Jeff Glass, theatre director and chair of the Fine Arts Department at Wetumpka High School, received the Troy University Educator of the Year Award during the Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s “Stars in the Park” event on Tuesday.
The award, which represents a partnership between TROY and the Festival, was presented by Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor, and Dr. Hank Dasinger, former dean of TROY’s College of Education and current interim Senior Vice Chancellor for Student Services.
“Successful educators not only possess the tools to teach in the classroom, but also the heart to make a difference in the lives of their students,” Dr. Hawkins said. “Mr. Glass represents that type of commitment and the students at Wetumpka High School are the beneficiaries.”
Glass, who interned at the Shakespeare Festival in 2003-2004, revived the previously dormant theatre program at Wetumpka High School, his alma mater. Under his guidance, the Wetumpka High Theatre Guild has grown to include 100 production students and offers acting, musical theatre and technical theatre.
Glass is the immediate past chair of the Alabama Conference of Theatre’s Secondary Division and chaired the 2017 Walter Trumbauer Theatre Festival. He also currently serves as secretary of the Alabama Educational Theatre Association. He is a past recipient of WAKA’s Golden Apple for Teaching and the Mix 103.3’s Hometown Heroes Award.
“I am grateful to receive this honor, but there are several art teachers out there who deserve this more than I do,” Glass said. “To the teachers, I encourage you, that even on the days when you are not treated as real teachers, to remember that you are probably the ‘realest’ teacher that many of the students will ever have. You are the ones who plant the seeds of compassion, empathy and ingenuity in these kids who become tomorrow’s leaders. The arts teach love and understanding for those who are different than us, something that our country so desperately needs right now.”