Arts Integration User Guide

Arts Integration Think and Do Workbook

Arts Integration Worksheets


Keynote Biographies

Richard Blanco

President Obama’s Inaugural Poet 2013, Lambda Literary Award for Memoir

Selected by President Obama as the fifth inaugural poet in U.S. history, Richard Blanco is the first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity characterizes his four collections of poetry: How To Love a CountryCity of a Hundred Fires, which received the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press; Directions to The Beach of the Dead, recipient of the Beyond Margins Award from the PEN American Center; and Looking for The Gulf Motel, recipient of the Paterson Poetry Prize and the Thom Gunn Award. He has also authored the memoirs For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey and The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood, winner of a Lambda Literary Award. His inaugural poem “One Today” was published as a children’s book, in collaboration with renowned illustrator Dav Pilkey. Boundaries, a collaboration with photographer Jacob Hessler, challenges the physical and psychological dividing lines that shadow the United States. And his latest book of poems, How to Love a Country, both interrogates the American narrative, past and present, and celebrates the still unkept promise of its ideals. Blanco has written occasional poems for the re-opening of the U.S. Embassy in Cuba, Freedom to Marry, the Tech Awards of Silicon Valley, and the Boston Strong benefit concert following the Boston Marathon bombings. He is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and has received numerous honorary doctorates. He has taught at Georgetown University, American University, and Wesleyan University. He serves as the first Education Ambassador for The Academy of American Poets.

 

Alysia Lee

Artist, Arts Educator, Teaching Artist, and Policymaker

Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow, Alysia Lee has a full circle role as an artist, arts educator, teaching artist, and policymaker, which gives her a broad perspective of the arts ecosystem. 

She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Sister Cities Girlchoir (SCG), the El Sistema-inspired, girl empowerment choral academy in Philadelphia, Camden, and Baltimore. SCG is in its tenth season after Lee was selected from an international pool of applicants to the third cohort of the Sistema Fellowship at New England Conservatory. sistercitiesgc.org

Lee is the education program supervisor for Fine Arts Education for the Maryland State Department of Education across five arts disciplines: music, dance, visual art, theatre, and media arts. She supports the statewide arts learning community and advances arts-rich, lifelong learning in and through the arts for all Marylanders. She is the President-Elect of the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE). msdefinearts.org

 

Coach Biographies

Judith T. Brendel

Educational Consultant

Judith T. Brendel is an educational consultant who has been a teacher, supervisor, author, and professional educator who develops, facilitates, and presents professional learning opportunities for teachers and other educational leaders across New Jersey and nearby states. She has completed over 35 years as a teacher, director of curriculum, and educational supervisor working in all grade levels K-16. In addition to serving on the Executive Board of FEA, Judith serves on the speaker’s bureau of AMTNJ (Association of Math Teachers of NJ), FEA, and TMI (The Madison Institute). Judith earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration, Curriculum and Instruction from Rutgers University and received various undergraduate degrees and certifications in mathematics and in elementary education from William Paterson University in New Jersey, and earlier in fine arts from Hunter College in New York. Judith also authors math review books for Barron’s Publishers.

Eloise Bruce

Coach and Teaching Artist

Eloise Bruce has been a coach with the Foundation for Educational Administration FEA for five years. She holds an MFA in Directing from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, a BFA from Wesleyan College and an M Ed from Mercer University both in Macon, Georgia. She was the first education director for the Asolo Theatre/the state theatre of Florida, she directed for the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, is founder Idaho Theatre for Youth and was Artistic Director of Creative Theater in Princeton, NJ. In 2004 her first book of poetry, Rattle, was published by CavenKerry Press. Over the years she has had various roles at the Frost Place Center for Poetry and the Arts in Franconia, NH. She is member of the poetry critique and performance group Cool Women and works as a teaching artist for Young Audiences of NJ and Eastern PA and Writer’s Theatre of NJ. In 2018 she was a recipient of  the Governor’s Award for Arts Education  She is youth editor for RavensPerch Magazine and has worked as a teaching artist for 41 years.

currieMary Beth Currie

Associate Director of Special Projects, FEA

Mary Beth Currie is the Associate Director of Special Projects at the Foundation for Educational Administration. She began her teaching career in Philadelphia. Upon completion of her certification as a Reading Specialist, she served as a Reading Specialist in the Upper Darby School District. She obtained her first administrative position as a Principal in Upper Darby. In 2001 she was appointed the Principal of Bret Harte Elementary School in Cherry Hill. During her tenure, the school was identified as a Governor’s School of Excellence and was authorized and an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. Most recently, Ms. Currie served as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in the Holmdel Township Public Schools. While there, she established a program for Gifted and Talented students, expanded the AP offerings and supported the Rotating Block Schedule at the High School. She retired in 2014 from public education. She completed her undergraduate degree at St. Joseph’s University and her graduate degree at The University of Pennsylvania. She did additional graduate work at Pennsylvania State University where she earned her Principal Certificate and qualified for the certificate as a School Administrator. In 1999, she was recognized as a Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholar and travelled to Japan to study the educational system. She has presented at local and national conferences on a range of topics from Literacy Instruction to Inclusive Programs for youngsters on the Autism spectrum.

figgsKeith C. Figgs

Mentor, New Jersey Leaders to Leaders Program

Dr. Keith C. Figgs’ career in education spans more than 45 years. This includes working as a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent for administration in the Vineland School District. Additionally, he has worked as an assistant principal, adult high school principal and Director of Adult Education for the Salem City Schools.

Keith has worked for the NJ Department of Education as a Network Turnaround Officer for schools in Camden. Through the FEA School Leadership Program Grant, Keith was a coach and consultant for principals in the Millville and Bridgeton School Districts. He continues to serve as a Mentor for new administrators for the New Jersey Leaders to Leaders Program. Keith served as a coach for School Leadership Teams in the Nicholson P-3 Initiative. He currently is a coach for Arts Integration in the Bridgeton and Millville districts. Additionally, he is serving as a coach for the recent Healing Centered Engagement Pilot Program.

His community involvement includes serving as a board member for the Cumberland County Black Hall of Fame and the Cumberland County Women’s Hall of Fame. He is a professional Mentor for the Project IMPACT Men of Color Program at Rowan University.  Keith is a former member and chairman of the Cumberland County College Board of Trustees.

Dr. Figgs has been the recipient of many awards, including his induction into the Cumberland County Black Hall of Fame and the recipient of the Alumni Citation Award from The College of New Jersey.

Dr. Figgs received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from Trenton State College (The College of New Jersey) and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University.

 

Patricia Flynn

Teaching Artist

Patricia Flynn has been a teaching artist for thirty-five years. She has led numerous AIE residencies, as well as having served as a panelist, on-site evaluator, and mentor for first-time residency artists. A member of Actors’ Equity and SAG-AFTRA, she has acted and/or stage managed in regional theatre, Off-Broadway, and in London’s West End. As a director, Pat has worked with young artists in Bolivia, Nigeria, Israel, Germany, and the United Kingdom. She is the director of theatre for St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, and is a recipient of a Governor’s Award in the Arts, and a Folk Arts grant in Irish set dancing from the NJ State Council on the Arts. Pat has an MFA in Acting from Catholic University, and studied voice with Benjamin De Loache at the Yale School of Music. She has a Teaching Artist certificate from Columbia University Teachers’ College, and is a teaching artist for Young Audiences, NJ and Eastern Pennsylvania.

heffernanMaureen Heffernan

Creative New Jersey and the Cultural Access Network New Jersey

Maureen Heffernan has spent more than 30 years in the field of Arts Education, working first as a teaching artist and then as a non-profit arts administrator where she has worked with young people, their teachers and their families throughout the tri-state region. Most recently she served as the Director of Arts and Education for Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania. Maureen is a recipient of the New Jersey Governor’s Arts Award as a Distinguished Teaching Artist. In her work in the field of Arts Education, she is deeply interested in the places where this work intersects with other fields especially around creativity, innovation and sustainability. Maureen has a strong passion for, and a commitment to providing opportunities for all people to access their creativity that we might use that power to build stronger communities. Maureen is on the steering committee of Creative New Jersey and the Cultural Access Network New Jersey. Additionally Maureen is a theatre director with more than 90 professional productions throughout local and regional theatres. She is a member of the faculty of the School of Arts and Communication at The College of New Jersey where she teaches Integrated Visual and Performing Arts. Maureen holds a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre from Rutgers University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Theatre from Calumet College in Indiana. Maureen is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and a 2012 graduate of Lead New Jersey.

Michelle L. Marigliano

Arts Education Program Manager and Assessment Specialist, Young Audiences

Michelle L. Marigliano, BA Sarah Lawrence College. MA Sarah Lawrence College. Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania (YA) 2013 to present. Former early childhood educator, director, Encore Center for Performing Arts, Dunellen N.J. As a master teaching artist and program Director Michelle directs Creative Beginnings© -YA’s Early Childhood professional development model, the Creativity Consultant Project -YA’s arts integration professional development model, Dance to Learn -YA’s 4 year sequential dance curriculum, Theater to Learn, YA’s sequential theater curriculum, and United We Discover. Michelle also coordinates funded programming for Arts for Learning -YA’ literacy and arts based curriculum, Artist-In Education residency programYA Target Arts Scholarships and YA Adopt-a-School program. She has presented conferences with Young Audiences Arts for Learning, Moore College, Sarah Lawrence College, the Omega Institute, the Kennedy Center’s Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability, NJAEYC and VSA. Michelle has completed training concentrations with the Cloud Institute’s Education for Sustainability, the Child Development Institute, The Boulder Journey School, Yoga Ed K-8, Loop of the Loom advanced SAORI weaving, and in Qualitative Assessment.

reece

Mary Reece

Director of Special Projects, FEA

Dr. Mary Reece is the Director of Special Projects at the Foundation for Educational Administration. Prior to joining FEA, Mary served as a principal, assistant principal and supervisor in Edison Township. She began her teaching career in Irvington, and later worked at the NJ Department of Education. Mary has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Rutgers University from which she received her graduate degrees, and she has served as a mentor for many administrative interns. She has presented at state, national and international conferences on such diverse topics as teacher/administrative tenure, special education issues, mentoring/induction, arts education, and afterschool/extended learning. She has been an active member of local, state, and national education associations, completing a term on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. Currently, Mary is the chairperson of the Montgomery Township Environmental Commission, and a member of Sustainable Montgomery. She serves on the Board of Directors of C.A.R.E. (Community Action Reaches Everyone), an Edison-based organization. In addition, Mary is a founder of Creative NJ, and she is the Board Chairperson of the NJ Arts Education Partnership.

campoKira Rizzuto

Program Development Manager, Arts Ed NJ and Director of Programs and Partnerships, Center for Arts Education and Social Emotional Learning

Kira Rizzuto is the Program Development Manager at Arts Ed NJ, and brings to the role more than 15 years of professional experience in Visual Arts Management. She has been a professional development provider for numerous school districts and organizations, including the New Jersey Education Association and Art Educators of New Jersey. Additionally, Kira has designed and facilitated custom workshops with a focus on creativity and creative thinking. She is Co-Chair of the Sustainable Jersey for Schools iSTEAM Task Force. Kira earned a BA in Social Science from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2014, she completed an MA in Art + Design Education at the University of the Arts. The focus of her research was visual thinking methods and the impact of such methods upon organizational learning. In the fall of 2015 she completed the Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program for emerging leaders at the Institute for Ethical Leadership, Rutgers Business School.

spenceDeitra E. Spence

Educational Consultant

Dr. Deitra E. Spence is an educational administrator with over thirty years of experience in a variety of K-12 settings. Most recently she was the Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Schools and the Early Childhood Program in the Trenton Public Schools in Trenton, New Jersey.

Until her retirement Dr. Spence served as a special assistant to the superintendent, middle school principal, supervisor of secondary counseling, and middle school assistant principal in two suburban Philadelphia school districts. Her professional career also includes ten years in the School District of Philadelphia as an elementary school principal, high school vice-principal, and reading specialist.

As a consultant for NJPSA/FEA, Dr. Spence coaches over forty principals across the state of New Jersey.   In addition to her coaching duties she provides professional development for teachers and administrators, mentors residents in the Leader-to-Leader program, and supports principals in the New Jersey Department of Education’s Principal Learning Network.  She is also an adjunct professor for The College of New Jersey and Temple University and a trained curriculum auditor who participates in a number of curriculum audits in school districts across the country.

Dr. Spence received her Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education from the Pennsylvania State University and both her Master of Education and Doctor of Education degrees from Temple University.

Peggy Valenti

FEA Consultant

Peggy has long been involved with integration and infusion of the arts in education. Throughout her educational career, as both teacher and administrator, she has presented arts integration workshops throughout New Jersey. She has been involved with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra since 1989 having developed arts infused study guides that correlated with the Young People’s Orchestra Concerts. She now contributes to the Educational Task Force committee at the same organization. Peggy has also worked in the Education Department of the Metropolitan Opera Guild, helping to develop various artist in residence programs that infused social studies and literacy with the arts.

Receiving her musical training from Westminster Choir College, Peggy continues to perform when her schedule permits. She teaches and coaches voice to aspiring young actors. Peggy is excited to be working as a coach in the Teachers as Scholars Program and looks forward to helping her school achieve in their endeavors.

 

Presenter Biographies

Josh Campbell

Philly-based Theater Artist

Josh A. Campbell is a Philly-based theater artist who has worked as a teaching artist, dramaturg, playwright, producer, director, and arts administrator for Azuka Theatre, Flashpoint Theatre Company, Juniper Productions, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, the Wilma, Philadelphia Theatre Company, and the McCarter Theater. His plays include On the Seventh Day, Surviving the Dream, Liberi Tutti, and Distill: A Rally Cry for the America People. As an actor he has appeared in the 2018 New Jersey One Minute Play Festival, in The Colored Museum, and at the Painted Bride as part of their annual Bridal Salon. He is an alumnus of the Foundry, a 2016 finalist for the Many Voices Fellowship and the Jerome Fellowship, and the 2015 BAU Institute Otranto Arts and Culture Fellow. He is a graduate of the University of the Arts and the Baltimore School for the Arts.

 

Summer Dawn

Actor, Director, Writer and Theater Teaching Artist

Summer Dawn is an actor, director, writer and theater teaching artist. She is also is the founder and director of In Full Color, an organization that empowers women of color through education and the arts. IFC has received two commendations from the New Jersey State Assembly and the Jersey City Arts Council’s Performing Arts Award. Summer is also the co-founder of 68 Productions and the winner of the Permanent Career Award in Literature from the Society of Arts and Letters-NJ and the N.J. Governor’s Award in Arts Education. Visit InFullColor.org or follow her @infullcolorus_

 

 

Carrie Anne K. Harrell

Tony-nominated Theatre Arts Teacher at Hedgepeth/Williams Middle School of the Arts

Carrie Anne K. Harrell is a Tony-nominated Theatre Arts Teacher at Hedgepeth/Williams Middle School of the Arts in Trenton, NJ. She originally began her career as an actress working for the Walt Disney Company. She eventually formed her own theatrical production company, CAK Theatriks, based in New York City. In addition to actively studying for Level I Arts Integration Certification, Ms. Harrell recently completed her Teacher Leadership Certification. She will begin doctoral studies for Educational Leadership in July 2021.

 

Henry Hartman

K-12 Supervisor of Fine & Performing Arts and World Languages for the Millville School District

Henry is currently the K-12 Supervisor of Fine & Performing Arts and World Languages for the Millville School District.  He graduated from Rowan University in 1997 with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a Minor in Vocal Music.  After graduation, Henry taught at Vineland High School South as a math teacher and assisted with the marching band, color guard, ski club, School Leadership Council and Future Educators of America.  In 2005, he completed his Master’s Degree in School Administration and accepted his current position in the Millville School District.  Henry has been involved with bands, choirs and drama productions since elementary school.  In years past, he was a vocalist with the Jubilate Deo Chorale and Orchestra and has performed at the Kimmel Center and Notre Dame Cathedral.  Henry currently resides in Mantua with his wife, Mary and sons, Henry and Alex.

 

Tyrese “Bright Flower” Gould Jacinto

Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Indian Tribe Member, Artist, Businesswoman

Tyrese “Ty” “Bright Flower” Gould Jacinto, of Bridgeton, New Jersey, is a Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Indian Tribe member.  She is the daughter of the late Phyllis “Red Deer” and Chief Mark “Quiet Hawk” Gould. Her parents were among a core group that initiated the modern-day structure of the ancient tribe. This background allowed her to immerse in tribal life as a child. Ty understands the value of arts and traditions from an early age.

Ty is a talented artist engaged in a variety of traditional Lenape arts – beadwork, basket weaving, wampum belts, shell work, leatherwork, pine needle, and gourd arts – “I am inspired to create from the gifts of Mother Earth. I feel as though I have the gift to create as it speaks to me. The creation of my Lenape art is from the heart and mindset that forms from deep within”. She feels that the indigenous people of New Jersey are “often portrayed as something that is from the past when in fact we are alive and thriving. There are many artists among our tribe that are underrepresented or never mentioned. As an artist, it is always an honor to be able to share my talents with the world because if we do not share them with you, then you will not remember us”.

The mother of five children and two grandchildren is eager to pass on Lenape traditions to future generations. “If we do not persevere, these arts will not continue to be passed down,” she said. Over the years, she participated in various educational programs featuring Lenape traditional arts at Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center. Ty teaches workshops and classes at Lenape Youth summer camps, local libraries, schools, and art galleries. She also published a series of Children’s Books to pass on the stories of the tribe to their young. She created video materials aimed at a deeper understanding of Lenape culture and artistic expressions.

Ty is a businesswoman with more than forty years of experience in confidential administration, financial business management, and office organization, and in her current role as President and CEO of the Native American Advancement Corporation, Ms. Gould Jacinto is paving roads for future generations. She served as Executive Director of the tribal organization from 1990-1992 and has never stopped being involved as a volunteer.

 

Angela Kariotis

Community Engaged Culture Worker and Educator

Angela Kariotis is a community engaged culture worker and educator building creative programs serving the needs of cities, institutions, and students of all ages for public good. Kariotis integrates restorative practices for a transformative learning experience and a healing centered education. Angela is winner of a New Jersey State Council on the Arts fellowship in playwriting, a National Performance Network Creation Fund Award, and a Tennessee Williams Theater Fellowship. As a performance artist, she’s been presented by venues such as UCLA, University of Texas at Austin, People’s Light, Legion Arts in Iowa, and Contact Theater in Manchester, UK. Kariotis is Curriculum Director and Facilitator of Walking the Beat, a national arts education program interrogating the history of police, the way we police each other, and ideating alternative cultures of care. She is Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Brookdale Community College. As a working class poet, she believes in art as a site for culture and resistance. 

 

Margaret Keefer

Pre-K -12 Professional Development Specialist at Millville High School.

Margaret Keefer is a Pre-K -12 Professional Development Specialist at Millville High School. She is also the Equity Chair, Arts Integration Coach and the High School Theater Director. Margaret has spent time touring as a stand up comedian, motivational speaker and singer.This former English teacher has over 26 years of experience in education. Her passion for equity stems from her transformative experiences in theater and her journey to motherhood through adoption. Margaret Keefer loves working with the new teacher induction program, delivering workshops and directing students in drama. She is active in her church and lives with her amazing 11 year old daughter, dedicated husband, spunky dog and supportive mother in southern NJ.

 

 

Shawna Longo

Music Teacher and STEAM Facilitator, Hopatcong Middle School

Shawna E. Longo is a Music Teacher and Arts Integration Specialist for the Hopatcong Schools, NJ. She also serves as the Arts Integration & STEAM Specialist for TMI Education; Professional Growth Advisor, Coach, and Conference Organizer for Education Closet; and Ambassador for Music First and Jamstik. With 18+ years of teaching experience, Mrs. Longo also holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; a Master of Public Administration in Arts Administration from Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ; Supervisor/Curriculum Director’s certification from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ; certification as an Arts Integration Specialist from The Institute at Education Closet; and certification as an Arts Integration Leader from The Institute at Education Closet. She is a clinician and consultant for music education, arts integration, and STEAM. She is also a recipient of the 2019 Mike Kovins Ti:ME Music Technology Teacher of the Year, 2019 New Jersey Governor’s Award in Arts Education, 2018 NJMEA Master Music Teacher Award, and 2016 Governor’s Educator of the Year for Hopatcong Middle School.

 

Erik James Montgomery

Owner of EJM Photography

Erik James Montgomery, owner of EJM Photography, is a self-taught fine art photographer who creates relevant, thought-provoking, visually unique imagery. His viewpoint is from a photojournalistic standpoint where his imagery tells a complete story in one photograph.

In 2011 Erik founded the Erik James Montgomery Foundation. The EJM Foundation is dedicated to instructing youth in the artistic development of professional photography. His students learn the fundamentals of the craft as well as being introduced to entrepreneurship. The Foundation also creates public works of art for impoverished neighborhoods in order to transform blight into beauty.

 

JoAnn Nocera

Supervisor of Instruction, for the Toms River Regional School District

JoAnn Nocera, Supervisor of Instruction, for the Toms River Regional School district has spent a lifetime helping children be SEEN, HEARD and UNDERSTOOD. She has worked with Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Mind Pop, Mind-Aligned and the Grunin Foundation to integrate the arts. She has also worked with corporate partnerships such as Ocean First, Home Depot and Toys R Us. Nocera continues her love for arts integration and S.T.E.A.M as an author. Her published book, Give Me Back My Crayons is matched with her forthcoming children’s book series, Katherine Grace, which is expected to be released late summer 2021. 

 

April Pang

K-12 Art Teacher, Millville School District

April Pang is a K-12 art teacher and has been with the Millville School District for 15 years. April has four children and one grandchild. Not only does she love teaching and raising a family, she is also extending herself into the district by joining various organizations, running the art & wellness club, director for the High School musical set design, and sophomore class advisor. April is also a law of attraction life coach with a specialization in mindfulness. April has a true passion for implementing the arts into all endeavors to promote a state of emotional wellness. In addition to teaching, she is also a muralist, does commission work, face paints, runs summer camps for school aged children, and paint parties for adults. April has presented at the AENJ conference 2020, has been a speaker for outside districts PD days, and presented several workshops within her own school on Art & SEL with mindfulness. Her focus is on how art contributes to mindful behaviors naturally and creates a sense of serenity, calm, and flow. 

 

Barbara Prestridge

Arts Integration Specialist for the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Public Schools

Barbara Prestridge works as the Arts Integration Specialist for the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Public Schools in NJ. As a graduate of Cornell University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, a Master of Science from Syracuse University in Synaesthetic Education and a Master of Arts in Studio Art from Kean University, Barbara has had a long career in the arts and education. As a professional performing musician and artist, arts integration has naturally been at the core of her life and teaching. She has taught visual art, music, musical theater and dance to grades Pre-K through 12. In addition, Barbara has taught adult school and presented extensive professional development in visual arts and arts integration to the faculty of Scotch Plains-Fanwood. She has worked as a consultant in Arts Integration for numerous NJ educational associations and schools, to international exchange faculty through Kean University as well as the international audiences of the Metropolitan Opera Education programs. As Arts Integration continues to grow, thrive and become imbedded in the experiences of Scotch Plains-Fanwood students, staff and community, a culture of understanding and deep value for the Arts and for their integration throughout our lives is becoming a treasured reality. 

 

Muriel Rand

Professor, Early Childhood Education, College of Education, New Jersey City University

Muriel Rand is a Professor of Early Childhood Education at New Jersey City University. Dr. Rand has recently worked with George Street Playhouse on a variety of arts integration projects and her latest research is on the role of play in academic learning. Her undergraduate degree is in music, and she has worked as a preschool music specialist, a classroom teacher, and currently a literacy coach. She holds a Doctorate in Education and a Masters in Social Work from Rutgers University. Her publications include research articles, book chapters and textbooks, including Pivotal Research in Early Literacy and The Positive Classroom: Creating an Effective Learning Community for Young Children.

 

Donovan Smalls

Drama Teacher, Runs “Dramatik Academy Performing Arts, Inc.”

Donovan T. Smalls, is a 7-year Drama Teacher who believes in educating minds and changing lives. His platform has always been built on blackness, excellence, “extra-ness” and the ability to “SPEAK ON IT!” 

Defying the harsh realities of Camden, NJ where he was born and raised, Mr. Smalls prides himself on giving back to his community through his love for the Arts. He grew up loving the arts and the spotlights. It soon became his life and something he wanted to dedicate himself to. He never imagined it would lead him to teaching and the impact his creativity would have on every student he encountered. Mr. Smalls made it his mission to change lives through his own experiences and to be a source of inspiration to all who needed it. 

As an undergraduate of Rutgers University (2014) where he double majored in theatre arts and communication with a specialization in public relations, Mr. Smalls wanted to achieve more for himself. He then attended Rowan University (2017) for his Master’s in Arts Administration and most recently completed his third year of  his doctoral program, studying Educational Leadership. He strongly believes arts education is essential to all things great.

Currently, he runs a Non-Profit 501(3)(c) program “Dramatik Academy Performing Arts, Inc.” Located in Camden, New Jersey, DA is a community program built from an after school program. Not waiting to leave his students behind, he stepped out on faith and began a performing arts program in the summer of 2019 and from there it created its own name in the community. It is his dream to continue to keep kids off the street by helping them shine in the spotlight. 

Mr. Smalls believes in giving a voice every student, as to prepare them for the world they have yet to fully understand. He is giving students creative outlets through theatre improvisations, public speaking debates, broadcasting student-run segments and talent show performances. It is all about building community, collaborating with others and instilling competency amongst students. By making curriculum arts-integrated and drama-based focused, students are able to express themselves and put their own “SWAG” on what they find entertaining and engaging. 

 

Donna Terry

Choral Director at Millville Senior High School

Donna Terry graduated from Immaculata University in 1988 with a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education and Music Therapy and earned her Masters in Instructional Technology in 2017 from Stockton University. She began her career as a music therapist at Woodbine Developmental Center. Donna has taught music for 28 years in New Jersey’s public school systems. Her experiences range from grades Pre-K – age 21 in a special services school district, to band, jazz band, choir, general music, music appreciation, piano, music theory and musical theater at the elementary, middle school and high school levels. She currently is the choral director at Millville Senior High School, where she also teaches music theory, music appreciation, and piano classes, and is the music director of the school musical. Throughout her career, she has worked collaboratively with classroom teachers, special education teachers, arts teachers, speech therapists, occupational and physical therapists to meet the needs of her students and improve the climate of the schools. She is an active member of her school district’s Arts Integration team and is on the Board of Directors of A+ Education and Performing Arts, a non-profit arts organization based in Burlington, NJ. Donna serves as an organist and cantor at The Parish of All Saints Catholic Church in Millville, NJ where she resides with her husband, Bob, daughter, Julia, and dog, Lenny.

 

Carolyn Work

Music Educator in the Toms River School District

Carolyn Work has been a music educator in the Toms River school district for the past 21 years. She has been teaching elementary school band for 18 years and is now teaching the string instruments as well. She has nominated 4th and 5th graders for the South Jersey Elementary Honors Band for many years and is an active member for this concert with the SJBODA. She collaborates with colleagues to promote music and integrate the arts into the curriculum.