As an accredited educator, Glenda has long been known for her passion and dedication to extracurricular school programs. Throughout her career, Glenda has particularly enjoyed sharing her passion for Theatre Arts with students in California, Hawaii, and Washington State, and has recently extended her profession to overseas education where she served as the Dean of Students at SAC American College, a prestigious high school located in Istanbul, Turkey.
Glenda has spent nearly 30 years as an educator, filling the roles of teacher, vice principal, and principal during her professional career. Her experience has helped shape her as a strong leader with a solid understanding of the day-to-day tasks and operational skills necessary to operate a school of academic excellence. She firmly believes that education should be for “students first,” and uses every opportunity to help educate and share her passion with others. Her ‘open-door’ policy, allowing students and parents alike to address and discuss issues that concern them and how they can be solved is just another example of her tireless commitment to her students.
Glenda Gerde has been recognized throughout the school districts where she’s worked as resourceful in even the most trying of times, and has consistently remained an advocate for her students. She has skillfully helped her staff to develop professionally, and has exhibited an outstanding ability to facilitate and build relationships among and with her peers.
As a person, Glenda is consistently described as being committed, determined, caring, and passionate. Her insight, skills, and knowledge have proved invaluable in guiding her as an educator and molding her as a person.
Having received a Master of Arts in Theatre Arts from The University of New Mexico, Glenda Gerde has found great joy in being able to incorporate both of her life’s passions into her career. Glenda’s enthusiasm for the Arts has driven countless music programs over the years, many being PTA-funded. Glenda has also directed an array of school productions, both plays and musicals, with casts of up to 100 students. Often times, Glenda has personally performed with her guitar and sang songs with students at assemblies and variety shows. Using her creative arts background, Glenda previously worked with a support staff to create a school wide student news program that was broadcast weekly. The student response to seeing themselves “on television” upgraded site morale, student academic effort, and student discipline. It’s these types of initiatives that have warranted Glenda’s praise and recognition.
More recently, during her time in Istanbul, as Dean of Students at SAC SEV American College, Glenda took part in the drama club. Glenda successfully contributed to the production of the very first performance of a musical at SAC, a show that Turkish students sang and performed entirely in English. While this was a huge task for some students, Glenda worked with her co-director Sandy in coaching the students to give them the confidence that they needed to succeed. Her energy and dedication to the program and the students was widely recognized by faculty and parents alike. Glenda further supported the SACas a member of the staff band, which was comprised of Turkish, Canadian, and American performers. Both singing and playing her guitar for the band, Glenda delighted in sharing her enthusiasm for the Arts with the warm and highly talented Turkish school community.
Aside from her involvement with after-school theatre programs, Glenda Gerde has also been a part of Community Theatre in Washington State, Hawaii, and California. She has directed ANNIE! for Kauai Community Players which included directing and teaching a children’s summer workshop to prepare them for their roles, direction of the adult cast as well as two choreographers, music director (full orchestra), set designer, and costumer. This job also included directing Annie’s dog!
Glenda has continued her training in the arts her whole life. She has taken ballet classes for many years, and following her masters in theatre, spent three years training for film acting with Carey Scott who was a student of Stella Adler. She is currently taking film acting with Shelly Lipton and simply enjoys the process of achieving that moment of being fully in the character. That special moment drives her passion for this art form. She loves being around actors and creative individuals.
As an advocate for children and public school programs, Glenda Gerde has found great fulfillment in continuing personal experiences in the arts while being a strong advocate and promoter of the arts in education. She was awarded Music Administrator of the Year in the San Diego Unified School District. She continues to pursue her career in the Arts today while residing in Phoenix.
Glenda is both a comedic and dramatic actor. Glenda has played the mother of the bride in a musical dinner theatre comedy performed on the William D. Evans paddle boat on Mission Bay in San Diego, titled “Once Upon A Wedding.” Other roles of Glenda’s have include:
- Peggy in Godspell
- Frosine in The Miser
- Lucy in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown
- Louise in After The Fall
- Mme. Yepanchin in Subject To Fits
- Essie in You Can’t Take It With You
Glenda Gerde and Mr. Happy
No matter where her travels or adventures take her in life, Glenda knows that she’s always got her beloved canine, Mr. Happy, to keep her company. An adorable poodle mix, Mr. Happy had Glenda wrapped around his paw from the moment they first met. She decided to rescue him almost immediately, and from there the bond grew. He quickly became more than just a pet, and eventually established his place as a member of the family. Mr. Happy’s infectious personality captivated everyone he meets, truly earning him his name. He even likes to dance — some of his favorite songs to dance to include “Thriller,” “Uptown Funk,” and, of course, “Happy” by Pharrell. Soon after taking him in, the pair became inseparable. Mr. Happy became Glenda’s constant companion and went with her wherever life took her.
When Glenda Gerde moved to Turkey for the Dean position at SAC SEV American College, you can bet that her furry friend was right there next to her; the two rode side by side on the 13-hour flight to a strange country as they prepared for a new life together. It didn’t take long for Mr. Happy to adapt to life in Turkey; he happily accompanied Glenda on her trips to the Bazaar or as they strolled down the streets taking in the sights. He even had the chance to visit France with Glenda when the two took a 3 week vacation to see the sights in Paris, Sète, Avignon, and Montpellier.
The two have since left Europe to return to the United States where they now reside in Phoenix, Az., closer than ever.