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Inspirational Theatre Educators Recognized by National Association on Teacher Appreciation Day

Inspirational Theatre Educators Recognized by National Association on Teacher Appreciation Day

The Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) recognizes individuals who have inspired their students and dedicated themselves to providing quality theatre education with the Inspirational Theatre Educator Award. Veteran theatre educators andEdTA members Richard Fairchild, Rebekah Hess, and Alissa Vogelgesang will each receive this award at EdTA's National Conference.

EdTA is a national association with approximately 135,000 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.

Richard Fairchild of Arcadia High School in Phoenix, Arizona, home to Thespian Troupe 320, was recognized in his nomination for his connection to students and dedication to their growth. He uses his own imagination to inspire creativity in the classroom, demonstrating the power and possibilities of theatre education. Encouraging theatre students to give their best effort, Fairchild also reminds Thespians to stay true to themselves. He pours his heart into theatre education and brings out the best in his students throughout the process.

Rebekah Hess of Rock Ridge Performing Arts in Ashburn, Virginia, home to Thespian Troupe 8104, was recognized for inspiring her students to achieve more than they think possible by constantly setting an example. Hess demonstrates positivity and maturity, even through hardship, and this does not go unnoticed to Thespians. In her spare time, Hess holds after-school dance technique classes, for free, to provide students a resource they might not have otherwise. She displays her extensive knowledge of theatre while remaining humble, and reassures students with an unconditional love. Hess has provided encouragement and opportunity, impacting Thespians both inside and beyond the classroom.

Alissa Vogelgesang of Carroll County High School in Carrollton, Kentucky, home to Thespian Troupe 8704, was recognized for encouraging students to break through barriers and become better humans. Vogelgesang impacts students from their time inside the classroom to long after their graduation from Carroll County. She empathizes with students, and offers a "therapy chair" in her classroom where they might open up to Mrs. Vogelgsang and gain support. Through the safe and positive space created by Vogelgesang, Thespians are able to build a family and support one another. Not only does Vogelgesang enrich the lives of Thespians individually, but together as well.

About the Educational Theatre Association, home of the International Thespian Society

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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