Looking Back on Summit

By Alex Minton posted 07-29-2014 02:52

Even though the clock read 4:00AM on July 22 I was as energetic as an eight year old. The sudden burst of energy was all because I was about to embark on my first trip as an incoming International Thespian Officer.

My parents walked me through their "Travel Survival Guides" as we drove to the airport. Hugs were exchanged, and I was off to my gate. Once I landed in St. Louis I met up with Rachel Gatewood, the incoming Region III ITO, and we boarded our plane to Columbus.

After a smooth flight we met up with Liz Coin, the incoming Region II ITO, and Scott Wilson (aka Swils, one of the ITO's adult advisory members). Swils drove us our final leg of the trip to Cincinnati.

The two hour drive was finally over and we arrived at the Netherlands Plaza Hotel. Once inside the elegant building we met up with the rest of the incoming and outgoing ITO. 23 days apart called for 23 seconds of shrieks and hugs.

We immediately got to work, Kimberly Staples (aka Staples, the other ITO adult advisory board member) and Swils allowed us to ask the outgoing ITO questions about their experiences and they got to share some helpful tips for making our upcoming year the best it can be.

In addition to the six outgoing and six incoming ITO, two student leaders joined us in our leadership training at Summit. These two, are among four student liaison positions. Each of the four students have chosen areas of interest to assist the incoming ITO in, from Advocacy to Broadway Cares, to Junior Thespians, and Leadership. I am so grateful for the dedication these students have already shown and am anxious to utilize them in furthering our goals for the year.

After a delicious dinner at the Rock bottom Cafe, the outgoing ITO introduced us to the different chapter directors they knew and worked with throughout their terms. It was interesting to learn how other states run their conferences, and has me even more excited to help make each one a success.

Staples and Swils led us in leadership training throughout the first half of the morning, and during the second half we got to listen to Jim Palmarini and Randy Cohen speak about Advocacy. After the presentation they joined the fourteen of us for lunch and we briefly discussed the importance of student advocacy, the conversation had us inspired and talking about how we can reinvent Student Advocacy.

Once day two of training was complete, all of the attendees at Summit took a big yellow school bus over to Diane Carr's house for a BBQ. It was a great time to unwind and enjoy Graeter's ice cream while celebrating Diane's upcoming 10th anniversary working at EdTA. Here's to 10 more!

Thursday was our last day in Cincinnati and the incoming ITO board defined our three values and set our three goals for the year. Our values are the following:
  1. Love
  2. Wisdom
  3. Dependability
Our vision for our values revolves around the mind, heart, and hands; and how they are the building blocks of every individual.

Our three goals for the year are the following:
  1. Reinvent Advocacy
  2. Promote Community
  3. Support Local Troupes

Make sure you are following our twitter accounts, and like our Facebook page as we will be promoting each of these areas and asking for your help throughout the year!

I would like to extend a big thank you to EdTA for covering all of our expenses on this trip. In two and a half days the commitment towards educators and students was apparent from each staff member.

We are looking forward to a prosperous year, please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or need any help!
Alex Minton
Incoming ITO Chair