The Educational Theatre Association recognizes outstanding individuals who have gone above and beyond in their role as an administrator, demonstrating exemplary support for educational theatre. This year’s Administrator’s Awards go to: Cidonio Cantu, principal, Alice High School in Alice, Texas; Brett Davis, principal, Northwestern Middle School in Kokomo, Indiana; and Denise Swanger, principal, Mehlville Senior High School in St. Louis, Missouri.
Principal Cantu at Alice High School, home to Thespian Troupe 5191, has a focus on making the school a safer environment for the students and teachers, and publicly supports the school’s theatrical productions by sharing positive information with parents, teachers, and the community. Dr. Cantu has worked to improve the physical environment of the school’s theatre complex, creating a safe and engaging environment for the theatre program, and provided new theatre equipment and resources. He is also cited for going above and beyond to make the theatre students feel special, attending rehearsals and performances, and providing positive feedback.
Principal Davis at Northwestern Middle School, home to Thespian Troupe 88930, has played a large role in the creation and sustainability of the school’s theatre program, creating a director stipend, starting a drama club in 2006, and chartering a Junior Thespian troupe in 2009. Since then, Davis has continued to support the program, providing updated equipment, encouraging participation in Indiana ITS Chapter activities, and supporting professional development opportunities for the theatre director, through EdTA. Davis has even played minor roles in theatre productions, and advocated for the addition of three theatre classes to the school curriculum.
Principal Swanger at Mehlville Senior High School, home to Thespian Troupe 5022, has advocated for several improvements to the school’s theatre department including the development of a state-of-the-art theatre space, expansion of the budget, student participation, and collaboration with the music department. Dr. Swanger supported professional development opportunities that led to the collaboration between the theatre and choir directors to produce a student production of Into the Woods. She goes above and beyond to support the program by attending and promoting performances, offering positive feedback, and recognizing students for their hard work and creativity.