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Meet Your New EdTA Board Directors

2021 New EdTA Board of Directors

EdTA members have elected three board directors in voting that closed March 17, 2021. Krista Carson Elhai of Claremont, California, will become the association’s next vice president/president; Joannarae Ibañez of Pico Rivera, California, and Mary Schuttler of Greeley, Colorado, will serve as board directors.

These elected board directors will be joined by Leslie Johnson of Long Beach, California, who has been selected for an appointed board position. Together, the new board directors bring a broad cross-section of educator experience to EdTA’s governing board:

Krista Carson Elhai is a theatre educator at Claremont High School. She has been a California State Thespian Board member for 27 years, 11 as chapter director. She’s currently past president of the board of the California Educational Theatre Association. She served two terms on the EdTA national board and is a trustee of the Educational Theatre Foundation.

Joannarae Ibañez is an educator, director, and arts administrator with a foundation in theatre arts. She designs accessible, inclusive arts education programming. She’s worked with various L.A. arts nonprofits and is founder and director of artist collective Moonlightvsn. A Thespian alumna and former Thespian troupe director, Ibañez is a classroom and community theatre educator with 13 years of experience.

Mary Schuttler is head of theatre education at University of Northern Colorado, and a former EdTA vice president, president, and past president. She serves on the Colorado Thespians board and EdTA education committee; she previously served as chair for the Colorado Model Content Theatre Standards and co-chair of the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards for Theatre. In 2019, she received the EdTA Founders’ Award.

Leslie Johnson is executive vice president of the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles and has three decades of experience in arts education, nonprofit management, and cultural leadership. She previously led educational, community, and audience engagement programming for Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s largest regional theaters. Johnson also helped set statewide policy priorities for arts education as board chair of the California Alliance for Arts Education.

The EdTA Board consists of eight elected and three appointed members. These four board members’ terms will begin July 1, 2021. The vice president/president serves a five-year term, with two years as vice president, two as president, and one as past president. Elected board directors serve three-year terms and may be re-elected for a total service of six years. Appointed board members serve one four-year term.

Members also approved two code changes about the duties of the board treasurer and board nominations by petition in the election.


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