What motivated Gai Jones to teach theatre, she said, was knowing that theatre challenges and rewards the student’s entire body, soul, and imagination. Ms. Jones was and had been for twenty-six years at the time of her induction the speech, drama, and English teacher and Thespian troupe director at Placentia-El Dorado High School in Placentia, California.
Ms. Jones has been active in numerous speech and drama organizations throughout California. From 1990 to 1993, she was the California state Thespian director. Later she was a territorial director. She also directed California’s all-state Thespian shows. She was the director and executive coordinator for the Fullerton College Company of Young Actors Summer Theatre Workshop, the founder and leader of the California Leadership Conferences and Camps, and the co-founder of the 1994 Placentia Linda School District Middle School Drama Festival. In 1987 she was awarded Outstanding Teacher of the Year in her district, and in 1990 she received the El Dorado High School Parent Student Teachers Association Service Award. She was inducted into the Oklahoma College for Women Alumni Hall of Fame in 1992.
A colleague said of Ms. Jones, “Her quest for excellence is unequaled—and she usually achieves it.”