EdTA members elected Gai Jones and Anita Grant to seats on the EdTA board in an election that concluded Saturday, September 28, 2013, at the annual EdTA membership meeting.
Both new board members will serve three-year terms. Educational Theatre Association oversees the 44,000 Thespian honor society members in middle and high schools and 5000 adult members throughout the world. EdTA’s mission statement for the student honor society states, “We are passionate about theatre education, and we want all students to have access to theatre in their curriculum. Theatre provides critical life skills necessary for educational and career success in the 21st century. And we believe that theatre should be taught by qualified theatre educators.”
Gai Jones, a former California chapter director who taught theatre at El Dorado High School in Placentia, California, for thirty-four years, just completed a term on the board in July. She will return immediately, elected to a new seat that was created in a 2011 code revision. Anita Grant, retired from Clements High School, Sugarland, Texas, and former Texas chapter director, will take office on August 1, 2014.
GAI JONES is a Tri-creator of Making Magic Defying Gravity, a scholarship benefit for Thespian students to continue their Theatre education in college and Founder of California Youth in Theatre (CYIT) an annual day of student Theatre Advocacy in Sacramento, entered educational theatre by way of a liberal arts college for women in Oklahoma (OCW) that offered a specialized Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Drama. While teaching eighth grade English/Theatre in Fullerton, California, she was the first woman to complete a Master of Arts degree in Theatre at California State University, Fullerton, in 1968. She taught Theatre at Wilshire Junior High, Fullerton College, Ventura College Community Education, The Osher Institute, and El Dorado High School. Upon her retirement from EDHS, the Black Box Theater was named The Gai Jones Theater. She has served on the boards of Southern California Education Theatre Associations and Drama Teachers Association of Southern California as VP Advocacy; she is past Chapter Director of CA Thespians and now serves as Vice President of Membership. She continues to teach as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at CA State University, East Bay, and the Santa Barbara Continuing Life Long Learning Institute, Ventura Charter School of the Arts and Global Learning, writes Theatre ed books, directs, produces educational Theatre productions, and is a SAG/AFTRA commercial actress. She directs at the Elite Theatre, Ojai Art Center Theatre and is presently directing Nordhoff High School’s production of “The Diary of Anne Frank.”