• Candace Dickinson

    Candace Dickinson

    Drama Voice Instructor, Drama Department Chair

    Candace Dickinson, soprano, received her Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO where she studied with Julie Simson. She also holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice performance from Converse College where she studied with Dr. Beverly Hay. Candace made her professional debut as Hermione in Strauss’ Die Ägyptische Helena at the Santa Fe Opera in 2001 where she later returned as a guest artist in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance. She has worked with such conductors and as Alan Gilbert and Martin Isepp. Her opera roles include Nannetta in Verdi’s Falstaff, Barbarina in Marriage of Figaro, Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen, and Lia in L’Enfant Prodigue by Debussy. Her concert work includes being the soprano soloist for Faure’s Requiem, Bruckner’s Te Deum, and John Rutter’s The Mass of the Children. Regionally, she has performed with the Opera Company of North Carolina, the Greater Anderson Musical Arts Consortium, The Greenville Chorale, The Foothills Philharmonic, The Greenville Pops Orchestra, The Augusta Choral Society, and GLOW. In addition to being a singer and a singing teacher, Candace is also a voice for the actor instructor and she studied with Patsy Rodenburg at Michael Howard Studios in New York City where she completed all levels of Shakespeare’s Heightened Language workshops taught by Rodenburg. She frequently performs in recital and in collaboration with other musicians. She serves on the faculty of the Drama Department at the South Carolina Governor’s School for Arts and Humanities in Greenville, SC.

  • Anna Katherine Freeland

    Anna Katherine Freeland

    Academics English Instructor, Academic Department Chair

    Anna Katherine Freeland completed her BA In English at Converse College and earned her MFA from Pacific University. She co-founded The Writers Block Project and taught literature and creative writing in maximum security prisons for nine years. Her prose has appeared in Didn’t See It Coming, The Emrys Journal, Talk, AtHome, and recently, her poetry has appeared in Prospectus Literary Journal, Emrys Journal, and Passengers Journal. She teaches AP English Language, serves as the Chair of the Academic Department, and directs the Creative Writing summer programs. 

    A.K. also coaches runners for half marathons and marathons. She has run 24 marathons and ultramarathons and completed Grand to Grand, a 170 mile, seven day stage race.

    A.K. reads, writes, and evangelizes about poems and finds teaching at SCGSAH nothing short of magical. 

  • Josée Garant

    Josée Garant

    Dance Dance Department Chair

    Ms. Josée Garant has had an active career as a dancer, choreographer, teacher, and administrator.  Born in Canada, Ms. Garant received an MFA in Dance from Hollins University/American Dance Festival, a BFA (honors) degree in Dance from York University in Canada, and graduated from the National Ballet School of Canada Teacher Training Program.

    In 1988, following a successful career as a freelance modern dance performer, Ms. Garant was invited by Cirque du Soleil to train in Montreal under internationally renowned artistic director Franco Dragone for the project Eclipse.  Ms. Garant trained in the art of the bouffon,  the trapeze,  the trampoline, as an acrobat, and as a Cirque du Soleil dancer.

    In 1989, Ms. Garant shifted her focus to choreography and the education of young dancers by joining the faculty of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School.  During her long association of 16 years with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Ms. Garant created the Modern Dance and Choreographic Programs and was the director of the postgraduate Aspirant Program.  Ms. Garant choreographed new works for the professional division of the school and the aspirant program.  Simultaneously, she collaborated with Winnipeg’s GroundSwell New Music Series as a choreographer on many productions.

    From 1994 to 2004, Ms. Garant was awarded annual grants for her choreographic works from the Manitoba Arts Council and travel grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, including one that enabled Ms. Garant to travel to the Caribbean to study Afro-Caribbean dance.  During these 12 weeks, she studied with the Antigua National Dance Theatre and the Grenada Dance Ensemble and visited Dominica to meet with the artistic community.  She also sat as a Jury member for the City of Winnipeg’s Arts Council and the Manitoba Arts Council.  In 2006 Ms. Garant sat as a Jury member for the Manitoba Arts Council’s Award of Distinction.

    As a choreographer, Ms. Garant has garnered numerous awards, including the Youth America Grand Prix competition in Connecticut and the International Choreographic Competition in St-Sauveur, Québec.  In 1988, Ms. Garant was nominated by l’ADISQ for a ‘Felix’ for Stage Direction and Scenographer of the Year for her work with singer-songwriter Daniel Lavoie.

    Ms. Garant’s choreography has had an international influence.  It has been presented on many stages worldwide, ranging from the Olympia Theatre in Paris to the New York Joyce Soho Theatre.  She has created works for international dance competitions held in Istanbul, Tokyo, Jackson, Mississippi, and New York City.  Her work has been produced by diverse organizations such as the Festival of Women in the Arts in North Dakota, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s Du Maurier New Music Festival, and the 1999 Pan American Games.  Her diverse achievements include Video-Clip Choreography for The Three Dance directed by Marc-Francois Tremblay and film choreography for Through My Eyes directed by CBC Award Winner Film scriptwriter Kathryn Martin.  Through My Eyes premiered in 1997 at the Local Heroes International Screen Festival in Edmonton, Canada, and was presented at the 1997 Festival des Films du Monde in Montreal, Canada.

    Before joining SCGSAH, Ms. Garant founded the Josée Garant Dance company in Miami, Florida, with a dedicated mission to educate, promote, and increase the public’s awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of contemporary dance and arts.  Ms. Garant was awarded the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs Choreographer Fellowship Award in 2008.  While in Florida, Ms. Garant also worked at Harid Conservatory and New World School of the Arts (NWSA).  Ms. Garant served on the Board of Directors for the Florida Dance Association from 2008 to 2012.

    In 2011, Ms. Garant organized a retirement celebration for the internationally recognized dancer, teacher, choreographer, author, and NWSA Dean of Dance, Daniel Lewis.  She created and directed Daniel Lewis: A Life of Dance, a tribute concert at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts which featured performances by world-renowned dance companies, choreographers, and dancers. 

    Since Joining the SCGSAH as Chair of the Dance Department in 2012, Ms. Garant has continued to dedicate her time to dance education.  She developed a pre-professional ballet and modern/contemporary program that is inclusive and reflective of a diverse and fluid global dance community.  Ms. Garant developed and currently directs the Lowcountry Youth Dance Academy, a SCGSAH outreach program offering free pre-professional ballet training to 5th-10th-grade students in the Lowcountry of SC.  She is the Founding Executive Director of Grand Jeté; this state-wide event includes a student ballet and contemporary dance competition, dance college and trainee recruiting fair, master classes, and teacher workshops from reputable dance guest artists from across the Nation. 

    Ms. Garant currently teaches Senior Modern/Contemporary Techniques, Repertoire and Senior Audition Preparation, and Senior Dance Showcase and is a mentor for Junior Career Preparation. 
     

  • David Gerhard

    David Gerhard

    Visual Arts Visual Arts Department Chair, Printmaking, Drawing

    David Gerhard is a maker, artist, designer, and educator. 

    He earned his MFA in Visual Art (printmaking emphasis) from Clemson University and his BAs (with Distinction) in Studio Art and Communications Studies from Sonoma State University. Gerhard has taught in the Art Departments at Clemson University, Furman University, Anderson University, and the Greenville County Museum of Art. 

    Gerhard is passionate about contemporary printmaking, new media art, graphic and web design, art theory and global art history.  Gerhard has made public artwork in Greenville. Providing creative work for diverse clients, Gerhard's work has been exhibited, collected, and contracted for clients regionally, nationally, and internationally.

  • Deirdre Hutton

    Deirdre Hutton

    Music Music Department Chair|Violin|String Orchestra (Concertato)|String Chamber Music|Violin Master Class

    Deirdre Hutton has enjoyed a varied career as a teacher, chamber musician and orchestral player.  Many of her violin students have gone on to study at prestigious music schools throughout North America including: The Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, University of Texas at Austin and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.  In addition, her students have been featured on the radio show From the Top and have participated in such summer festivals as the Heifetz Institute, Aspen School of Music, Bowdoin Music Festival, the New York String Seminar, National Youth Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, Meadowmount and National Orchestral Institute.

    Deirdre completed her Bachelor of Music in Performance at the Eastman School of Music as a student of Oleh Krysa.  At Northwestern University she was teaching assistant to Almita and Roland Vamos while earning a Master of Music degree. Additional studies included intensive private study with Itzhak Rashkovsky, Royal College in London.

    She has given masterclasses through the US and internationally. Deirdre has been violin coach for the Greenville County Youth Orchestra’s Young Artists Orchestra for the last ten years, as well as leading violin sectionals for numerous South Carolina Regional and All State Orchestras.

    In addition to her work as a teacher Deirdre is an active chamber musician. As violinist and founding member of the Poinsett Piano Trio she has performed concerts throughout the US, Germany and New Zealand over the last decade. http://poinsettpianotrio.com

    Deirdre has performed in numerous orchestras in the US and Europe including the New World Symphony (Miami, Florida), the Schlossfestspiele Chamber Orchestra (Heidelberg, Germany), the North Carolina Symphony, the Charleston Symphony (South Carolina), the Knoxville Symphony (Tennessee), and the Greenville Symphony (South Carolina). She was Assistant Concertmaster of the Roanoke Symphony (Virginia) and was Assistant Concertmaster for the last two seasons with the Spartanburg Philharmonic.

    Prior to joining the SCGSAH faculty in 2019, Deirdre taught as Adjunct Professor at Furman University for 14 years.

  • Alan Rossi

    Alan Rossi

    Creative Writing Creative Writing Department Chair, Fiction Instructor

    Alan Rossi’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Granta, the Missouri Review, Conjunctions, New England Review, Agni, and Ninth Letter, among others. His novella, Did You Really Just Say That To Me?, was awarded the third annual New England Review Award for Emerging Writers, and he was the New England Review/Bread Loaf Scholar for 2017. He is also the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and an O. Henry Prize. His first novel, Mountain Road, Late at Night, was published by Picador in 2020. His second novel, Our Last Year, will be published in the fall of 2022. He lives in South Carolina with his wife, two children, and various cats. He has been teaching at the Governor's School since 2014.

  • Thomas Azar

    Thomas Azar

    Drama Adjunct - Drama Stage Combat/Acting Instructor

    Thomas Azar is an actor, director, and fight choreographer.

    Selected acting credits from South Carolina include Harry Clarke, Appropriate, Much Ado About Nothing, and Angels in America: Parts I & II (The Warehouse Theatre); The Scarlet Letter (South Carolina New Play Festival); Identity Crisis and The Fox on the Fairway (Centre Stage South Carolina); John Proctor Is the Villain (Clemson University); This Is How It Goes (Furman University); and The Lifespan of a Fact, Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf, and Barefoot in the Park at Lean Ensemble Theater, where he is an ensemble member.

    Elsewhere in the country, Thomas has performed with the Alliance Theatre, Mill Mountain Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, California Theatre Center, Magic Theatre, and Actor's Express. His short film credits include In a Room at the Edge of Infinity and No
    Ordinary Love, and he starred in the pilot of “Divided States”.

    Thomas's fight choreography has been seen on the stages of Lean Ensemble Theater, The Warehouse Theatre, Centre Stage South Carolina, California Theatre Center, Furman University, and very nearly at Clemson University but for a global pandemic.

    He earned his MFA in Classical Acting from the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy at the George Washington University.

    At home here in Greenville, Thomas is one half of the parenting duo to an amazing kid and pup.

  • Carol Baker

    Carol Baker

    Director of Outreach and Community Engagement

    An active advocate for arts education statewide, Carol joined the Governor's School in 2012 after working for nine years with Richland County School District One's visual and performing arts programs. She holds her M.A. from New York University through the Gallatin School for Individualized Study, where she focused her interdisciplinary work on the management of teaching artists and arts education programs. A regular presenter on arts education leadership at the state and national level, she is a former Chair of the Board of Directors for Palmetto State Arts Education (PSAE), a founding member and past President of the Board of Directors for Columbia Children's Theatre, and member of the SC Arts Education Advisory Council.

    When asked the best part of her job, she is quick to answer, “Spending time with arts teachers and students from across the state—engaging in their communities and the creative endeavors that help nurture South Carolina’s emerging artists. It's inspiring.”

  • Dr. Landon Baumgard

    Dr. Landon Baumgard

    Music Voice|Music History Survey|Contemporary Collaborations|Opera Workshop|Vocal Literature/Senior Capstone|Voice Master Class

    Landon Baumgard is a vocal coach and collaborative pianist hailing from the Los Angeles area.  He has collaborated with all the preeminent Los Angeles musical organizations, including LA Opera, the LA Phil, and the LA Master Chorale.  Baumgard holds degrees from California State University, Northridge (BM), Indiana University, Bloomington (MM), and University of Michigan (DMA), where he studied vocal coaching in depth with Martin Katz. His prior teaching positions were at Pepperdine University, California State University, Northridge, and the Faber Piano Institute in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

  • Uriah Boyd

    Uriah Boyd

    Dance Modern Dance Instructor

    Uriah Boyd is an interdisciplinary performance artist from Portland, Oregon. Her primary artistic mediums are dance and music, which she often integrates in live performance. She began her dance training in 2006, studying jazz, tap, ballet and modern. In 2009 she enrolled in Jefferson High School, a local performing arts school with a renowned pre-professional dance training program. While at Jefferson High, she met a filmmaker and began working on a documentary with her older sister entitled “Soar.” The film focuses on their relationship as siblings, dancers, and creative partners. Soar was released in 2014 and has aired on PBS internationally. It is still in syndication today. After graduating high school and releasing Soar, Uriah began dancing professionally. She performed and toured with numerous dance companies and collectives in Portland and the greater NW, most notably, “Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater.” Uriah was a founding member of Rejoice! and it was during her time with the company that she began training in folkloric dances of the African Diaspora, which is a prominent influence in her movement to this day. She began teaching in 2016 and has led contemporary dance workshops throughout the Pacific Northwest, in Mexico and Peru. Uriah travels often and enjoys connecting to new communities by way of movement and music. In recent years, music and aerial dance have become the primary creative focuses for Uriah. She’s working on more intentionally integrating her music and movement practices, and spends most of her time engaged in creative play. Uriah is currently based in Greenville, SC and has found a warm home in the live music and contemporary dance communities here.

  • Elisabeth Boyle

    Elisabeth Boyle

    Dance Dance Accompanist & Music for Dancers Instructor

    Elisabeth Boyle is a private piano instructor and musician with 20 plus years of experience. She has worked in schools dedicated to a strong emphasis on the arts, and loves being a part of learning environments which strongly promote the arts. Her goal as a musician and instructor is to help students achieve a life-long love of music and appreciation for excellence in the arts.  

    Elisabeth is originally from the Washington, D.C. area, and has played piano since she was walking, first taught by her mother. 
    After completing a degree in Piano from Bob Jones University, she has called Greenville home, and has served in the community, volunteering for non profits, and various musical groups as collaborative pianist. Elisabeth enjoys creating original music
    and has published albums and arrangements for piano and cello. Elisabeth treasures time with her family of four, and special dog, while always searching for beauty and joy in everything, every day.

  • Ian Bracchitta

    Ian Bracchitta

    Music Double Bass|Jazz Orchestra|String Chamber Music|Double Bass Master Class

    A native of Westchester County in New York, Ian Bracchitta performs as a bassist in the classical, jazz and popular idioms. He is the assistant principal bassist of the Greenville (SC) Symphony Orchestra and the principal bassist of the Spartanburg Philharmonic. Ian performs in the bass sections of the Charlotte, Charleston and Hendersonville Symphony Orchestras. As a jazz bassist he has  performed with Dianne Schuur, Kevin Mahogany, Kate McGarry, Freddie Bryant, Pat Harbison, George Mesterhazy, Hod O’Brien, Chris Vadala, John Stowell, The Tommy Dorsey, Nelson Riddle and Cab Calloway Orchestras among many others.Additionally, he performs frequently in the southeast in duo, trio and quartet settings. Ian has performed extensively in musical theatre playing with the Broadway national tours of  Anastasia, Hello Dolly, Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, West Side Story, Beautiful-The Carol King Story, Legally Blond, A Chorus Line, Chicago, The Sound Of Music, The Producers, Young Frankenstein, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Evita, Pippin, Grease, 9 to 5, Fiddler on the Roof, Camelot, My Fair Lady, Annie Get Your Gun, Something Rotten, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Cinderella, Billy Elliot, Mary Poppins, The Drowsy Chaperone, Ragtime, The Boyfriend, Victor Victoria, Sweet Charity, White Christmas, Annie, The Scarlet Pimpernel among others. He has played orchestrally or as electric bassist for a host of performers including Edwin McCain, Celtic Woman, Burt Bacharach, The Fifth Dimension, Marvin Hamlisch, Shirley Jones, Carol Channing, Martin Short, Rich Little and Red Buttons among many others. Recording credits include Reflections with jazz guitarist Steve Watson, Canadian jazz guitarist Mark Guest’s Happy Together,  the duo of Garah and Gregory Landes- Synchronicity: Like Minds, Rebecca Nagle Synthetic Dances - Music for Oboe on Centaur records, Joe Burke Simply Romantic on Revere records, Oracle Evasive Actions and Peggy Haden I’m Glad There Is You among others. Additionally, he has performed on regional commercials and industrial soundtracks. A dedicated teacher, Ian’s students have distinguished themselves by attending many of the finest music schools in the country. Ian is on the adjunct faculties of the South Carolina Governors School for the Arts and Humanities, Clemson and Furman Universities. He was the visiting lecturer of Double Bass at the University of South Carolina’s School of Music from 2002-2006 and at UNC-Asheville from 2003-2013. Additionally, Ian maintains a private studio. He received a Bachelor of Music Performance degree from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, additional studies at the Berklee College of Music. He attended the Westchester Conservatory during high school. Ian is very thankful for his teachers Jack Budrow, Donald Palma, Orin O’Brien, Salvatore Macchia, Michael Moore, Anthony Beadle, Arnold Schnitzer and William Blossom.

     

    Education

    • B.M., University of Massachusetts-Amhearst

    • Additional Studies, Berklee College of Music

    Training Under:

    • Salvatore Macchia, University of Massachussetts-Amhearst

    • Bruce Gertz and William Curtis, Berklee College of Music

    • Winston Jack Budrow, Donald Palma, Orin O'Brien, Michael Moore and William Blossom, Independent study

  • Harrison Brookie

    Harrison Brookie

    Academics Social Studies Instructor

    Harrison Brookie graduated from Clemson University where he obtained a Bachelor’s in Secondary Education and Master’s in Economics. Before coming to the Governor’s School, Harrison was a social studies teacher for 15 years in traditional, International Baccalaureate, and Charter high schools.

    He has taught every required high school social studies course, as well as AP U.S. History and AP Microeconomics. This has given him a deep appreciation of how multiple fields of study connect to each other and to the real world students live in. Harrison loves an active classroom where everyone is encouraged to speak up and deeply listen.

    As the owner and Executive Director of the Alchemy Comedy Theater, he’s also an artist. Harrison teaches and performs improv weekly here in Greenville, SC.

  • Katie Byrd

    Katie Byrd

    Academics Science Instructor

    Katie Byrd grew up in North Carolina and earned a B.S. in Earth and Ocean Sciences and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Duke University. She was a National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Senior Fellow as a master's student. After graduation, Katie relocated to New York City and taught for five years at the James Baldwin School in Manhattan. At Baldwin, Katie wrote and taught curriculum in climate change, urban ecology, nutrition, and astrobiology. She also developed and hosted the annual STEAM Nite, created fieldwork, and student research opportunities in collaboration with the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (How Healthy is the Gowanus Canal? 2014), the American Museum of Natural History (extremophile investigation, 2015), and NASA (How Can NYC Become More Climate Resilient? 2015-2016).

     

    In 2015, Katie was awarded the Math for America Master Science Teacher Fellowship and in 2016 was a NASA Climate Change Research Initiative Teacher Fellow at the NASA GISS research center. Then, in her words, she got tired. And she quit. And she traveled to 32 countries over the course of a year. In 2017, Katie and her husband Sonny (a Govie alum) moved to South Carolina and she began teaching again. Now in her tenth year of teaching she thinks she has the best job in the world, talking about science (and life) with young people, who are just the perfect amount of weird and special.

  • Alisa Caldwell

    Alisa Caldwell

    Music Movement for Singers

    Over the last 25 years, Alisa Caldwell has created and perfected an amazing blend of African dance, contemporary movements, and creative choreography, performed to the captivating power of drum rhythms. This technique exercises both mind and body, and also feeds the spirit. She has a strong personal and professional desire to share the beauty, culture, and passion of West African dance. In 1988, Alisa began her primary dance training at the Imani School of Dance in Greenville, South Carolina, where she eventually began instructing and choreographing creative and traditional African dance routines. She performed in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. She also trained with Chris Thompson and the Cultural Ensemble and Nubian Roots Cultural Center under the direction of Gerri Chisolm in Charlotte, North Carolina. Having the desire to perfect her art, Alisa continued her training with The Larocque Bey School of Dance Theatre under the direction of Master Dancer/Drummer Baba Jerome Hunter in New York, New York. Alisa has performed in numerous cultural and international festivals and has served as instructor, choreographer, lecturer, and judge at various dance conferences, workshops, and competitions. Through her extensive experience in African, Creative, and Liturgical dance, she is now a much sought-after teacher, performer, and choreographer.

  • Emily Cinquemani

    Emily Cinquemani

    Creative Writing Creative Writing Poetry Instructor

    Emily Cinquemani’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Ploughshares, Colorado Review, Indiana Review, Southern Indiana Review, 32 Poems, Nashville Review, Cherry Tree, and Meridian. She joined the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in 2021 after teaching in the English Department at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she earned her MFA in Creative Writing with a poetry concentration.  While at UNC Greensboro, she also worked as a poetry editor for The Greensboro Review. She currently serves as a poetry editor for The Adroit Journal and is an alumna of Elon  University.

  • Heidi Maria Clement-Owens

    Heidi Maria Clement-Owens

    Academics French/German Language Adjunct

    Heidi M. Clement-Owens has been an instructor of world languages, with certification in French/German/ESOL for over 14 years.  Just moved to Greenville, South Carolina from Central Texas.  She has spent most of her life living abroad and grew up in Germany. She spent two years studying in Bordeaux, France as part of the BA foreign study program at University of Kansas, KS.  Later, she completed a Master of Education in World Language Instruction through Concordia College in Moorhead, MN.  She has taken several students to further their language skills in French and German to Concordia Language Village at Bemidji, MN and has been selected Teacher of the Year by Texas Foreign Language Association (TFLA) for two years.  She received a Texas Senate Proclamation for her excellent teaching contribution in both public and private education in the state of Texas.

    Her Teaching Philosophy
    One of her primary goals of teaching languages is to help students build a solid foundation in the language learning process as well as help them develop free critical thinking skills. She believes in creating an active learning environment that has meaning. Her teaching style is dynamic, active, and creative as well as a fun learning environment for her students. Being actively engaged in the learning, helps students remain connected to the language being learned and at the same time makes the content more comprehensible and real. Many of her lessons are based on dialogue and discussion which foster life-long learning. 

  • Christine Conley

    Christine Conley

    Dance Low Country Youth Dance Academy (LYDA) Modern Instructor

    Christine Smith Conley is a dancer, choreographer and educator located in Summerville, South Carolina. Trained in classical ballet from a young age, Christine has studied dance at Hilton Head Dance Theatre, Rollings Middle School of the Arts, the South Carolina Governor’s School for Arts and Humanities, the Classical Ballet Centre, and the University of South Carolina. Christine graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Dance Education from the University of South Carolina. She also holds a K-12 South Carolina Teaching Certificate. While in school, she was an active dancer and choreographer with the UofSC Dance Company. Christine is an avid arts advocate and dance researcher. She has participated in Arts Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and at the SC Statehouse. In 2018, Christine traveled to New York on a grant to research and write a middle school arts integrative curriculum with dance and social studies. Currently, she is a dance educator at Rollings Middle School for the Arts. 

  • Anna Copeland

    Anna Copeland

    Associate Director of Residential Life

    Anna Copeland joined the Governor' School staff in the fall of 2000. She is a graduate of Clemson University with a Master of Education Counseling degree and a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Furman University. She currently volunteers with Bridges to a Brighter Future, a pre-collegiate academic program held on Furman’s campus. Ms. Copeland is also a member of the Southern Association of College Student Affairs (SACSA) and ACPA-College Student Educators International.

  • Kathryn Dey

    Kathryn Dey

    Music Viola|Theory Skills (Honors)|String Orchestra (Concertato)|String Chamber Music|String Seminar|Viola Master Class

    Originally from Lake Mills, Wisconsin, violist Kathryn Dey is active as a soloist and chamber musician and has performed extensively throughout the United States and Europe. Ms. Dey is a Surdna Foundation fellow and was awarded a grant from that organization to study and perform works for unaccompanied viola by Lillian Fuchs. She performs regularly with organist David Turner as The Lila Duo and recent projects include performances at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, Virginia,  and a series of recitals in France and Germany. Together the duo founded the Haiti Music Project, an outreach program connecting musicians in the United States and Cange, Haiti. 

    Active as an educator, her teaching has been recognized by the American String Teacher Association, Strings Magazine, Music Teachers National Association, the American Viola Society, the South Carolina Alliance for Arts Education, and the South Carolina Music Educators Association.  Students from her studio are now performing and teaching around the world. Ms. Dey has given workshops to teachers and students throughout South Carolina and helped build rural string programs in Chester, Fairfield, Jasper, Laurens, and Pickens Counties. She is a frequent presenter at music teaching conferences and has been recognized nationally for her interdisciplinary work in the fields of music, creative writing, and acting. Ms. Dey is on the faculty of the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts, the Eastman Summer Viola Workshop, and the Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival. She earned degrees in viola performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a student of Sally Chisholm, and at the Eastman School of Music, where she served as teaching assistant to John Graham. Ms. Dey speaks fluent German, practices hatha yoga daily, and together with her husband, cellist Robert O’Brien, has been renovating a historic home in downtown Greenville, South Carolina, for the past twelve years.

  • Nancy DeYoung

    Nancy DeYoung

    Academics World Language Instructor

    Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Nancy DeYoung attended Clemson University and received her BA in Secondary Education and Spanish and her M.Ed. in Secondary Administration and Supervision.  She has worked at various schools in different capacities across the Upstate of South Carolina, but loves teaching young adults and sharing her love of Hispanic culture and the Spanish language. When not at school, Nancy enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and puppies, gardening, and traveling.

  • Thomas Dickinson

    Thomas Dickinson

    Music Voice|Opera Workshop|Vocal Diction/Acting Seminar|Voice Master Class|Music Technology

    Thomas Dickinson received his Master of Music degree from the Yale University School of Music where he was a student of Richard Cross. He also holds an Artist Diploma and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he was a student of Richard Miller. At Oberlin he served on the staff of OBSVAC, a cutting edge vocal arts lab that utilizes technology to illuminate the art of singing and was awarded the Ruth Cogan scholarship for excellent service to the Lab. Mr. Dickinson also served as an Associate Instructor of Voice at Indiana University while studying with Giorgio Tozzi. His Studies have taken him to Europe where he was enrolled at the Salzburg Summer Festival. Mr. Dickinson spent two years in residence with the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program where he performed the roles of Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola, Masetto and Commendatore in Don Giovanni and in concerts throughout the northwest. Other operatic roles include Pistola in Falstaff, Schaunard in La Boheme, Collatinus in Rape of Lucretia, Escamillo in Carmen and Melchoir in Amahl and the Night Visitors. Mr. Dickinson’s career had taken him across the United States including appearances with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Glimmerglass Opera, Hartford Symphony, Yakima Symphony, Norwalk Symphony and as an apprentice with the Santa Fe Opera. He has performed locally with the Greenville Symphony, the Augusta Chorale and Greenville Light Opera Works. 

  • Beth Dill

    Beth Dill

    Dance Yoga Instructor

    Beth Dill, owner of the Yoga East studio in Taylors, South Carolina balances life as a yoga instructor, businesswoman, mother, and wife. She began her personal yoga journey in 2008 and earned the 200-hour registered yoga teacher (RYT) certification from Yoga Alliance in 2012. Beth’s teaching involves flowing motions combining a variety of yoga styles and Pilates movements. She builds in time for relaxation and meditation which helps her students balance their minds and bodies. Regular yoga practice with Beth can help you achieve deeper and better sleep, live with greater intention, and be more present in your daily life.

  • Dr. Nsé Ekpo

    Dr. Nsé Ekpo

    Music Saxophone|Wind Ensemble|Music Theory (AP)|Sinfonia Orchestra|Woodwind Chamber Music|Conducting

    Conductor Nse (EN-say) Ekpo enjoys a varied career as a performer, educator, and content creator throughout the United States and abroad. Recent engagements have taken him to Berlin, Germany where he conducted the Berlin Sinfonietta, and Pazardjik, Bulgaria where he has guest conducted the Pazardjik Symphony Orchestra. In 2018, Ekpo was named a finalist in two categories of The American Prize: Professional Orchestral Conducting, and the Ernst Bacon Award for the Programing of American Music (Professional Division). In the summer of 2018, Ekpo was invited along with 17 other creative artists from the US and abroad to be a resident at Rockland Woods Artist Residency Pilot Program in Illahe, Washington.

    Prior to his arrival at The SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, Dr. Ekpo was the Concert Band Director at Lakeside School in Seattle, Washington. While at Lakeside, Ekpo created Music Among Friends: A faculty chamber music series, the Middle School Flash Festival, which was one of Lakeside’s first live-streamed events, and the Business Club at the Upper School. While in the Seattle area, Ekpo guest conducted the Puget Brass, West Seattle Community Orchestra, Issaquah Philharmonic, Boeing Orchestra of Flight, Seattle Pacific University Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Wind Symphony, the Lake Union Civic Orchestra, and the Lake Washington Symphony Orchestra. A champion of diversity in the concert hall, his 2015 doctoral dissertation was on the orchestral music of Black American composers. In 2020, Ekpo spearheaded a commission by composer James Lee III for the Issaquah Philharmonic. Winner of the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award, Dr. Ekpo earned his doctoral degree from the University of South Carolina upon completion of his document, Expanding the American Canon: The Orchestral Music of Black American Composers (https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/3098/).

    Prior to his appointment to Lakeside, Ekpo taught Music Appreciation at the University of South Carolina, and applied clarinet lessons at Lander University (SC).

    A GOMAP fellow at the University of Washington, he conducted the University of Washington Wind Ensemble on its tour of Japan in 2007. He has also conducted the Beijing Opera Company, the Xian Conservatory Orchestra while on tour as a conducting fellow at the Conductor’s Institute of South Carolina. As a scholar, Ekpo has twice presented at the Northwest National Association for Music Education (2011, 2017) and has been published as an assistant editor and contributor to Merideth Music’s A Composer’s Insight series (volumes III, and IV respectively).

    He completed coursework at the University of Washington while concentrating on wind band conducting and repertoire with Tim Salzman. While at the University of Washington, Ekpo conducted the Concert Band, the Symphonic Band, and the Wind Ensemble. Ekpo was also the Graduate Assistant Director of the University of Washington Husky Marching Band for the 2007-2008 season where he was the chief architect of the 2007 Washington vs. Washington State Apple Cup halftime show. He received his master’s degree in orchestral conducting and his bachelor of music in music education from the University of South Carolina. 

    Primary conducting teachers include Donald Portnoy, Timothy Salzman, Peter Eros, and Lee Mills. He has also attended conducting master classes led by Colin Metters, former head of conducting at the London Royal Academy of Music, Gustav Meier at The Peabody Institute, and Sarah Ioannides, Music Director and Conductor of Symphony Tacoma. In addition to his musical training and accomplishments, Dr. Ekpo also holds a master of business administration (MBA) from the Darla Moore School of Business.

  • Jason Englisbe

    Jason Englisbe

    Director of Residential Life

    Jason Englisbe is an alumnus of Florida State University where he received a Master of Science degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Winthrop University. Mr. Englisbe has been an Assistant Director of Student Services at the Governor's School since the fall of 2005. He aids students in the residence hall, oversees prom and other student activities, and organizes community meetings. Mr. Englisbe has worked with adolescents in several capacities, including coaching a swim team for four years. He loves to travel, hike, and play tennis and ultimate frisbee, and he tries to involve students in these activities as well.

  • Christina Fuller-Gregory

    Christina Fuller-Gregory

    Assistant Director of Library Services

    Christina Fuller-Gregory is excited to step into her new role as Assistant Director of Libraries at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. Before joining SCGSAH she was the Spark Space Manager for Spartanburg County Public Libraries (SCPL). While at SCPL Christina was responsible for all maker-based programming, technology, instruction, and
    services for the library system. She is passionate about creative placemaking and the power of hands-on learning. To say she loves libraries is an understatement- Christina is active with the American Library Association (ALA) and Public Library Association (PLA), serving as chair of ALA’s Emerging Leaders Interest Group (ELIG) Steering Committee and as chair of PLA’s
    Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice (EDISJ) Taskforce. In addition to her work with the PLA EDISJ Task Force, Christina also led SCPL’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Committee, a committee that works to develop library policy and procedure supporting both internal and external Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Outside of libraries, Christina absolutely adores three things, music (of all genres), 3D-printing and design, and challenging
    herself to learn something new!

  • Stephen Gabriel

    Stephen Gabriel

    Dance Lowcountry Youth Dance Academy (LYDA) Ballet Instructor

    Stephen Gabriel trained extensively with master teachers Michael Simms of the Royal  Winnipeg Ballet and Elizabeth Hard of the Kansas City Ballet and was awarded full  scholarships from both Duke University and Stephens College where he earned his B.F.A  degree in dance. His professional performing credits include seasons with the Richmond  Ballet, Ballet Omaha, and as principal dancer for Orlando’s Southern Ballet Theatre and the  Charleston Ballet Theatre. Throughout his career he danced lead roles in many of the classics  as well as works by Lambros Lambrou, Mauricio Wainrot, Lew Christiansen and NYCB’s  Christopher Fleming. Stephen has also performed for renowned modern choreographers Doug  Varone, Peter Pucci, Mark Taylor and the Humphrey-Weidman Repertory Company. During his  time with the Charleston Ballet Theatre he served as the company’s Ballet Master. Also during  his tenure, he had the honor of working closely with Repetiteurs of the George Balanchine Trust  in staging and coaching of the company’s Balanchine Repertory.
     

  • John Benjamin Gilliam

    John Benjamin Gilliam

    Visual Arts Metals and Jewelry, 3-D Design, Bronze Casting

    John “Ben” Gilliam resides in Greenville, South Carolina, where he is both a working studio artist and a visual arts instructor at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities. Originally from Tennessee, he moved to Pennsylvania where he received his M.F.A. from Tyler School of Art, Temple University. His work has been exhibited nationally and has been featured in Metalsmith, TOWN, and American Style magazines. Ben has also received a number of grants and awards that include the Surdna Arts Teachers Fellowship, the Individual Artist Fellowship Grant sponsored by South Carolina Arts Commission, and the “Outstanding K-12 Sculpture Teacher Award” by the International Sculpture Society. He was commissioned to create commemorative bronze plaques for the Mobay Corporation and the Palumbo Center at Duquesne University, both in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

     "The act of creating is more than the manipulation of materials or a display of technical skill. It demands an attitude of discovery through an examination of ones own creativity."

  • Scott Gould

    Scott Gould

    Creative Writing Creative Nonfiction Instructor

    Scott Gould’s books include the novels Whereabouts (Koehler Books) and The Hammerhead Chronicles (UNG Press); a story collection, Strangers to Temptation (Hub City Press); and a memoir, Things That Crash, Things That Fly (Vine Leaves Press). A second collection of stories, Idiot Men, will be published in Fall 2023, by Vine Leaves Press. His work has appeared in Kenyon Review, Black Warrior Review, New Madrid Journal, New Ohio Review, Crazyhorse, BULL, Garden & Gun, Pangyrus, New Stories from the South, and others. Gould is a past recipient of the Larry Brown Short Story Award and an IPPY Gold Medal in fiction, and he is a two-time winner of the S.C. Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship in Prose.

    Gould teaches creative nonfiction in the Creative Writing Department and has served the Governor's School since 2004.

  • Robert Hazelrigg

    Robert Hazelrigg

    Dance Dance Accompanist

  • Amanda Herlihy

    Amanda Herlihy

    Executive Director

  • Karen Hill

    Karen Hill

    Music Clarinet

    An active performer, Karen Hill is currently the Principal Clarinetist of the Spartanburg Philharmonic, Principal Second Clarinetist of the Asheville Symphony and a member of the Arbor Wind Trio. She has appeared as a soloist with the Spartanburg Philharmonic, Brevard Chamber Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, Music Academy of the West Festival Orchestra, Hunan Symphony Orchestra, Yellow River Symphony Orchestra, the Converse Symphony Orchestra, and collaborated with the American Chamber Players. She has also served as Principal Clarinetist with the Hendersonville Symphony, the Brevard Chamber Orchestra, and the French Broad River Woodwind Quintet. A freelance musician in the area for over 20 years, Mrs. Hill also has performed with the Asheville Lyric Opera Company, Augusta Symphony Orchestra, Augusta Opera Company, Charleston Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Greenville Symphony, North Carolina Symphony and the South Carolina Philharmonic. Mrs. Hill has traveled to China multiple times as a performer and teacher in cities such as Hangzhou, Wenzhou, Zhengzhou, Changsha and Qingdao.

    Mrs. Hill has been on the faculty at Converse since 2000. She also serves as Special Assistant to the Provost for International Programs, promoting and coordinating Converse’s partnership programs in China. Prior to 2000, she taught at Brevard College, Mars Hill College, Clemson University, the University of South Carolina, Union, and the School for Gifted Students in the Arts. A high school graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy, Mrs. Hill holds degrees in clarinet performance from Northwestern University and the University of Michigan, where she was a full-tuition Fellow. She is a former student of the world-renowned clarinetist Robert Marcellus.

    A summer music enthusiast throughout high school and college, Karen spent her summers at music festivals such as the Banff Center, Brevard Music Center, Interlochen, Music Academy of the West, and the School of Orchestral Studies, a summer affiliate of the Philadelphia Orchestra. She has also performed at Piccolo Spoleto, the Cullowhee Music Festival, and at Wild Acres, as a Woodwind Quintet Artist-in-Residence. She currently spends her summers at the MasterWorks Festival at Converse University. 

  • Shannon Hoover

    Shannon Hoover

    Music Music Composition

    Shannon Hoover, from Greenville SC, is a freelance performer, composer, music educator, and music director / co-founder of The Greenville Jazz Collective (501c-3 nonprofit). He plays electric and acoustic bass, piano, and brass. A graduate of Anderson University (SC), Shannon has a B.A. in Double Bass Performance (minors in piano and music education) and will earn a M.M. in Music Education in the fall of 2023. He teaches private and virtual lessons in Greenville at Music on Mitchell. He has taught music for over 20 years to students of all ages and levels, including adjunct positions at the university level for 15 years. Shannon is currently an adjunct music instructor at Furman University.

    Shannon plays many styles, focusing on jazz, classical, commercial, and world music. Recently, Shannon has had the opportunity to play with Victor Wooten, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Branford Marsalis, Harry Kim, Ike Stubblefield, Vincent Gardner, Lizz Wright, Jiggs Whigham, John Ellis, Kobie Watkins, Ron McCurdy, Jason Marsalis, Col. Bruce Hampton, Craig Wagner, Adam Nitti, Justin Stanton, Bob Moses, Ranky Tanky, Chris Vadala, Terreon Gully, Geoff Achison, Buzz Amato, Jeff Sipe, Derek Trucks, Mondre Moffett, Edwin McCain, Delfeayo Marsalis, Bobby Lee Rodgers, Veronica Swift, Pharez Whitted, Dionne Warwick, Yonrico Scott, Bill Evans, Kofi Burbridge, Chris Bullock, Scotty Anderson, Walter Blanding, Jr., Roy "Futureman" Wooten, Jason Marsalis, Mondre Moffett and Clarence Clemons.

    Shannon has been busy the last few years building a foundation for jazz in Greenville, SC with educational programs and performances with the Greenville Jazz Collective since 2012. The organization promotes jazz awareness and education in the Greenville area, visiting local schools and offering concerts, camps, and clinics.

    Along with being a recording artist for other musicians, Shannon released a CD entitled "Follow Me" in October 2012, featuring original compositions. He has been working on several new projects including a Jaco Pastorius Tribute Band, transcription and recording projects, a second studio album of original compositions, a solo electric bass album, and an electric bass
    method book.

     

    Find out more about Shannon Hoover and the Greenville Jazz Collective:

    www.ShannonHooverMusic.com

    www.GreenvilleJazzCollective.com

     

    Education

    • B.A. in Double Bass Performance (minors in piano and music education)  Anderson University
    • M.M. in Music Education (anticipated completion fall of 2023)
  • Walter Hundt

    Walter Hundt

    Music Collaborative Pianist

    Walter Hundt received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance from Bob Jones University and continued graduate study at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music working as a pianist in the opera department. Walter is a staff pianist at the SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities as well as music director/organist at Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Simpsonville. He accompanies various soloists and ensembles throughout the area and has worked with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, the South Carolina Children’s Theatre, the Greenville Little Theatre, the Warehouse Theatre, and the Greenville Opera. 

  • Zach Inks

    Zach Inks

    Visual Arts Visual Arts Animation Instructor

    Zach Inks earned his Masters of Fine Arts in Digital Production Arts from Clemson University and has taught higher education animation and drawing courses. His career includes his exciting work in the field of computer animation and interactive media, as well as, his work in the community with the creation of youth camps and other non-traditional educational events. Inks regularly contributes to the East Coast Game Conference and the Southern Interactive Entertainment and GamesExpo as a speaker.

  • Dr. Kristen Ironside

    Dr. Kristen Ironside

    Music Collaborative Pianist

    Kristen Whitworth Ironside is an active collaborative pianist, whose work has given her performance opportunities both across the United States and Europe. Kristen has been on the collaborative piano faculty at the MasterWorks Festival, and has been a collaborative pianist at both the Vianden International Music Festival in Vianden, Luxembourg, and the Saarburger Serenaden International Music Festival in Saarburg, Germany.

    Kristen is based in Greenville, South Carolina, where she collaborates with guest artists, faculty, and students at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH), Furman University, and other universities around the state. She has recently performed with visiting professors from Oberlin Conservatory, the Eastman School of Music, and New England Conservatory, and performed a concerto with the Bob Jones University String Orchestra. An avid supporter of contemporary music, she has also worked with composers Jon Grier and Lance Hulme to premiere and record new works. She currently coaches chamber music at SCGSAH, and has served on the faculty of Presbyterian College, in Clinton, SC. Kristen is a member of the Hendiatris Piano Trio, and frequently performs with her husband, violinist Brandon Ironside, as part of the Ironside Duo.

  • Harrison Johnson

    Harrison Johnson

    Fitness Center Coordinator

  • Adair Kempf

    Adair Kempf

    Dance Dance Administrative Assistant & Ballet Instructor

    Adair Kempf, from Greenville, SC, graduated from the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in 2003, under the direction of Stanislav Issaev.  She Graduated with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance from Butler University in 2007, with honors. While there, she traveled to Poland and Russia to study dance, under the supervision of Marek Cholewa. She also performed the leading role of Swanhilda, in Butler Ballet’s “Coppelia”, for her graduation performance, and was featured in an original work by James Kudelka. In 2007 Adair moved to Charleston to join Charleston Ballet Theatre, under the direction of Jill Bahr. In 2008, Adair returned to Greenville to join Carolina Ballet Theatre, and begin teaching with DanceArts Greenville. Adair performed such roles for CBT as, Sugar Plum Fairy in “The Nutcracker”, Aurora in “Sleeping Beauty”, and Myrtha in “Giselle”. During her time at CBT, Adair worked with guest choreographer, Alonzo King in his work "Map", and with Dwight Rhoden, in his work, "Beatle Juice". After retiring from dance in 2014, Adair became rehearsal assistant for CBT for 2 years, then Associate Artistic Director in 2016. For DanceArts Greenville, Adair was made Associate Artistic Director of the school in 2017. She taught ballet to beginner ballet levels, ballet, pointe, and variations to the advanced levels, and took many students to the prestigious ballet competition, Youth America Grand Prix. After ten years with CBT and DAG, Adair returned to her alma mater, SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, in the Office of Admissions and Dance Departments. She now serves as Dance Department Administrative Assistant, Ballet Faculty, Dance Immersion Chair and Summer Dance Faculty. 
     

  • Craig King

    Craig King

    Music Trumpet|Brass Master Class

    Craig lives in Greenville, SC enjoying and active and varies performing and teaching career. He has degrees in trumpet performance from Yale University School of Music (MM) and Furman University (BM). He performs frequently with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, GAMAC Orchestra, West End Brass Quintet, GSO Quintet, Greenville Jazz Collective Big Band, and on occasion the Asheville Symphony, Spartanburg Philharmonic, and South Carolina Philharmonic. Past highlights include performances at Avery Fischer Hall and New York City's Lincoln Center and the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Broadway shows on local stops, Ringling Bros Circus, opening band for Wilco, and orchestras with Johnny Mathis, Edwin McCain, and Bela Fleck. 

    In addition to teaching trumpet and coaching brass ensembles at SCGSAH, Craig teaches trumpet at Converse College, Lawson Academy of Arts, and North Greenville University, where he also serves as Director of Jazz Band. Craig recently released an album of his original music, Blue Metropolis, on vinyl, CD, and streaming services. In his off time, Craig is painting portraits, cooking, and roasting coffee.

  • Chris Koelle

    Chris Koelle

    Visual Arts Adjunct - Visual Arts Graphic Design Instructor

    Chris Koelle is a versatile award-winning visual artist, illustrator, and graphic designer with over 18 years of professional experience. His areas of expertise include hand-drawn illustration and fine art, multi-layered narrative illustration for motion graphics and animation, movie poster / key art design, art for film, craft beer packaging art and design, and logo design.
     

  • Justin Koury

    Justin Koury

    Academics Math Instructor

    Justin Koury has been teaching in South Carolina for 10 years, most recently at Lake View High School in the Pee Dee. He graduated with a degree in Economics and Business from the University of South Florida and a Masters in Instructional Technology from Coastal Carolina University. He typically takes a course in something over the summer along with reading, traveling, and relaxing. He also participated in crafting the support documents for South Carolina's mathematics standards. He is eager to share his love of learning and the beauty of mathematics with students during the new school-year.
     

  • Rebecca Lee

    Rebecca Lee

    Dance Modern Dance Instructor

    Rebecca Lee (Modern) is a native of Greenville, where she received her dance training with the Greenville Ballet, the Greenville County Schools’ Fine Arts Center, and the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts. She received her B.F.A. in Dance, Performance, and Choreography from Columbia College and her M.F.A in Dance, Performance, and Choreography from Florida State University. She has been a company member with Dance Repertory Theatre in Tallahassee, FL, and a guest artist with Wildwood Ballet and the Power Company in Columbia, SC. She has also danced with Christian von Howard in the Von Howard Project and with the Garage Girls a Go-Go in New York City. She has taught for FSU Summer Dance Intensive, FSU non-major dance classes, Tallahassee Ballet, Pas de Vie Ballet Company, Ballet Spartanburg, and Broadway South. She has also choreographed for Converse College, Columbia College, Ballet Spartanburg, Tallahassee Ballet and the Fine Arts Center. She currently teaches dance in the Greenville County Schools and at the after-school A.R.M.E.S. program at the Greenville County Schools’ Fine Arts Center.

  • Charnise Mangle

    Charnise Mangle

    Academics Social Studies Instructor

    Charnise Mangle is an extraordinary social studies teacher and certified literacy teacher and coach. Ms. Mangle is a Greenville native and attended Clemson University, where she earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Secondary History of the Social Sciences in 2012. When she understood the need for teachers to incorporate content specific literacy strategies in their classrooms for student content understanding, she began studying literacy. In 2019, she earned a Master’s of Arts in Education with a concentration in Literacy from Furman University. She joined the faculty of the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities in 2020 after six years at Wade Hampton High School in Greenville County.

    Ms. Mangle has a passion and zeal for teaching social studies and has created a classroom where students can learn about United States Government, AP Government and Politics, Economics and Personal Finance, and United States History and the Constitution in a compelling and creative way as she guides them on a journey of personal civic duty, finance and community understanding.

    She believes she has been called to raise the next generation to become critical thinkers and people of progress. She has been working with high school students since 2009 through YoungLife, student ministry, mentoring, tutoring and teaching. In 2014, Ms. Mangle worked as a Residential Life Coordinator for the Governor’s School and enjoyed the experience so much she dreamed of being a part of the academic faculty once she became a teacher. She is honored to serve as a faculty member and Chair of the Faculty Council consisting of arts and academic faculty.    

    Ms. Mangle is also a published author of her ebook, Understanding Race and Racism in America: A Collection of Resources on Race in the United States of America for Self-Exploration, released in 2020. She also serves on several committees in Greenville, and is on the Board of Directors for Homes of Hope, Public Education Partners and Lead Collective.   

    According to Mrs. Rita Pierson, the educator who has profoundly impacted Ms. Mangle, "every child deserves a champion -- an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best they can possibly be."

  • Terri Mattress

    Terri Mattress

    Director of School Counseling

    Greetings! I am a native of Anderson and product of Anderson School District Five schools.

    I attended Lander University where I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology with a minor in Child and Family Studies. I also attended
    Webster University where I earned a Master of Arts in Counseling and then Clemson University earning an add-on certification in School Counseling. I have worked as a School Counselor for the past twelve years. My prior work experience include: Anderson Public Defenders Office as a Prevention Specialist working with juvenile delinquents, Anderson Pickens Oconee Mental Health-Child and Adolescent Clinic and a Social
    Worker/Case Manager at West Market and South Fant Early Education Centers.

    This opportunity is a very important milestone in your child’s life, and I am both excited and honored to be a part of this experience. I plan to work
    closely with the students so that together we can make the next few years the best and most rewarding as possible.

  • Miriam Mesa Pelly

    Miriam Mesa Pelly

    Dance Dance Faculty

    Miriam Mesa-Pelly began her ballet studies in 1962 with a full scholarship to attend the National School of the Arts in Havana, Cuba. In 1970, Miriam graduated with Honors and soon after joined the world renowned National Ballet of Cuba (NBC) as a member of the corps de ballet. 

    During her career with the NBC, Mrs. Mesa-Pelly rose through the ranks, quickly becoming a First Soloist. She performed notable principal roles including Odette in Swan Lake, the Sylph in La Sylphide, and Kitri in Don Quixote. She also performed soloist and first soloist roles in ballets such as Swan Lake, Coppelia, Giselle, Pas de Quatre, La Fille Mal Gardée, Don Quixote, and Sleeping Beauty. Miriam is also very proud to have worked with prominent choreographers that include Alberto Alonso, Brian McDonald, and Alberto Mendez. In addition, Mrs. Mesa-Pelly was able to perform lead roles in iconic theaters around the globe that include but are not limited to The Kennedy Center in Washington DC., The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, The Opera Theater of Les Champs Elysées in Paris, The Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, The Colón Theater in Buenos Aires, Teatro de La Scala in Milan, and the Bellas Artes Theater in Mexico City.
     
    During her career with NBC, Miriam also attended The Cuban Superior Institute of Arts. She graduated in 1992 with Honors and a Bachelor’s degree in Scenic Arts specializing in Ballet. This allowed her to not only teach ballet to aspiring dancers but also the methodology behind ballet technique to aspiring dance teachers. After retiring as a First Soloist from the NBC in 1994, she began teaching ballet technique, pointe work, and repertoire at the internationally-recognized Cuban National Ballet School in Havana, Cuba. She trained multiple dancers to participate in national and international competitions where some of them received Gold and Silver medals. In 1998 Miriam began teaching at the National Center for the Arts (CNA) in Mexico City, Mexico. While at the CNA, she taught both male and female ballet technique, pointe, and repertoire. She also trained dancers there to participate in ballet competitions around the world culminating in many of them also getting Silver and Bronze medals. Mrs. Mesa-Pelly then worked at “The Art of Classical Ballet” in Pompano Beach, USA and the Fomento Artistico Cordobes Ballet School in Cordoba, Mexico before joining the South Carolina Governor’s School of Arts and Humanities as a Ballet teacher in 2013. 

    Mrs. Miriam is also a published author. In her book “Methodological Referencial Basis of the Classical Dance Technique;” (ISBN: 970-9703-09-9), she explains in great detail the basic steps in the ballet repertoire and the proper technique to perform them. This book was written as a methodological tool to help ballet teachers in training better understand the technique they will one day teach. Other notable achievements Miriam Mesa-Pelly has accomplished include being a member of the Jury that reviews students’ thesis defense at The Cuban Superior Institute of Arts, being an adviser to the “Mexican Implementing Committee” who assigns ballet teacher’s positions within the National Center for the Arts in Mexico City, being a juror for the Valentina Kozlova Regional International Ballet Competition in New Orleans, and  creating “The Project”; a program at the CNA that identified exceptional talent regardless of their economic situation.  The students selected for “The Project” got allocated extra-curricular training and resources with the goal of getting them scholarships and professional contracts with prestigious ballet schools and companies around the world.  This was achieved by training them to be competitive in national and international ballet competitions where such prizes are awarded. 

    For virtually her entire life, Miriam Mesa-Pelly has shown unwavering passion for her craft. She has translated that passion into unforgettable performances onstage and inspiration for the next generation offstage. Evidence for this is in her many former pupils, now scattered around the world, in schools and companies (many in Soloist or Principal positions) such as the National Ballet of Canada, Cincinnati Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Juilliard, Deutsche Oper Am Rhein, National Ballet of Mexico, Monterrey Dance Company… and the list goes on.

  • Keeley Mezzancello

    Keeley Mezzancello

    Dance Nutrition Instructor

    Keeley Mezzancello is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and a Licensed Dietitian (LD) in the state of South Carolina. She is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and a Certified Health Coach (Wellcoaches). She is currently a Registered Dietitian and Health Coach for Wellview Health. Keeley received her undergraduate degree in Business from Boston College and her Master's in Nutrition from Hunter College in Manhattan. She has experience in private practice combining nutritional counseling with strength and conditioning in New York City. She has also worked in a variety of outpatient settings including rehabilitative, corporate wellness, and multiple eating disorder clinics. She has provided Nutrition and Fitness education to adolescent aspiring models and attendees of Modeling Camp NYC and has lead nutrition seminars for the dancers of the Performing Arts Academy of Marin (PAAM). She holds a certificate in Adult Weight Management from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She has served on the board of the Piedmont Dietetic Association and volunteered as a panel dietitian for LiveWell Greenville. Keeley loves the strong sense of community within Greenville, and enjoys dining out, cooking, travel, the outdoors, running, and yoga.

  • Dr. Amanda Montgomery

    Dr. Amanda Montgomery

    Music Piano|Piano Ensembles|Piano Seminar|Piano Master Class

    Amanda Montgomery, DMA, enjoys a diverse career as a pedagogue and pianist. In addition to her position at SCGSAH, Amanda is also an adjunct professor at Furman University and maintains a private pre-college piano studio. Prior appointments include Claflin University, North Central Texas College, and Louisiana State University. 

    Amanda received the DMA in Piano Performance with a minor in Piano Pedagogy from Louisiana State University. She also holds degrees from James Madison University and Furman University. Her former piano and piano pedagogy teachers include Michael Gurt, Steve Betts, Eric Ruple, and Derek Parsons. 

    Her students consistently perform well in competitions, including a winner in the South Carolina MTNA Young Artist Competition. Amanda has served as the Vice President for Competitions and is currently the President-Elect for the SCMTA.

  • Carey Morton

    Carey Morton

    Visual Arts Visual Arts 3-D Sculpture Instructor

    Carey Morton attained his BFA at Winthrop University, and his MFA at Clemson University concentrating in sculpture. While teaching at College of Charleston Carey taught contemporary sculpture, public art, and developed the school’s first ever blacksmithing course. Carey continues his career in the arts, teaching, making, and exhibiting contemporary work in galleries throughout the state and creating public art for regional and national clients. Carey manages his own business as an ornamental ironworker and metal fabricator merging old-world craftsmanship with new world technology, bridging the gap between contemporary sculpture and functional art.

  • Natasha Nast

    Natasha Nast

    Dance Lowcountry Youth Dance Academy (LYDA) - Jazz Instructor

    Natasha Nast, a Baltimore, Maryland native, began her training in ballet, jazz, and tap at the age of 2 and went on to dance competitively in both regional and national competitions. She began her formal training in ballet and modern in high school at the Baltimore School for the Arts under the direction of Norma Pera, Bat Udval, Evgenia Singur, Anton Wilson, and Linda-Denise Fisher-Harrell as well as at the Russian Ballet Academy of Maryland under Svetlana Kravtsova and Vadim Pijicov. Upon graduation, Natasha joined the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre as a graduate student under full scholarship where she trained under the direction of Terrence Orr, Marianna Tcherkassky, Janet Popeleski, Andre Reyes, Marjorie Grundvig, and Dennis Marshall. There, she was one of the few dancers selected from the program to perform company roles in several classics including Swan Lake, La Bayadere, Le Corsaire, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker, as well as other works by notable choreographers such as George Balanchine’s Western Symphony, Lew Christensen’s Beauty and the Beast, and Derek Deane’s Alice in Wonderland and Romeo and Juliet. Alongside her work with the company, Natasha performed principal roles in Graduate Program productions such as the Dark Angel in George Balanchine’s Serenade, Gamzatti in La Bayadere, the title role as well as Henriette in Raymonda, the Lilac Fairy in the Sleeping Beauty, and the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. In 2016, she performed in a series of performances alongside Grammy Award winning recording artist, Daya, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Natasha spent four years dancing in Pittsburgh prior to moving to Charleston in 2017 where she is currently dancing as a company member with the Palmetto City Ballet. Her repertoire with the company includes The Ringmaster in Carnival of the Animals, The Lounge Singer in French Twist, The Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, and The Red-Winged Blackbird in The Snow Queen, as well as principal roles in neo-classical works such as Why Our Walls and Accumulation. Outside of her work with the Palmetto City Ballet, Natasha has danced with Moranz Entertainment and Unbound Ballet Project and can also be seen as a featured dancer throughout season 2 of HBO’s hit television series, The Righteous Gemstones.

    Natasha has been teaching students of the Charleston and surrounding communities in ballet, jazz, musical theatre, and more since 2018. Alongside teaching daily classes, she specializes in setting classical and contemporary repertoire, choreographing original pieces, and coaching students for competitions as well as summer intensive, company, and college auditions. Natasha is currently on faculty at the Palmetto City Ballet School, Ballet Academy of Charleston, Charleston Academy of Musical Theatre, and Just Dance/Charleston Dance Center.
     

  • Robert O'Brien

    Robert O'Brien

    Music Cello|String Chamber Music|Cello Master Class

    Born in Princeton, NJ, Robert O'Brien began started playing the cello at age eight.  Mr. O'Brien plays regularly throughout the Southeast and has appeared recently as a soloist with the Foothills Philharmonic and the Macon (Georgia) Symphony.  As a chamber musician his programs have been heard on Peachstate Public Radio and on South Carolina Educational Radio.  Recent performances include solo recitals in Kinston, NC and Greenville, SC.  A former instructor at the Columbus (Georgia) Academy of Music, Mr. O'Brien was part of the first successful HUD sponsored Suzuki string program.  Through this innovative program he was involved in bringing Suzuki and traditional cello instruction to public housing projects in western Georgia.  In addition to his position as cello instructor of the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, Mr. O'Brien is assistant principal cellist of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra.  Mr. O'Brien holds a degree from Peabody Conservatory in cello performance where he was a student of Stephen Kates.  He has also worked with Leonard Rose, Janos Starker and former Fine Arts Quartet violinist Abe Loft.  Mr. O'Brien was recently the recipient of a grant from the Surdna Foundation to study Baroque cello technique with members of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and cellist Pieter Wispelwey of the Netherlands.  Mr. O'Brien performs on a modern cello made in 2002 by David Burgess.

  • Irina Peace

    Irina Peace

    Dance Dance Accompanist

    Irina Peace is a collaborative pianist and piano teacher. She has served as accompanist for the Music Department at Converse College, Furman University, and Governor’s School. Ms. Peace has collaborated with SC Opera Company, Converse Opera, Furman Lyrical Theater, and Donetsk Opera and Ballet Theater. Ms. Peace is a native of Ukraine. She received her musical training, M.M. and B.M. in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Donetsk State Conservatory and Kherson Music College. Prior to moving to the U.S. in 1995, Ms. Peace lived and worked in Ukraine, where she held a position as staff accompanist at Khmelnytskyi State Philharmonic and taught at Khmelnytskyi Music College.

  • Lauren Piccirillo Waid

    Lauren Piccirillo Waid

    Music Bassoon|Bassoon Reed Class

    Lauren Piccirillo Waid is the Bassoon Instructor at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. She holds a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Martin James and William Winstead. She teaches privately in the Upstate, serves as the wind coach for the Greenville County Youth Orchestra, and is Bassoon Professor at Furman University. Lauren has performed with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, Asheville Symphony Orchestra, Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, Richmond (IN) Symphony Orchestra, Springfield (OH) Symphony Orchestra, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, and many others. Lauren taught at Franklin College, IN for six years, where she was a full-time professor of Music Theory and Applied Woodwinds. Lauren has taught private piano and woodwind lessons for over twenty years, and she has also designed programs for and taught preschool music and upper elementary Montessori music. Lauren taught at Cincinnati’s prestigious Walnut Hills High School, where she grew the bassoon studio from one to eight bassoonists within five years. She served as Music Chair for the Three Arts Scholarship board, where she had the pleasure of awarding many college-aged musicians significant scholarships. Lauren is a member of the International Double Reed Society. She also makes and sells her own bassoon reeds and was cofounder of Double or Nothing Reeds, LLC. 

  • Lori Post

    Lori Post

    Administrative Assistant

    Lori Post was born and raised in the Great Plains of Nebraska. After working several years as a photographer for her hometown paper, Lori eventually landing in Utah where she worked as a Photo Editor at the Salt Lake Tribune. After a successful career in photojournalism, Lori took a 5-year hiatus to travel (mostly on the back of a motorcycle). She arrived at the Governor's School in the Fall of 2013 and works as an Administrative Assistant in Student Services.

  • Thomas Shoemaker

    Thomas Shoemaker

    Dance Dance Faculty

    Thomas Shoemaker was an acclaimed principal dancer with companies including the Atlanta Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Augusta Ballet, and Charleston Ballet Theatre in a professional career that spanned 25 years. As a guest artist and choreographer, he has worked with numerous dance and theatre companies throughout the U.S. and abroad.  As an educator, Mr. Shoemaker has taught elementary through college-aged students in studios, schools, colleges and summer programs throughout the southeastern United States. He received a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance from Hollins University/American Dance Festival. Before joining the faculty of the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, Mr. Shoemaker taught and choreographed for the Vanderbilt University Dance Program and was Artistic Director of Vanderbilt Dance Theatre. He also served on faculty with Middle Tennessee State University Dance Program, Austin Peay State University Dance Program, Tennessee Governors School for the Arts Summer Program, and American Dance Festival. Mr. Shoemaker also served as
 Associate Artistic Director for StillPoint Dance Theatre.

    In May 2009, Shoemaker’s ballet “just let go” was awarded “Best Ballet” at the Panoply Choreographic Competition. In 2010, he won the same award for VS.  His ballet Foreverly (based on the lives of the Everly Brothers) was awarded “Best Live Performance of 2005” by the Augusta Chronicle.

    As artistic director and ballet master, Mr. Shoemaker has staged or restaged numerous works including Nutcracker, Cinderella and Les Sylphides; George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante and Tarantella; Fernand Nault’s Carmina Burana and many classical pas de deux.

    Mr. Shoemaker teaches Men's Ballet & B Ballet Technique, Men's Technique, Junior & Senior Men's Ballet Variation, Pas De Deux, Repertoire, Dance History, Junior Career Preparation, Aspects of Production, Coaching & Stretch & Strength, and is an Audition Preparation and Senior Showcase Mentor, and the YoungArts Coordinator.

  • Mark Sibley-Jones

    Mark Sibley-Jones

    Academics English Faculty

    Mark Sibley-Jones taught at USC-Columbia for fifteen years before coming to the Governor's School. From 2002 to 2006 he taught English Literature at the South Carolina Honors College and advised students across a number of academic disciplines. He is thrilled to be teaching juniors in English III, English IV, and AP English Literature at the Governor's School.

  • Dr. Elliott Smith

    Dr. Elliott Smith

    Music Governor's School Choir|Chamber Choir (Cantus)|Class Piano

    Elliott Smith, D.M.A. was born and raised in Greenville, SC where he attended Furman University and earned a degree in piano performance. From 2005-2010, he attended the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he received graduate degrees in piano and conducting. He recently received his doctorate in conducting from the University of Notre Dame, where his research interest was continuous practice of the Baroque and Classical eras; further, his thesis examined W.A. Mozart's "Great" C-minor Mass. His primary teachers include Ruby Morgan and Elisabeth Pridonoff, piano and Elmer Thomas, Earl Rivers, Brett Scott, Annunziata Tomato, and Carmen-Helena Téllez, conducting. 

  • Bill Smith

    Bill Smith

    Academics Science Faculty

  • Katie Steenerson

    Katie Steenerson

    Humanities English and Humanities Instructor

    Katie Burgess Steenerson holds a BFA in painting from the University of Georgia and an MFA and PhD in creative writing from Florida State. Her flash fiction collection, Wind on the Moon, won the 2018 Sundress Publications Chapbook contest. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney's Internet TendencyReductressThe RumpusSmokelong QuarterlyPembroke MagazineNew Orleans Review, and elsewhere. In her spare time she performs with Alchemy Comedy Theater. 

     

  • Katie Stewart

    Katie Stewart

    Dance Jazz Instructor

    Katie Wilson Stewart is a native of Asheville, North Carolina, she received her Bachelor in Fine Arts from East Carolina University. She was the Studio Director of Broadway Dance Center’s Children & Teens location by Lincoln Center from it’s opening in 2017 as well as teaching on Jazz and Musical Theater faculty for the BDC Children & Teens Program and Theater Guest Faculty for BDC’s esteemed adult drop-in classes. During her 11 years based in New York City she performed both in the city and at regional theatres across the country. Katie was the Dance Captain & Swing for the national tour of Kathleen Marshall’s Anything Goes. Other favorite regional credits include West Side Story (Anita), Footloose (Urleen), The Boy Friend (Masie), and Oklahoma (Gertie). Katie was also a founding member and associate choreographer for AlmaNYC Dance Company & Artist Collective. 

    With a deep seeded passion for the history of dance in theater and commercial styles, Katie approaches teaching with an attention to the tap and jazz foundations that have inspired the greats as well as an emphasis on the current popular styles. Katie has taught Master Classes across the country in conjunction with Broadway Dance Center, Stage Door Connection, and Broadway Connection. Katie now resides in Greenville, SC with her husband, Jake and son Wesley. 
     

  • Ruth Story

    Ruth Story

    Dance Yoga Instructor

    Ruth began practicing yoga shortly after her son was born in 2006 and she immediately fell in love. Not only did she feel better—both physically and mentally— yoga taught Ruth to be more ‘in-tune’ with her body and mind. As a result she learned to be kind to herself and respect her own limitations with grace and confidence. This shift in her outlook continues to this day, but she has learned in order to stay connected to herself and others with calmness and clarity, she must continue with her yoga practice. 

    Ruth completed a 230-hour teacher training program with Karen Noonan of Yoganize in 2017.  She currently teaches yoga at a climbing gym in Traveler’s Rest. When she is not on her mat you can find her paddling down the river, climbing at the gym or spending time with friends and family and her beloved dog, Chewy.

  • Emily Styer

    Emily Styer

    Academics Math Instructor

    Mrs. Styer grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

    She received her undergraduate degree in Economics with a minor in Business from Penn State University, Post-Baccalaureate in Math Education from Millersville University, and Master’s in Administration from Southern Wesleyan University.

    Mrs. Styer taught math for a year at Spring Valley HS in Columbia, SC and then for eight years at Fort Dorchester HS in North Charleston, SC. She taught IB Math while at Fort Dorchester and served as the school's AP coordinator for three years before moving to Greenville, SC in 2019. From 2019-2023 Ms. Styer served as the Advanced Studies Coordinator at Woodmont High School. She also was part of the instructional team and worked with Algebra 1, AP, and IB courses. She lives with her husband, daughter, and two dogs, Yoda and Nuke.

    She is excited to be back in the classroom teaching at SCGSAH!

  • Jessica Swank

    Jessica Swank

    Visual Arts Adjunct - Visual Arts AP History Instructor

    Jessica Swank is an interdisciplinary artist, currently based in Greenville, SC. She earned her MFA from Clemson University and her BA from Anderson University. She has taught and led classes and workshops at Clemson University, Anderson University, and Greenville Center for Creative Arts. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, at galleries such as Millepiani in Rome, Italy, JKC Gallery in Trenton, NJ, and the Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (CICA) in Gimpo, South Korea. She has been recognized by Musée Magazine’s “Woman Crush Wednesday,” Fraction Magazine, and Porridge Magazine. As a founding member of Zero Space Art Collective, Swank also works to make space for underrepresented visual artists both online and through curated exhibitions. 
     

  • Michael Taylor

    Michael Taylor

    Music Euphonium|Brass Seminar

    Michael Taylor serves on the faculties of Anderson University, Lenoir-Rhyne University and North Greenville University where he teaches tuba, euphonium, chamber ensembles, and brass methods. He is also the coordinator and conductor of the annual Hickory, NC Tuba Christmas event. Past teaching appointments include Furman University, Brevard College, Presbyterian Association of Music and Musicians, and the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.

    Mr. Taylor has served as principal tuba with the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra since 2002. In addition to his duties with the HSO, he has performed with several symphony orchestras throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. Mr. Taylor has also performed and toured with Mr. Jack Daniel’s Original Silver Cornet Band, the Harvey Phillips Tuba Company, and the Tuba Santas while maintaining an active schedule as a performer and clinician in the southeastern United States.

    Mr. Taylor received his Bachelor of Music degree from Western Carolina University and his Master of Music in Performance degree from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University-Bloomington where he was awarded the William Bell Memorial Scholarship for Tuba. His principal instructors are Dr. Harvey Phillips, Dan Perantoni, Dr. Ken Kroesche, and D. Wynn Justice.

    Michael Taylor currently resides in Morganton, NC with his wife, Kimberly and their daughter, Savannah Lee.

  • Dr. Jennifer Thomas

    Dr. Jennifer Thomas

    Dean and Vice President of Arts and Academics

    After receiving her B.A. in English at Furman University, Jennifer Thomas earned the Ph.D. in English and Women's Studies at Emory University. As a postdoctoral Lilly Fellow in the Arts and Humanities (Valparaiso University) and at Newberry College here in South Carolina, Jennifer's teaching and scholarship focused on American Literature and Southern Studies. She joined the Governor's School faculty when the residential high school opened in 1999. In 2003, she was selected to participate in a National Endowment for the Humanities seminar on Mozart's German operas, held in Vienna, Austria. She was awarded National Board Certification in Language Arts for Adolescents/Young Adults in November 2004. She co-sponsors the Reel Alternatives film series, and she is the sponsor of the Honor Council.

    "What makes me feel good about working here? The students. From the first nervous (or bold) claims in a junior humanities class, to the rich discussions in senior English classes, to the casual conversations in the hall, being around these students is always interesting and often challenging, in the best way. They are sincere in ways most of my college students weren't. They have a pretense-radar that is so finely tuned, it detects even the slightest resemblance to a pose."

  • Anne Tromsness

    Anne Tromsness

    Music Dalcroze/Movement Class

    Anne Kelly Tromsness has worked as a theatre educator and teaching artist for over 20 years.  A veteran actor and director, she regularly works in regional theatre and consults on productions in higher education as well. Anne formerly served as the Education Director at Greenville’s The Warehouse Theatre where she developed and implemented local and regional programming in theatre education, performance, and community engagement, building a nationally recognized Shakespeare touring program. Most recently, she served as the ARMES Drama and Theatre Foundations instructor at the Fine Arts Center, where she was recognized as the SC Theatre Association Outstanding Theatre Educator for 2020, and the 2021-22 District Teacher of the Year for Greenville County Schools. She has taught at Christ Church Episcopal School, SC Children's Theatre, served as lead teacher for the SCGSAH IGNITE program, a summer intensive in creative process for middle school students, and as a teaching artist for the Metropolitan Arts Council's SMART ARTS. She worked with the SCGSAH outreach department and the SC Arts Commission, developing  SPARK!, a program using theatre arts integration to boost literacy in  elementary students in Williamsburg and Jasper counties. In 2020, the program was recognized with a research initiative award through the Arts Schools Network, and has since been expanded to a year-round program in additional districts statewide, as part of the SC Arts Commission's Arts Grow SC initiative. Anne was a founding Co-Artistic Director for The Distracted Globe Theatre Company, in residence for ten years at The Warehouse Theatre. She previously served as the Director of Outreach, and Community Service and Service Learning Coordinator at the SCGSAH. Anne holds a BA in Women’s Studies from the University of South Carolina, and an MA in Arts Administration from Winthrop University. Other areas of special interest include collaborative practice, improvisation, arts integration, and applied theatre. In 2018, Anne completed her teacher certification in the Michael Chekhov Technique for Acting and Directing, through the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium. She is a member of Actors' Equity Association, the union representing professional actors and stage managers in theatre in the United States. 
     

  • Anne Tromsness

    Anne Tromsness

    Drama Drama Acting and Movement Instructor

    Anne Kelly Tromsness has worked as a theatre educator and teaching artist for over 20 years.  A veteran actor and director, she regularly works in regional theatre and consults on productions in higher education as well. Anne formerly served as the Education Director at Greenville’s The Warehouse Theatre where she developed and implemented local and regional programming in theatre education, performance, and community engagement, building a nationally recognized Shakespeare touring program. Most recently, she served as the ARMES Drama and Theatre Foundations instructor at the Fine Arts Center, where she was recognized as the SC Theatre Association Outstanding Theatre Educator for 2020, and the 2021-22 District Teacher of the Year for Greenville County Schools. She has taught at Christ Church Episcopal School, SC Children's Theatre, served as lead teacher for the SCGSAH IGNITE program, a summer intensive in creative process for middle school students, and as a teaching artist for the Metropolitan Arts Council's SMART ARTS. She worked with the SCGSAH outreach department and the SC Arts Commission, developing  SPARK!, a program using theatre arts integration to boost literacy in  elementary students in Williamsburg and Jasper counties. In 2020, the program was recognized with a research initiative award through the Arts Schools Network, and has since been expanded to a year-round program in additional districts statewide, as part of the SC Arts Commission's Arts Grow SC initiative. Anne was a founding Co-Artistic Director for The Distracted Globe Theatre Company, in residence for ten years at The Warehouse Theatre. She previously served as the Director of Outreach, and Community Service and Service Learning Coordinator at the SCGSAH. Anne holds a BA in Women’s Studies from the University of South Carolina, and an MA in Arts Administration from Winthrop University. Other areas of special interest include collaborative practice, improvisation, arts integration, and applied theatre. In 2018, Anne completed her teacher certification in the Michael Chekhov Technique for Acting and Directing, through the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium. She is a member of Actors' Equity Association, the union representing professional actors and stage managers in theatre in the United States. 
     

  • Irina Ushakova

    Irina Ushakova

    Dance Dance Faculty

    Irina Ushakova was born in Chelyabinsk, Russia, and trained at the Perm State Choreographic College. Upon receiving her Diploma with Honors she became a soloist with Chelyabinsk State Opera and Ballet Theatre (Russia). Shortly after joining the company, she danced the roles of Maria (Fountain of Bakhchisarai), Aysha (Gayane), and Giselle (Giselle) before being promoted to principal dancer. She was awarded the Best Role of the Season prize for the role of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. In 1986 and 1988, she became a bronze and silver medalist at the International Ballet Competition “Arabesque” in Perm, Russia. In 1989, she toured the United States with the Donetsk Ballet, followed by a tour of Israel and Turkey with the Bolshoi Ballet. She was invited to join the Donetsk State Opera and Ballet Theatre (Ukraine) as a principal dancer in 1989. Ms. Ushakova was a finalist in the 1990 International Ballet Competition held in Jackson, Mississippi.

    Since her arrival in the United States in 1990, Ms. Ushakova has been a principal dancer with both Ballet Mississippi and Tulsa Ballet. She has performed leading roles in many classical ballets such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Nutcracker, Coppelia, La Sylphide, and others, as well as neoclassical works such as Andre Prokovsky’s Anna Karenina, Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias, Ronald Hynd’s Rosalinda, George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, Four Temperaments, Concerto Barocco, and Who Cares? She also has danced contemporary and modern works. In 1997, she returned to Russia as a guest artist to dance the role of Anyuta in Vladimir Vasiliev’s Anyuta with the Chelyabinsk State Opera and Ballet Theatre.

    Since 2002, Ms. Ushakova has been a faculty member of the Dance Department at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville, South Carolina. In 2007, she graduated from Chelyabinsk State Pedagogical University (Russia) with a Master’s Degree in Dance and Education.

    Ms. Ushakova teaches A & B Ballet Technique, Pointe, Senior Ladies Ballet Variation, Historical Dance & Character, Repertoire, Methodology, is an Audition Preparation and Senior Showcase Mentor, and the National Honor Society for Dance Arts Coordinator.

  • Dr. Lauren Vaughn

    Dr. Lauren Vaughn

    Music Flute|Music History Survey|World Music|Synergy: Communication and Groove|Woodwind Chamber Music|Woodwind Seminar|Woodwind Master Class

    Since returning to her home state of South Carolina, flutist Lauren Watkins Vaughn maintains a versatile career as a performer, educator, and clinician. She currently holds the position of Second Flute/Piccolo with the Augusta Symphony and was Principal Flute with the Aiken Symphony Orchestra for six years. As a freelance musician, Lauren has performed with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, Asheville Symphony Orchestra, SC Philharmonic Orchestra, Long Bay Symphony, and the Palmetto Opera Orchestra.

    Prior to teaching in the music department at the SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, Lauren was on the faculty at Newberry College. In addition to her flute teaching responsibilities at Newberry, she served as the Music Admission and Recruitment Coordinator for the college and instructor of World Music and College Life.  She has also been Interim Instructor of Flute at the University of South Carolina and on the faculties of Limestone University, UofSC Aiken, and the Carolina Summer Music Conservatory at UofSC.

    Having spent many years performing and teaching in the community, Dr. Vaughn is an advocate for community engagement in music programs. She has presented her research at the College Music Society’s Summit on 21st century music school design, Collegiate Music Outreach Network (C’MON) Symposium, Public Music Discourse Symposium, and the UNCG Flute Fest. Dr. Vaughn has an interest in career and artistic development for musicians and frequently offers presentations on goal setting, careers in music, and navigating the college admissions process.

    Lauren is a graduate of the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, The Ohio State University (BM), University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music (MM), and the University of South Carolina (DMA). She is blessed to experience continual learning and growth under the instruction of her musical mentors Dr. Jennifer Parker-Harley, Jim Walker, Katherine Borst Jones, Patricia George, Mark Thomas, Dr. Caroline Ulrich, and Mary AllyeB Purtle.

     

  • Sarah Walborn

    Sarah Walborn

    Dance Lowcountry Dance Academy (LYDA) Chair

    Sarah Walborn, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania began her training at the Central Pennsylvania  Youth Ballet (CPYB) under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary. In 2007, Ms. Walborn was invited to be an apprentice with the San Francisco Ballet. She performed many roles with the company, including George Balanchine’s Diamonds and Helgi Tomasson’s The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Giselle, and The Sleeping Beauty. After joining The Washington Ballet in 2009, Ms.  Walborn originated roles including a world premiere of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Sueno de  Marmol, one of the twins in Septime Webre’s Great Gatsby, and various roles in Webre’s Alice  (In Wonderland). She has performed with the company in Balanchine’s Four Temperaments,  Christopher Bruce’s Rooster, the staging of Anna-Marie Holmes’ Le Corsaire and Don Quixote,  as well as Twyla Tharp’s Push Comes to Shove, and the pas de deux Strangers in the Night  from Nine Sinatra Songs. In 2012, Ms. Walborn joined Kansas City Ballet under the direction of  William Whitener. She originated works from Jodie Gates and Devon Carney. Ms. Walborn also  had the opportunity to perform Summer Fairy in Victoria Morgan’s Cinderella, as well as Balan chine’s Allegro Brilliante, Michael Pink’s Dracula, Donald McKayle’s Hey-Hay: Going to Kansas  City, and Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s Mercury. In 2014, Ms. Walborn began dancing with Ballet Ari zona, performing in Balanchine’s Rubies, Western Symphony, Walpurgisnacht, Stravinsky Violin  Concerto, and La Sonambula. She has also danced in Alexei Ratmansky’s Le Carnaval des An imaux, as well as the US premiere of August Bournonville’s full length Napoli. Ms. Walborn currently dances with Palmetto City Ballet. Since joining the company, she has performed the title  role in Jonathan Tabbert’s Snow Queen, as well as originating the role of Lavinia Fisher in Tabbert’s Dance Macabre, the title role in Cinderella, and the solo Split Second. Ms. Walborn has  also been featured in a film documentary as a principal dancer Why Our Walls. 

     

    Ms. Walborn’s extensive teaching background is influenced by Weary’s syllabus from CPYB.  She has taught in many schools across the country including The Washington Ballet School,  Kansas City Ballet School, East Tennessee Ballet Academy, Dance Conservatory of Maryland, Nuevolution in Queen Creek, AZ, Cannedy Performing Arts Centre, as well as CPYB’s Summer Intensive Program. She is on faculty for Impact Creative Arts Academy in Summerville, SC and Palmetto City Ballet School in Mount Pleasant, SC. Ms. Walborn is currently the Program Chair  for the Lowcountry Youth Dance Academy.

  • Dr. Petrea Warneck

    Dr. Petrea Warneck

    Music Oboe|Woodwind Chamber Music|Oboe Reed Class|Alexander Technique

     

    Oboist Petrea Warneck performs extensively throughout the Carolinas as an orchestral and chamber musician. She is a tenured member of the oboe section of the South Carolina Philharmonic. In addition, throughout her years in the southeast, she has performed frequently with the North Carolina, Charlotte, Charleston, Greenville, Asheville, Augusta and Spartanburg Symphony Orchestras. She has a distinguished reputation as an educator and teaches oboe masterclasses, reed-making workshops and Alexander Technique workshops and clinics nationally. In this capacity she has been a guest artist and lecturer at several top music schools in the country, including the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati (CCM), the University of Georgia and the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, to name a few.

    In her home state of South Carolina, Ms. Warneck maintains a teaching, studio in Greenville, and she on the artist faculty of Furman University and the SC Governor’s School for the Arts in Greenville, SC. In past years she has taught oboe at USC-Columbia, Clemson University, Presbyterian College (Clinton, SC), and UNC- Wilmington.

    Dedicated to the health and wellness of performing artists, Ms. Warneck is a devoted advocate of the importance of the Mind-Body connection. She teaches Alexander Technique lessons, workshops and classes in person and online via video conference coaching. She is a Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique through Alexander Technique International.

    Ms. Warneck has had an active career in the field of arts management in New York City and Berlin, Germany, and in 1994 she co-founded The Chamber Music Society of Wilmington (NC) and served as the executive director for the first decade of the series.

    Ms. Warneck is passionately involved in the performance of new music for her instrument, and she has commissioned works for world premieres at the International Double Reed Society Conferences in 2007 and 2012, the former of which is a tribute to the legendary oboist, John Mack - former principal oboist of the Cleveland Orchestra and Ms. Warneck’s primary teacher. She credits his influence and teaching pedagogy for her continual development as a musician and educator throughout her career.

    Ms. Warneck plays on the Yamaha Custom Oboe 841 and is a Yamaha Performing Artist through Yamaha Corporation of America.

    For more information please visit: 

    EaseforMusicians.com

  • Bennett Weston

    Bennett Weston

    Dance Dance Accompanist

    Ben Weston is a Certified Associate Drumming Instructor with Tam Tam Mandingue Djembe Academy (TTM) Winston-Salem, a branch of the TTM international school of West African drumming. Locally, he runs classes, conducts workshops and presentations, and performs. At the Governor's School, he plays for West African and Modern dance classes.

  • Bennett Weston

    Bennett Weston

    Music Rhythmic Exploration

    Ben Weston is a Certified Associate Drumming Instructor with Tam Tam Mandingue Djembe Academy (TTM) Winston-Salem, a branch of the TTM international school of West African drumming. Locally, he runs classes, conducts workshops and presentations, and performs. At the Governor's School, he plays for West African and Modern dance classes.

  • Bennett Weston

    Bennett Weston

    Drama African Dance Accompanist

    Ben Weston is a Certified Associate Drumming Instructor with Tam Tam Mandingue Djembe Academy (TTM) Winston-Salem, a branch of the TTM international school of West African drumming. Locally, he runs classes, conducts workshops and presentations, and performs. At the Governor's School, he plays for West African and Modern dance classes.

  • Desiree Williams

    Desiree Williams

    Academics Academic Assistance Coordinator

    Desiree has spent most of her professional career mentoring and counseling students and adults. She earned a Bachelor of Social Work from Albany State University in Albany, GA and a Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling-Marriage & Family from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.  Prior to joining the SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, Desiree served the state of South Carolina as a Licensed Addiction Counselor for 11 years and Greenville County School District as a Special Education Teacher for 3 years.

    She is passionate about coaching students to make healthy, informed decisions in order to experience maximum personal and academic success. 

    Desiree enjoys spending time with family, playing basketball and board games, and engaging in outdoor activities.

  • Steve Wilson

    Steve Wilson

    Music Trombone|Brass Master Class

    Steve Wilson has over 45 years of experience as a professional musician in diverse genres of music from pop/rock, jazz and classical. He is currently Co-Principal/Solo Trombonist with the Greenville Symphony and has recently performed Nino Rota’s Concerto for Trombone and Chris Brubeck’s Concerto for Bass Trombone. Both have been broadcast on SC Public Radio. Steve performs with the Greenville Jazz Collective, and is first call trombonist at the Peace Center in Greenville SC for Broadway shows and concerts. As Lead/Solo trombonist on the Harrah's Lake Tahoe Resort and Casino house band, he performed with entertainers including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Donna Summer, George Benson, and many others. He has been a featured artist at the International Trombone Festival, the Midwest Band Clinic, and the Eastern Trombone Workshop.

    Steve has composed/arranged dozens of tunes for jazz ensemble and recently produced a CD recording of his jazz/pop fusion music titled “The Steve Wilson Septet Live in Asheville”. He has served on the music faculties at Presbyterian College, Brevard College, Anderson University, Furman University, and the University of South Carolina. Mr. Wilson is a sponsored Artist/Clinician for S.E. Shires Instruments. 

  • Elizabeth Wright

    Elizabeth Wright

    Dance Modern Dance Instructor

    Elizabeth Disharoon Wright, from Baltimore, Maryland, is a graduate of the Baltimore School for the Arts and The Juilliard School, where she received Scholastic Distinction for her thesis on Nutrition and Dancers. Elizabeth is a principal dancer with the Isadora Duncan Dance Company, led by Lori Belilove. She has performed both nationally and internationally with the company since 2002, and has taught residencies and master classes for the Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation, as well as regularly teaching company class. From 2003-2011, Elizabeth was also a senior member of Jennifer Muller/The Works, creating and performing signature roles throughout the repertory, as well as teaching, assisting, and coaching, both within the company and for outside workshops and master classes. As a freelance dancer in New York City, Elizabeth also performed with Buglisi Dance Theatre, Eidelon Ballet, Fly-by-Night Dance Theater, Andrew Jannetti & Dancers, Sue Bernhard/Danceworks, Laura Glenn Dance, Saba Dance Theater, J Mandle Performance, and Nimbus Dance Theater, among others. Elizabeth has performed throughout New York City on such stages as the Joyce Theater, the State Theater, and City Center, and internationally in Italy, Hungary, Russia, Bolivia, Brazil, Thailand, and China.  In addition to numerous company residencies, Elizabeth has taught at Randolph College, Mills College, Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp, The Ailey School, Totts Gap Arts Institute, Silva Dance Academy, and the Fine Arts Center. Her own choreography has been presented in New York City at Alice Tully Hall, the Juilliard Theater, the Clark Studio Theater, the HATCH Performance Series, and the Storm Theater on 46th Street, and also at the Kate Theater in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, where she shared a program with Julia Pond Dance. In 2015, Elizabeth relocated to Greenville, South Carolina.  In addition to teaching ballet and modern at the Fine Arts Center, she has choreographed for their annual concert at Wade Hampton High School and staged a suite of Duncan dances that were performed at Artisphere and the Kilgore-Lewis House in downtown Greenville.  

  • Anneka Zuehlke

    Anneka Zuehlke

    Music Horn

    Anneka Zuehlke-King currently serves as Principal Horn of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, Principal of the Spartanburg Philharmonic, as well as Third Horn of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra. On her free weeks, Anneka also performs with the Charlotte Symphony, the Hendersonville Symphony, the GAMAC Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra Augusta. She is also a member of several chamber ensembles, including Triptych Musica, the West End Brass Quintet and the Converse Faculty Wind Quintet. In addition to teaching horn at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, Anneka is the Adjunct Horn teacher at Converse College and Furman University. Anneka is proud to have studied with Sylvia Alimena in high school, Myron Bloom and Jerome Ashby at the Curtis Institute of Music where she received her Bachelor’s of Music, and William Purvis when studying for her Master’s from the Yale School of Music.

  • Alisa Caldwell

    Alisa Caldwell

    Drama African Dance Instructor

    Over the last 25 years, Alisa Caldwell has created and perfected an amazing blend of African dance, contemporary movements, and creative choreography, performed to the captivating power of drum rhythms. This technique exercises both mind and body, and also feeds the spirit. She has a strong personal and professional desire to share the beauty, culture, and passion of West African dance. In 1988, Alisa began her primary dance training at the Imani School of Dance in Greenville, South Carolina, where she eventually began instructing and choreographing creative and traditional African dance routines. She performed in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. She also trained with Chris Thompson and the Cultural Ensemble and Nubian Roots Cultural Center under the direction of Gerri Chisolm in Charlotte, North Carolina. Having the desire to perfect her art, Alisa continued her training with The Larocque Bey School of Dance Theatre under the direction of Master Dancer/Drummer Baba Jerome Hunter in New York, New York. Alisa has performed in numerous cultural and international festivals and has served as instructor, choreographer, lecturer, and judge at various dance conferences, workshops, and competitions. Through her extensive experience in African, Creative, and Liturgical dance, she is now a much sought-after teacher, performer, and choreographer.

  • Elaine Quave

    Elaine Quave

    Visual Arts Ceramics, Art History

    A member of its inaugural class, Elaine Quave currently teaches ceramics at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. She received a BFA in crafts from University of the Arts in 2005 and earned her MFA in ceramics at Tyler School of Art, Temple University. In addition to experience as a 3-D and ceramics instructor at Tyler, the Governor's School, and the Greenville County Museum of Art in Greenville, South Carolina, Mrs. Quave has also assisted with workshops at North Carolina’s Penland School of Craft and Pilchuck School of Glass in Washington. Before returning to the Governor’s School, Elaine served as the gallery director of the Living Arts and Science Center in Lexington, Kentucky. A 2015 recipient of the Regina Brown Teacher Development Award through the National K12 Ceramic Exhibition, Mrs. Quave's work has been exhibited nationally at venues including the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Baltimore Clayworks, the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and the Lee Gallery of Clemson University.

  • Carlyn Tucker

    Carlyn Tucker

    Visual Arts Photography, 2-D Design, Career Preparation, Portfolio Preparation

    Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Carlyn received her B.F.A. from Tyler School of Art, Temple University. She received her M.F.A. from the University of Washington. Ms. Tucker has taught in a variety of contexts, including the Cornish College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Seattle, the University of Northern Iowa, and The Greenville Art Museum School. Her work has been exhibited often and is in a number of both public and private collections including the Seattle Art Museum, The National Gallery of Canada, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

  • Paul Yanko

    Paul Yanko

    Visual Arts Painting, Drawing, 2-D Design

    Paul Yanko holds a MFA in Painting from Kent State University and a BFA in Illustration/Graphic Design from the Cleveland Institute of Art. He has extensive teaching experience in foundation studies: 2D design, painting, and drawing to advanced studio course work. From 1996 to 2003 he taught at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Kent State University and Oberlin College. A full-time faculty member of Governor's School since 2004, he has participated in solo and group exhibitions on both the national and regional level. His work is in personal and public collections, including the Greenville County Museum and the Medical University of South Carolina.