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Houston Drama Teacher and ATPE Member Receives Special Tony Award

Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators

Date Posted: 6/12/2022

ATPE member Roshunda Jones-Koumba received the 2022 Excellence in Theatre Education Award as part of the 75th Annual Tony Awards June 12 at Radio City Music Hall.

Jones-Koumba teaches drama at G.W. Carver Magnet High School in Aldine ISD and serves as a director at the G.W. Carver Theatre, where the “Panther Players Troupe #6753” has earned multiple Tommy Tune Awards for musical theater and both regional and national awards for thespian competition pieces and one-act plays.

In 2020, Jones-Koumba was inducted into the Texas Thespians Hall of Fame and received the inaugural Arts Educator of the Year from the TUTS Leading Ladies organization. In 2021, she won the Stephen Schwartz Musical Theatre Teacher of the Year Award and the International Thespian Society Inspirational Theatre Educator Award.

The 2022 Excellence in Theatre Education Award—bestowed by the Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University—recognizes U.S. educators from kindergarten to 12th grade who have “demonstrated monumental impact on the lives of students and who embodies the highest standards of the profession” and celebrates arts education.

This annual education honor includes a $10,000 prize for Jones-Koumba’s school theater program and a pair of tickets to the Tony ceremony and gala. Candidates are submitted by the public and chosen by a panel of theater experts from the American Theatre Wing, the Broadway League and Carnegie Mellon University.

“Our students are doing amazing things,” Jones-Koumba said in a statement. “Many are working actors on stage and on television; some are continuing their education; some are pursuing careers outside of performing. In theater we accept all, so you’re not afraid to be yourself. And that gives you confidence to do anything you want, enables you to work with different people, and to be a better all-around person. Theater is Life. I’m very grateful to the Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University for this honor.”