Summit XX

Facilitators for the Topic Sessions of Summit XX

Hilton Hotel Austin Airport
9515 Hotel Drive
Austin, Texas 78719, USA
Tel: +1-512-385-6767    -    Fax: +1-512-385-6763

Facilitator and Secondary Art

Mary Ellen (mel) Basham currently serves Texas Art Education Association as President, Region 6 VASE Juror Foreman and Distinguished Fellow. Mel is also a member of the CEDFA Cadre. After completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Sam Houston State University, Mel began her teaching career in Aldine Independent School District where she developed an Advanced Placement Art History and Studio Art Program at MacArthur High School. After 18 years of teaching, she retired from Shepherd Independent School District where she taught Art 1-4 and was National Art Honor Society sponsor. Mel has also worked with young children as daycare owner/director and dance instructor. As an art educator, she believes teaching process is the most valuable lesson for students. Her philosophy is summarized in this quote by Claudia Betti: "In life as in art, the process is the point. If you take care of the process, the end product will take care of itself." As a practicing artist, Mel relates to Robert Henri's quote: "I am not interested in art as a means of making a living, but I am interested in art as a means of living a life. It is the most important of all studies and all other studies are tributary to it."

Facilitator and High School Art

Michaelann Kelley is the Director of Visual Arts for Aldine ISD in Houston, Texas. Michaelann has been working at the district level for the past four years working on the development of visual art curriculum and instruction. Prior to moving into administration, she was a high school art teacher for 23 years at Eisenhower High School in Aldine. She has taught all levels of high school art including the International Baccalaureate Diploma program as well as Advanced Placement Studio and Art History. Michaelann was named Teacher of the Year in 1999 and the received the Stanford University Outstanding Teaching Award in 2013. She earned her B.A. and M.A. in visual arts and education from The College of Mt. St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she awarded the Outstanding Alumna Award in 1995. Michaelann then continued her education receiving her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston. Collaboration and reflection are priorities in Michaelann's work. She has been a Critical Friends Coach since 1998 and has promoted the concept of teachers learning and growing together to increase student success. She has published numerous articles, chapters, and is currently under contract to write a book about her long-term collaboration in local school reform work. In addition, she has been responsible for the writing, implementation, and evaluation of numerous grants. Michaelann is a regular presenter at TAEA conferences and workshops, and has taught at numerous professional development seminars in her district as well as nationally and internationally. She is currently the TAEA Chair for Administration and Supervision and received the Outstanding Art Educator Award in Administration and Supervision in 2018. She believes in providing opportunities for the visual art students that fosters the integration of content areas and collaboration with other arts organizations. Advocating for the visual arts and especially for the art students to utilize the artistic process in the development of their personal voice is part of her commitment to public education.

Facilitator and Elementary Art

Sarah Kersh is an art teacher at Marine Jones Middle School in Aldine ISD. She has thirteen years of teaching experience. Sarah was an elementary self-contained teacher for nine years and an elementary art teacher for four years. She is an advocate for integrating core subjects into her art lessons. Sarah began this quest first by integrating art into her core content, but then as an art teacher began infusing reading and writing into her art instruction. Sarah emphasizes S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) into her middle school art curriculum. She hosts a webcast called "Let's T.A.C.O. 'Bout it" (Teaching Art Collaboratively Online) to help teachers in all subjects and grade levels bring the visual arts into all classrooms. The online professional development, which has episodes on S.T.E.A.M. and arts collaboration, can be found at Sarah is an active member of the Texas Art Education Association. She has presented at the state conferences in Galveston and McAllen. Sarah has also presented at district and local events highlighting the work she has done in making technology a part of the visual art classroom. She has been a part of the Aldine Visual Art Curriculum writing committee, part of the District Rodeo Art committee, and mentors new art teachers. She serves as the Elementary Division Chair Elect for TAEA, the Texas Elementary Art Meet (T.E.A.M) region 4N Co-Director and currently is the TAEA Galveston 2019 Conference Co-Chair.

Facilitator and Elementary Art

Alyssa Wagner is a middle school art teacher in Aldine ISD. She has seven years of teaching experience ranging from general education in the elementary classroom to elementary art, and now teaching 7th and 8th grade art, and Art 1. She attended Bemidji State University where she graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a specialty in Middle School Social Studies. Alyssa is an advocate for the arts in her school, district, and community. She is the sponsor for the Mead Middle School National Junior Art Honor Society and coach for the UIL A+ Art Team. She is also one of the hosts of a webcast called "Let's TACO 'Bout It" (Teaching Art Collaboratively Online) where she gets to share her passion for integrating art with teachers regardless of what subject they teach. Alyssa is an active member of TAEA serving as one of four of the 2018 TAEA Leadership Scholars, Region 4N Co-Director for TEAM, and a Galveston 2019 Conference Co-Chair. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends. Twitter: @ArtWithWagner

Facilitator and High School Dance

Tiffany Burrell is the Fine Arts Department Coordinator, dance educator and Jazz Company director at John Paul Stevens High School in Northside ISD of San Antonio, Texas. Tiffany earned her A.A. from McLennan Community College in 2006 where she danced with McLennan Community College Dance Company. Tiffany then transferred to the University of Texas at San Antonio where she earned her B.A. and M.A. in Education. During this time, TIffany also served as a member, Captain and Assistant Director of the UTSA Dance Line. Tiffany has taught a variety of classes at local dance studios and danced professionally with Fiesta Noche del Rio. She leads professional developments within her district and has assisted in creating the dance curriculum for Northside ISD. Tiffany is the recipient of the 2018 Northside ISD Dance Educator of the year. She believes it is through the arts that children learn about creativity, beauty, passion, persistence and individuality. Tiffany is a lifelong learner of the arts and education.

Facilitator and High School Dance

Jennifer Dawson is currently the Assistant Principal for the Arts & Humanities Academy at Akins High School in Austin, TX. She holds a Master of Education from Concordia University and a Bachelor of Science in Dance Management from the Oklahoma City University Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management. She is a former Kilgore College Rangerette Lieutenant and Head Swingster. Jennifer served as the Dance Liaison for Austin ISD and was the Director for the James Bowie High School Silver Stars Dance/Drill Team for ten years. Among many accomplishments in the dance community she has worked on staff with Mike Miller & Associates at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, served on the Board of Directors for The Kilgore College Rangerettes Forever Alumni Association and is a member of the training cadre for the Center for Educator Development in Fine Arts (CEDFA). She is a Lifetime Member and Past President for the Texas Dance Educators Association and was named a Semi-Finalist for Director of the Year. She is the proud wife to Mark Dawson and the mother of three smart, brave and curious daughters.

Facilitator and Middle School Dance

Lori Hutson is a Dance Director and Athletic Coordinator for Murchison Middle School and also serves as Dance Liaison for Austin ISD middle schools. This is her 20th year in education. She has taught PE, Health, and Dance in high schools and middle schools across the country, but has stayed in Austin since 2004. Lori hosts professional development for the Dance Department in AISD, collaborates with curriculum writing, and directs the district's "Dance Spectacular" which includes 23 schools and over 600 students. Lori was named Teacher of the Year for her campus in 2014, and also serves as a Coordinating Teacher for her alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin (Hook 'Em). Ms. Hutson's favorite part of her job is facilitating young dancers in the discovery of their voices as artists.

Facilitator and Middle School Dance

Heather Iovine is a graduate of Texas Christian University where she received her BFA in Modern Dance and emphasis in Ballet. She is a dance educator and the Head Director of the Martinette Dance Team at Mayde Creek High School. Heather also serves as the Artistic Director for TrendSetters Dance, a position that gives her the ability to implement curriculum on the junior high and high school level along with offering professional development courses for dance educators across the state of Texas. Heather is an active member of the D.E.A.L committee, where she has been a choreography instructor for the past three years. She is consistently asked to teach master classes, set choreography and adjudicate on the regional, state and national level. Heather is the 2018 recipient of the Texas Dance Educators Association Dance Educator of the Year Award. She enjoys finding new and creative ways to explain dance technique, while building relationships with her students, especially the ones that seem to have trouble connecting with other teachers and adults. Heather's passion lies in watching her students grow as dancers as well as young adults. She loves introducing dance to students with no formal training and digging into the technique of the different styles and genres. The journey Heather gets to take with each student as they work to perfect their technique, style and performance, is a major driving force in her passion of education. This is why Heather strives to create a safe environment that allows for creativity to flow freely and for students to stay present and open to new ideas and experiences. She wants to ignite her students' passion for not only dance, but for becoming lifelong learners. Heather continuous to create curious students who understand that mistakes happen and falling down can sometimes be the best lesson. She wants her students to find their limits and then push so far past them they disappear. Heather feels the most accomplished when a dancer finds deeper understanding of a skill being taught or hooks into the underlying meaning of a dance during a performance. Watching all of her students learn about the value of teamwork, leadership and discipline is incredibly rewarding.

Facilitator and Elem Music

Dinah Menger is in her fourth year as the Director of Choral and Elementary Music for the Fort Worth Independent School District. Before coming to Fort Worth ISD, she taught at Baylor University for 2 years directing the Women's Choir, the Chamber Singers, and the contemporary a cappella group "VirtuOSO". She also taught Music Appreciation and Conducting. Before her appointment at Baylor, Dinah spent 18 years as the Director of Choral Activities at Arlington High School in Arlington ISD. Varsity choirs under her direction performed at the 2007 and 2013 national American Choral Directors Association Conventions and the 2005 and 2009 Texas Music Educators Association Conventions. Her Arlington High Chamber Choir was selected to perform at Carnegie Hall by the Kurt Weill Foundation and this same choir won the 2010 Madrigal Festival in San Antonio. Her ensembles have toured Italy, Ireland, and Scotland. Dinah is the Past-President of both the Texas Music Educators Association and the Texas Music Adjudicators Association. She is a past Chair of the Texas UIL Prescribed Music List Committee. She is an active Region Clinician and adjudicates several times each year for the UIL Concert & Sight Reading contest.

Facilitator and Elem and Middle School Theatre

Jackie deMontmollin came to Denton ISD from The University of Houston where she served for ten years as the Associate Director of Theatre Education. At UH she created and administered the Master of Arts for theatre educators, the BFA in theatre education and developed partnerships with Lincoln Center Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, the Houston Independent School District, The Alley Theatre, and Houston Arts Partners in service to those programs. Additionally, she developed and supervised recruitment, audition, and admissions processes and taught Acting. Ms. deMontmollin also taught The Essentials of Fine Arts in the College of Education at the University of St. Thomas, guiding elementary education students in the application of theatre, dance, music, and visual art as a pedagogical tool to meet learning targets across the curriculum. Ms. deMontmollin served on the University of Houston Faculty Senate's Executive Committee, the Center for Educational Development of Fine Arts Training Cadre, the University Interscholastic League's One Act Play Standards & Practices Committee. She was a reviewer for the Texas Theatre Teacher Certification exam, and a second tier reviewer for the development of the National Core Arts Standards. Ms. deMontmollin served on the Board of Directors for The Texas Educational Theatre Association. She has been a State OAP adjudicator, and was a founding member of the Texas Theatre Adjudicator's Organization. Ms. deMontmollin was awarded the Ross M. Lence Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2012 by the University of Houston College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, and was named the University Educator of the Year by the Texas Educational Theatre Association in 2016. Prior to her work at the University of Houston Ms. deMontmollin taught theatre in Texas public schools for fifteen years. She directed more than 60 productions including Tommy Tune Award winning musicals and four State qualifying One Act Plays. Her students earned state and national accolades. She holds a Master in Educational Administration degree from Concordia University-Austin and earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership through Concordia University-Portland. Ms. deMontmollin believes arts education is an essential component in the education of every child, and that the arts create bridges for our students between our schools and our greater local and global community.

Facilitator and Music

Manuel Jesus Gamez is currently the Director of Fine Arts for the Pflugerville Independent School District. A native of El Paso, Texas, Mr. Gamez earned his Master's in Administration from Grand Canyon University in Arizona and a Bachelor of Music Education from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Manuel Gamez formally served as the Director of Fine Arts for Mission Consolidated Independent School District, Director of Bands and Fine Arts Department Chair at Del Valle High School in the Ysleta Independent School District. He has previously served as Director of Bands at Irvin High School and as Associate Director of Bands at Americas High School and Magoffin Middle School. Mr. Gamez directed the marching band, the Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Ensemble at Del Valle High School. Bands under his direction made appearances at the Texas UIL State Marching Contest as well as selected as Honor Band representative from Region 22 and Area A. His bands were also consistent UIL Sweepstakes Awards recipients. The Del Valle Jazz Ensemble placed in the top three numerous Jazz Festivals along with placing first at the Lubbock Jazz Festival and The Hanks Jazz Festival. The Dell Valle Jazz Ensemble performed at the 2013 Midwest Conference in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Gamez was named Teacher of the Year, in addition to being recognized as a Top Ten Teacher for the Ysleta Independent School District. Mr. Gamez has served as the Region 22 Jazz Coordinator and has served as a judge and clinician in El Paso and southwest Texas. He has also served as organizer for the YISD Honor Band, Region Jazz Bands, and for TMEA Region 22. Mr. Gamez was a staff member for the All-American Army Band in 2013 and 2015, which was held in San Antonio, Texas. Mr. Gamez' professional affiliations include Phi Mu Alpha, Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Texas Jazz Educators Association and Texas Bandmaster Association. Manuel and his wife, Marissa, live in Pflugerville, Texas where she serves as the elementary music teacher at Ruth Barron Elementary. They have two beautiful boys that fill their lives with joy and happiness.

Facilitator and Theatre

Emily Aguilar is a queer xicana, theatre educator, and artist. She earned her MFA in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities from the University of Texas at Austin, and a BFA in Theatre Performance and in English Studies, summa cum laude, from Niagara University. She served on the faculty of Bowling Green State University for three years, where she ran the Theatre for Youth and Arts Management programs. She is beginning her first year at KIPP Austin Beacon Prep in July.

Facilitator and High School Theatre

Roxanne Schroeder-Arce has recently been promoted to Director of Fine Arts Education in the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas Department of Theatre & Dance. She remains Associate Professor in the department. Aside from her teaching, Schroeder-Arce is a scholar, director and playwright. She was a high school theatre teacher in Laredo and Austin for six years. Roxanne Schroeder-Arce is Associate Professor and Head of the UTeach Theatre program at the University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre & Dance. Her research interests include culturally responsive theatre education and Latinx theatre with and for youth. She has published articles in journals such as Youth Theatre Journal, International Journal for Education and the Arts and Theatre Topics. Roxanne's plays, including Mariachi Girl and Señora Tortuga are published by Dramatic Publishing. She is currently coauthoring the play Yana Wana's Legend of the Bluebonnet, commissioned by Dallas Children's Theatre. Schroeder-Arce is a proud alumna of Emerson College, The University of Texas at Austin and the Upward Bound Program. She taught theatre arts in Austin and Laredo, Texas for several years before she moved to higher education. Years ago, Schroeder-Arce was artistic and youth director of Teatro Humanidad, a bilingual theatre company in Austin. Her web site can be found at:

Facilitator and Elementary Theatre

Beth Wallace has been teaching elementary school Theatre Arts at P.H. Greene in Clear Creek ISD teaching grades K through 5 for the past eight years. Prior to joining P.H. Greene, she was working in Houston ISD as part of a grant from the University of Houston to bring theatre arts to targeted elementary schools in the Fifth Ward for at-risk students. In addition, Beth was the Director of the DECK summer camp, which served students in the Fifth Ward of Houston for three years. Prior to moving to Texas, Beth was the Program Coordinator at Pyramid Studios in Florida, an adult day center for adults with developmental disabilities where she taught theatre and art classes to the students who attended there. Beth received her BFA in Acting from the College of Santa Fe, another BFA in Visual Communications from the University of Oklahoma and her MFA in Studio Arts from Florida State University

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