Arts Integration Institute Program

Arts Integration User Guide

Arts Integration Think and Do Workbook

Arts Integration Worksheets

Check out the 2018 photo gallery

Presenters’ Materials:

Understanding Culturally Relevant Instruction – Robin Daniels, Ed.D. 

Update from the NJDOE

Integrating Arts Respectfully – Arla Patch, BFA, Ed., MFA

Kumpf School

Creating Professional Development Opportunities to Encourage Arts Integration – Moorestown School District

Zentangles – Moorestown School District

Arts Ed Now: Making the Case for Creative Learning

Building Greater Understanding About Native American History

Teaching the listening skills that help people connect with classical music – George marriner Maull

What do we mean when we use the word listening? – George marriner Maull

Digital resources from Smithsonian Institute:

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.

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 40 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.

Since his retirement, Dr. Figgs 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 six principals in the Millville Schools and two principals in the Bridgeton Schools. He continues to serve as a Mentor for new administrators for the New Jersey Leaders to Leaders Program. Dr. Figgs is currently serving as a coach for three School Leadership teams as they participate in the Nicholson P-3 Initiative.

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 has a BA and an MA from Sarah Lawrence College. She is a former early childhood educator and Director, Encore Center for Performing Arts and is now the Arts Education Program Manager and Assessment Specialist, Young Audiences New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania (YA) 2013 to present. Michelle’s work and educational philosophy is grounded in the psychological theories of interpersonal relationships and the foundational principles of Child Development; and draws inspiration from progressive education and current teaching and learning research. As a master teaching artist and program manager Michelle is responsible for the development and execution of several curriculum and professional learning projects including, Creative Beginnings© -YA’s Early Childhood professional development model, the Creativity Consultant Project -YA’s arts rich learning professional development model, Dance to Learn -YA’s 4 year sequential dance curriculum, and Theatre to Learn, YA’s sequential theatre curriculum.  In her work Michelle strives to advance nurturing collaborative relationships and systematic structures that inspire diverse, inclusive and equitable programs. She has a particular interest in multi-partnership initiatives that advance collective impact, as well as program development grounded in the social model of disability. Her personal commitment to lifetime learning is evident in her participation in a variety of professional learning experiences, including Facilitating Play and Teaching for the Environment at Sarah Lawrence College, NJ Learns Keystone Year with The Cloud Institute for Sustainable Education, the Boulder Journey School Summer Conference, Yancey Consulting DEI training, and advanced sewing and weaving study.  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, NJSPA/FEA, NJAEYC and VSA.


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 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.

Kerri Sullivan

Director of Arts Education and Outreach at Appel Farm Arts and Music Center

Kerri is an educational consultant offering eighteen years of experience in a variety of K-12 and higher education settings. She has demonstrated success in building strong partnerships; improving school and organizational culture; as well as developing meaningful, relevant curriculum, assessments, and creative instructional practices to transform teaching and learning. Kerri serves as the Director of Arts Integration at Appel Farm Arts and Music Campus and is a founder of Creativity CoLaboratory Charter School, New Jersey’s first fully arts integrated middle school. She has served on various committees and writing teams at the state level; including the Arts Education and Social Emotional Learning Task Force and the writing teams for New Jersey’s Arts Integration Think and Do Workbook and the NJSLS for Visual and Performing Arts. She has presented on a wide range of education and arts topics at local and national conferences. Kerri has a BFA from The University of the Arts and a MA from New York University. She holds teaching certificates in New Jersey and Delaware, a Supervisors certificate in New Jersey, and is working to earn her Principal’s certificate through the NJ EXCEL program.

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


Trevor Bryan

Teacher and Creator of The Art of Comprehension

Trevor Bryan has been an art teacher in New Jersey for 20 years, spending the last 16 in Jackson Township. Trevor’s first book, The Art of Comprehension: Exploring Visual Texts to Foster Comprehension, Conversation, and Confidence, was published in 2019 by Stenhouse Publishers. Since around 2012, Trevor has presented at various national and state conferences, consults The Princeton University Art Museum on utilizing AoC for school and other group tours, and he provides professional development for several school districts across the United States on using and implementing The Art of Comprehension. Trevor also consults for award-winning and bestselling author/illustrator, Peter H. Reynolds’ education company, FableVision Learning.

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.

Edric Debos

Visual Art Teacher, Hopatcong Middle School

Edric Debos is a visual arts teacher with 12 years of experience that includes elementary, middle and high school assignments. Recipient of 2018 Governors Teacher of the Year Award (Hopatcong Middle School), STEAM facilitator and Arts Integration Creative Team Leader for the Hopatcong School District, and was responsible to maintain AI initiatives for district schools. Mr. Debos is also a working musician and hang glides to school every morning.

Rick Delmonaco

Principal, Carl H. Kumpf Middle School

Rick Delmonaco has worked in the Clark Public Schools for twenty years. He has worked at the Elementary, Middle, and High School levels and has been an administrator for fourteen years (thirteen as principal). During his teaching time, Mr. Delmonaco taught Fifth Grade, Middle School Science, Math, and Language Arts. Currently, Mr. Delmonaco is principal of Carl H. Kumpf Middle School. He holds a Bachelor of Accountancy degree from the George Washington University and Masters in Educational Leadership from Kean University.

Matthew DiFillipo

Cherry Street School, Bridgeton

Matthew Di Filippo earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Rowan University. He taught private instrumental lessons for students of all ages in Marlton for 4 years and continues to expand his practice in the Philadelphia area. Mr. Di Filippo is currently teaching Band and Strings for Grades 4-8 at Cherry Street School in Bridgeton NJ and takes on the lead role for Arts Integration Initiatives at Cherry Street. Matthew also teaches private Guitar and Piano lessons for Music! Lessons and More in Marlton NJ (formally in Moorestown NJ). Mr. Di Filippo has performed in professional events and in small venues including the Pennsylvania Convention Center, P.A. Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Settlement Music School, the Trocadero Theatre and the Crocodile Rock Cafe, PA.

Adrienne Hill

Principal of Hedgepeth-Williams Middle School of the Arts, Trenton



Molly Gaston Johnson

Teaching Artist, Young Audiences

Molly is a teaching artist, adjunct college professor, and printmaker by nature, training, and studio practice. Printmaking as an artform requires planning, patience, and small steps to achieve the end product. This training, as well as training she has received through Columbia Teachers College in achieving creative flow informs her hands-on work with students of all ages and has helped her develop approaches to arts integrated curriculum that mesh the joy of hands on making with subjects such as reading, social studies and math. The concept of Creative Flow will also be incorporated into a public art project that Molly and 10 other artists chosen from across the country will be developing this summer at the Columbia River Gorge. Molly is also honored to have been named Teaching Artist of the Year for 2019 by Young Audiences New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, was the recipient of a New Jersey Governor’s Award, and awarded a grant from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation to develop a public art project in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. She holds an MFA from the Ohio State University in printmaking and a BFA from James Madison University in printmaking and a BA in Art History.

Robin Harden Daniels





Jim Jack

Director of Education and Outreach, George Street Playhouse

Jim Jack is the Director of Education and Outreach for the George Street Playhouse that serves over 30,000 students and patrons annually. Jim developed GSP’s innovative School-based Residency Programs, which annually provides theatre arts integration for over 3,500 students in more than 150 classrooms throughout New Jersey. As recognition for his leadership in the field of arts education, Jim received the 2017 New Jersey Governor’s Award for Distinguished Service in Theatre Arts Education.

As a professional director, recent credits include The Immigrant, Trying, My Name is Asher Lev (The Star Ledger’s Best Production of 2016) and Terra Incognita for George Street Playhouse’s mainstage.  In 2014, Jim produced, devised, and directed Our Town Now, an original  play based on fifty oral interviews with people who live and work in New Brunswick. For GSP’s Educational Touring Theatre, Jim has commissioned, produced and directed Gabi Goes Green! and Austin the Unstoppable, new musicals that explore climate change and Type II Diabetes. Jim wrote and produced Anytown, a new musical about the opioid crisis and its impact on New Jersey teens and families. Anytown premiered in 2018 and will tour throughout New Jersey and regionally during 2019-2020.

Veronique Lambert

Program Coordinator Sustainable Jersey for Schools




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.

Joanne, (aka) Jojo Martin

Art Teacher, Cherry Street School, Bridgeton

Joanne, (aka) Jojo Martin has an M.A. Ed., Teaching Subject Matter: Art, P3, TOSD (CE), and Dance. She taught in public schools for 13 years and private schools for 12 years. She is an author and east coast art exhibitor. Mrs. Martin is currently teaching Art, K-8, at Cherry Street School in Bridgeton N.J. Joanne is one of the potters for Historical Cold Springs Village in N. Cape May, N.J. She is a professional rescuer and in her spare time and teaches swimming, Aqua Fit, Yoga, and Tai Chi.

Rachel Matusewicz

Actor, Director, and Teaching Artist, George Street Playhouse

Rachel Matusewicz is an actor, director, and a teaching artist with George Street Playhouse. She has been teaching since graduating from George Washington University, finding passion in combining curricular focus with theatrical learning objectives. Rachel encourages people to always be curious, creative, and to never stop asking questions. Recent theatrical credits include Richard III (director, Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance) and Jane in the Bickford Theatre’s production of Clever Little Lies.

George Marriner Maull

Artistic Director, The Discovery Orchestra



Heather McCall

Program Director Sustainable Jersey for Schools




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.

Ruki Neuhold-Ravikumar

Director of Education at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Ruki Neuhold-Ravikumar is the Director of Education at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. She loves being a design educator and leader of a dynamic team that inspires, educates and empowers people through design. Her team offers educational programs on design nationwide for audiences of varying backgrounds, ages and levels of exposure to design. Originally from Chennai, India, she holds a bachelor’s degree in the history of fine art and drawing and painting from the Stella Maris College, India, and a Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Iowa State University, USA. Prior to her present role, she was a Professor of Design and the  Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Design at the University of Central Oklahoma. She has served in leadership roles on the local chapter board, national design educators steering committee, diversity and inclusion task force and national board of AIGA, the professional association for Design. In 2015, she was awarded the title of Fellow by AIGA Oklahoma for her advocacy and leadership as a design educator. When she is not teaching, leading her team, speaking or consulting, she is experiencing the world through travel and food.

Arla Patch, BFA, Ed., MFA

Teaching Artist, Kidsbridge

Teaching Artist, Author, Quaker Social Justice Activist, Former Community Engagement Coordinator for Maine Wabanaki REACH (Reconciliation, Engagement Advocacy, Change and Healing) in support of the first truth and reconciliation commission for what happened to Native children and parents in Maine. Facilitator for Kidsbridge Tolerance Center.

Thomas Peitz

Art Teacher, Carl H. Kumpf Middle School

Thomas Peitz is a certified art teacher for the Clark Public Schools. He holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Illustration from Ringling College of Art and Design and a Masters degree in Special Education – Low Incidence Disabilities from Kean University. He has worked for six years at the Morris Union Jointure Commission as an art teacher and special educator. He is currently on his fifth year at Carl H. Kumpf Middle School teaching visual arts to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.

Cydnee Perman

Visual Art Educator, Moorestown Township Public Schools

Cydnee Perman, Art teacher, has taught Pre-Kindergarten through third grade with Moorestown Township Public Schools for two years, but has been teaching art in New Jersey public schools since 2011. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gettysburg College, and a Master of Art in Teaching degree from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is passionate about encouraging students as well as teachers to embrace art as a language for communicating information, ideas, and feelings.

Lauren Portas

Math Teacher, Carl H. Kumpf Middle School, Clark

Lauren Portas is a mathematics teacher at Carl H. Kumpf Middle School in Clark NJ. She has been teaching here for 2 years. She comes from a 5 year education program at Quinnipiac University, CT, where she received her Bachelors of Arts in Mathematics and a Masters of Arts in Teaching for Secondary Education.

Tess Porter

Digital Content Producer at the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

Tess Porter specializes in the facilitation, development, and support of educational initiatives related to the Smithsonian Learning Lab ( Her work involves the research and creation of digital learning resources on the topics of history, culture, and art for projects both within the Smithsonian and in collaboration with external institutions. She also facilitates training workshops for K-12, college, and museum educators on the use of the Smithsonian Learning Lab and digital museum resources for education.

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.

Patricia Rowe

District Supervisor of Arts & Technology, Moorestown Township Public Schools

Patricia Rowe, Supervisor Arts and Technology, has worked as a District Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction for Moorestown Township Public Schools for since 2008. She currently oversees the programs within the following K-12 curricular content areas: Visual and Performing Arts, Technology Education, Educational Technology, and 21st Century Life and Careers. Trish has spent the past 17 years in education; previously holding teaching positions within visual arts and technology. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, a Master of Science degree, and has completed a post-masters in Educational Leadership from The College of New Jersey.

Meghan Russo

Art Teacher, Branchburg Central Middle School

Meghan Russo is the sixth through eighth grade art teacher at Branchburg Central Middle School in Branchburg, New Jersey. Meghan’s instruction focuses on fine art techniques, the digital arts, visual literacy, contemporary artists, and art integration methods. Before joining the staff in the Branchburg Township School District, Meghan taught PK-8 art in Middlesex County, New Jersey. She is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Marywood University with a degree in Art Education and a minor in Art History. Miss Russo has studied art and art history in London, England and throughout Italy. As the other half of the twin art teacher team, Meghan along with her art teacher twin Michele, have provided professional development for arts educators with the New Jersey Art Education Association. In addition, Meghan has provided professional development opportunities for fellow staff members in the Branchburg Township School District. Miss Russo believes in the power of arts education-striving to provide her students and school community with valuable art experiences.

Michele Russo

Art Teacher, Deal Elementary School

Michele Russo teaches kindergarten through eighth grade art at Deal Elementary School in Deal, New Jersey. Miss Russo’s teaching centers on connecting students with contemporary artists, arts integration practices, and incorporating relevant technology into her instruction. Michele attended Marywood University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Art Education and a minor in Art History. Miss Russo studied art and art history in London, England and throughout Italy. She is a recipient of the Anna and James Foley Medal for her excellence in Art Education. Michele and her twin sister Meghan have previously presented with the Art Educators of New Jersey and she is the other half of the twin art teacher team. Miss Russo was recently awarded the Governor Educator of the Year award from Deal Elementary School. Michele continues to expand her art instruction by connecting students and her school community with working artists, exploring new avenues within the visual arts and connecting the arts with other disciplines.

Dale Schmid

Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for New Jersey’s State Department of Education

Dr. Dale Schmid has served as Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for New Jersey’s State Department of Education (NJDOE) since 1999.  He is a three term Past-President of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO); President-Elect of the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE); co-facilitator of the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS); and governance board member for Arts Ed NJ (formerly the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership).  Dr. Schmid is also the Program Officer for NJDOE’s Title I Arts Integration Pilot (a multi-million dollar research project aimed as demonstrating the efficacy of arts integration as a lever for school climate change and means of bolstering academic achievement); and Senior Project Advisor for NDEO’s Dance Entry Level Teacher Assessment (DELTA). The first instrument of its kind, DELTA is a national entry-level teacher readiness examination for K-12 public school dance educators, developed jointly by NDEO and SEADAE with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. DELTA represents a major step toward reaching national consensus on the pedagogic content knowledge necessary to the success of beginning teachers. Other prior leadership experience includes the executive steering committees of the national Arts Education Partnership; the States Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards/Arts Education Consortium; and NJN Public Broadcasting Authority. Additionally Dr. Schmid was a contributing author to the NCCAS National Arts Standards; NDEO’s Standards for a K-12 Model Program: Opportunities to Learn in Dance Arts Education (2005); the Professional Teaching Standards for Dance Arts (2005, 2011); and the Standards for Learning & Teaching Dance in the Arts: Ages 5-18. He also consults regularly with the College Board as a member of their Pre-AP Development Team and is a sought after public speaker.

David Seamon

Teaching Artist, George Street Playhouse

David Seamon works as a teaching artist for George Street Playhouse and McCarter Theatre, and is the playwright and composer of The Eleventh Hour, a new musical. David has an extensive background as a musical director and touring children’s theater performer, and has a degree in journalism and media studies from Rutgers University. Awards and Recognitions: College TV Emmy Award, Everything’s Fine: A Panic Attack in D Major (composer); Best Score/Best Production at the New York Theatre Festival, The Eleventh Hour (composer/playwright).

Terrence Spencer

Principal of Cherry Street School in Bridgeton

Terrence Spencer has an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Grand Canyon University. Mr. Spencer has been an educator for 21 years including five as the Principal of Cherry Street School in Bridgeton, NJ. Hobbies include: Coaching Track and Field, Lifting Weights, spending time with family, and traveling.

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!

Deborah Stokes

Curator for Education at the National Museum of African Art

Deborah Stokes is a specialist in Yoruba art of Nigeria where she has done field research on the style analysis of hundreds of traditional Yoruba carvers using the twin figure (ere ibeji) as the key resulting in a photographic index by area, town, compound, and generation. Over the past decade at the Smithsonian, she has been engaged in the development of multidisciplinary, cross-unit educational programming for K-12 both in the museum and in the classroom. She has authored many gallery guides integrating the arts across multiple disciplines for a series of exhibitions including: Artful Animals (2009-10), African Cosmos: Stellar Arts (2011-12), and Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa (2013-14). Her work with D.C. area schools includes art workshops, a literacy skills program, lesson plans and activities for multi-disciplinary arts integration. Deborah has also worked to facilitate the convergence of museums as a platform for social justice and engagement as well as the links between art and its ability to foster compassion, connection, and community.

Mark Wong

Teaching Artist, Young Audiences

Mark Wong is a certified Teaching Artist and co-founder of Hip Hop Fundamentals is a self-taught B-Boy with 17 years; experience performing assembly programs, dancing in touring contemporary companies, and battling. He designs and facilitates Hip Hop Fundamentals’ award winning workshops, in-school residencies, and performances through Young Audiences Art for Learning.

Dominique N. Young

Professional Development Leader, Crayola

Dominique is a nationally recognized leader in developing and delivering K–12 student enrichment programs. Her expertise includes literacy development, family engagement and college and career readiness. Over her 20-year career Dominique has led educational programs at Scholastic, ACT Inc, and Lakeshore Learning—always focused on educators’ needs and effective solutions. She helps educators connect teaching practices with relevant research and resources. Having served on the Reading is Fundamental board in Southern California, and other national and state committees that increase family engagement and summer reading, Dominique is very knowledgeable of best practices. She brings a creative energy and deep commitment to helping educators as they build capacity to help students reach their full potential. In her current role with Crayola Education, Dominique is responsible for advocacy and efficacy — embedding art integration throughout districts and schools. She serves on the Champion Creatively Alive Children committee that administers Crayola grants to schools that generate innovative teaching and learning exemplary models.