This year's Texas Educational Theater Association convention winds up Saturday in Galveston and three Waco-area theater teachers will be coming home with something new for their awards shelf or wall.
Mandy Conner, who leads the theater program at Connally High School, is one of two K-12 teachers named Educator of the Year, while Kelly Parker of McLennan Community College's theater program is TETA's Educator of the Year on the college/university level.
Rounding out the Waco stage trifecta is Jim Rambo, who retired from MCC two years ago, named an Educator Emeritus.
The Waco concentration is pretty impressive, but that may be a timing issue as much as anything: After watching shows directed by these three over the years, I know the talent of these three has been there for some time.
As well as they know theater, their students come first — the reason for the TETA award — and they continue to keep up with their students even after graduation.
I checked to see past TETA winners and found the Waco area has had its share over the years.
Baylor theater chair Stan Denman won in 2000 with fellow theater faculty member Marion Castleberry taking home the award in 2011 (former department chair Bill Cook has won Emeritus and Founders Awards). MCC theater faculty members, past and present, Cynthia SoRelle (2015), Jerry MacLauchlin (1998) and J.E. Masters (2011) also have won.
SoRelle, Rambo and Masters also are past winners of TETA's Founders Award.