Alexandria teacher named 2023-24 NFHS Performing Arts Educator Award Recipient

Photo of Jessica Chipman

The award winner in the category of Outstanding Theatre Educator in Section 5

Jessica Chipman – Alexandria, Minnesota

As a visionary director and educator, Jessica Chipman’s brilliance shines through in every aspect of her work. Whether she’s helming a newly devised work, re-imagining a classic, staging a published script, or using improvisation to explore conceptual possibilities, colleagues claim that Chipman’s approach is nothing short of extraordinary.

Her tenure has been marked by transformative contributions as a Theatre Director, not only at Alexandria Area High School but also in previous roles at Mount Pleasant High School (IA) and Algona High School (IA). Beyond her teaching commitments, Chipman is the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Dynamo Creative, a female-led theatre company dedicated to telling women’s stories.

With an impressive repertoire of over 35 plays and musicals directed and more than twenty full-length and one-act plays written, Chipman’s impact extends far and wide. Notable productions include “Trousers,” recognized with the Wells Fargo Award of Excellence and a “Star” rating at the MSHSL State One-Act Play Festival in 2022, and “The Lovely Bones,” which received accolades and moved both audience and critics alike in 2023.

Chipman has received a plethora of achievements, such as the Minnesota Theatre Educator of the Year in 2021 and recognition as a National Finalist for the Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville in 2010. Her dedication to educating and the arts is further highlighted through various accolades, including her selection as a Minnesota State High School League One Act Play State Judge, recipient of the Lakes Region Arts Council Individual Legacy Arts and Cultural Grant, and her status as a finalist for the Educator of the Year at the Iowa Governor’s Scholar Recognition Luncheon in 2007.