Beaverton, Oregon

CJ Hindman is the theatre director at Westview High School in Beaverton, Oregon, home to Thespian Troupe 5350—a role she’s pursued with passion from an early age. She knew she wanted to become a drama teacher ever since fourth grade at Vegas Verdes Elementary School in Las Vegas, Nevada, where a teacher named Alice Geil brought learning to life in the form of staged plays and puppet shows.

Educated at Western Oregon State College, Ms. Hindman majored in theatre and language arts and graduated with a B.A. in secondary education. She recently completed her master’s degree in theatre studies at Southern Oregon University, focusing on production and design.

Ms. Hindman was given the opportunity to create a theatre program from the ground up when, Westview opened in 1994, and over her two decades’ tenure the troupe has earned a reputation for excellence. She and her students have been very active in the Oregon State Thespian organization: she served on the state board for four years before being elected as the Oregon Thespian chapter director in 2003, serving an eight-year term. She is past president of the Oregon Theater Arts Association and recipient of the Melba Day Sparks Career Achievement Award, the Rex Rabold Memorial Award, the Rae Mona Reynolds Humanitarian Award, and the Beaverton School District Golden Apple Award.

“CJ has always been such a generous leader—not only giving of her time but also sharing wisdom with new teachers and costumes, props, etc. with other schools,” Lana Hagan wrote in her nomination. “She is a true ambassador for theatre education in her state and beyond.”