Debbie Corbin retired as theatre director at Branson High School, Thespian Troupe 3482, in Branson, Missouri, in 2015.
She began her career in nearby Springfield, serving as Central High’s speech and debate coach, taking students to national competition twice in four years. Following a hiatus of seven years to raise a daughter and son, Ms. Corbin returned to teaching, this time at Branson High School. During her twenty-seven years there, she introduced the annual musical, expanded the theatre production season, and extended curricular theatre offerings for students, including tech and stagecraft classes. Summers found her teaching children’s theatre for the Branson Arts Council for fifteen years and taking high school students to the annual Thespian Festival.
From 2002 to 2012, Ms. Corbin served as chapter director for Missouri Thespians, traveling to all parts of the state, getting to know members and recruiting new ones. She was elected to the EdTA Board of Directors in 2012 and became vice president of the organization, preparatory to a term as president, in 2015.
Ms. Corbin is passionate about providing opportunities to students who seek a sense of belonging, fostering young people’s love of theatre, and promoting the fine arts in a fast-changing world. When she’s not on the road, she can be found enjoying life in her 1901 farmhouse outside Branson with husband Bob, enjoying visits from her children, and playing with her new granddaughter.
Nominator Jennifer Forrest-James writes, “The countless hours, energy, and financial contributions Debbie has sacrificed for students around the country are indeed admirable.”