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EdTA Nominating Committee Approves Six Candidates

Thespians singing on stage at the International Thespian Festival

The Educational Theatre Association’s nominating committee has tapped two candidates to run for vice president/president of the Board of Directors in this year’s election, and four to compete for two board director seats.

The nominees for vice president/president are Matt Conover and Scott Wilson.

Mark Drum, Helen Duranleau-Brennan, Jeff Hall, and David Hastings will be on the ballot for the two board director positions. The top two vote getters among those four will be seated.

The vice president/president is elected to a four-year term, two years in each of the top leadership positions. Board directors are elected for three years. All the winning candidates in the 2018 election, which will be conducted by electronic ballot during August and September, will take office in the summer of 2019.

Here are brief sketches of the candidates.

Candidates for Vice President/President

Matt Conover

Matt Conover32

Ladera Ranch, California. Currently serves in national leadership roles with EdTA as board director and treasurer of the EdTA board since 2008 and with the Educational Theatre Foundation since 2017. Thespian alum from Rockville, Maryland, and recent keynote speaker at the Maryland Thespian Festival. Has held various roles in the last 30 years with Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, as tech crew chief, stage manager, producer, and has spent the last 20 years in executive leadership.

Scott Wilson

Scott Wilson headshot

Columbus, Ohio. Currently serves 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. Served on the National Core Arts Standards Theatre Writing Team. Has represented EdTA at 11 state Thespian festivals. Recipient of the 2016 EdTA Co-Volunteer of the Year Award.

Candidates for Board Director

Mark Drum

Mark Drum Headshot

Astoria, New York. Currently serves on the board of New York Thespians. A Thespian alum, he is a former International Thespian Officer and former State Thespian Officer from Michigan. Has represented the EdTA at Thespian events since 2016. Has been a guest artist and volunteer at nine state conferences/festivals. Recipient of the 2017 Daron Hawkins Scholarship.

Helen Duranleau-Brennan

Helen Duranleau Brennan Head Shot

Davenport, Iowa. Has served as chapter director for Iowa Thespians and has been a member of the Iowa Thespians board on and off for over 20 years. While teaching at the secondary level, held several leadership roles and sat on various committees for the arts, education, and advocacy, including the Iowa Department of Education Literacy Committee. Has served on the Advisory Board of Iowa Alliance for the Arts.

Jeff Hall

Jeff Hall head shot

Portland, Oregon. Has served as chapter director for Oregon Thespians, on the State Thespian Board, and on the governing board of Oregon Theatre Educators Association. Has served as Theatre Director at Jesuit High School for 28 years. Founder and board member of The Young People’s Theatre Project.

David Tate Hastings

David Hastings Head shot

Olathe, Kansas. 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. Has served on various committees for EdTA including the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards Pilot and Teacher Evaluation Workbook. Previously worked as a bank manager and officer.

Ballot petitions

As provided in the EdTA Code of Regulations, any member may declare their candidacy for a seat on the board and petition to be included on the ballot. A valid ballot petition can be accessed here and must be signed by 15 voting members from each of three different state chapters. The submission deadline for ballot petitions for the 2018 election is June 15 at 11:59 PM PT.

Candidates’ full résumés and responses to election questionnaires will be posted here after the ballot petition deadline. Electronic voting will begin in August and conclude during the EdTA National Conference in Denver on September 13-16.

The nominating committee is chaired by board Past President Frank Pruet. Members include board Vice President Gai Jones; Kentucky Chapter Director Carolyn Greer; Alabama Chapter Director Troy Taylor; at-large members Alex Minton of Chicago, Illinois and Mary Schuttler of Greeley, Colorado; Executive Director Julie Cohen Theobald (non-voting); and Director of Chapters and Communities Diane Carr (non-voting). President Debbie Corbin is an ex officio member.


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