Americans for the Arts; Theatre for Young Audiences; Arts Education Partnership Forum; the U. S. Department of Education Arts in Education Conference; the American Alliance for Arts in Education; the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education Arts Assessment Conference; and the Southeastern Theatre Conference.

About the Educational Theatre Association

Educators Tapped For National Advocacy Leadership Role

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