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John Rutherford - Alumni Achievement Award Recipient

by Paul Martell, Published April 23, 2013


John Rutherford

John Rutherford ('95) was first introduced to Theatre Arts during a field trip to see "Annie" at the Fisher Theatre, in downtown Detroit. At the time, John was in eighth grade. What he saw would set the stage for him to become among the most celebrated Theatre Arts educators in the State. From the time John left EMU to now, he has helped educate over 15,000 students.

John received his Bachelor of Science in Speech and Dramatic Arts from Central Michigan University in 1990. He then attended Eastern Michigan University and obtained a Master of Arts in Communication Theatre Arts and Interpersonal/Performance Studies in 1995. He also has a Post Baccalaureate in English and Language Arts as an addition to his Professional Education Certificate.

Since studying at Central, John has been working as an exemplar educator. John's dedication to providing the highest quality education and experience to his students is embodied in the honors and awards he has received during his career. Most recently, he was chosen as the 2011 Creative Writing Teacher of the Year by the Michigan Council for Teachers of English. John was also recently inducted into the Michigan Educational Theatre Hall of Fame, and in 2000, was named Theatre Teacher of the Year by the Michigan Interscholastic Forensic Association. A highlight for Rutherford's career came in 2004, when he was given the honor of participating in the Toyota Teach Program. He was one of only 50 educators selected to participate in this international exchange with Japan.

John finds time to give back to EMU and its students by providing beneficial opportunities for student teachers, and pre-student teachers, to come into his classroom to "learn and lead." He also returns to EMU to instruct for theatre institutes at the SummerQuest program, and is regularly invited back to campus to be a guest lecturer in method courses.

Over the course of his career, John has directed well over 80 performances. He currently works for W.E. Groves High School in Beverly Hills Michigan, where he teaches Theatre Arts and Communication classes. John Rutherford's passion and dedication embody the tradition of excellence EMU strives for in all its graduates.



Celebrate John's accomplishment and join us for the 52nd annual Alumni Awards Dinner,
Saturday, May 11, 2013 at the Ypsilanti Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest.

View Invitation