Mark Eberhard, a 2004 graduate of Roosevelt’s theatre directing program, recently accepted an Excellence of Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
A 30-year advanced placement biology teacher and a mentor for theatre productions staged at St. Clair High School in Michigan, Eberhard has followed his passion for theatre, studying directing in Roosevelt’s Master of Arts fast-track program. He then took what he learned back to St. Clair High School, helping to build and improve the theatre program to include more shows as well as participation in Michigan’s annual state festival.
“Mark was a very good student. He was the ideal candidate for Roosevelt’s theatre directing program because he had been teaching drama in his high school for several years, and had been helping to run the theatre program at his school. When he came to Roosevelt, he was looking to expand his skills in theatre production, lighting, make up and costume design. He wanted to take those skills and use them to further the theatre program at St. Clair High School,” said Jerry Proffit, lecturer and coordinator of the graduate fast-track theatre program at Roosevelt University.
Eberhard won the Michigan Lottery’s ongoing educational competition for the state’s K-12 educators in December 2017. He is now eligible for the Educator of the Year award, which will be given with a $10,000 grand prize later this year to the state’s top K-12 educator.
“The Roosevelt experience enabled me to work with people from Steppenwolf, Lookingglass, Goodman and Chicago Shakespeare theatres, and others from the directing field. It was really a great experience,” said Eberhard.
“Thanks to the Roosevelt program, the theatre program at St. Clair High School took off even more.” said Eberhard, who also helped facilitate the building of a $7.2 million arts center in his school district that, shared between his school and another one.
“We have been doing three to five shows a year for almost 25 years. Then, St. Clair High School students were chosen to participate in Michigan’s state theatre festival, and the high school since has had the honor of being selected on several occasions as the main stage for the festival,” said Eberhard.
“Our work at the high school in presenting theatre productions was always good, but after my Roosevelt experience, we significantly improved the quality of the program, which continues to grow in size and popularity today,” he said.