Encore Stage & Studio Board of Directors
Since our founding in 1967, dedicated volunteers have served on Encore’s Board of Directors. The Board governs Encore and sets it policies and strategic direction in addition to overseeing its financial health. Simultaneously, we actively promote Encore’s mission to build life-long appreciation for live theater by involving young people in all aspects of theater arts—onstage, backstage, in the classroom, and in the audience.
We are reaching out to our patrons and participants to identify good candidates for the Board of
Directors. Potential board members would participate in Encore’s activities and bring enthusiasm and new expertise to our organization. Currently, we are seeking individuals with experience in these areas:
-participation or contributions to children’s or other arts organizations
If you have a recommendation for us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and place “Board of Directors Search” in the subject line. Thank you for your support!
2014/2015 Encore Stage & Studio Board of Directors
Katie Boone is a native Arlingtonian. She attended ATS back when it was called Stonewall Jackson and then St. Agnes and Bishop O’Connell High School. Katie received her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Politics from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and her masters degree in counseling from Trinity College. She is currently working on her doctorate in Educational Leadership. Katie has worked for the last 23 years in Higher Education, specifically the field of housing a multi-faceted job that included everything from crises management, curriculum development, new construction and renovation, emergency preparedness, assessment, training, assignments and budget management. Katie remembers going to Encore plays when she was younger at the Lubber Run outdoor Amphitheatre and has always had a love of theatre. Her family, Charlie her partner and her two children, Nicholas (14) and Hannah (10), also have caught the bug and have enjoyed being involved in Encore through the years. Nicholas grew up through Encore, attending Its Elementary to now participating in Stage Door and performances. Katie has seen first-hand the incredible Encore community, all the programs that it offers kids and the impact it has on their development. Katie currently lives in Arlington with her family and enjoys the outdoors and is an avid reader.
Jim has been active in theatre since his high school and college days, and was pleased when his sons started crewing for Encore in the summer of 2012. While not a ‘helicopter parent’, Jim can often be found assisting with set building and strike, and has appeared in “Legally Blonde, the Musical” and crewed for “Once Upon A Mattress”. Professionally, Jim is a technology manager for Allstate Insurance Company. Personally, he is married to Laura for the past 21 years. Their sons are Paddy (12th grade) and Liam (9th grade).
Josephine Diemond is in her 18th year as a teacher and administrator for grades 9-12. She is currently the Head of Upper School at McLean School of Maryland, a K-12 independent school in Potomac, Maryland. At McLean, Josephine functions as a dean of students, dean of faculty, and academic dean. She is involved with and is responsible for every aspect of McLean’s Upper School: academics; curriculum; hiring; faculty development, discipline; relationships between and among teachers, parents, and students; scheduling; college counseling; social/emotional health of the students; activities; and admissions.
Josephine began her teaching career in 1994 as a French teacher, language department chair, coach, and dorm head at Millbrook School, a 9-12 boarding school in Millbrook, New York. After moving to Washington, DC in 1999, Josephine continued to teach French and became assistant academic dean at The Madeira School in McLean, Virginia. She continued her teaching and administrative work as Head of Grades 11 and 12 at The Field School in Washington, DC before moving to McLean School of Maryland in 2006. Josephine holds a BA in Biology from Princeton University and an MA in French Literature from New York University.
Jerry Gidner is a Senior Executive in the Department of the Interior, focusing Tribal issues and leadership development programs.
Mr. Gidner has previously served as the Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the BIA Deputy Director for Indian Services, the Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs, the Director of the Indian Affairs Office of Planning and Policy Analysis, and the Chief of the BIA Division of Environmental and Cultural Resources Management. In addition, Mr. Gidner has been an enforcement attorney for the Environmental Protection Agency, a private sector attorney, a freelance journalist, and has worked at the County government level in the Parks and Recreation field.
Mr. Gidner has a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from Michigan State University (1982), a law degree and a Master’s degree in Natural Resources Policy and Management from the University of Michigan (1990), and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from American University (2007).
Mr. Gidner is a Native American and a member of Sault Ste Marie Chippewa Tribe. He is on the Board of Directors of Encore Stage & Studio, a non-profit children’s theater in Arlington, Virginia. He is also the author of If You Were an Aardvark: An ABC Book Starring Mammals, and was an extra in the HBO movie Game Change, about Sarah Palin and the 2008 election. Mr. Gidner has Tourette’s Syndrome. It is not contagious.
Mary Grace Mandaro
Jane Massant retired from Alexandria City Schools four years ago after serving 32 years as a School Social Worker. She has lived in North Arlington for 33 years. She and her husband, Eric Massant, raised two children who were involved in school, church, and community performing arts. Jane began acting with her church theater group, the St. Andrew’s Players, in 1986. She had leading roles in several musical and dramatic productions, including “The King and I,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and “The Crucible.” She also appeared in one production with the Reston Community Players and volunteered there as an usher for several years ago. In 1998, Jane directed her first play, a musical, with the St. Andrew’s Players. She has produced and directed seven plays at St. Andrews since that time. In the spring Jane is scheduled to direct “Children of Eden” by Stephen Schwartz. She has also directed six musical productions at Charles Barrett Elementary School in Alexandria. She is a seasons-ticket-holder for Signature theater and attends as many concerts and plays in the area as money allows. Jane continues to study voice with Elizabeth Kluegel and enjoys singing in her church choir. This fall she will begin singing with a small women’s ensemble. Jane enjoys working with multigenerational casts and encouraging a love of theater in both children and adults, one of the goals of the St. Andrew’s Players. She views closer work with the Encore Board as another avenue in which to advance this passion.
Ashby Rushing, Vice-President
Ashby Reid Rushing is a public school teacher in the Arlington Public Schools. She has taught middle school English in Arlington for the last fifteen years. Ashby holds both masters and doctorate degrees from The George Washington University as well as an undergraduate degree from The College of William and Mary. In addition, Ashby is a teacher consultant for the National Writing Project. Ashby is married to Colin Rushing, a music lawyer, and they have one daughter, Rachel, who is in elementary school. When she isn’t teaching or spending time with family, she is practicing Bikram yoga, reading, writing, shopping, or traveling. Ashby is thrilled to support the work of Encore. She has had the privilege of having many students come through her classroom who have been involved in Encore’s productions. In working with these students Ashby has seen how powerful these experiences have been in shaping these students in all aspects of their lives.
Jason Tate, Treasurer
Mike Thornsbury is a native of Northern Virginia, Mike grew up in Burke and attended Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax. Mike received a BA in Mass Communications from Virginia Commonwealth University. Also, as part of the Interactive Marketing Institute at VCU, Mike received professional certification in Direct Marketing. He returned as part of the adjunct faculty teaching print and direct mail in the Mass Communications School as well as the Interactive Marketing Institute.
In 1997, Mike began his career in Direct Marketing and fundraising. In those 16 years he has become a well respected and accomplished professional within the industry. He has held positions in all most all facets of the industry from manufacturing, agency experience and work for a large Museum in the DC area. In his current position as an Account Executive at the firm of Steven Winchell & Associates he works with non-profit organization ranging from the Smithsonian Institute to the American Police Hall of Fame.
Mike currently resides in Alexandria, can normally be found on a golf course on weekends and is a diehard Washington sports fan.
Group photo taken by Larry McClemons
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