At the time of his Hall of Fame induction Jay Seller had spent twenty years teaching theatre in Thornton, Colorado, first at Thornton High School and then at Horizon High School for thirteen years.
When Dr. Seller joined the Colorado state Thespian board in 1986, he offered his school as the site for the state conference. Under his leadership the state Thespian conference grew from modest beginnings to a major event. Attendance in 2001, the year before his Hall of Fame induction, was more than 1,400.
As a Colorado state Thespian board member, Dr. Seller also expanded student scholarship opportunities and spearheaded the creation of a website. He incorporated a teacher workshop track at the state conference that offered educators graduate-level credit. He helped raise the minimum GPA requirement for students’ college auditions from 1.0 to 2.75, and was responsible for a threefold increase in attendance of college representatives at the state conference.
Dr. Seller has served as the Region III director for EdTA, and screened productions for the International Thespian Festival main stage. He also judged Individual Events and adjudicated for main stage productions at the Georgia and Florida state Thespian conferences. He has been an active member of both the Alliance for Colorado Theatre and the Rocky Mountain Section of the U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology.
USA Today awarded him an Honorable Mention Outstanding Team Teaching Award in 1999, and he was nominated for the 2001 Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. In 1992 he received the English Speaking Union’s British Theatre Scholarship, which enabled him to study with some of the best theatre scholars in London.
Stan Hesting, the principal at Horizon High School where Dr. Seller taught, summarized his skills: “He is effective in bringing students out of their shell and instilling poise and confidence… our students are fortunate to be able to work with such a highly competent individual.”