Faculty

Rica Anderson

Rica Anderson believes the arts build empathy and compassion and offer tools to explore social justice issues as well as personal development. Since 2007, she has developed and implemented arts programs as Cal Performances Student Engagement Manager. An arts educator and program administrator for over 25 years, she has taught at the Northern California affiliate of the Lincoln Center Institute, managed programs at Theatre Bay Area, and toured as a manager and performer/educator with Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theater program. As a theater artist, she has performed with many Bay Area companies and for thirteen years has produced the free monthly series, Actors Reading Writers. She is an instructor with ACOE’s Integrated Learning Specialist Program and a Multicultural Education Program Diversity Facilitator for UC Berkeley’s Office of Equity and Inclusion. Rica earned her BA at UC Berkeley.

Caren Andrews

Caren is a practicing Teaching Artist with over 25 years of working with both children and adult learners. Caren teaches Kindergarten through eighth grade art at the San Francisco Friends School. Additionally, she is faculty for the Alameda County Office of Education’s Integrated Learning Specialist Program. Caren holds a BFA in Fine Arts from UCLA and a Masters Degree in Education specializing in Arts Integration from Lesley University.

Caren sees it as her job to enchant the material she teaches, “hooking” all students from the child who is visually articulate to the child who thinks they can’t draw. Integration of all academic and arts disciplines has been key in designing experiences that resonate and have meaning for her students. It is Caren’s objective to have students consider and come to understand what an artist is, how they are artists, creative thinkers and problem solvers and what the role of this 21st century thinker is the greater community.

Kimberley Campisano

For nearly 20 years, Kim has been a high school art teacher as well as a teacher on special assignment (TSA) for San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), providing professional development and classroom support to teachers in the areas of Arts Integration, Performance Assessment and Project-Based Learning. She has contributed to Bay Area museums in the development and dissemination of integrated curriculum (most notably San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the deYoung) and continues to consult with informal educational institutions and regional districts and county offices of education. Currently Kim is SFUSD’s STEAM Content Specialist (Science, Technology, Engineering, ART and Mathematics), partnering with departments across the district as well as cultural and scientific organizations serving preK-12th grade teachers and schools.

A practicing artist, Kim works in interdisciplinary media and installation. Both her art and educational work are concerned with the struggle for integration in order to foster a holistic sense of meaning and understanding. She received my Master's Degree in Fine Art from John F. Kennedy University and lives in Oakland with her husband, Jason and rescued pit bull, Dumpling.

Alane Paul Castro

Alane currently is an Instructional Coach from TK to 12th grade in San Leandro supporting classroom teachers in implementation of Common Core State Standards, blended learning, arts integration and Project-Based Learning. She has taught elementary school for the past 24 years in San Leandro, San Francisco and Costa Rica. Alane received her M.Ed in International Education from the University of Massachusetts, BA in language development from Hampshire College and teacher credential from San Francisco State. She is also a National Board Certified teacher and has the Integrated Learning Specialist certification.

Sarah Crowell

Sarah has taught dance, theater and violence prevention to youth and teachers for over 20 years. She is currently the artistic director at Destiny Arts Center where she has served in different capacities since 1990, including executive director from 2002-2007. Crowell has been the artistic director of the acclaimed teen dance/theater company, the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company, since 1993. She has authored a curriculum guidebook about her work with teens, and her work with the youth company has been the subject of two documentary films. Crowell is the recipient of the 2013 Bay Area Dance Week award, the 2011 KQED Women’s History Local Hero award, the 2007 KPFA Peace award and the 2006 Purple Moon Dream Speakers award. Crowell has spoken and facilitated workshops at many national conferences since 2000 locally and nationally.

Shelese Douglas, Ed.D

Shelese Douglas, EdD is a dancer, choreographer, and educator and currently teaches dance in a K-8 school in the Stockton Unified School District. Additionally, she serves as the Turnaround Arts Site Coordinator there and facilitates the arts programming, professional development, and parent community and school wide arts experiences. With over 15 years experience as an educator in suburban and urban schools in California, North Carolina, New York, and Washington DC, Shelese now shares her understandings with master students as research advisor in the Master of Arts in Teaching Leadership program at Saint Mary's College. She holds a BA in Economics and Computer Applications from the University of Notre Dame, an MA in Dance and Dance Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and completed her EdD in Educational Leadership at Saint Mary's College of California. As previous artistic and executive director of the Douglas Dance Collective, a contemporary dance ensemble, her choreography has been presented at the California State Fair, Merce Cunningham studios in New York, and several colleges and universities in Northern California. She is happy to have the opportunity to continue learning and growing as an Integrated Learning Specialist!

Todd Elkin, Ed.M.

Todd is a visual artist, arts educator and activist. Elkin completed his undergraduate studies at the San Francisco Art Institute where he received a BFA in interdisciplinary studies, received his teaching credential at Cal State Hayward, and earned a Masters in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the Arts in Education Program. In addition to his work as a full-time visual art teacher at Washington High School in Fremont California, Elkin serves on the faculty of the Harvard/Project Zero and Future of Learning Summer Institutes. Elkin is also an instructor in the Alameda County Office of Education’s Integrated Learning Specialist Program.

Derek Fenner

Derek Fenner is an artist, educator, and researcher living on Ohlone land in Oakland, California. He earned his MFA in writing and poetics from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. He has an MA in educational leadership from Mills College. After a decade of experience as an art educator and administrator in the Massachusetts juvenile justice system, he is completing his Doctorate in education at Mills College. His research interests include, youth participatory action research as pedagogy, juvenile justice education, decolonizing methodologies, and arts based research. He is the arts learning program manager for the Alameda County Office of Education, where he also serves as a faculty member for the Integrated Learning Specialist Program.

Michelle Holdt
Michelle Holdt is the Founding Executive Director of Arts Ed Matters. She is also an arts integration specialist and theater educator with a strong commitment to leading an arts rich life and making the arts available for all children. For 20+ years, she has been a drama teacher, professional development leader, and arts administrator in a wide variety of educational settings. She is also a parent of three students in SFUSD schools. Michelle is the San Francisco Local Advocacy Network Co-Leader for the California Alliance for Arts Education, and on both the Executive Committee for the Arts Providers Alliance of San Francisco and the SFUSD Arts Education Master Plan Advisory Committee. She holds a Master and Credential in Educational Administration at San Francisco State University, an Art Integration Certificate with The Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership, a BA in Drama and Human Development from Harvard University, a Masters in Theatre and Dance from the University of New Mexico, and a Clear Multiple Subject Credential from New College of California.

Nancy James

Nancy Johnson James is a artist, educator and activist.  She worked in community organizing and community development for over 17 years with organizations that include East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, Applied Research Center and Center for Third World Organizing.  She simultaneously pursued her study of African and African-derived dance forms and performed with Fua Dia Congo, Emese:  Messengers of the African Diaspora, De Rompe y Raja, Groupe Petite La Croix and Fogo Na Roupa.   Nancy has taught dance and poetry throughout the Bay Area.  She participated in The Medea Project:  Theater for Incarcerate Women for many years.  Nancy has been an Education Specialist for more than 10 years.  She has worked with students who are perceived as having moderate to severe disabilities and mild to moderate disabilities.  Her work in art, community and education has affirmed for her that diversity, including neuro-diversity, is normal.

Natan Kuchar

Natan is a musician and educator who fervently believes that collaborative creativity is one of the most significant ways to make meaning and connection in the world. Natan is the Director of Music at the Jewish Community High School of the Bay and holds his Bachelor of Music from Berklee College of Music. Natan also works as the Head Youth Educator at Congregation Beth Israel, performs music for kids under the alias Mr. Palindrome and is active as an orchestrator of music for TV. Although originally from Sydney, Australia, Natan now lives in Berkeley with his wife Lili, and their three children Ayala, Katriel, and Selah.

Mariah Rankine-Landers, Ed.M.

Mariah has 20 years of teaching experience that includes Special Education, Outdoor Education, Kindergarten, First Grade and Adult Education.  Mariah holds a BA in Anthropology from UC Santa Cruz and a Ed.M in Equity and Social Justice in Education from SFSU.  She is the Director of the Integrated Learning Specialist Program at Alameda County Office of Education in supporting the goals of Arts Centered Integrated Learning and Transformative Leadership.  Mariah's work has been featured on The Electric Company-PBS, at the Oakland Museum of California and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts where she is currently a fellow exploring the question "What does Equity look like?"  She has written blogs for Harvard School of Education, TASC, The Teaching Channel and Happy Black Girl.   She is comitted to establishing a database of literature that places children of color as primary characters, written by people of color through her side project: Canerow.org.   She is a resident and adoring fan of Oakland and it's communities.  She is always wanting to learn more about everything, especially contemporary arts. 

Maria Laws

Maria is a veteran science classroom teacher with over 23 years of experience.  In addition to her work integrating scientific curiosity and creative expression with high school students at Las Lomas High School, Maria has also taught adults about the rich history, beauty, and movement of salsa dancing and other Latin dances for over 15 years.  Her life as a professional dancer performing, training, teaching, and competing from here to Cuba has sparked a lifelong curiosity in the connections between different art forms and modes of creativity and how they work together to nurture healthier, happier, more thoughtfully observant learners and community members. 

In addition to her Integrated Learning Specialist certification, Maria holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences, a M.A. in Education: Educational Leadership, and a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Integrated Learning Through the Arts.  Maria continues her dance, creative writing, and music practices and is always looking for the opportunity to collaborate with other educators and expand our collective pedagogy.

Miki Hsu Leavey, BFA

Miki is an exhibiting multimedia painter since 1981 whose solo exhibition in Shanghai, China (2009) opened her to Chinese art market. Leavey bridges her arts career with museum education and over 25 years of partnering with the schools and teachers in discrete arts and arts integration. Leavey teaches in the Alameda County’s Integrated Learning Specialist Program and is a Visual Thinking Strategies coach. She trained with Philip Yenawine at the de Young Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and at Harvard University. She now trains students, teachers, docents, artists, business executives, and the general public in VTS methodology. She builds bridges between County Offices of Education in Alameda and Napa and is a Napa reporter for the County Arts Leads meetings in Sacramento. Formerly, Leavey was the Arts Educator at COPIA and the Curator of Education at Napa Valley Museum and currently is the Docent Trainer/Coordinator and Educator for the di Rosa Preserve in Napa County.

Michelle Lee (Mush), Ed.M.

Michelle is a published poet, educator and trainer who believes in collective imagination. She is compelled by the radical idea of starting with what learners do know. Michelle's storytelling and presentations have been featured on HBO, PBS, AfroPop, National Asian American Theater Festival, Girlfest, New Works Theater Festival, Living Word Festival and Brave New Voices Festival. She holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and an Ed.M. from San Francisco State University with a focus on Equity and Social Justice. Michelle is a former Compasspoint Next Generation Leaders of Color Fellow. She has taught in middle schools, high schools, universities and juvenile centers across the country and is frequently a featured speaker on 21st century literacy, spoken word pedagogy, and the contemporary youth poetry movement. Michelle has designed institutes, trainings and curriculum for Youth Speaks, where she currently serves as Sr. Advisor of Pedagogy. 

Julia Marshall, Ed.D.

Julia is Chair of Art Education at San Francisco State University. She holds an Ed.D. from the University of San Francisco and an MFA in sculpture from the University of Wisconsin. Julia taught for many years as an artist in the schools in the Bay Area where she specialized in art integration for elementary, middle and high school. In addition to her academic publications, Marshall has written integrated arts curricula based on concepts and practices in contemporary art for The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), KQED (San Francisco Public Television) and The Nelson Gallery at The University of California at Davis. Inaddition to her work in the Integrated Learning Specialist Program, she works with SLANT, (Science, Literacy and Art Community Partners), a collaboration of the California Academy of Science, the deYoung Museum and the San Francisco Unified School District and the Alameda County Office of Education. She has just been appointed to the Blueprint for Creative Schools Task Force of the California Department of Education.

Indi McCasey

Indi grew up in the South Bay Area and has spent over 20 years supporting the process of self-actualization in young people and adults through experience-based education. As a teaching artist and non-profit program administrator, Indi has pursued community-building strategies for social change with the organizations Destiny Arts Center, Fine Arts for Children and Teens (FACT), Solace, Streetside Stories, Urbano Project, and Wise Fool New Mexico. Indi is a former artist-in-residence at Harvard’s Project Zero and the recipient of the 2013 Endeavor Foundation for the Arts Artist Award. Indi holds a self-designed B.A. in Education for Social Justice and Environmental Responsibility from Fairhaven College and an Ed.M in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Charles Chip McNeal, Ed.M.

Chip is a lecturer, choreographer and adjudicator, conducting artist/teacher trainings, evaluating and developing educational programs throughout the U.S. and abroad. Since 1980, he has worked for San Francisco Ballet; teaching, developing and implementing community outreach and education programs. In 2001, McNeal was named Director of Education when he created the San Francisco Ballet Center for Dance Education, which provides interactive multicultural dance education experiences to over 30,000 children, youth and families each year. McNeal is an experienced arts administrator and civic leader with undergraduate degrees in both psychology and sociology. He holds a Masters degree in Education from Lesley University and is a certified arts integration specialist.

Constance Moore

Constance is a visual artist working with water based materials. Her current body of work explores childhood, school room ephemera and love. She is currently working for MOCHA (The Museum of Children's Art) as a teaching artist and coach. She is also adjunct faculty in the Art Department at Holy Names University. Constance received her BA in Politics from Mount Holyoke College, an MA in Museum Studies from Brown University and is pursuing an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College.

Jessa Brie Moreno, MFA

Jessa has been building arts education and creating theatre in the Bay Area since 1997. She is Founding Director of the Oakland Theatre Arts Initiative with Oakland Unified School District, where she is currently a Theatre and Arts Integration Specialist. In 2005, she founded the nationally-award winning student company OakTechRep at Oakland Technical High School. Moreno is on faculty at San Jose State University, California Institute of Integral Studies, and is a Professional Expert for Alameda County Office of Education. Her directorial work has appeared in collaborations with CalShakes, Stanford, UC Davis and in Edinburgh, Scotland. Recently she has directed for the San Jose Stage Co. (The Rainmaker), Marin Theatre Co. (school tour), the reading series at SF Playhouse (The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Better), Playground at Berkeley Rep, and as Asst. Director for Macbeth at CalShakes. In 2011 she developed, directed and produced the critically acclaimed The Last Night of the Barbary Coast at Somarts in SF. As an actor she has worked with A.C.T., Marin Theatre Company, Aurora, TheatreWorks, San Jose Stage Co., SFShakes, and CenterRep, among others. Professional Awards include an Emmy (Motion Capture Specialist), Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, Dean Goodman, and Shellie Best Actress Awards. She is a graduate of Scuola Internazionale dell'Attore Comico in Italy and holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Creative Inquiry from CIIS.

Trena Noval

Trena holds a Masters in Fine Arts and teaches at California College of the Arts and Mills College Graduate School of Education as well as the Integrated Learning Specialist Program in Alameda County, where she teaches and leads professional development for artists and teachers.Noval has published models for Art 21 arts learning case studies, focusing on arts integration and community video projects through the themes of community and environmental stewardship. She has received numerous awards and grants for her work, notably an outstanding achievement award through the Oakland Museum of Art and Alameda County Office Of Education in 2007 for collaborative work with teachers and students at Peralta Elementary School in Oakland, where she has been the arts integration specialist and artist in residence for the past 6 years. In 2009 she received a fellowship to Project Zero, Harvard University. Her work as a teaching artist has been exhibited widely, including in 2011 with the Peralta community for the Oakland Museum’s exhibition Love and Loss: Dias de los Muertos. Noval received her BFA from Tyler School of Art, and MFA from Maryland Institute, College of Art.

Gaia Pine

Gaia is currently a TK-12 Instructional Coach in San Leandro with a focus on Visual & Performing Arts and Science classes.  She has taught science and math for 16 years in San Leandro, Oakland, San Francisco and Philadelphia.  Gaia holds a BS in Natural Resources and Appropriate Technology, a teaching credential from Mills College, and a M.Ed in Integrated Teaching Through the Arts from Lesley University.

Rebecca Prather

A somatic educator, speech-language pathologist, dancer, and the mother of a child on the Autism Spectrum, Rebecca is passionate about the body as a cultural text and an agent of social interruption. Her arts development programs focus on creative dance as a method of disability inclusion practices, movement to support sensory regulation, social-emotional learning, and to elicit personal and community narratives. Rebecca’s movement practice integrates her professional training – creative movement, three years flamenco in Spain, and the folkloric and cabaret styles of Raks Sharqi in Egypt – and academic studies and a Master's thesis on the representational politics of American Belly dance.

Rebecca is a Communication Therapist for the Larkspur-Corte Madera School District specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Alternative Augmentative Communication. She is an enthusiastic champion of neurodiversity, neurodivergence, brain plasticity and the myriad methods the brain glows and grows when immersed in creative experiences.

Elizabeth Rubenstein

is a visual arts educator with more than two decades of teaching experience. She began studying creativity and design in college with a BS in Industrial Design at Georgia Tech, and accidentally began her teaching career shortly thereafter.  After relocating to the Bay Area, she received her Single Subject Credential in Fine Arts and MS in Curriculum and Instruction from Dominican University. She completed the Integrated Learning Specialist Certificate in 2016. Elizabeth has shared her learning throughout her career, starting with adults in schools and private business, followed by middle school students, then elementary, and preschoolers in public and private school settings.  Returning now to focus on adult education and professional development of educators, she reminds us all of the value of creativity, questioning, and play in our daily lives. Elizabeth’s current focus employs a combination three powerful models of student-centered learning: Design Thinking, Teaching for Artistic Behavior, and Arts Integration.You can join her public Facebook group, Playmore: Education Inspiration for continuing progressive education resources.

Brooke Toczylowski

Brooke is an Arts/Maker Specialist and Instructional Coach with the Oakland Unified School District in CA. She works with the Agency By Design Oakland Team to infuse public schools with maker centered learning opportunities through coaching and professional development. Agency by Design is an action research project with Project Zero, an initiative of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Brooke was formerly an arts and technology teacher at Oakland International High School. In 2014 she was recognized with “Another Great Oakland Teacher” Award for her design of curriculum that focuses on students’ social and emotional wellness. From 2008 to 2012, Brooke worked at Youth in Arts, Marin County’s largest arts education organization, where she helped develop a sequential arts program in the Sausalito Marin City School District. Before that she taught in New York, Guatemala, and Venezuela. Toczylowski uses her printmaking practice at the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, CA, as a tool to better understand her role in relation to systems of oppression. In particular, she seeks to understand her layered relationship as a white teacher in communities of color so that she can be a more informed educator. Personal Website: brooketoczylowski.com

Sarah Willner

Sarah has dedicated her educational work to music and arts integration. Currently a music teacher in Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), she brings her experience with the Orff Schulwerk music and movement education approach into classrooms, professional development, international conferences, and research. She was an original arts integration teacher at ASCEND School, where, in the VALUES Project, she helped pilot some of the Project Zero/ACOE/California College of the Arts educational approaches now disseminated throughout the Bay Area. She attended Harvard’s Project Zero in 2009 and was a teacher researcher, coach, and designer in the OUSD’s Music Integrated Learning Environments project, through a four-year US Department of Education research grant. She has performed for twenty-five years in the renowned Balinese music and dance troupe Gamelan Sekar Jaya, and accompanies traditional Balinese and contemporary shadow theater with San Francisco’s ShadowLight Productions, performing in international festivals and venues throughout North America and in Indonesia. As a violist and violinist, Willner focuses on performing original music by local composers.

Susan Wolf

Susan is a teaching artist and Integrated Learning Specialist. BA Lawrence University, Appleton WI. Credentialed single subject Art. Often immersed in printmaking projects and simple book forms, frequently journaling and crafting mixed media imagery with ideas, sometimes performing site specific works. Susan frequently uses the lens of contemporary art practice to understand the world. Previous school sites as an Arts Integration coach include Jefferson Elementary in San Leandro and Anna Yates Elementary in Emeryville. Currently teaching at Rosa Parks and Washington Elementary schools Berkeley Unified School District as arts integration specialist mentoring teachers and modeling integrated learning strategies in classrooms and on any available surfaces including the transformation of bulletin boards into thinking walls. Susan is also often clicking around, following and re-posting interesting ideas and evidence of practice online as social media content provider for Alameda County Office of Education, art is education and the integrated learning department.

Marilyn Zoller Koral

Marilyn Zoller Koral  is an SFUSD (San Francisco Unified School District) Administrator Emeritus having served 8 years as an Assistant Principal. Her career began over 40 years ago as a visual arts teacher working with public school children for the NYC Board of Education in partnership with the Cloisters, NY, and the Guggenheim Museum, NY. She has served as a teaching artist and visual arts teacher, working with students covering every range of ability and need from pre-school to adult, from New York City to the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds a Masters Degree in Education from University of California, Berkeley. She is a certified Integrated Learning Specialist teaching in Alameda County Office of Education’s Integrated Learning Specialist Program (ILSP) and currently sits on the boards of Arts Ed Matters and The Performing Arts Workshop. Additionally Marilyn is an instructor in the ILSP and facilitates workshops for educators across the bay area as well as on line coaching for Harvard's Project Zero. She was a fellow in 2015 for Harvard Project Zero Summer Institute.