Krista Carson Elhai’s distinguished theatre teaching career was at twenty-six years and counting at the time of her induction into the EdTA Hall of Fame. She is the department chair of the visual and performing arts department at Claremont (California) High School, where she has taught since 1994.
Ms. Elhai chartered Thespian Troupe 4015 in 1986 at Hemet (California) High School, which she directed for ten years. She is the troupe director of Troupe 2129 at Claremont. Her students have performed at several California Thespian conferences and at the 1997 International Thespian Festival.
As co-chair of the Claremont Unified School District arts committee, Ms. Elhai created a standards-based, long-term K-12 district arts plan for training staff, developing curriculum, and funding lesson plans. She also has served on the CUSD budget committee since 1997. She co-authored a grant to implement an arts major program at Claremont that brings in guest artists, many of whom are graduates of the program, to conduct Q&As and lead master classes, giving students an opportunity to interact with professionals in the theatre field.
She has served as the California chapter Thespian conference coordinator, California chapter director, and as a member of the state board. During her tenure Ms. Elhai merged the California chapter conference with the tech conference and student leadership training to reduce travel expenditures for teachers and students. She also integrated the Junior Thespian festival into the Thespian chapter conference to bring together middle and high school students.
She has been a member of the California Educational Theatre Association since 1987, She was named a finalist for the Music Center Bravo award in 1999 and 2001 and received the Scott Newman Award in 1992.