Williston, N.D., (April 11, 2023) – Williston High School has been honored with the distinction of being named a Premiere Community for Theatre Education for its outstanding commitment in the field. The Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) recognizes individual schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide theatre access and education to all students.
Dr. Richard H. Faidley, Williston Basin School District 7 Superintendent of Schools commented, “Theatre education provides our students with skills they can use while in high school and in their future. Our theatre department instills a strong work ethic, collaboration, dedication, and teamwork. I am extremely proud that Williston has been recognized as a Premiere Community for Theatre Education and consider ourselves fortunate to have such a dedicated community that supports our District to provide such an outstanding program to our students."
To qualify for the distinction, Williston High School answered detailed questions about funding, teacher development and evaluation, theatre class curriculum and participation, instruction time, facilities, and support for the theatre program. Responses were verified with official documentation and reviewed by the Educational Theatre Association.
Dr. Jason Germundson, WHS Principal commented, “Theater education is huge at Williston High School, as it gives one more avenue for students to be involved in that is positive. It is also something that gives back to the community. Receiving this designation will add more respect and hopefully more participants, with the added publicity. This is well deserved.”
Research affirms the educational and social-emotional benefits of participating in school theatre. In one study, at-risk middle school students who engaged in an after-school musical theatre program demonstrated improved confidence, creativity, resiliency, responsibility, collaboration, and sense of community. Another study found that students who received drama-based instruction made better connections to the curricular content. 95% of school administrators believe that theatre experiences improve students’ overall academic skills.
“EdTA’s vision is that every student will have access to theatre education taught by qualified educators as part of a well-rounded education,” said Chief Content Officer Allison Dolan. “We’re proud to honor Williston High School for helping to achieve that vision.”
About the Educational Theatre Association
The Educational Theatre Association, home to the Educational Theatre Foundation and International Thespian Society, is an international nonprofit whose mission is shaping lives through theatre education. The foundation provides essential financial support to enhance theatre education, expand access, and foster racial equality. The International Thespian Society, an honor society active in nearly 5,000 schools, has inducted 2.4 million students since 1929. Visit schooltheatre.org to learn how EdTA honors students, supports teachers, and influences public opinion that theatre education is essential for building life skills.