Faculty Bios

Nicole Brisco

Visual Art

Upper Middle/Secondary

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Nicole Brisco has been a high school art teacher for twenty-three years at Pleasant Grove High School in Texarkana, Texas. As a lifelong art education advocate, she has dedicated her career to working with art teachers on the importance of idea building, curriculum innovation, and vertical alignment. She has traveled throughout the country presenting, demonstrating, and helping school districts enhance their art education programs. She has been named the 2019 Ford Educator of Excellence, the 2018 NAEA National Secondary Art Educator of the Year, and the 2017 Texas State Humanities Educator of the Year. Her students have produced work that has garnered state and national awards, as well as earning 99 percent 5s on the Advanced Placement Studio Art Portfolio. Brisco is the school arts high school contributing editor for Davis Publications. In addition, she is a practicing artist who has been featured in more than twenty-five shows and three solo exhibitions.

Gary Chapman

Visual Art

Upper Middle/Secondary

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Gary Chapman is an artist and professor of painting and drawing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Chapman has had more than seventy solo exhibitions with institutions such as the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, the Arts Center of St. Petersburg in Florida, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Georgia, and the Indianapolis Art Center. He has also participated in numerous group and invitational exhibitions with regional, national, and international venues. Chapman was awarded and named a Joan Mitchell CALL Legacy Artist in 2013 and has received numerous grants and fellowships, including a 1996 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Painting from the Southern Arts Federation. His work has been reviewed extensively and is published in more than twenty catalogs and books, including the four editions of New American Paintings.

Sarah Coleman

Theatre

Elementary/Lower Middle

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Sarah Coleman is co-director of engagement at Portland Ovations in Portland, Maine, where she connects schools with performing arts experiences and creates arts integration opportunities for students and families. She has been teaching for almost two decades as a classroom teacher, university lecturer, and teaching artist, and has worked with students from pre-kindergarten to college. She has led professional development workshops in theatre, drama-based instruction, and arts integration for teachers across the United States and internationally. She collaborated on two district-wide arts integration initiatives—in Austin, Texas, and Baltimore, Maryland—that concentrated on curriculum development, advocacy, and communications. Her scholarly work focuses on drama-based pedagogy, arts integration, and embodied learning with English language learners, as well as social and racial justice practices. Additionally, she is a theatre director, producer, and dramaturg.

Richard C. Crain

Arts Leadership and Administration

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Richard C. Crain is the current president of the board of directors of the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, a position he has held since 2010. During his forty-four years in music education, Crain spent twenty-six years as band director for several different schools, followed by eighteen years as director of music programs for the Spring Independent School District in Texas. Together with his wife, Gayle, he co-coordinated the National Concert Band Festival, which is now known as the Music for All National Concert Festival. Crain retired in 2000. In addition to his educational achievements, Crain is co-author of Band Expressions, Books I and II, published by Alfred Publications. In 2019, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Vandercook College of Music. Crain remains active as both an adjudicator and clinician and has presented at numerous university summer band camps, music education classes, and state music conventions throughout the United States and Canada.

Dru Davison

Arts Leadership and Administration

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Dru Davison is an arts administrator for Shelby County Schools in Memphis and has recently served as project chair for the Tennessee State Board of Education’s revised fine arts standards. Additionally, Davison has served as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Education Reform Support Network and for the Insight Education Group. He has been a contractor with the Tennessee Department of Education and is past chair of the NAfME Council of Music Program Leaders during which he oversaw the revisions of Opportunity-to-Learn Standards for music instruction. In addition to his time working in kindergarten through twelfth grade public education, he has served as an adjunct jazz instructor at Arkansas State University, was a teaching fellow in music education at the University of North Texas, has served on the Bill and Melinda Gates College Readiness Advisory Council, and is a national fellow alum for the Hope Street Group.

Richard Floyd

Music

Upper Middle/Secondary

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Richard Floyd has a long and distinguished career as a conductor, music educator, and administrator. He is a recognized authority on conducting, wind band rehearsing, concert band repertoire, and music advocacy. He has toured extensively throughout Australia, Canada, Europe, and the United States as an adjudicator, clinician, and conductor, including appearances in forty-four American states and nine different countries. He is a member of the Music for All Hall of Fame and is also the recipient of the prestigious Midwest International Clinic Medal of Honor for distinguished and unique contributions to educational bands and orchestras. Recently, he was inducted into the National Band Association Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts, which is considered to be the Academy Award of wind music performance. Floyd is also the author of the critically acclaimed book The Artistry of Teaching and Making Music, published by GIA Publications.

Amanda Galbraith

Arts Leadership and Administration

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Amanda Galbraith is an art educator with the Bartlett City Schools in Tennessee. In 2017–2018, she was an educator fellow with the State Collaborative on Reforming Education, a Tennessee-based nonprofit education research institution. Her students have consistently received recognition and awards, and many have gone on to successfully pursue further studies in the arts. Galbraith has served on the Tennessee Department of Education’s subject matter expert committee, two standards revision committees, a textbook and instructional materials advisory panel, and numerous curriculum development teams. She’s received the Tennessee Art Education Association’s West Tennessee Art Educator of the Year award two times—in 2011 and 2013. In 2019 Galbraith was named the Tennessee Art Education Association Art Educator of the Year. She is a frequent presenter at local, state, and national conferences.

Kate Hagen

Music

Elementary/Lower Middle

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Kate Hagen teaches in the Iowa City Community School District and has twenty years’ experience working with kindergarten through sixth grade students in public schools. Hagen is also a licensed music therapist with a masters of music education from the University of Northern Iowa. She holds National Board Certification in Music for Early and Middle Childhood and has completed certifications in Kodály, World Music Drumming, and Levels I, II, and III certification in Orff-Schulwerk. She has presented at several state conferences and workshops, is a regular guest lecturer at the University of Iowa for undergraduate music education students, and is currently chapter president for First Iowa Orff. Hagen is co-author of the book Strum, Strike, Sing & Play: Artfully Adding Ukulele in the General Music Classroom, which was published in 2017. She has three children, enjoys flower gardening, and in her spare time, she and her husband remodel and flip houses.

Foster Johns

Theatre

Upper Middle/Secondary

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Foster Johns is a voice and speech coach, as well as a speech and communication consultant, who is based in the Twin Cities. He has taught at the St. Paul Conservatory of Performing Arts, the University of Minnesota in their actor training program, the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory, and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Johns has served as dialect coach on more than fifty theatre productions in the Twin Cities and abroad, including the Guthrie Theater, where he worked on productions of A Christmas Carol, directed by Lauren Keating; Metamorphoses, directed by Mary Zimmerman; and Bad News! i was there…, which was directed by Joanne Akalaitis. He has also built a practice called FoJo Voiceworks LLC, through which he works privately with professional voice users. He is a certified Knight Thompson Speechwork teacher, a core collective company member of Umbrella Collective in Minneapolis, and a proud member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association.

Juliana Lee

Arts Leadership and Administration

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Juliana Lee builds partnerships in the nonprofit, corporate, and entertainment industries by connecting people with the causes that drive them to create stronger communities. In her primary role, she serves as strategic development director for Give A Note Foundation. In addition to partnership development, she manages the Music Education Innovator Award initiative, which identifies and invests in non-traditional Kindergarten through twelfth grade public school music programs across the country. For the past twelve years, she has supported and strengthened local and national projects in partnership with CMA Foundation, Hot Topic Foundation, Gibson Brands, Disney, and others. An active member of several entertainment organizations, Lee has developed close connections with artists and industry executives to support the thriving creative communities in cities across the country, including Nashville.


Amanda Pintore

Theatre

Elementary/Lower Middle

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Amanda Pintore is a choreographer, director, and educator whose work focuses on movement and dance education, devised theatre, and developing theatre and dance performances with and for children ages two through six. She is associate director of performing arts and education and lead coordinator for the Theatre and Dance for the Very Young program at the Lawrence Arts Center in Lawrence, Kansas. She is also associate artistic director of Kerfuffle, a Midwestern theatre and dance company devoted to creating performances with and for very young children. She specializes in contemporary dance, early childhood dance practices, parent and child dance exploration, and dance integration in the classroom. She recently presented her research and performed Wonderwander, a dance performance for children ages two through five at the Dance and the Child International Congress in Adelaide, Australia.

Bob Reeker

Visual Art

Elementary/Lower Middle

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Bob Reeker has thirty years’ experience in Nebraska’s Lincoln County Schools, where he’s taught visual art to pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. From 1997 to 1999, he served as an elementary assistant principal before returning to the art room. In addition, he is an adjunct instructor for elementary art methods at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln. Reeker has served many roles in his state arts organization as well as nationally. He has been Nebraska Youth Art Month chair, and most recently, served as co-chair of the 2017 Nebraska fall art education conference in Lincoln. At the national level, he served as National Art Education Association (NAEA) Elementary Division director from 2007 to 2011. In 2016, he was elected NAEA Western Region vice president elect, and from 2018 to 2020, he served as vice president of the region.

Carlos Xavier Rodriguez

Music

Upper Middle/Secondary

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Carlos Rodriguez holds degrees from Pitzer College, the University of California, Los Angeles, and Northwestern University. He has previously held appointments at the University of South Florida, University of Iowa, and The Ohio State University. Rodriguez is a general music specialist who teaches secondary general methods courses, student teaching seminars, music technology, graduate courses in history and philosophy of music education, and international perspectives in music education. A leading authority on the intersections of popular music and music education, he has published articles and presented conference papers nationally and internationally on musical development, musicality, musical expression, creativity, and popular music and culture. He has recently edited the new book Coming of Age: Teaching and Learning Popular Music in Academia.

Mark Rohwer

Music

Upper Middle/Secondary

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Mark Rohwer is the director of choral activities at Flower Mound High School in Flower Mound, Texas. He holds degrees in music education from Northwestern University, the Eastman School of Music, and The Ohio State University. Under Rohwer’s direction, Flower Mound High School choirs have received consistent and numerous awards at concert and sight-reading contests in Texas. They have also received outstanding performance and best-in-class awards at festivals throughout the country. Choirs from Flower Mound High School have performed at the Texas Music Educators Association Conference and the American Choral Directors Association Southwestern Divisional and National conventions. Rohwer is an active member of the Texas Music Educators Association and currently serves as president of Region Two. He is also a member of the Texas Choral Directors Association and was the high school division vice president from 2011 to 2013. Additionally, he has served as a guest lecturer for part of the summer master’s degree program at the University of North Texas.

James Haywood Rolling, Jr.

Arts Leadership and Administration

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James Haywood Rolling, Jr., is the current president-elect of the National Art Education Association (NAEA) and chair of the new NAEA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Commission. Rolling is a dual professor of arts education and teaching and leadership in the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the School of Education at Syracuse University, where he also serves as the chair of arts education. In 2018, Rolling was appointed as the inaugural director of diversity, equity, and inclusion for the College of Visual and Performing Arts. He is also the 2014 recipient of the National Higher Education Art Educator Award and has recently completed a three-year term as senior editor of Art Education journal. In 2017, Rolling was inducted into the annual class of NAEA Distinguished Fellows in recognition of a career marked by exemplary accomplishment in research, scholarship, teaching, and leadership in his field.

Roger Sams

Music

Elementary/Lower Middle

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Roger Sams retired from the music classroom in 2013 after thirty-one years of teaching music. He is a regular presenter at state, regional, and national conferences and has served on the American Orff-Schulwerk Association’s national board of trustees. He has been an active clinician and Orff instructor for more than two decades and has taught in Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Poland, Scotland, South Korea, Spain, and throughout the United States. Sams is trained in Gestalt therapy and is interested in the power of choice in the artistic process and in life. He is co-author of Purposeful Pathways: Possibilities for the Elementary Music Room, the composer of several choral octavos published in the Crooked River Choral Project series, and a book of rounds and partner songs titled A Round My Heart. He is currently the creative director at TeachingWithOrff.com.

Tim Van Ness

Theatre

Upper Middle/Secondary

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Tim Van Ness has been practicing Playback Theatre for almost thirty-five years. He founded three Playback companies in New England and also regularly consults with, trains, coaches, and guest performs for companies throughout the world. Van Ness is an accredited faculty member for the Centre for Playback Theatre and has taught programs for the School of Playback Theatre in the United Kingdom, the Skandinavisk Playbackteater Studio in Sweden, and the New York School of Playback Theatre. As consultant and coach, Van Ness uses theatre, storytelling, and action methods to help organizations live their values, develop their leaders, and nurture their culture. He also teaches for Inspiring Educators, a non-profit that provides leadership development for school leaders by helping them increase the success of students in underserved communities. A classically trained musician, singer-songwriter, and former music teacher in the Boston Public Schools, Van Ness has taught Playback to young people from various backgrounds including at-risk youth in western Massachusetts.

Naomi S. Velasquez

Visual Art

Elementary/Lower Middle

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Naomi Velasquez is an award-winning contemporary textile and book artist. Her artwork is shown internationally and nationally and in diverse venues ranging from galleries to public works installations. Velasquez holds a degree from the University of North Texas in studio art. She is an associate professor and chair of the art department at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho, where she is the coordinator for the fiber media and papermaking areas. Her work is held in numerous private and public collections including the University of Denver Library, Emory University Library, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and the University of North Texas Special Collection. In 2018, she received the Idaho Art Educator of the Year Award.

Tennessee Arts Academy

Belmont University / 1900 Belmont Blvd. / Nashville,TN 37212

Email: taa@belmont.edu / Phone: 615-460-5451

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