TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Art Almquist, a drama teacher at Tucson High Magnet School has been awarded the 2016 Reba R. Robertson Outstanding Teacher of Drama from the Children's Theatre Foundation of America.
Almquist is a native Tucsonan who has spent his life involved in theater, both teaching and performing. He started acting at the age of 12, joining the Tom Thumb players. It was Lester Netszky, founder of the Tom Thumb players who inspired him to become a theater teacher.
In 1996, Almquist began teaching acting at Tucson High Magnet School and directing plays for the last 20 years. According to a TUSD release his program and plays have won numerous awards, in addition to the school being named one of the best high school theatres in America by the American High School Theatre Festival.
Also an avid film lover, he won the U.S. Satellite Broadcasting's "You Be the Movie Critic" contest in 1998. This award, judged by Gene Siskel gave him the opportunity to host a nationwide move review program for a year.
Further awards include in 2008 Tucson's LUMIE Award for Arts Teacher of the Year and in 2013 he won the reader's choice for PEOPLE Magazine's Teacher of the Year.
He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and has worked in professional Improv Comedy groups for 25 years. He continues to act and perform in the Tucson community regularly.
The Reba R. Robertson Outstanding Teacher of Drama award honors the memory of Reba R. Robertson, a public school teacher who devoted nearly 40 years to teaching high school drama, speech, and debate and recognizes teachers who follow enthusiastically in her path.