Ed Leaders as Scholars Program

Ed Leaders as Scholars User Guide

Arts Integration Think and Do Workbook

Arts Integration Worksheets



Photo Gallery

Presenters’ Materials:

Merryl Goldberg’s Materials


Chapters from Arts Integration: Teaching Subject Matter Through the Arts in Multicultural Settings

Video: Austin’s Butterfly: Building Excellence in Student Work

Short video on the three reseach studies: https://csusm.edu/artopp/tons_of_research/csusm_studies.html

The STEAM Sculpture Project – Dr. Anne Marie K. Pai and Molly Johnson

Arts Integrated Units with Administrative, Teacher and Community Collaboration – Scott Corbett, Eileen Catalano, Drennen Hayden, & Cheryl Hulteen



Learning Lab, Focus on Language Arts and Social Studies – Phoebe Hillemann, Ashley Naranjo, and Tess Porter

Live presentation from the learninglab.si.edu site

Smithsonian Learning Lab Guide

Learning Lab, Focus on Science and Math – Cody Coltharp and Ashley Naranjo

Live presentation from the learninglab.si.edu site

Smithsonian Learning Lab Guide

Achieving Title I Goals The Role of Arts Education (A Close Look at Impactful Arts Learning) – Dr. Dale Schmid


Check out the 2017 photo gallery


Useful Links:

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; her most recent ones are a Common Core Math Workbook for grade-2 and a Grade-8 PARCC NJ Math Review book for Barron’s new assessment series. Her next will be a national edition of a Grade-8 PARCC Review book.

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

Keith began his career as a classroom teacher in Vineland, including two years as a teacher of the gifted and talented. He served as principal of the Winslow Elementary School and the Butler Avenue Kindergarten Center. He had worked as the Director of various district summer programs and as evening supervisor of the Vineland Adult Education Center.  He was employed by the Salem City School District where he was an assistant principal of the Fenwick Elementary School, Director of Adult and Community Education and principal of the Salem Adult High School.  Dr. Figgs served as the Assistant Superintendent for Administration for the Vineland School District for 16 years, until his retirement in 2009. After retiring, he worked for the New Jersey Department of Education as a Network Turnaround Officer for the Wiggins and the Cramer Schools in Camden until June 2012.

Dr. Figgs is a member of many professional organizations and is the past president of the Rowan University Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa.  Additionally, he served as a member of the Teachers College Alumni Council at Columbia University. Keith’s community activities have included serving as chairman for six years for the Board of Trustees for Community Treatment Solutions, an agency that provides psychological services for children and adolescents. He also served as a member of the Cumberland County College Board of Trustees from 2007 until 2014, where he was chairman of the Board in his final two years of service. In 2010, he was awarded the Alumni Citation Award from the College of New Jersey and was inducted into the Cumberland County Black Hall of Fame in 2013.He is currently working for the Foundation for Educational Administration as a Mentor for new administrators in the New Jersey Leaders to Leaders Program and as a Coach/Facilitator for the School Leadership Program Grant in the Bridgeton and Millville School Districts.

flynnPatricia Flynn

Teaching Artist

Patricia Flynn has been a teaching artist for thirty years. She is on the roster of the NJ State Council on the Arts, and 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. She appears in the film LOVE AND ARGUMENTS, which came out last year. 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 is a teaching artist for Young Audiences, NJ and Eastern Pennsylvania. This is her fourth year as a coach for Educational Leaders as Scholars.

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.


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 at the Arts Ed NJ

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 consultant with over 30 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 School 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, reading specialist and middle school language arts teacher.

As a consultant for FEA’s School Leadership Grant, Dr. Spence currently coaches six principals in Bridgeton Public Schools and two principals in Millville Public Schools. She has taught three NJ-EXCEL courses and also coaches three principals who participate in the CAR Pilot Program. Deitra also acts as a SAM Coach for three principals in Trenton, is an adjunct professor for the College of New Jersey, and is a curriculum auditor who has participated in curriculum audits in a number of 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.

spicerWilla Spicer

Educational Leaders Coach

Willa Spicer has spent over fifty years in New Jersey education. After graduating from Wellesley College and Harvard Graduate School of Education, she taught in Madison and Trenton for over five years. She then attended Rutgers, gained her administrative certification and worked as an elementary and secondary principal as well as assistant superintendent in South Brunswick. At the same time she served nine years on the Board of Education in Lawrence.

Her career then led her to five years as Deputy Commissioner of Education and two years in curriculum in Montgomery. She taught adults in Rutgers Graduate School of Education and in the NJ EXCEL program at NJPSA/FEA. She now coaches principals in Trenton who are engaged in Integrated Arts programs sponsored by the Dodge Foundation under the auspices of NJPSA/FEA




Presenter Biographies


Emil Binotto

Principal, Hopatcong Public Schools

A veteran New Jersey principal, Emil Binotto has facilitated numerous innovative programs across the K-12 spectrum promoting the successful development of teacher leadership in the Hopatcong Borough School District through Arts Integration and collaboration among professional staff members.  He has developed strategies to integrate the arts with science, technology, engineering and mathematics within the district’s K-12 STEAM initiative. Most recently, he has overseen the design of several inspirational and engaging learning spaces, including a grade 4-5 MakerSpace and a high-tech middle school Innovation Lab. Mr. Binotto is currently co-chairing a district taskforce charged with redesigning secondary education through STEAM learning in the Hopatcong School District.


Julie Schmidt Braeckman

Artist and Educator, Mercer High School

Julie is the music director at Mercer County Special Services in Hamilton NJ and co-owner of DTS Recording Studios in Bordentown NJ. She enjoys directing musicals both at school for students with disabilities and in the community. Julie also teaches general music, directs a drum line, and choir for high school students with disabilities. Julie is past recipient of the Frederick L. Hipp Grant, National Assoc. for the Self Employed Grant, Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild Grant, and Governor’s Educator of the Year Award. She received her Bachelors of Music and Masters in Educational Leadership from The College of New Jersey.


Pamela Brennan

Secondary English Teacher, Hopatcong Public Schools

Pamela L. Brennan lives Andover, New Jersey with her husband, Thomas.  Between them, they share seven children and ten grandchildren.  She graduated with her B.A. in English from Florida Atlantic University in 1992 and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Educational Leadership.  She has been teaching secondary English in the Hopatcong School District since 2005 after teaching in Boca Raton, Florida and Freeport, Grand Bahama Island.



Trevor Bryan

Art Teacher

Trevor has been an art educator in New Jersey for 20 years. He is passionate about exploring all forms of art and art making including reading and writing. Whether working through fine, performing or English language arts, Trevor’s focus is on helping all students to comprehend their own lives and helping them to develop their unique voices so that they can flourish doing work that truly matters to them.



Ennis Carter

Director,  Social Impact Studios

Ennis Carter is the founding director of Social Impact Studios, based in Philadelphia, PA. Carter began her career as a community organizer in New Jersey and started Social Impact Studios in Philadelphia in 1996 to promote important social issues through creative awareness building. Carter specializes in movement-building through community engagement, action planning, creative design, and campaigns.



Eileen Catalano

English/History Teacher, Ocean Academy

Eileen earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from Seton Hall University and is certified K-12 in English and Social Studies and holds a certificate for Teacher of Students with Disabilities.  She served on committees for curriculum planning, Anti-Bullying, New Teacher Mentoring, and School Social Skills. Eileen has helped Ocean Academy to fostered relationships with, The Ocean County Artists Guild, LakeHouse Music Academy, and the Count Basie Collective Impact to bring the arts and arts strategies into the classroom.  She works with students to reach their full potential, academically, socially, and creatively.


Billy Colangelo

Professional Learning Manager

Meet Billy Colangelo, Crayola’s Professional Learning Manager. An advocate of art-infused learning, he brings innovative thinking and high energy to every creatED training session, motivating participants to think differently. Billy has been dedicated to supporting schools around the country, working closely with students, teachers, and administrators.  Prior to Crayola, Billy was a high school art teacher in southern New Jersey. He has been involved in developing STEAM programs and makerspaces with school districts coast-to-coast. His goal is to champion creativity in education and inspire teachers to free their “what if?” In addition to his work at Crayola, Billy continues to be involved in education as a professional speaker, artist, and professional development administrator.



Cody Coltharp

Digital Interactive Designer at the Smithsonian Center for learning and Digital Access

Cody Coltharp is a Digital Interactive Designer at the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access. He serves as project manager for a variety of projects that use digitized museum objects in innovative ways, including virtual/augmented reality and web/mobile based applications. He is also co-chair of SI-Gaming, a group of Smithsonian educators and technicians interested in making Smithsonian digital content more engaging through interactivity.



Scott Corbett

Principal, Ocean Academy

Scott takes an innovative educational approach to learning by fostering collaboration between students, staff, and community.  He encourages outside the box thinking, developing active and creative minds and promotes a high-performance atmosphere to achieve personal best and optimal performance in both students and staff. Scott holds a BA in special education and a MA in school administration from Georgian Court UniversityHe has been a certified school administrator since 2003.  He is a member of the Toms River Health & Support Collation and the Basie Collective Impact Initiative. He is also a 2017 recipient of the Governors’ Award for Arts Education and a 2015 Impact Toms River Awardee.  Scott has partnered with Kula-Kamala foundationOcean County Artists Guild, The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation, The Geraldine R Dodge Foundation and several Universities.  Scott firmly believes these partnerships will bring Ocean Academy to the forefront of special education and create learners that are actively engaged in life.  The personal mantra Scott lives by is, “Health, Happiness and Independence.”  He thrives on an active personal life that begins and ends with family.  You can find the Corbetts’ on the slopes, sailing the Toms River and bowing in at the dojo on any given day of the week.


Debra Disbrow

Multidisciplinary Teaching Artist and Arts Educator

Debra Disbrow is a multidisciplinary teaching artist and arts educator based in Brooklyn, NY. She has taught theater, music/ voice and movement for The Center for Arts Education, Community Works, Wilma Theater, Mumpuppet Theater, University of Colorado, Naropa University, Earthdance, Spoke the Hub and others. As a teaching artist in public schools, she has taught theater within social studies for a four year research grant in a middle school in Queens, theater/music/movement within literacy for English language learners and special needs, and music and dance integrated within elementary curriculums. She currently mentors teaching artists providing support and feedback through site observations and best practices, teaches professional development workshops in arts integration for educators for The Center for Arts Education and leads teacher trainings in the Choose Creativity curriculum for the Lulu and Leo Fund. As a performer/ creator, she works on the development of new performance pieces that cross disciplines of music, dance and theater and directs solo works.  She also produces/directs voiceovers and sings on various recordings and with her band in NYC venues. She holds an MFA in Theater – Contemporary Performance from Naropa University.


Olga Edgerton

K-12 Director of Curriculum/STEAM , Hopatcong Public Schools

Olga Edgerton, the K-12 Director of Curriculum / STEAM for the Hopatcong Borough Schools, believes that embracing an Arts Integration and STEAM approach to teaching and learning provides teachers and students with unparalleled opportunities to use imagination and ingenuity to increase student achievement. Subsequent to earning her PhD in Mathematical Physics from Moscow State University and an MA in Educational Leadership from Centenary University, she taught mathematics and science for over twenty years at both the high school and the collegiate levels in the United States and abroad. As a co-author of the District’s K-12 STEAM Initiative, she co-chairs a district task force charged with effecting systemic change through STEAM learning in the Hopatcong School District.


Nicholas Ellis


Connecting with the individual is essential to Nicholas Ellis as an educator and musician. Through instrumental music, he believes in teaching students the importance of dedication, determination, teamwork and creativity through improvisation. As a graduate of Kean University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education, Nicholas continues to work as a professional musician and his performing helps in building a connection with his students as they develop their musicianship skills. Having taught students music between the age of two and adulthood, Mr. Ellis is currently a middle school instrumental music teacher directing seventh and eighth grade concert bands and an award winning jazz ensemble. This year, Nicholas has provided professional development to the staff of Scotch Plains-Fanwood public schools as a member of the district arts integration team and as a drum circle facilitator. Through drumming, faculty and administrators are able to put themselves in a student mindset where they connect with each other to create music and inspire one another.


Merryl Goldberg

Arts Integration Educator and Musician

Merryl Goldberg is a Professor of Music at California State University San Marcos and Director of the ART=OPPORTUNITY campaign, a research based initiative providing leadership training, literacy residencies, workshops, and anchor events for educators, parents, youth and teens, and arts providers. Her publications include Arts Integration: Teaching Subject Matter Through the Arts in Multicultural Settings 5th edition (2017) as well as other books, articles, chapters, editorials, and blogs. She has received numerous research and programmatic grants including Federal Department of Education Arts in Education Program, Fulbright-Hays Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, Stuart and Panta Rhea grants. Merryl’s undergraduate degree is from New England Conservatory of Music, and her doctorate is from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to entering academia, she recorded numerous CDs and was on the road for 13 years playing the saxophone with the Klezmer Conservatory Band. A professional musician herself, Goldberg knows first hand the powerful role arts play in students’ ability to excel in education, attain better jobs, and become empathetic citizens. 


Kris Gould

Special Education Supervisor, Mercer High School

Kris is currently a building Supervisor for Special Education and Instruction at Mercer High School, an out-of-district placement for students with disabilities. For the past decade, Kris has worked in many facets of special education including a homeroom teacher for students with autism, spending three years as the Video Production teacher, and the Summer Photography Club coordinator. Prior to his career in education, Kris received his Bachelors of Arts in Film and Video Production from Penn State University and has enjoyed having the opportunity to bring that background into the classroom. He received his Masters in Special Education from Rider University and Supervisor Certificate from Rowan University.


Drennan Hayden

Art Teacher, Ocean Academy

Before working as a teacher Drennan installed flooring, welded ornamental railings, and painted murals in commercial settings. Drennan’s experience in the trades and private industry informs his instructional style and curriculum choices. His experience in collaborative work settings prepared him for shared lesson with teacher from core content classes.   Students experience a vast array of techniques, materials and methods in his classes. His course work is a blend of applied arts and fine arts. Drennan graduated from the college of New Jersey in 2009.


Phoebe Hillemann

Teacher, Institutes Educator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Phoebe Hillemann is the Teacher Institutes Educator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM). Since starting at the Museum in 2011, she has worked in various capacities engaging adult and youth audiences. She currently manages SAAM’s Summer Institutes: Teaching the Humanities through Art, annual week-long professional development institutes on arts integration for a national audience of social studies and English teachers. She has developed and successfully implemented two advanced-level teacher institutes on special topics: Contemporary Art in the Classroom in 2015 and Art, Inquiry, and Action in 2017. Phoebe has a B.A. in art history from Kenyon College, and an M.S. Ed. in Leadership in Museum Education from Bank Street Graduate School of Education.


Molly Gaston Johnson

Teaching Artist

Molly Gaston Johnson has her own printmaking studio, Social Animal Press, in Ocean Grove New Jersey where she practices woodcut, lino-cut, silkscreen and intaglio forms of printmaking (she would do lithography if only she had a litho press!). She applies these skills in many unusual ways, such as costume design, stage props and tabletops. She has been a practicing and exhibiting artist for over 20 years, and in that time has received many awards including a full fellowship to study printmaking at The Ohio State University and recognition with a New Jersey Governor’s Award for Distinguished Teaching Artist in 2012. She has worked in museum education at Washington, DC’s Corcoran Gallery of Art, taught printmaking to graduate students at Virginia Tech’s school of architecture, worked at the National Endowment for the Arts managing federal partnerships focusing on youth and prevention issues, and currently teaches art history, treks all around New Jersey as a teaching artist, and is developing an Art and Literacy initiative in a partnership between the Newark Museum and the Newark Public School system.


Michael Lofton


Michael Lofton’s broad experience in Arts, Education, Youth Development and Community Development includes 25 years as a performer in a wide array of performing arts discplines.  As a soloist in all genres of music including classical, opera, jazz and music theater, he has appeared at venues as diverse as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, both New York City and the Metropolitan Operas, and the Actors Studio.   His work as an educator began at New York City Opera Education where Michael was at the cutting edge of arts-in-education policy formation and implementation throughout New York City public schools. He has developed and led the education missions of a variety of cultural and community-based organizations, including those serving the City’s neediest populations.  As a Creative Coach, Michael trains educators in classrooms, after-school programs & nonprofits in the Lulu & Leo Fund’s Choose Creativity curriculum. the Michael also served for several years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Arts Education. Michael holds a B.A. in Psychology from Lawrence University, and an Ed.M. from Harvard where he studied with Howard Gardner, David Perkins, David Rose and Catherine Elgin.


Shawna Longo

Music Teacher, STEAM Facilitator, Hopatcong Public Schools

Shawna Longo teaches grades 6-8 General Music (Music Technology) and serves as a STEAM Facilitator & Arts Integration Coach in the Hopatcong Borough Schools, NJ.  She 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; and certification as an Arts Integration Specialist from Education Closet.  In addition to teaching, she has also had a successful experience serving as a Music Supervisor for grades K-12. Mrs. Longo has extensive experience designing, implementing and mapping arts and arts integrated (STEAM) curriculums for grades K-12 in all disciplines. Shawna serves on committees for NJMEA, the NJ Chapter of Ti:ME, and is the Vice President of the Board of Education in the Morris Plains School District. She also serves as the STEAM Specialist for TMI Education and Fellow/Apprentice Coach for Education Closet. Her awards include: NJMEA “Master Music Teacher” in 2018, “Governor’s Educator of the Year” at Hopatcong Middle School in 2016 and is listed in Who’s Who Among American Teachers.  She is also a Google Certified Teacher (Level 1 & 2), Apple Certified Teacher, and Defined STEM Certified Teacher.


Laura Marchese

Dancer and Teaching Artist

Laura Marchese is a dancer and Teaching Artist working with arts organizations and schools throughout New Jersey, conducting residencies and workshops for students, arts educators, and classroom teachers.  As co-author of Dance to Learn, a 4 year developmental dance curriculum currently in use throughout NJ, Laura serves as a mentor and educational consultant to teaching artists and dance companies.  Laura has shared her work at conferences including NDEO, Young Audiences National,   NJEA, and the Early Learning Institute STEAM Conference (keynote). Laura has been recognized with a NJ Governor’s Arts in Education Distinguished Teaching Artist Award, and a Young Audiences NJ/EPA  Artist of the Year Award for her work with students in Newark, NJ. As Managing Director of Dance on the Lawn, Montclair, NJ’s annual free outdoor dance festival, Laura is part of a team that celebrates dance in New Jersey, and aims to increase exposure to dance by bringing professional and emerging companies, plus students of dance together in a community setting.


Robert Morrison

CEO, Quadrant Research and Director, Arts Ed NJ

Robert B. Morrison has a long history as a supporter of music and arts education and is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading researchers and advocates for arts education. Mr. Morrison is the Director of Arts Ed NJ, the state-wide arts education policy group for New Jersey. Through his work New Jersey has emerged as the leading state for arts education in the country. He is also the founder and CEO of Quadrant Research, the nation’s preeminent arts education data analytics and market research firm. Mr. Morrison’s leadership in research, public policy and advocacy efforts has led to significant advancements in access to music and arts education programs in America.Mr. Morrison has a deep body of research and policy work and is recognized as a pioneer in statewide arts education status and condition research. In California, Mr. Morrison’s report The Sound of Silence: The Unprecedented Decline of Music Education in California Public Schools (2004) was one of the catalysts for a $1 billion reinvestment into music and arts education in public schools that was signed into law by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; in New Jersey, Mr. Morrison was the managing partner for the groundbreaking New Jersey Arts Education Census Project, completing the first statewide census for arts education in every school building.


Ashley Naranjo

Manager of Educator Engagement at the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

Ashley Naranjo is a museum educator, specializing in the use of digital museum resources in interdisciplinary lessons. At the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, she develops and implements professional development opportunities for teachers, librarians and fellow museum educators. Before coming to the Smithsonian, she has had experiences in education in formal and nonformal learning spaces: as an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) instructor for adults, a middle school substitute teacher and a summer programs administrator at an independent school. She holds a B.A. in Human Development (Developmental Psychology) from the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, where she was a research assistant and independent study student in the Laboratory of Thinking, Learning & Cognition in the Arts. She has earned a M.Ed. in Learning Design and Technology from the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California.


Jeannine Osayande

Teaching Artist

Jeannine Osayande is a teaching artist, choreographer and performer of West African dance (Mali Empire) for thirty-five years. She is founder and director of Dunya Performing Arts Company, specializing in Art in Education programs, commissioned choreographic works, lecture demonstrations, and Art for Social Change projects.Ms. Jeannine apprenticed with De Ama Battle and Bamidele Osumarea, Art of Black Dance and Music, Boston, MA; Ibrahima Camara, Koumpo/Sahal, of Senegal; and Prof. F. Nii Yartey, Noyam African Dance Institute, Ghana. She holds a Bachelors degree in Anthropology from Temple University, and a Certificate in Traditional and Contemporary African Dance from Noyam African Dance Institute. Ms Jeannine serves actively on the Boards of The Philadelphia Folklore Project and The Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation. She teaches dance at Ursinus College for the last five years.


Anne Marie K. Pai

Extended Day Site Coordinator, Broad Street School

Anne Marie K. Pai, Ed.D serves an art educator and an extended day site coordinator at Broad Street School in Bridgeton, NJ.  She is an active member of the Art Educators of New Jersey, serving as the county chair for Youth Art Month and presenting professional development at the annual conference. She has trained at some of the finest art colleges on the east coast including Moore College of Art and Design, where she received her B.F.A. in painting, and The University of the Arts, where she received a masters degree in art education. She received her doctorate in education in 1996 where her dissertation was entitled, “The Spiritual Foundation of the Impressionist Movement and its Effect on Art Education Today.” Dr. Pai is also a certified Senior Master Instructor in Kung Fu, Tai Chi Chuan, and Meditation at Dragon Moon Martial Arts Association. Following the philosophy that learning is a lifetime endeavor, Dr. Pai has also earned a masters degree in educational administration, supervision, and curriculum planning. She holds various administrative certifications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.


Tess Porter

Education Support Specialist, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

Tess Porter is the Education Support Specialist at the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access. Here, she researches and develops learning resources focused on the topics of history, geography, art and culture for projects both within the Smithsonian and in collaboration with other institutions. She also trains educators on how to create their own customized content in the Lab. She hold a B.A. in Anthropology and Art History from University of Colorado Boulder.



Barbara Prestridge

Visual Artist and Musician

Creating in the arts has been central to the life of Barbara Prestridge.  As a visual artist and musician, the artistic process has been a source of great joy and creative challenge as she has taught art and music to thousands of children and adults of all ages.  As a graduate of Cornell University with a BFA in painting, Barbara later went on to earn two Master degrees in Art Education and Studio Art. Believing that we teach best that which we love and practice, Barbara continues working as a professional artist (visual and musical,) while teaching middle school art.  Over her career, she has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards including the Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholarship trip to Japan, a NJEA Hipp grant and work with the NJ Symphony Orchestra. For the past two years, Barbara has been providing professional development to the staff of Scotch Plains-Fanwood public schools in Arts Integration and as a STEAM facilitator.  With her arts integration team, they create unique workshops formatted as student lab/professional development daylong transformative arts experiences that integrate music, art, writing and puppetry aimed at enriching student and teachers’ lives with empathy and creative confidence. These workshops have been presented at conferences at the state and local levels. Barbara has also extended her passion and expertise to new art teachers as a mentor and in recent years, has taught watercolor painting to more than 80 administrators and teachers.  These painting workshops have brought an awareness of the unique language of art to staff but also have taken these educators to the position of student as they found their own awareness of student challenges awakened. Barbara believes that literacy in the universal languages of the arts can beautifully and powerfully unite all people through empathy and understanding.


Kira Rizzuto

Program Development Manager, Arts Ed NJ

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.


Kathryn Sclavi

Arts Education Consultant

Kathryn Sclavi is an artist, educator, and art education consultant based in New York City. She received her B.A. in Art Education and B.F.A. in Fine Arts from The College of New Jersey, and her M.eD. in Art Education with a focus on Community Arts Practices from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA, and holds a K-12 Art Education teaching certificate. Sclavi’s work focuses on creating imaginative installations, events, and participatory experiences through collaboration with diverse communities. She creates socially-engaged projects such as colorful forts, art parades, social gatherings, and workshops designed to encourage communication, celebrate spaces, and create new dimensions of shared experiences. In addition, Sclavi makes drawings, photographs, fiber, and costume pieces that draw on her love of the vibrant and fantastical. She currently runs an art collective based out of Brooklyn called Shadow Traffic, a group  of three artists who produce immersive installations within interstitial areas of the urban landscape.


Ellen Spicer

Educator, Mercer High School

Ellen is presently the media and technology specialist at Mercer High School where she has taught for 30 years.  Ellen works with students with disabilities to design, print and bind the school yearbook and create movies for school events.  Recently, Ellen has been a leader in the school to incorporate arts integration into the curriculum. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College and Masters degree from Teachers College Columbia University.


Cheri Sterman

Director of Education, Crayola

“Bringing colorful wings to the invisible things that live in the hearts and minds of children” defines Cheri’s career.  As the Crayola Director of Education, Cheri helps educators understand creativity and build creative capacity. She translates research and best practices into professional learning experiences. Cheri is currently Vice-Chair of the Partnership for 21st Century Learning. She has served on the Executive Boards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the National Child Development Council. Prior to joining Crayola Cheri taught child development at the University of Cincinnati and Sinclair College in Ohio. Cheri developed the series of creatED courses on Creative Leadership, Multiliteracies and STEAM and wrote the creatED Reflection Journals and Principal’s Guide that help schools embed innovative teaching practices school-wide. She has published a project-based learning planning framework that helps teachers create units, focusing on Preparation-Collaboration-Implementation-and Reflection. Cheri leads art-integration seminars every year for the National Art Education Association, National Association of Elementary School Principals, ASCD, the US Department of Education, and other national education summits where she inspires colorful learning!


Sherry Toole

Teacher, Woodland Park

Sherry Toole has been teaching in the Woodland Park School District for 17 years.  She has her Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education, and is dual certified in Art K-12 and Elementary Education.  She was hired as the art teacher for two elementary schools. Six years later she was moved to a homeroom teacher. While teaching fourth grade she received her Master’s Degree in Mathematics. In 2015 she was awarded Teacher of the Year. Currently she is back to her passion teaching art, engaging her students in unique projects that give them the opportunity to express themselves.


Marcello Velame

Music Teacher, Neptune

Marcello Velame has a degree in music education from Westminster Choir College and is a general music teacher at Summerfield Elementary in Neptune, New Jersey. In addition, Marcello has studied conducting at the Juilliard School of Music and serves as Director of Music at Fanwood Presbyterian Church. He is also an arts integration consultant for Fanwood-Scotch Plains School District, and together with the arts integration team has presented many workshops to students, teachers, and administrators.  The workshops use student-lab-model, meaning, teachers bring along a number of students and can observe, live, the application of the concepts being covered in a particular session and its results. This approach has excited both teachers and administrators alike, as they see the instant growth and diversity the arts can bring to an integrated classroom.


Monica Voinov

Teacher, Woodland Park

Monica Voinov graduated from The College of New Jersey with a degree in Elementary Education and Psychology. She began her teaching career in the Morris School District where she taught in a unique, multiage 2nd and 3rd grade classroom.  During that time, she also received her M.Ed. from William Paterson University in Special Education and is a certified LDTC. After taking a leave from teaching to raise her three daughters, she is now back in the classroom at Charles Olbon School in the Woodland Park School District.  She currently teaches 2nd grade in an inclusive classroom.