Deborah Baldwin has been a drama teacher and director for nearly forty years. In college, she trained to become a professional actress but at the same time she studied to become a teacher, and they have helped each other.
She found a place for her imagination in high school–the stage! It was there that Deborah was cast in her first play. To this day, she becomes nostalgic whenever she steps backstage . The scent of sawdust, a can of paint and the warmth of the stage lights are a magical elixir that help her feel at home.
"My most profound epiphany occurred onstage many years ago. At the time, society had impressed upon me to hide my negative feelings or only express those feelings that were most accepted by others of any female in the early l970’s. I realized that by sharing myself with an audience through a character, I could express my feelings and thoughts. I felt accepted universally. That’s a heady experience." - Baldwin
After college, Deborah became a director and she took to it right away. "I have a leader type personality and directing fit into my life very easily. Once my first play was mounted, I saw the potential of affecting people through stories that I created in my own manner. I adore making a statement through words and actions. I know that my productions have a great impact on audiences. They tell me so."
EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION AWARD
St. Vrain Valley Schools
CULTURAL DIVERSITY AWARD for ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
National League of Cities and National Black Caucus of Elected Officials
TEACHER OF THE MONTH
Downtown Rotary Columbia, MO
Established English Language Learners Drama Club - the only club of its kind in the nation integrating dramatic arts into language
Directed at-risk, reluctant readers through staged readings - bringing up reading scores by three grade levels
As a teacher, Baldwin retained 95% of returning students in Musical Theatre class each year she taught and doubled enrollment in two additional classes.
2001, 2002, 2003
DISTINGUISHED NOMINEE for
DRAMA & SPEECH TEACHER
Disney American Teacher
1995 & 2003
DISTINGUISHED NOMINEE for
OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR IN A SPECIALIZED AREA COLUMBIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS
When Mrs. Baldwin joined the APEX staff, we had just proposed the idea of beginning a Musical Theater program at APEX, offering a 2-hour block class team taught by our drama and music teachers. We hired Mrs. Baldwin and the program was off the ground and up and running! In her 6 years with APEX, Mrs. Baldwin has directed 18 Broadway junior productions, an achievement that would take most drama teachers almost 20 years to achieve! APEX will forever be indebted to Debbie Baldwin for the heart and soul she has poured into our students, our program and our lives. - Kim Lancaster, APEX Program Director