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Home2017 Local Awards

Conference 2017 Local Texas Site Committee Awards
Attend the Grand Closing on Tuesday, November 14th at the 2017 NDEO National Conference to see the award presentation.


Denise Cochran

Denise Cochran Outstanding Service and Leadership in Round Rock Independent School District

Denise Maxwell Cochran currently serves as RRISD's Dance Coordinator for the Fine Arts. She also serves as the Middle School Dance Program Coordinator and currently the Coordinator for Elementary dance for the three Arts Integration Academies in RRISD. Denise has been a dance educator and administrator in the public school system for 32 years. She began her career in the Katy ISD starting their fine art dance programs and then moved back home to Austin to open McNeil High School, RRISD’s third high school. Denise served as the head dance director for the McNeil High School Majestics and dance program for 15 years. She also served as the Fine Art Department chair for 5 years. She left McNeil to serve RRISD further in the Middle School dance programs and begin her role as Dance Curriculum Specialist. Denise enjoyed working and leading all of the high school programs and their dance educators while continuing to grow the middle school dance and wellness programs. Denise holds a Bachelor of Art is teaching Dance degree from Sam Houston State University. She currently serves as Past President of Texas Dance Educators Association where she was awarded Texas Dance Director of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement Award for TDEA. She also served as a member of the Executive Board for the Center for Educator Development for the Fine Arts and was appointed by the State Board of Education to serve on the TEKS revision committee. Denise also enjoys her supervisory role with Texas State University and preparing the Student teachers for their future as educators. She also enjoys supporting many of the state dance programs with staff develop training for their dance educators. Denise is an Austin native and loves living in Round Rock. She has been married to her wonderful husband Oliver for 26 years and is the proud mom to Oliver III who is 23 years old and a Texas State Bobcat studying a major in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration and William who is 19 years old and studying Communication at the University of Texas.Their family will be celebrating with a wedding for Oliver in June of 2018. They keep her life fulfilled and complete. As an educator, she simply loves the art of dance and takes immense pride in spreading that passion to all of her teachers and students.

Joanna Friesen

Joanna Friesen | Leadership Excellence and Dedicated Service in Texas

Joanna Friesen received her PhD in Theatre with a concentration in Dance from Florida State University in 1977. After teaching in several universities, she directed the Dance program at the University of Houston for 21 years, was named Texas Dance Educator of the Year in 1997 and was inducted into the Texas Dance Educator Hall of Fame in 2000. At the University of Houston, she established Aesthetic workshops for teachers, developed dance minor and dance major programs, dance teacher certification, and produced dance concerts and dance workshops. She served on the Houston Cultural Arts Council, the Texas Commission on the Arts, and the Texas Education Agency Fine Arts panel. When she retired from the University of Houston in 1998, the Joanna Friesen Dance Scholarship was established for deserving young dancers. She helped found the National Dance Education Organization and volunteered as director of exhibits for the National conventions from 1998 to 2014. She worked as stage manager for Deborah Hay and Dance Salad Houston, and currently volunteers as the Sims Bayou Watershed Representative of the Bayou Preservation Association and with the Houston Audubon Society and the Alzheimers Association.
Gladys Keeton

Gladys Keeton Lifetime Achievement in Texas

Gladys M. Keeton is Professor Emeritus at Texas Woman’s University. Keeton teaches a variety of dance genres, theory and pedagogy for dance. She was the artistic director, and performer with the TWU International Folk Dance Company that performed and presented cultural lecture demonstrations for schools, communities and conferences since 1978. Gladys is artist educator for the Texas Commission for the Arts conducting dance residencies emphasizing interdisciplinary learning for students and teachers in public schools. Contributions to dance education are made through leadership positions in state, regional, and national organizations as well as being selected as a charter cadre member of the Texas Center for Educator Development in Fine Arts, Texas Education Agency Fine Arts Advisory Panel, State Review Panel for Dance Textbook Adoption, the State Board for Educator Certification Dance Standards Review committee, and the TExES Dance Content Exam Item Writer committees. Gladys is a presenter for CEDFA Fine Arts Summits and conducts In-Service and Staff Development workshops for fine arts and classroom teachers in the public schools of Texas on a variety of topics. Recognition includes the TWU Distinction in Service and Outstanding Academic Advisor Awards, Outstanding Young Women of America Award ,the TAHPERD Brace (most prestigious Award), Dance Heritage, Outstanding University Dance Educator, Honor, and PEPI Awards, Southern District AAHPERD Outstanding University Dance Educator Award, the Texas Dance Educator Association Hall of Fame Award, Drill Team Directors of America Lifetime Award and the Association for Retarded Citizens Outstanding Service Award.
Tom Waggoner

Tom Waggoner | Dedicated Advocacy and Stewardship of Dance in Texas

Tom Waggoner is Field Supervisor of Student Teaching for The University of Texas (UT) Butler School of Music. He previously served as Program Director of Fine Arts Education in the UT College of Fine Arts. He is also President of the Board of Directors for the Center for Educator Development in Fine Arts, which was established to support fine arts education in Texas schools. Mr. Waggoner was the Director of Fine Arts Education for the Texas Education Agency (TEA) from 2000 until 2011. His responsibilities at TEA included the administration of all curricular and instructional aspects of the state's public school art, dance, music, and theatre programs, grades K-12. Mr. Waggoner is also a founding member of the national association State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education.
Prior to his appointment at TEA, Mr. Waggoner served as Administrative Supervisor of Fine Arts for the Austin Independent School District (1991–2000). During his tenure as fine arts administrator for Austin ISD, he was one of the co-founders of the Austin Youth Orchestra program. He served as Director of Bands at The University of Mississippi in Oxford (1987–1991) and Associate Director of Bands at Texas State University in San Marcos (1981–1987). Mr. Waggoner received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music Degrees from The University of Texas at Austin and completed post-graduate studies in Educational Administration at Texas State University, receiving his Mid-Management Certification. Upon completion of undergraduate studies in 1972, he was appointed as Director of Bands at William B. Travis High School in Austin ISD. Mr. Waggoner has conducted All-State, All-Region, and Honor Bands in Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas and frequently serves as guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and speaker throughout the United States. Mr. Waggoner is the recipient of the 2004 Founders Award from the Texas Educational Theatre Association, Inc., the 2005 Distinguished Achievement Award from the Texas Music Educators Association, the 2005 Lifetime Administrator Achievement Award from the Texas Bandmasters Association, the 2010-2011 Outstanding Music Educator Award from the National Federation of State High School Associations, the 2011-2012 Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Dance Educators Association, and the Shining Star Award from the Dance Division of the Texas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. He often writes articles that are published in regional and national journals and is affiliated with many professional arts organizations, including the Texas Art Education Association, Texas Dance Educators Association, Texas Educational Theatre Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Orchestra Directors Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Austin Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors, Phi Beta Mu International Bandmaster Fraternity, and Mu Omicron Honorary Fraternity.