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The original item was published from 12/23/2015 11:05:16 AM to 12/24/2016 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: December 23, 2015


Mr Zepeda.jpg

The court approved a resolution in honor of Gilbert Zepeda, theater/drama teacher at PSJA North Early College High School plans to retire at the end of this school year, after 37 years in this position. Through his tenure he has molded hundreds of students to become successful leaders within our community and beyond.

From 1979-1990 he led the PSJA High School drama department and transitioned to PSJA North when it was opened in 1990, where he has remained ever since.

Zepeda's most notable honor includes the creation and expansion of PSJA ISD's children's theater productions. Every December for the past 37 years, the theater department has presented a play for the children and community. Some of the plays and musicals include Aladdin – Dual Language Edition; The Little Mermaid; Beauty and the Beast; The Wizard of Oz; and Peter Pan.

Numerous students have graduated from the program and continued on to major in theatre and are now teaching or pursuing professional careers across the state and country.

Some of his students include:

-Cristela Alonso, writer, actor, and comedian. She created and starred in the television sitcom
Cristela, and is the first Latina to create, produce, write and star in an ABC network show.

-Television and film actor David Barrera, who received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from SMU on a
Theater scholarship and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, San Diego. He
has been featured in many TV shows including, American Horror Story, Mom, Castle, and The Big
Bang Theory.

-Michael Ray Escamilla and Mando Alvarado are both former students who co-wrote and co-
directed film Cruzando, which has won critical acclaim at various film festivals including HBO’s
New York International Latino Film Festival, Newport Beach International Film Festival, and
London Latino International Film Festival. Michael also has appeared in the films Hot Pursuit
(2015), Frontera (2014) and Night in Old Mexico (2013).

Zepeda was humbled by the recognition and thanked the court for the honor.

Pictured L to R: Pct. 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios; Pct. 3 Commissioner Joe Flores; Judge Ramon Garcia; Pct. 2 Commissioner Eduardo "Eddie" Cantu; Pct. 1 Commissioner A.C. Cuellar Jr; PSJA North Early College Theater/Drama Teacher Gilbert Zepeda; Jacqueline Zepeda; Pct. 2 Chief Administrator Armando Garza Jr.

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