Gwinnett County, Georgia

Dean A. Feldman began teaching theatre twenty-seven years ago in South Hampton, England. He later moved to Gwinnett County near Atlanta, Georgia, where he built a legendary theatre program, with shows selling out days in advance, repeated honors at state competitions, a rigorous slate of theatre arts classes, and families moving into the district so their children could take part.

Mr. Feldman is a graduate of Indiana University with a B.A. in theatre and a master’s in directing. Besides teaching theatre, he heads the Peachtree Ridge High School Arts Academy as its department chair, and in the summers he has organized and directed performing arts camps for elementary and middle school students. He has won the Teacher of the Year award three times, been inducted to the Georgia Thespian Hall of Fame, and won multiple regional and state one-act play competitions. He has presented workshops on diverse theatre topics and directed more than 130 productions. Fifteen of his former students have become theatre teachers, and several dozen more have performed on Broadway, in the movies, on television, or in professional theatre around the United States or in Europe.

Nominator and fellow educator Bernadette Scruggs wrote of Mr. Feldman’s work: “He uses every second of time, he constantly incorporates new innovations, he is exciting and energetic, his depth and breadth of knowledge are quite extraordinary, and he can work with anyone and everyone,” she writes. “Dean Feldman is what we would like all of our students to be: a lifelong learner… and because he is an exceptional leader as well as educator, he passes this spark along to others.”