A popular teacher who specialized in drama instruction at Archbishop Rummel for 46 years died Monday after a battle with cancer.
Charles C. Guajardo was described as the 'original and only moderator of drama students at Archbishop Rummel High.
"For the past 46 years, Mr. Guajardo's vocation as teacher and Genesian Players director defined, strengthened, and exemplified the values and beliefs that give Archbishop Rummel High School its unique identity. His enduring influence on our school community provides a legacy of faith, hope, and love. He will be greatly missed," said Michael Begg, school president.
Guajardo came to Archbishop Rummel High School in 1963, after having graduated from Lamar State University in 1959. He then attended LSU to work on his master's degree.
A faculty member for 46 years, Guajardo held many duties at Archbishop Rummel, but was known primarily for his drama club, the Genesian Players, that he founded and directed in over 200 school productions during his years at the school.
He began directing plays during his first year at Archbishop Rummel when he directed his students in "Minor Miracle" in the school gymnasium. The student body's enthusiasm for the 1963 production caused Guajardo to form a drama club at school that eventually became the Genesian Players.
Archbishop Rummel alumnus, Edward Jemison moved from the high school theater in 1981 to numerous Hollywood movie productions, including a recurring role in "Oceans' Eleven", "Ocean's Twelve", and "Ocean's Thirteen." Jemison said, "Chuck Guajardo taught me all the basics of theater, from acting to directing to stage lighting, but more than that, he demystified it for me and, even more than that, he made everything fun."
Alumnus Brandt Blocker from the Class of 1990 is currently the artistic director and general manager of the Atlanta Lyric Theater. He said, "I thoroughly enjoyed my years with Chuck Guajardo and the Genesian Players because he instilled in all of us discipline, an appreciation of all aspects of theaternot just acting, but all of it. Even today, I remember some of the lessons I learned as a Genesian Player and bring them to my theater in Atlanta. Chuck Guajardo gave me my career and I will be forever grateful to him."
In addition to his wife, Anne, survivors include two daughters, Rachel Guajardo Webre and Jessica Guajardo Cassioppi.
Funeral arrangements are pending.