May 3, 2017
The International Thespian Society annually recognizes up to three individuals who have gone above and beyond in their role as a volunteer. This award honors those adults who have selflessly given their time and ability to help a Thespian or Junior Thespian troupe with set construction, chaperoning, fundraising, advocacy, and more. This year’s Honorary Thespians are: Beau Pumphrey, volunteer production manager and technical director at Southside Senior High School, Fort Smith, Arkansas; Carl Schultz, parent volunteer at Pinewood Preparatory School, Summerville, South Carolina; and Peggy Markle, parent volunteer at Rock Ridge High School, Ashburn, Virginia.
Beau Pumphrey, the volunteer production manager and technical director at Southside Senior High School and Troupe 2620, is an integral member of the theatre department. He plays the roles of scenic designer, lighting designer, production manager, technical director, master carpenter, and assistant director — all of which he does after leaving his job as a teacher — regularly until after 8 p.m. and on Saturdays. Pumphrey accrued over 700 hours of volunteer work this school year. He is a go-to resource for students about anything from college to relationships to hair. He was nominated by Amy Pumphrey, who says, “Because of Beau Pumphrey almost single-handedly, our theatre department is more than just an after-school activity. We are a family. And he is the glue that holds that family together.”
Carl Schultz has been a parent volunteer at Pinewood Preparatory School and Troupe 6926 for four years. He is known for always being the first to step up to help with anything, including locating supplies, designing and building a set, transporting students, chaperoning, and more. Even after his son graduated, he continued to lend his assistance without asking for a thing in return. Shannon Horn, who nominated Schultz, describes him as setting an example for their theatre program: “Not only have the kids been incredibly appreciative of Carl and all he has done for them, but they also see that even after they graduate their tenure with the program does not have to end. Many parents and students who have graduated have followed Carl’s lead and continued to help us this year. In the past, this has been an extremely rare occurrence.”
Peggy Markle, a parent volunteer at Rock Ridge High School and Troupe 8104, was nominated by Anthony Cimino-Johnson, who said, “Peggy has made it part of her own personal goals to embrace, love, and accept every child who has entered the program. Understanding that two theatre teachers are not enough for our 275 students, Peggy mentors students, gives them rides, travels to Home Depot for their designs, and has been known on several occasions to sponsor students in need who cannot afford to attend various theatre-related activities. She does all of this and asks for nothing in return. She wants every child to have a loving place to call home.”
Rock Ridge High School garnered a second award in addition to the Honorary Thespian Award. The Rock Ridge High School performing arts program, under the direction of EdTA 2016 Inspirational Educators Award winner Anthony Cimino-Johnson, was cited for its strong administrative support and curricular program.