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Welcome new chapter directors!

Thespians singing on stage at the International Thespian Festival

January 23, 2017

Twenty-four Thespian chapters have elected chapter directors to four-year terms to begin August 1, concluding an election process that began in August 2016.

EdTA’s chapters support the mission of the Educational Theatre Association’s student honorary, the International Thespian Society. Each chapter is led by a chapter director who is assisted by a chapter board. The chapters provide local, state, and regional support for adult members, Thespians, and Junior Thespians.

Elections took place in the following chapters: Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Western Pacific Islands, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Of those, Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, and New York chose directors who will be new to chapter leadership positions. 

Welcome new chapter directors! The Educational Theatre Association appreciates your time and service and looks forward to your leadership.



Stuart Younse is the director of theatre at Simsbury High School in Simsbury, CT. In addition to teaching five acting classes, he coordinates the One Act Play Festival and directs both the musical and the spring play.



Jeremy Leazenby Bruce is K-12 theatre director, middle school student council advisor, eighth grade language arts teacher, and an aspiring administrator for Northwestern Schools in Kokomo, IN. Jeremy has served as a board member of Indiana Thespians since 2009. He shares his love of the performing arts with his wife Amanda and two daughters Ziva and Makaylee.


Ray Palasz is the auditorium director and director of theatre at Munster High School in Munster, IN. He has been directing high school theatre for twelve years, and has served on the board of Indiana Thespians since 2006.



Aaron Dean is in his thirteenth year at Dubuque Senior High School, after receiving a speech/theatre education degree from Bradley University in Peoria, IL. He has participated as a chapter board member for Iowa Thespians since 2011, and currently serves as co-director for the Iowa Thespian Festival.


Leslie La Corte has taught speech, drama, and history for 14 years in the Davenport, IA area, and this is her fourth year as the drama director for Davenport North High School. Leslie has directed two successful drama programs in the Quad Cities and previously served on the board of Iowa Thespians as financial officer and Iowa Thespian Festival co-director.



Chad Nulik has taught theatre, American history, and oral communications at Salina Central High School for the past 15 years. His students from Troupe 639 have performed three times at the Kansas Thespian Festival, and will present Fox on the Fairway on the 2017 International Thespian Festival main stage. Outside the theatre Chad serves as assistant baseball coach at Salina Central. When not in school Chad enjoys time with his wife Kristin and daughter Kyra.



Anne-Marie Roberts has taught theatre arts for Ann Arbor Public Schools for 16 years and wrote the theatre arts curriculum for the district’s secondary theatre arts program at Ann Arbor Skyline High School. She is a board member of the Michigan Educational Theatre Association, and has served on the governing board since 2013. During the 2015-16 school year her theatre arts classes piloted the new theatre arts assessments for the National Core Arts Standards. Anne-Marie is a member of EdTA’s national adjudication team and has directed over 50 shows.

New York


Lindsay Shields directs Thespian Troupe 7892 at Flushing High School in Queens, NY. She has been involved in theatre since the age of six. She can be followed on Twitter @ActingPolitical.

Luke WeidnerLuke Weidner is a theatre manager and producer currently employed as the associate house manager at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway, in addition to various independent production projects in development. Luke is a proud alum of Troupe 6174 and previously served on the board of Florida Thespians as the student representative for District 2.

EdTA also welcomes back the following returning chapter directors who were reelected to new terms. Thank you for your continued effort and dedication.

Illinois: Jim Smith
Maine: Rick Osann
Maryland: Dorothy Delucchi
Massachusetts: Jessica Harms
Minnesota: Jennifer Dinndorf
Missouri: Jennifer Forrest-James
Montana: Sarah DeGrandpre
Nebraska: Angela Dashner
New Hampshire: Jennifer LaFrance
New Jersey: Carolyn Little
Ohio: Irene Imboden and Pat Santanello
Oklahoma: Kevin Hurst and Lauren Peck-Weisenfels
Pennsylvania: Mark Zortman
Rhode Island: Bob DiMartino
South Dakota: Kit Rodgers
Western Pacific Islands: Harold Easton
Wisconsin: Kendra Dando and Holly Stanfield
Wyoming: Zach Schneider


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