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EdTA Nominating Committee Selects 6 Board Candidates

Images of the 6 board candidates

The Educational Theatre Association nominating committee has selected six candidates to compete for two national board seats.

The nominees for board director are Anthony Cimino-Johnson, Rob Duval, Stewart Hawk, Patricia Santanello, Silvia D. Scaife, and Teri Turner. EdTA board directors are elected to three-year terms.

The election will be conducted by electronic ballot starting in January 2022. The two board director candidates with the most votes will be seated to begin their terms on July 1, 2022.

“The selected candidates are passionate to serve the association with their expertise,” said nominating committee chair Gai Laing Jones.

Candidates for Board Director

Anthony Cimino-Johnson

Ashburn, Va.

Theatre educator at Rock Ridge High School and MFA theatre education candidate at MUW. He earned a certificate in arts administration from the University of Connecticut, and MA in drama therapy at New York University. An educator and member of Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, Cimino-Johnson strives to create brave and equitable spaces for students and colleagues.

Rob Duval


Rob is a theatre teacher/director at ‘Iolani School and board director for Hawaii Thespians, where he previously served as the first chapter director and treasurer. Inducted into the International Thespian Society in 1985 (and still has his membership card!), he enjoys acting, reading, and proudly supporting two children — both Thespians.

Stewart Hawk


Recently retired after 40 years of teaching at the secondary and college level, Stewart has served on the Washington Thespians board since 2006 and is currently the co-chapter director. In the professional world, Hawk has directed and/or choreographed numerous productions. He is currently working as a voice artist.

Patricia Santanello

Dublin, Ohio

Santanello is theatre director at Dublin Scioto High School, a board member for the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education and a member of EdTA’s main stage adjudication committee. She previously served on the EdTA board from 2002-2005 and on the Ohio chapter board from 1990-2021, with eight years as co-chapter director.

Silvia D. Scaife

Auburn, Ala.

Career Technical Director for Auburn City Schools, Scaife is a current EdTA board member and the Alabama Thespians performance coordinator. She holds a Ph.D. in curriculum and teaching. An educator/administrator of 24 years, Scaife was named Auburn City Schools System Teacher of the Year at elementary, middle, and high school levels.

Teri Turner

Grain Valley, Mo.

A speech/theatre educator of 13 years with middle and high school experience, Turner serves on the EdTA Advocacy Leadership Network, Missouri Thespians board, and Missouri Alliance for Arts Education board of directors. Past roles include president of the Speech and Theatre Association of Missouri, Show-Me Summit advocacy training chair, and Thespian alumni.

Ballot petitions

As provided in the EdTA Code of Regulations, any voting member may petition to have their name placed on the ballot for EdTA director if the voting member has obtained a total of 15 signatures of other voting members with representation from at least three different chapters and has submitted that petition to the nominating committee through the office of the executive director at least 75 days before the date of the election closure. Access the candidate petition vita form.The submission deadline for ballot petitions for the 2022 election is December 17 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Full resumes and responses to election questionnaires from each candidate will be posted after the ballot petition deadline. Electronic voting will begin in January 2022.

Nominating committee

The board’s past president chairs the nominating committee, which comprises board members, chapter leaders, and staff. The current committee includes:

  • Past President Gai Laing Jones and Vice President Krista Carson Elhai
  • Texas chapter director Amy Jordan and Indiana co-chapter director Ray Palasz
  • At-large members Michael Di Bianco of Cresskill, N.J., and Cheryl Williams of Smithfield, Va.
  • Non-voting staff members Brian Monk, EdTA’s chief operating officer, and Hans Weichhart, the chief membership officer

President Helen Duranleau-Brennan is an ex officio member.


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