Patricia J. Santanello,
Director of Theatre, Dublin Scioto High School
Co-Chapter Director, Ohio Educational Theatre Association
A special congratulations to Pat as her school’s theater program was a recently awarded a $10,000 R.I.S.E. (Recognizing and Inspiring Student Expression) America Grant. The R.I.S.E grants are given to assist high school theater programs with production expenses, technical equipment, and other needs.
Q: How did you participate in the arts as a child?
A: I started piano lessons at the age of 5 and I was active in theatre from a young age. I started playing flute in the 5th grade and added clarinet in the 6th grade. By 7th grade I was in marching band, choir, and concert band.
Q: Describe your favorite “a-ha moment” in arts education.
A: I think my favorite “aha” moment as a theatre teacher was the first time someone pointed out that theatre education is not one set of standards – we teach ALL of the standards. Since that time I have enjoyed pointing that out to other educators who think that all we do in theatre is “play”.
Q. How do you practice creativity in your own life and / or what inspires you?
A: I relax by playing piano. I sing in an adult show choir and that is something that I really enjoy. Being around talented individuals always inspires me!
Q: Name one puzzle, or problem, you are working on in the field right now.
A: Right now I am trying to figure out how to make Sensory Friendly theatre a reality at my school.
Q: Name an arts educator who impacted you and how they influenced your younger days.
A: My high school choir director, Dr. Paris L. Simms, pushed me and inspired me every day. He was (and still is) so incredibly gifted and he was a master teacher in every sense of the word.
Q: What can the average person do to advocate for more and / or stronger arts education in local schools?
A: Average people have power in school districts. School boards and administrators need to hear from parents and community members about why the arts are important in schools.