Outstanding Achievement Award Recipients 2016
Bailey - Eatonia
Lenore was born in Yorkton but spent the majority of her teaching
career at Eaton Elementary School in Eatonia, retiring in 2007. She
taught Kindergarten to Grade One for most of those years. After her
retirement, she often would substitute teach in many schools in the
Division but most often at Eaton Elementary School.
During her teaching career, Lenore was heavily involved in the High
School Drama Program at Eaton School. Lenore often entered two or
three plays each year in the Regional One Act Festival, winning many
awards and learning with her students more about drama each year.
During her spare time, Lenore produced and directed 33 highly successful
dinner theatre shows for the Eatonia Oasis Players from 2003 to 2013.
When her husband Doug and her retired to Arizona, she became involved
in Adult Drama there!
Lenore was elected to the Board of SDA, first serving as the Education
Chair. Over the years, Lenore held the positions of Conference Chair,
Communications Chair, President-Elect and finally President. Lenore
was instrumental in organizing new initiatives such as the Northern
Drama Project, Middle Years Festival and New Initiatives Grants. She
was also the Editor for SDA's Journal and My Lines Magazine.
Lenore passed away in January of 2016. SDA will miss her leadership
and her enthusiasm for child and youth drama.
Nicholls - Regina
Bob Nicholls has directed one-act plays, full-length plays, readers'
theatre, revues, and musicals at elementary and high school, and in
His plays have won at the regional level and represented Regina at
the SDA provincial one-act festival, and plays and members have received
various awards at the local and provincial levels.
He has directed full-length plays, one-acts, and readers' theatre
for Regina Little Theatre, and done sound design for others. For Regina
Summer Stage he has been music director for many productions and acted
as production manager for several. Most recently, Bob was both director
and music director for Once Upon a Mattress in the summer of 2015.
All these experiences have given him the opportunity to work with
people of all ages from children through to seniors.
For SDA, he was on regional committees and helped organize local festivals
when those committees were in place. He has participated in many theatre
workshops over the years, including attending two recent Broadway
Mr. Nicholls received his B. Mus. Ed. Degree from the University of
Regina. He taught elementary and high school for 31 years, teaching
primarily music, English and drama.
He is a long-time member of the Regina Symphony Orchestra, having
played timpani and percussion. In addition, he has freelanced considerably,
playing for choirs, Broadway musicals, oratorios, and ballets, and
adjudicated for music festivals in Saskatchewan and Alberta.
He was awarded the Pro Musica Award from the Saskatchewan Choral Federation
for his contributions to choral music in Saskatchewan. He has sung
with the Regina Philharmonic Chorus, and is currently the choral conductor
for St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral Choir. He has just begun singing
in the U. of R. Concert Choir.
As someone committed to the arts, Mr. Nicholls has been a member of
many executives, including the Saskatchewan and Canadian Music Educators'
Associations, Regina Symphony Orchestra Players' Association, Saskatchewan
Choral Federation, Regina Summer Stage, and Regina Performing Arts
Centre, as well as on committees for the SDA region, Regina Little
Theatre, and Lyric Musical Theatre.
Chernick - Regina
Deanna was born and raised in Regina. During high school she developed
an interest in drama and became active in the drama program at Campbell
Collegiate. That interest in drama has never abated. Deanna attended
the University of Regina where she earned her B.Ed majoring in library
science. Her first job was at Pilot Butte as a teacher librarian and
English teacher. She worked there for twelve years and then moved
to Lumsden High School where she taught for twenty-two years before
retiring. At Lumsden she was the teacher-librarian and taught a variety
of subjects including grade 9 drama. However, it was the extra-curricular
drama program that brought about her involvement with Saskatchewan
For several years she was instrumental in organizing and directing
a fall dinner theatre and one act plays in the spring. The one act
plays participated in Saskatchewan Drama's Regional Festivals and
when asked to serve as a member-at-large on the Board, she said yes.
A few years later she was a Chair of the Festivals Committee and has
for the last few years returned to the position of Member-at-Large.
Deanna retired in 2011 but continues to substitute teach. She lives
in Regina with her husband and is fortunate to have both her son and
daughter and their families in the city as well. Deanna loves to travel,
read, attend theatre, bake, golf, keep active and spend time with
her grandsons and granddaughter.
Through the years in which she has been involved, Deanna has seen
Saskatchewan Drama Association thrive and grow. She loves to see the
difference that drama makes for students and teachers. She is very
glad to have been and continue to be a part of such an exciting, caring,
has been employed as a Library Technician at Unity Composite High
School in the Living Sky School Division for over twenty years and
is looking forward to retirement in the near future. She has been
involved with community and school drama in Unity for that period
of time. Roxane joined SDA when her group began competing in Regional
In 2002, she attended her first SDA AGM and decided to get involved
at the Board level and became a Member-at-Large the following year.
She was a member of the policy review committee for two years and
then accepted the Festivals Chair for two years.
Recently, Roxane has written many plays for her students to perform
for Festival wining several awards in her region. Roxane often works
for SDA as a Backstage Adjudicator and finds that both a challenge
and a fantastic way to connect with others. Working with an organization
as dynamic as Saskatchewan Drama Association has been great and she
looks forward to continuing her involvement for many years to come.
Outstanding Achievement Award Recipients 2015
Baxter - Tisdale
came from Ottawa and started teaching at Porcupine Plain High School
in 1980. From that year on drama became a huge part of his life.
During Michael's first year of teaching, he was successful with
"Rider's to the Sea" at Regionals. This play became his
first Provincial win. Michael was hooked! From 1980 to 2012, many
students at Porcupine Plain participated in fall productions, regional
plays and musicals because of Michael's enthusiasm. Michael directed
32 Region 7 festival plays. The small school of Porcupine Plain
became regionally and provincially known for very fine drama productions.
Many students were award winning actors, stage managers, stage crewmembers,
light and sound technicians under Michael's direction. These 32
productions resulted in 15 Region 7 recipients of Best Overall Production.
During this time, Michael acted as Region 7 Festival Coordinator
and encouraged and inspired schools in the region to be involved
in SDA's Regional Festival. Porcupine Plain hosted Region 7 Festival
many time during Michael's years there.
Michael participated on the SDA Board of Directors as: Regional
Representative 1985-1995, President-Elect 1996-1998 and President
1998-2000. Michael was honoured to participate in the Northern Drama
Project in 2013-2014 mentoring students in Cumberland House and
Sandy Bay and adjudicating the Region 12 Festival that same year.
This was a very rewarding and memorable experience and is cherished
Presently, Michael enjoys adjudicating and work-shopping SDA Regional
Festivals and helping local schools with their plays. A future goal
is to start the Tisdale Theatre Company with his wife and co-director
Michael has been involved in 65 theatrical productions and is an
"Unsung Hero." His love for fine high school theatre is
a life time gift he gave to many
.on and off the stage.
Spencer - Turtleford
has been a part of Carol's life for as long as she can remember!
Carol's participation in the dramatic world started with Christmas
Concerts in the country school she attended as a child. She continued
her drama connection by her involvement in drama productions in
high school. As an adult Carol took part in community theatre for
several years until family obligations took over her time. Several
years later, as time allowed her, Carol became involved in the Mervin
Trees for Life Dinner Theatre as director and continues in this
In 1995 Carol was working as a Grade 4 teacher in Turtleford School.
The chance to dive into drama was dropped in her lap when a drama
coach was needed for the high school. She had never been involved
in Saskatchewan Drama Association festivals, so she took on the
challenge and the group attended the Region 8 festival in Spiritwood.
What a learning experience and, of course, she was hooked again!
From 1995 to 2010 she directed the drama group, going to provincials
twice as they built up their skills and commitment. These were fantastic
experiences that she was sorry to leave as she retired from teaching
During this time Carol continued to be involved in the Saskatchewan
Drama Association as a Board member. She spent 12 years on the Board
in various positions including two terms as president. This was
also a very rewarding and learning experience.
Drama has enriched Carol's life and has afforded her many opportunities
to see the growth and development of her students and herself. Drama
is and will continue to be a very important part of her life.
Outstanding Achievement Award Recipients 2014
went to a rural school and then a small high school where the annual
Christmas concert was a thing that everyone in the school participated
in. Jackie went to University in Regina for 2 years and completed
her degree at summer school and night classes over a period of 10
years. She started teaching in Regina in 1966 at Sherwood School
(2 yrs.) and at R J Davidson (3 yrs.). She married in 1971 and moved
to Oxbow and taught Special Ed in Estevan 1972-5. The rest of her
teaching career was at Oxbow Prairie Heights retiring in 1997. Shortly
after moving to Oxbow Jackie met Jean Taylor and got involved with
both Hospital Auxiliary and the adult community theatre group. Jackie's
children Douglas (1975) and Danette (1977) grew up with theatre
so once they were in Grade 5 they joined the school theatre group
and Jackie became involve in the school program as well. When Florence
Eberle, Oxbow's founding high school drama teacher, had to leave
for health reasons, Jackie inherited her Drama 30 class and when
Ross Arthur retired shortly after that she also became the extra
circular drama director. Because she had no formal drama training
she depended on help from the adult group especially Sherlynne Best
and Jean Taylor. The students and Jackie learned together. Oxbow's
drama season began in the fall, junior and seniors took part in
the community dinner productions in November and in December preparations
began for the spring SDA festival. She also always took a group
of interested students to Provincials in May every year. In 1993
Jackie took the position as Regional Rep for SDA and in 1997 became
a member of the SDA Board of Directors. During her time on the Board,
she held the positions of Member at Large and Finance Chair for
several terms. After she retired from the Board, Jackie would continue
to help out at Provincial Festival. As well, after retirement she
continued to the extra-curricular drama program at Oxbow Prairie
Heights as a volunteer for 5 years. Her first year of retirement
was the year the Oxbow and Arcola School Divisions amalgamated.
Her school division had a policy in place to cover expenses for
groups to go to Regional Festivals but was informed by the then
Director of Education that that would no longer be the case as there
were no written documents and there was nothing that could be one
about about it as Jackie was no longer a teacher there. WRONG! Jackie
had been PD chairman for 20 years so she knew a lot of teachers.
Jackie made some phone calls and with Gwen Arthur's and others help,
set up a committee with a teacher representative from each school.
Jackie borrowed the Phys Ed document from the Phys Ed teachers and
the committee proceeded to produce a document to cover Arts Education.
Jackie believes that the document is still in place so travel to
Regional Festivals is covered. Because she taught in a small community
volunteering was a part of life. She volunteered for a number of
Boards-Hospital Auxiliary (local, provincial, national), Air Cadets,
Duke of Edinburgh's Award (local, provincial) Legion Auxiliary,
Professional Development and Donors Clinic to name a few. Her love
has always been working with children so time spent with drama has
always been special. She looks back on some special students (Bradley
Hayward and Angel Sombrutski, names you would likely know) that
grew because of the drama programs but of course all her drama students
were special people. Now she look forward to seeing her grandchildren
grow with drama in their lives. If it was not for the fact that
Jackie and her husband winter in Arizona now she would find it difficult
to no longer be an active part of SDA. Jackie thanks you for allowing
her the privilege to be a part of this wonderful organization.
Lord Lynbrook Mills - Saskatoon
was born in Moose jaw, Saskatchewan, May 29, 1924. His love of theatre
began as a child, where throughout his school years; he performed
as a singer and actor. His organizational skills developed early
while attending Normal school in Moose Jaw where he started a drama
club. As a teacher in Maple Creek, he again developed a drama program,
working hard to provide students with an opportunity to learn about
theatre. In the late 1940's, Walter went back to school taking summer
classes at University of British Columbia. After a year with the
Stratford Festival and at the invitation of Emrys Jones, he completed
his Bachelor of Arts with a major in Drama at the University of
Saskatchewan. He again set up a drama club there that was open to
all students of the university. His theatre credits are numerous
including working at Stratford, Persephone, 25th Street Theatre
and the California Glendale Center and Studio Theatre. He is a noted
director who often designed his productions and has written several
works, including the published "Chokecherry Wine." In
1964 he returned to the University of Saskatchewan as a faculty
member, again at the invitation of Emrys Jones, the head of the
Theatre Department. Throughout his career Walter has inspired many
students through several productions including with the "Strolling
Players," a summer arts employment program, which he established
in the early 1970's. He also used his contacts in film to find employment
for Saskatchewan actors. Walter spent several years at the University
of Saskatchewan, eventually becoming the head of the Theatre Department.
In the late 1970's he worked with the Saskatchewan Drama Association
to reorganize and reintroduce the Saskatchewan drama festivals to
high school students. Walter Mills was an integral and driving force
in the creation of Saskatchewan Drama Association's one act festival
program. He created the format, adjudicated all the first year's
Regional Festivals and arranged for the Provincial Festival to be
hosted at the University of Saskatchewan. He used his contacts in
film and Hollywood to provide the provincial adjudicators in the
first years of the festival. Walter also canvassed and cajoled the
University of Saskatchewan to provide the Kenneth Gordon Award for
the Best Overall Production and the Gateway Players Award for the
Best Technical Crew at SDA's Provincial Festival. His interest and
inspiration in the fledgling Saskatchewan Drama Association set
a good foundation for the festival program we enjoy today. It is
wonderful to have a person like Walter Mills be so instrumental
in the development of youth drama in our province. In addition to
organizing the festivals, he also contributed his skills as an adjudicator.
Fortunately he had continued to contribute in his "retirement"
years: Corner Gas, a film with Brent Butt and teaching film classes
from time to time.
SDA's Outstanding Achievement
Award Recipients 2013
Chalis - North Battleford
near a famous race track in England, emigrated to Canada (finally)
about the time of Sputnik, running in circles ever since trying
to avoid manual labour and the taxman. Started teaching Senior Elementary
(grades 7and 8) in North Battleford in 1966. Produced a musical
in 1967 called "Be Prepared," written by a teacher in
Saskatoon whose name I do not remember. Circa 1972, created a Junior
High (middle years) drama curriculum based on the work of Mary Ellen
Burgess and Hilda Allen because there was a void in the provincial
curriculum. Later that decade developed a locally developed Theatre
Arts curriculum 10, 20, 30 and began teaching English 10, 20,30
and Theatre arts 10,20,30 at the North Battleford Comprehensive
High School where I continued to teach until retirement in June
1996. I continue to act, direct, and write as well as adjudicate
for SDA in spite of my advancing years. I'm married to Donna, have
three children Dannyll, Dawnn, and Darryll and six grandchildren,
Reid Challis, Justyn and Rayne Challis, Kennedy and Carter Thorson,
and Grayson Xavier Challis.
graduated from university in 1988 with a degree in secondary English
and Math, so of course my first job was teaching K to 6 Phys. Ed.
at an elementary school. In my second year, the Director offered
me a job teaching high school English, contingent upon my also agreeing
to teach Drama. Anxious to be teaching at the secondary level, I
took the job despite having no Drama training of any kind, and started
at Sacred Heart High School in the fall of 1990. Early in the school
year, I skipped out on a Showcase session to visit the SDA Office,
because I had heard that the SDA Library was a good source of teaching
resources for Drama, and the nice people there told me about SDA
Festivals. In the spring of 1991, I directed a festival play for
the first time, and failed so spectacularly that it took me four
years to build up the courage to enter again. In the interim, though,
I took a group of students to the SDA Provincial Festival each year,
and by observing superior work onstage and participating in SDA
workshops I slowly increased my knowledge and confidence, and in
1995 entered a play again and attended Provincial Festival for the
first time as a participant. I also 'volunteered'that year at the
Regional Directors' Meeting to become the Regional Rep for Region
4, beginning a sixteen year stint on the SDA Board of Directors,
serving at times as a Member at Large, President, and Festivals
Chair, as well as becoming an adjudicator and workshop clinician.
In 2013 I directed my twentieth festival play, and, at the risk
of sounding boastful, have had the good fortune to direct elevenregional
and three provincial Best Overall Productions. How serendipitous
the decision to become a Drama teacher turned out to be, as all
my best memories and experiences of the past twenty years involve
Drama and the SDA, and the wonderful and talented students and colleagues
with whom I have worked as a result. Receiving an award is icing
on an already very sweet cake. I would like to express sincere gratitude
to the SDA and to those responsible for my nomination. It is truly
an honour to be recognized along with people for whom I have much
- Moose Jaw
was born in Craik and came to Moose Jaw shortly thereafter. He began
his teaching career at Bushell Park in 1969 and moved to A. E. Peacock
Collegiate in the fall of 1973 where he taught drama until his retirement
in 2011. At school and in the community he has produced and/or directed
over 60 dramas, musicals, one-act plays (including 3 Provincial
Festival winners) and coached the Improv team. In the drama world
he is an adjudicator, workshop presenter and pilot program teacher.
A 34 year member of the Saskatchewan Drama Association, he has served
14 years on the executive including terms as President, President
Elect and is currently Festivals Chair. His various community involvement
include: Crime Stoppers, Miss Canada pageant organizer/judge, motorcycle
safety instructor, recreation board member and executive member
of various organizations, earned him the Moose Jaw Citizen of the
Year in 1984. In 2012 he was awarded the Moose Jaw Honours Award
for his contribution to the community of Moose Jaw in promoting
and being an exemplary leader in the city. He has also been with
volunteer awards from the Lt. Governor and the Saskatchewan Government.
Lyle is the host of a weekly TV show on Shaw cable, "Moose
Jaw This Week," which is into its 31st season with over 1,000
shows completed. Army Cadets and the military have been an integral
part of his life since 1964. He has been an officer or volunteer
with 1856 Moose Jaw Schools Cadet Corps since 1968 and served at
training centres in Banff, Ottawa, Cochrane AB, and Vernon BC where
he is currently the Commanding Officer. He was awarded the third
clasp to his Canadian Forces medal in 2011, signifying 42 years
of good service. In April2012 he was selected as a recipient of
the Cadet Instructor Cadre Lifetime Achievement Award. This is in
addition to the Canada 125 Medal, Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal,
Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal.For
recreation he plays hockey with his buddies on the gOLDens hockey
team, rides his bicycle and motorcycles or flies his ultralight
"The Slowbird" when the winds are kind. He is the holder
of several Canadian and world records for distance and speed in
the Challenger II Special painted in the paint scheme of Canada's
431 Squadron, "The Snowbirds."
- Moose Jaw
attended the University of Saskatchewan. During her internship,
Debbie produced and directed the school musical. Debbie started
a community theatre program in Limerick and created an acting award
at Limerick High School called "Albiestagel." In 1987,
she moved to Moose Jaw and became involved with the Moose Jaw Home
Town Players, where she acted in lead roles and/or directed plays
such as "My Fair Lady," "The Owl and the Pussy Cat"
and "Arsenic and Old Lace." Debbie directed Middle Years
Plays at St. Margaret School and created small original plays with
her kindergarten class. In 1990, Debbie transferred to Vanier Collegiate
where she established a continues the tradition of producing a Fall
musical production and a Spring one act play. Debbie's One Acts
have won several awards both at the Regional and Provincial level.
Debbie joined the Moose Jaw Community Players where she has acted
and directed. Over the last four years, Debbie's plays have won
Best Overall Production at the Regional Festival three times and
runner-up once. Her students have returned with numerous accolades
including Best Overall Production, Best Stage Manager, Best Technical
Crew, Best Visual Production and Best Technical Performance. She
has facilitated numerous drama workshops at many schools, conventions
and STF summer short course. She has mentored many interns over
the years and assisted in Labyrinth of Peace presentations at Trace.