Arthur Robertson is the founder and Executive Director of South Shore Drill Team. Arthur grew up marching with various groups, and earned a leadership position with the Hornets Drill Team on Chicago’s West Side while still in his teens. He graduated from Chicago State University and taught elementary education for more than 20 years at several Chicago Public Schools. At Paul Revere Elementary in the Greater Grand Crossing Neighborhood, he taught fourth through eighth grades and served as Dean of Students before retiring from CPS in 2006.
As a teacher, Arthur saw young people struggling and believed that the performing arts would help keep them away from negative influences. He organized South Shore Drill Team in 1980, hoping they could perform once a month. Fast-forward thirty years later, and the group is performing at more than 125 events a year.
While most of the events today are overseen by the team’s two Assistant Directors, Arthur remains committed to helping the team maintain a high level of performance and creativity. His extensive experience working with young people and their parents makes him an invaluable asset. In 2010, Arthur was featured in Fox News Chicago’s “Doing Good in the ‘Hood” and in 2011 he received the Community Impact Award from the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago.
One of the original four members of the group, Assistant Director Kevin Ray supervises instruction of new recruits, female members, and younger children. Kevin has built a strong core of parent volunteers who travel with the group as chaperones and help with everything from makeup and costumes to feeding members and fundraising. His creative talents are devoted to improving the music, choreography and stage production of all Drill Team performances.
Michael A. Borum
Michael Borum performed with South Shore Drill Team from the age of 8 to 25, serving as team captain from 1996-2004. In 2004, he received his bachelor’s degree in Business from Chicago State University, and he is now Assistant Director of the team, supervising the Employment Training Program and overseeing many of the events. In April, 2011, Michael led the team to the Winter Guard International World Championship.
Stella Natufe-Smith is the Events Coordinator and Media Liaison for the team. She performed with the team for more than ten years, and currently serves as an instructor to the advanced female members. Stella earned her BA and MA in journalism from Columbia College Chicago, and she is currently working on a master’s degree in Library Science.
Other staff instructors who grew up with the team include Nikkia Townsend-Irvin, Fred Irvin, Eric Thomas, and Crystal Williamson. The team also has several assistant instructors and volunteer instructors who came up through the team and are giving back to this special organization.