RRHS Ellison named AZ Thespians Teacher of the Year

RRHS Ellison named AZ Thespians Teacher of the Year
RRHS Theatre Director Joseph Ellison with his students

RRHS teacher and Hawk Theatre Director Joseph Ellison has been awarded the Arizona Thespians Teacher of the Year Award for the south region.

Ellison was notified via email by Steve Abaroa of the Arizona Thespians Executive Board, who wrote,  “This award is given annually to a teacher that demonstrates exceptional courage and devotion to the Performing Arts Program at a school. It is a prestigious honor that recognizes the best of the best within our ranks.”

The award is typically presented at the annual State Thespian Festival, which like many gatherings this year was cancelled due to COVID19. Although disappointed he wouldn’t be able to accept the award in person and speak to thousands of Arizona thespians, Ellison expressed his gratefulness for being recognized. "Words cannot express the pride I feel for receiving this award. I owe so much to my students and this award is a reflection of their hard work just as much as mine. Theatre is a collaboration of heart and soul and my students show that with trust and hard work you can truly bring out creation in any circumstance.”

Ellison has been directing the Hawk Theatre Company for 4 years. This will be his second year under principal Hector Estrada. Estrada spoke highly of Ellison’s achievement, “What a tremendous accomplishment and recognition. Both you and your students deserve this as you all epitomize the district mantra, #SCV35AbovetheBar with the attitude of "The Show Must Go On!" I have the utmost respect for you and your program.”


Earlier in the year, Superintendent Verdugo recognized Ellison as someone who goes #AboveTheBar in our district.