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Get to Know the 2021 Board Candidates

A board room with a table and several orange chairs

Who will join the EdTA Board of Directors in 2021? The slate of candidates for next year’s election has been finalized.

Three candidates are running for one vice president/president seat, and nine for two director seats. One candidate has joined the slate by petitioning prior to the filing deadline.

The 2021 ballot also will include proposed changes to the code of regulations. Read more about the proposed changes in the 2021 Election Library.

The election will begin in late January by way of online balloting. All members in good standing as of January 4, 2021, will be eligible to vote. Members will receive voting instructions via email in mid-January; please ensure your information is up to date with EdTA’s membership department. Voting will close in mid-March.

Here’s a quick introduction to each of the candidates (listed alphabetically). You’ll find their complete responses to an election questionnaire in the 2021 Election Library.

EdTA Board 2021 Candidates 1x

Candidates for Vice President/President

Krista Carson Elhai
Claremont, California
Theatre educator at Claremont High School. Has been a California State Thespian Board member for 27 years, 11 as chapter director. Currently past president of the board of the California Educational Theatre Association. Served two terms on the EdTA National Board and is a trustee of the Educational Theatre Foundation.

David Tate Hastings
Olathe, Kansas
Theatre educator at Olathe South High School. He currently serves on the EdTA National Board as treasurer. He has helped run Kansas Thespians as co-chapter director, treasurer, and membership chair. Before becoming a teacher, he managed the retail division of a bank in Lawrence, Kansas.

Scott Walker
Milwaukie, Oregon
Theatre teacher and director at Milwaukie High School and teacher/founding member at Milwaukie Academy of the Arts. Currently serving second term on the EdTA National Board. Previous leadership positions include chapter director and board director for the Oregon Thespians and president elect/president/past president for the Oregon Theatre Educators’ Association.

Candidates for Board Director

Randall Delone Adkison
Tampa, Florida
Currently the interim executive director/past president of the Florida Association for Theatre Education. Florida Thespian Board member since 2011, serving as a board member and, for the last six years, the assistant state director for festival operations. He’s taught theatre and media education for the past 16 years.

Tali Allen
St. Louis, Missouri
Director of education and artistic director of the Muny Kids and Teens pre-professional performance troupes at The Muny. Adjunct faculty member at the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University. Past roles include the director of education and outreach at STAGES St. Louis and classroom teacher for more than 10 years.

Donald Amerson
Long Beach, California
Theatre teacher at Orange County School of the Arts and South Coast Repertory’s Conservatory. Currently a troupe director and California State Thespian Board member. Worked as a teaching artist in underserved communities and Eastern Michigan University adjunct professor. National assignments included work with the White House and Department of Justice.

Sean Elias
Baltimore, Maryland
Artistic director for Iron Crow Theatre, Baltimore’s award-winning professional queer theatre, and founding chair of the internationally award-winning Performing Arts Department at the Jemicy School. Member: Iron Crow Theatre’s executive board, Maryland Thespians, and the LGBTQ Cultural Advisory Board for Visit Baltimore. Thespian alumnus, troupe director. Member: EdTA, AEA, AATE.

Joannarae Ibañez
Pico Rivera, California
Educator, director, and arts administrator with a foundation in theatre arts. Designs accessible, inclusive arts education programming. Has worked with various L.A. arts nonprofits and is founder and director of artist collective Moonlightvsn. Thespian alumna and former Thespian troupe director. Classroom and community theatre educator with 13 years of experience.

Darla Jones
Fort Worth, Texas
Theatre teacher at the Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts. Has been a member of the Texas Thespians Executive Governing Board since 2012, serving as the Educator Conference director, board secretary, webmaster, and professional development director. Has also served on the EdTA Technology Committee, Membership Advisory Group, and Education Committee.

Silvia D. Scaife
Auburn, Alabama
Career Technical Education Director for Auburn City Schools. Festival performance coordinator on the Alabama Thespians Governing Board. Served on the Strategic Planning Committee for Elementary and High School Accreditation and the former president of P.A.C.E. Holds a Ph.D. in curriculum and teaching. Auburn High School’s 2020 Teacher of the Year.

Mary Schuttler
Greeley, Colorado
Head of theatre education at University of Northern Colorado. Former EdTA vice president, president, and past president. Serves on the Colorado Thespian Board and EdTA Education Committee; previously served as chair for the Colorado Model Content Theatre Standards and co-chair of the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards for Theatre. 2019 recipient of EdTA Founders’ Award.

Christopher Veneris
Greensboro, North Carolina
Is a public school theatre educator for the past 17 years. Served as NC Chapter or Co-Chapter Director for the past 7 years. The Co-Creator of Thespian Filmworks and ALN member with EdTA. Committee Chair for Enrichment with NC Theatre Arts Educators. Resident actor with Shared Radiance Performing Arts Company.


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