Monday, December 16, 2013

Texas Thespians Hall of Fame inducts Terry Hibbert-Ismert

Spring Woods High School’s longtime theatre director Terry Hibbert-Ismert was inducted into the Texas Thespians Hall of Fame recently during the state group’s annual meeting. The group is an affiliate of the Educational Theatre Association, which met last month in Dallas.

During her Nov. 23 induction, Memorial High School’s Theatre Director Nicole Morgan extolled Hibbert-Ismert’s support for local high school theatre, the state association, and theatre performance around the world. Hibbert-Isbert’s Hall of Fame induction is the first ever for a Spring Branch ISD theatre educator.

“Terry has been teaching for the past 30 years, and 29 of them in Spring Branch. She has many students working successfully in theatre across the country and in Europe. She puts students first. She works many long hours for the betterment of us all. She is inclusive, making sure the middle schools and new teachers are made to feel welcome. She is an example we should all follow,” Director Morgan said.

The Spring Branch ISD Board of Trustees will honor her and recent Hall of Fame induction during its regular monthly meeting on Dec. 16.

The Texas Thespians Hall of Fame honors adults who have given 20 or more years of service to serving and promoting state educational theatre. Texas Hall of Fame members are chosen for their dedication to student theatre in Texas as well as to the Educational Theatre Association, and for their contributions to high standards of excellence in Texas educational theatre.

Hibbert-Ismert has taught student theatre since 1986 at Spring Woods High. She was named 2003 Spring Woods Teacher of the Year. She’s a National Thespian Scholarship adjudicator for The International Thespian Society, and she has directed plays and also served as an educational outreach coordinator for the Country Playhouse. She holds a Lifetime PTA Award, among other recognitions.

Known for her love of students and her campus, Hibbert-Ismert has an expression that she proclaims often: “Spring Woods is the best kept secret in Spring Branch.” During her tenure, Spring Woods Theatre students and leaders have earned state, national and international recognition. Many former students work professionally in theatre, television or film, or have teaching careers in theatre and other areas. 

Spring Woods High School theatre grads work professionally in New York, Los Angeles and across the globe. Some of these former students include Trey Carnley, Rachel Baron, Travis Horstmann and Tyler First, working in technical theatre and design; Brian Nichols at Second City Los Angeles and Jason Ronje in Chicago; and Brandon Sonnier, who writes, edits and produces for television and film, also in Los Angeles; two-time Tommy Tune Award winner Paul Sabala, a New York City professional; Kristina Love, who appeared in the original Hamburg, Germany, production of Rocky; and Christina Stroup, famed in Houston as a Wonderette, and in other roles.

Graduates who are currently teaching include Ed Lingan, a University of Toledo theatre professor; Luke Fedell, a UH-Downtown theatre professor and certified stage combat coordinator; Erin Colston, who operates an acting school in Paris; and area teachers Anne Yancey (Spring Woods High), Kelly Harkins (Spring Forest Middle School), Bobby Linhart (Houston Christian High), Stacy Erskine (A&M Consolidated Middle) and Matthew Peters (The Woodlands High).

In other highlights, Hibbert-Ismert’s students have earned consistent excellence in UIL One Act Play Competition and numerous Tommy Tune Award nominations and awards. They performed Les Miserables, School Edition and The Pirates of Penzance at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts downtown. Those shows were also performed during the International Thespian Festival in 2003 and 2005, and Pirates was performed at the American High School Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, to sold-out audiences and glowing newspaper reviews.

The school theatre department was also nominated to take part in the first year of a New York Fringe-style workshop with Broadway directors, including session work with three Broadway directors. Four performances are planned at The New School in New York during June 2014.

Among other activities, she co-sponsored the ComedySportz High School League, organized workshops and camps, and served as a mentor, cadre member, Faculty Club officer, District Advisory Team and Budget Committee member. At Spring Woods High, she holds a Fired Up Tiger Award, too.

Hibbert-Ismert was inducted last month into the Hall of Fame along with Luiz Munoz, who is UIL state theatre director. She co-teaches at Spring Woods High with Anne Yancey.

“At the awards luncheon, I was truly honored to see my name flash onto the screen with all of the other members who have been mentors and dear friends of mine throughout the years. This is a thrilling moment in my life,” she said.

“I would never, ever be at this point in my teaching career if it were not for talented and dedicated students, a strong administration, a teaching partner who is a joy to work with, and a husband and a family that understands the level of commitment that this job requires,” she also said.


  1. Congratulations, Terry!! So proud and excited for you!

  2. How wonderful! Congratulations! As much as you praise your students, you are the reason they became what they are and went as far as they did! Again, congratulations!

  3. Congratulations! It has been a pleasure getting to know you over the past four years. The wonderful work that you have done with our students and all their cast mates has been remarkable. You are a true treasure to those students who seek your direction and guidance to discover learning abilities that they never dreamed possible. Break A Leg!

  4. Terry, those students of yours would not have gotten as far as they have without you.


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