Nicholas Bartell is thrilled to accept the opportunity to become the Thelma Gaylord Academy Director of Secondary Education. As a nearly lifelong member of the theatre education community of Oklahoma, Nicholas has worked with students from kindergarten ages on through college graduates. A graduate of the Peggy Dow Helmerich School of Drama at the University of Oklahoma in 2009, Nicholas immediately pursued his career in theatre education through teaching acting classes for the Sooner Theatre as he worked to obtain his teaching certification. Once certified, Nicholas began his public school teaching career at Jackson Middle School in Oklahoma City, where he established their first theatre class with an excited group of young people. From there, Nicholas moved to a position he had his eyes on since he was a child, teaching Speech and Drama at Longfellow Middle School in Norman, OK, the very middle school that inspired his theatre passion. For the past four years Nicholas has lived out his dream teaching middle school students a passion for theatre and utilizing their creative instincts. From working with 6th-8th grade students in the classroom, to establishing Longfellow’s Loaded Baked Potato, a fall sketch comedy show written, performed, and crewed by students, to getting students prepared for the strong competitive acting teams and Norman North, Nicholas has made theatre education for youth a part of his every moment. In the summertime, Nicholas has also served at the Camp Director for Oklahoma Shakespeare’s Young Company Theatre Camp, as well as helping produce shows through the Namron Players Theatre, a non-profit theatre company established in 2012 with his wife Sarah King Bartell. Nicholas is excited to focus on secondary theatre students pursuing their passions, whether that is simply the fun of the theatre world, or preparing for college theatre auditions and beyond.