Gregory Dean Shaw made his grand entrance into the world on February 17, 1969. His parents, Janet and Dean, were overjoyed to welcome a baby boy to join his older sister, Jana. Christopher followed nine years later, completing the Shaw family who were new to Gardner in 1978. Join the Pittsburg, KS community on May 22 at 2pm in the PHS Auditorium in honoring the life and achievements of the late PHS Theatre teacher and former Gardner resident Greg Shaw, who lost his battle with brain cancer on December 12, 2020. “Greg’s Curtain Call” will also have a livestream offered and friends/classmates are invited to submit photos, letters or videos to: [email protected].
As a 1987 Gardner Edgerton High School Trailblazer, Greg proved to be an impressive “triple threat”. While excelling in the classroom as a National Honor Society student/Kansas State Scholar, he pushed himself athletically and was rewarded as a State Cross Country/Track & Field finalist three years in a row as well as playing/coaching Little League Baseball and was a true fan of his beloved Kansas Jayhawks, KC Royals and Chiefs. Greg enjoyed being a Yearbook staff member, worked part-time at the family business Blazers Restaurant, and helped expand the city youth sports program through his leadership with the Gardner Parks & Recreation department. As a trumpet player in the school band, Greg shared his passion for music and displayed his volunteer spirit by playing “Taps” at local military funerals. Participating in GEHS theatre productions was very impactful on Greg and his future career path. The valuable life lessons learned from working backstage tech or belting out a musical number live onstage gave Greg the foundation to later perform/direct 15 productions at Shawnee Mission’s Theatre in the Park.
In 1989, Greg met Angela Casey in Lawrence while performing in Rock Chalk Revue. He was the director, she was cast as the leading female. The ultimate theatre relationship, it was the beginning of a lifelong love. The couple married on October 11, 1997. Greg combined his natural gifts, unrivaled work ethic and innate business acumen to earn a bachelor’s degree in Management and Human Relations from MidAmerica Nazarene University in 1999; a master’s degree in education/communications/theatre from Pittsburg State University in 2006; and was hired in 2007 as a teacher/theatre director at Pittsburg High School. Greg–or “Shaw”, as his students and cast typically called him was a true pioneer/innovator producing an astounding 65 shows with his students and colleagues during his 13 year career! PHS Theatre earned invitations to perform on the main stage at the Kansas State Thespian Festival and the International Thespian Festival a combined five times; earned more than 40 Jester Awards from Music Theatre Wichita; and the social issue plays program he created earned PHS both state and national recognition as the Kansas NEA Human and Civil Rights Award. He served on the Kansas Thespians Board of Directors and was nominated twice for the Tony Awards Excellence in Theatre Education Award. In 2020, he earned the International Thespian Society’s “Spirit of Thespis Award” and was named a 2021 inductee to the Kansas Thespians Hall of Fame.
Greg is survived by his wife, Dr. Angela Shaw and two daughters, McKenna and Marley of Pittsburg; his parents, Janet and Dean of Peoria, AZ; his brother Christopher (Kendra) of Ponte Vedra, FL: his sister, Jana Shaw Fevurly (John) of Scottsdale, AZ; 11 nieces and nephews; and hundreds of former students. No husband, father, son, brother, uncle, mentor, or friend will be more greatly missed.
To continue his legacy, the Greg Shaw “Applause” Memorial Scholarship was recently founded at GEHS to honor his competitive spirit in and outside of the classroom; his relentless pursuit of perfection as a performer/director/educator; his compassion for encouraging others to “reach for the stars” and most recently his fearlessness in fighting Glioblastoma, an aggressive malignant brain cancer. In lieu of flowers and to recognize that May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month, the family suggests donating to the American Brain Tumor Association at: abta.org OR contributing to the Greg Shaw Memorial Scholarship available through the Gardner Edgerton Schools Foundation at: [email protected] The inaugural 2021 Greg Shaw Memorial Scholarship recipient will be announced at Senior Honors Night.