MIDLAND, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – Deb Shaw, the Midland ISD Fine Arts Director, was recently recognized as the 2023 Texas Thespians Administrator of the Year during the Texas Thespians State Festival in San Antonio last weekend.

MISD says Shaw has been leading the district’s Fine Arts department for the past 18 years, spending the last 32 years in fine arts education. Shaw says she was completely floored by the recognition and honored to represent the district in this capacity.

The award presentation included accolades from colleagues, parents, and students from MISD thanking her for her commitment to leadership, fine arts, and MISD students.

“Deb Shaw is a powerhouse of an administrator,” said MHS Theatre Director Tiffany Gardner-Moore. “She is a champion of kids and holds them to the highest of expectations.”

“Her passion for the arts, combined with her exemplary organization and managerial skills, have propelled the fine arts department to new heights,” added Education Foundation Executive Director Anita Gamertsfelder.

Parent Luis Gonzalez said “Ms. Shaw is truly irreplaceable and one-of-a-kind,” and students thanked her for her inspiration and guidance toward personal and artistic growth.

Shaw’s leadership saw a variety of additional awards earned by MISD students during the festival, with Midland High’s theatre program performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream and earning awards for best costume design, hair design, makeup design, set design, props design, and technical crew. Junior Aubrey Pulliam was named Best Stage Manager.

MHS Theatre students were also recognized for numerous honors for individual competitions, including 14 national qualifiers. Categories included group acting, monologue, solo musical, and more.

Four MISD students earned Texas Thespian Scholarship interviews with Senior Xochi Odukwu winning a $1,000 scholarship. Odukwu and Senior Jeff Wood were cast in the All-State Mini-musical.

Here’s a full list of the honors MISD earned at the festival:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream:

  • Best Costume Design
  • Best Hair Design
  • Best Makeup Design
  • Best Set Design
  • Best Props Design
  • Best Stage Manager, Aubrey Pulliam
  • Best Technical Crew

Individual competitions:

  • Group Acting (Perfect Score and a Main Stage Finalist) — the Mechanicals & Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Seniors Alex Gonzalez, Brianna Rivera and Valeria Guillen, Juniors A.J. Hernandez, Madison Coleman, Blane Wheeless and Sophomore Mica Delgado
  • Group Acting: the Lovers from A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Seniors Charlotte Browder, Landry Wood, Jett Wood and Sophomore Sam Davis
  • Monologue: Senior Charley Gonzales
  • Monologue: Senior Arin Velasquez
  • Solo Musical: Senior Xochi Odukwu

Texas Thespians Scholarship Interviews:

  • Seniors Brenden Mitchell, Landry Wood, Valeria Guillen and Xochi Odukwu.
  • Xochi Odukwu received a $1000 Texas Thespians Scholarship
  • MHS Theatre – All-Star Troupe Award for 2023.
  • Seniors Xochi Odukwu and Jett Wood were cast in the Texas Thespians All-State Mini-Musical, “Spiderman: Turn On the Lights.”
  • Deb Shaw, Midland ISD Director of Fine Arts, 2023 Texas Thespians Administrator of the Year.