Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame

2019 Hall of Fame Inductees
2019 Hall of Fame Inductees, from left: Jennifer Morgan-Beuchat, Lynn Jensen, Robert Fowler, Tony Matthes, and James Thomas Bailey. Photo by Susan Doremus

Established in 1990, the Hall of Fame recognizes those members who have made outstanding contributions to theatre education for twenty or more years, and induction represents the highest honor awarded by the Educational Theatre Association to theatre educators. Every year we induct new members at the EdTA National Conference and celebrate the impact they have had in shaping lives through theatre education.

2021 Hall of Fame Recipients

Valerie Gargus Headshot

Valerie Gargus

New Jersey

Valerie Gargus was hired by Northern Burlington County Regional High School in New Jersey in 1980 to teach English and direct the play and musical. She lobbied through the 1980s to be able to teach a theatre class that would be considered an arts course, rather than an English elective, which she succeeded in accomplishing in 1992. That one theatre class eventually grew to a full department of six courses and currently accommodates students from 8th-12th grades. Valerie earned multiple awards for her work, including induction into the New Jersey Thespians Hall of Fame, New Jersey Governor’s Award in the Arts, and Northern Burlington Educator of the Year. After retirement, Valerie continued to lead Thespian Troupe 4762 and to direct the fall play. She has also served as a member of the New Jersey Thespians Board of Directors since 2005. We’re pleased to welcome Valerie Gargus to the EdTA Hall of Fame.

Jana Whitlock Heyl headshot

Jana Whitlock Heyl

Maryland

During her 31 years as a theatre educator in Maryland, Jana Whitlock Heyl has directed and produced more than 120 productions. Jana served on the board of Maryland Thespians for 13 years, including two terms as Chapter Director, and earned induction into the Maryland Thespians Hall of Fame. She is a familiar face at chapter and national events, having attended for more than 20 years. 2021 has been a rewarding year for Jana, having not only earned induction into the EdTA Hall of Fame, but she was also named the 2021 Charles County Arts Alliance High School Teacher of the Year, and Troupe 303 earned one of the 2021 EdTA Outstanding School Awards under her leadership. Numerous former students have gone on to careers in the arts, helping to shape the future of our field.

Jo Strom Lane headshot

Jo Strom Lane

Oregon

Jo Strom Lane, the theatre teacher at Roosevelt High School in Oregon and the current Chapter Director for Oregon Thespians, began her theatre career as a touring actor and stagehand, then landed in Arizona, where she co-founded Opening Act Theatre Company as a summer theatre training program for young adults. She later transferred the company to Portland and eventually transitioned it into Roosevelt High School as its resident production company, where she now serves as Artistic Director. Jo has over 20 years of professional teaching experience, has been active in various community theatres, and is a published author and workshop leader. Her service has earned her the OnPoint Prize for Education Circle of Excellence, EdTA Hawkins Arts Advocacy Award, and the Melba Day Sparks Henning “Hall of Fame” Award for Oregon.

Hall of Fame by Year

2021

Valerie Gargus
Jana Whitlock Heyl
Jo Strom Lane

2020

Tim Buchheit
Michael Daehn
Marti Fowler
Billy Houck

2019

James Thomas Bailey
Robert Fowler
Lynn Jensen
Tony Matthes
Jennifer Morgan-Beuchat

2018

Meaghan Dunham
Helen Duranleau-Brennan
Harriet Matthews
Lou Volpe
Jas Warren

2017

Lori Hathaway
Gina Parrish

2016

Betsy Bishop
Jeff Hall
Paul E. Hampton
Holly Stanfield

2015

Debbie Corbin
Dean Feldman
Michael Hamilton
Carolyn Reid Hindman
Kim Staples

2014

Larry Daw
Kerry Onxley
Scott Walker

2013

E. Frank Bluestein
Michael Fisher
Jeff Nienhueser
Robert Singleton
Leslie Van Leishout

2012

Donnie Bryan
Robert (Bob) Henrichs
Ben Martin
Frank M. Pruet
Ruben Van Kempen

2011

Debra Barnum
Richard Chudomelka
Jan Shelton Hunsaker
Tom McNally
Jerry D. Smith, Jr.

2010

Max Brown
Anita Grant
Liz Hansen
Patricia Santanello

2009

Gail Burns
Krista Carson Elhai

2008

Jonathan Gillespie
Martha (Marty) A. Hancock
Patricia Lee Hitchler
Madelon Horvath
Terry McGonigle

2007

Lana Hagan
Jay W. Jensen
Edward C. Moon
Janine West.

2006

Chris Bundy
Glenn Edwards
Craig Ihnen
Linda Wise

2005

Dr. Phillip W. Moss
Beverly M. Murray (Moerbe)
William H. Myatt
Dr. Mary J. Schuttler
Linda Webb

2004

Eric Brannen
Steve J. Halper
Gloria McIntyre

2003

Beverly Blanchette
Virginia (Ginny) Chizer
Michael Peitz

2002

Debby Gibbs
Peter Sargent
Jay Seller

2001

Marie Glotzbach
Byron Grant
Yatesy Harvey
Kim O’Rourke

2000

Kaleta Brown
Thomas Orr
Len Radin
Ethel Pitts Walker
Brian Welch

1999

Charles Jeffries
Sandy Levitt
Jhon Marshall
Bobby Smith

1998

Ron Bright
Constance Dillow
Mildred Hoelscher
Angelita Martinez de Florio

1997

Michelle Busti
George Dearani
Barbara Gensler
Deb Holloway
Ron Nocks

1996

Joe Burnsworth
Mort Clark
Nancy Sprowls
Diana Evans Vance

1995

Jane Armitage
Carol Lommen
William H. Lord

1994

Alan Engelsman
Karen Husted
Gai Jones
Freda Kenner
Paul Opp

1993

Diane de Julio
C. Lynn Frost
Gerald Ray Horne
Lois Sackman

1992

Joseph Hildon Boyd
Robert L. Johnson
Ronald L. Longstreth
Krin Brooks Perry
Pam Ware

1991

Harmon E. Beekman
Barbara D. Dusenbury
Douglas H. Finney
Robert L. Geuder
Joan C. Hahn
Harlen L. Hamm
Melba Day Henning
Fred B. Hutchins
Ellis L. Jordan
Harry T. Leeper
Julian T. Myers
Helen S. Smith
Ernestine O. Smizer

Alphabetical Hall of Fame

A

Jane Armitage

B

James Thomas Bailey
Debra Barnum
Harmon E. Beekman
Betsy Bishop
Beverly Blanchette
E. Frank Bluestein
Joseph Hildon Boyd
Eric Brannen
Ron Bright
Kaleta Brown
Max Brown
Donnie Bryan
Tim Buccheit
Chris Bundy
Gail Burns
Joe Burnsworth
Michele Busti

C

Virginia (Ginny) Chizer
Richard Chudomelka
Mort Clark
Debbie Corbin

D

Larry Daw
Michael Daehn
George Dearani
Constance Dillow
Meaghan Dunham
Helen Duranleau-Brennan
Barbara D. Dusenbury

E

Glenn Edwards
Krista Carson Elhai
Alan Engelsman

F

Dean Feldman
Douglas H. Finney
Marti Fowler
Robert Fowler
C. Lynn Frost

G

Barbara Gensler
Bob Geuder
Debby Gibbs
Jonathan Gillespie
Marie Glotzbach
Anita Grant
Byron Grant

H

Lana Hagan
Jeff Hall
Steve J. Halper
Michael Hamilton
Harlan L. Hamm
Paul E. Hampton
Martha (Marty) A. Hancock
Joan C. Hahn
Liz Hansen
Yatesy Harvey
Lori Hathaway
Melba Day Henning
Robert (Bob) Henrichs
Carolyn Reid Hindman
Patricia Lee Hitchler
Mildred Hoelscher
Deb Holloway
Gerald Ray Horne
Madelon Horvath
Billy Houck
Jan Shelton Hunsaker
Karen Husted
Fred B. Hutchins

I

Craig Ihnen

J

Charles Jeffries
Jay W. Jensen
Lynn Jensen
Gai Jones
Robert L. Johnson
Ellis L. Jordan
Diane de Julio

K

Freda Kenner

L

Harry T. Leeper
Leslie Van Leishout
Sandy Levitt
Carol Lommen
Ronald L. Longstreth
William H. Lord

M

Jhon Marshall
Ben Martin
Angelita Martinez de Florio
Tony Matthes
Harriet Matthews
Terry McGonigle
Gloria McIntyre
Tom McNally
Edward C. Moon
Jennifer Morgan-Beauchat
Phillip W. Moss
Beverly M. Murray (Moerbe)
William H. Myatt
Julian T. Myers

N

Jeff Nienhueser
Ron Nocks

O

Kerry Onxley
Paul Opp
Kim O’Rourke
Thomas Orr

P

Gina Parrish
Michael Peitz
Krin Brooks Perry
Frank M. Pruet

R

Len Radin

S

Lois Sackman
Patricia Santanello
Peter Sargent
Mary J. Schuttler
Jay Seller
Robert Singleton
Helen S. Smith
Bobby Smith
Jerry D. Smith, Jr.
Ernestine O. Smizer
Nancy Sprowls
Holly Stanfield
Kimberly Staples

V

Ruben Van Kempen
Diana Evans Vance
Lou Volpe

W

Ethel Pitts Walker
Scott Walker
Pam Ware
Jas Warren
Linda Webb
Brian Welch
Janine West
Linda Wise

Alphabetical Hall of Fame

by first name

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