Perpich News

Jessica Chipman, RAT-L, Honored with Theater Educator of the Year Award

Jessica Chipman

September 20, 2021

Jessica Chipman, one of Perpich Center’s Regional Arts Teacher-Leaders (RAT-L), was honored with the Minnesota Theater Educator of the Year award from the Minnesota Educational Theater Association (META) at the Communication & Theater Association of Minnesota conference on September 18, 2021. “I’m honored to receive this award, the presence of which has spurred me to reflect on my students, past and present, and the ways in which they have taught me. I am grateful for memories of joy, laughter, and growth, and look forward to many years of the same – in the theatre classroom and onstage,” said Chipman.

Dr. Stephanie Lein Walseth, Perpich Education Specialist in Theater, presented the award to Jessica. In her introduction, Lein Walseth shared part of the nomination letter written by Michael Tillman, retired K-12 Arts Education teacher: “Were I asked to name an individual who has the greatest potential to exemplify and drive Minnesota’s efforts toward the best available theatre education for the state’s students, the name of Jessica Chipman would be at the top of my list.”

Chipman is a theater educator in Alexandria, MN, with sixteen years of classroom experience. Her teaching specialties include directing, acting and movement, playwriting, history of theatre, and devised drama. Ms. Chipman prides herself on developing curiosity in her students and grounding her classroom culture in mutual rapport and good humor. She is also a playwright and the co-founder of Dynamo Creative, a female-led theatre company committed to amplifying the stories of women. She recently completed her MFA in Directing at the University of Idaho.

Jessica joined the RAT-L network in the summer of 2019. Regional Arts Teacher-Leaders comprise a collaborative network of distinguished teachers of dance, media arts, music, visual arts, and theater coming together to increase professional development opportunities across the state. As Regional Arts Teacher-Leaders, members will offer their expertise as a resource for arts educators in their regions through facilitating professional development and providing knowledgeable support to colleagues. Each Regional Arts Teacher-Leader has committed to a multi-year process in which their work is supported through workshops at Perpich Center for Arts Education to further develop leadership in the arts.

The Minnesota Educational Theater Association (META) is the state-wide professional organization for Theater Educators.