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Teacher Bios - College for Kids

Joedy Annis has formal training in tap, ballet, jazz, modern, and hip-hop. She danced professionally for three years and teaches Hip Hop dance at NMC.

Jarred Araujo, B.S., is a certified teacher currently working at Kingsley Area Schools in the Title 1 Program. He has been working in education since 2009. He enjoys working with technology and teaching students how to use it for their own enjoyment and benefit.

Madison Bankey is an enthusiastic junior in the College of Education at MSU. She has over 100 hours in elementary classrooms involved in everything from working one on one with students to creating and implementing lesson plans for an entire class. She has assisted in coaching summer sports camps since 2012.

Melissa Bernazzani, B.A., is a professional artist and photographer with over eight years experience as an Army photojournalist. She currently specializes in using instant analog film, such as Polaroid and Impossible film to create her photography/art.

Scott Birch, B.S.-elementary education, is a National Outdoor Leadership School graduate, a wilderness guide, certified Wilderness First Responder, and a former summer camp director. He currently is the Intervention Specialist at Cherryland Middle School in Elk Rapids.

Bo Burke, ISA Certified Arborist, ISA Certified Tree Worker and Climber Specialist, who has taught tree climbing for many years. He has over 12 successful years in the preservation, restoration, and care of trees.

Taryn Carew, B.S.-education, is Director of Environmental Education at the Grand Traverse Conservation District.

Erin Claudio, M.S.-recreation management, is an instructor for the Wilderness Medical Institute and the Red Cross and also serves as the Health Assistant at Interlochen Center for the Arts. As a recreation educator and certified EMT, Erin’s experiential recreation experience of over 20 years prepares students for real-world situations.

Jeffrey Cobb, M.M.-choral conducting, is the Director of Music Programs at NMC. He has over 20 years of experience in music education as a teacher, choral director, composer, and church Director of Music. Choirs under his direction have received state and national awards and invitations; several of his compositions have received awards. Jeff also performs as a Jazz vocalist and pianist.

Debra Coburn, M.H. Master of Humanities,  B.F.A., B.S.-art education, and K-12 certified, recently retired from teaching fine arts at the high school and middle school level. Debra now teaches art workshops for adults and children around the community. Her medium of interest as an artist is Fused Glass.

Christina Collins is a local mixed media and brick artist. Christina is a member of Michigan LEGO® Users Group, has been featured on Interlochen Public Radio, and builds at History Center of Traverse City during annual brick events. She has taught both art and LEGO® to children ages 4-17.

Claire Crandell, B.A., is a retired teacher, artist and writer who loves to explore our world through travel, photography, and hiking. She has been studying and practicing meditation for over 25 years. She currently works with Sylvan Learning Center.

Scott Diment, B.S.-education, has been teaching since 1988 including the past 11 years with TCAPS. He has been a skateboard enthusiast most of his life.

Tom Dollar has nearly 30 years of experience in the manufacturing industry as a mold maker, mold designer, parametric solid modeler, and manufacturing engineer.

Val Domkiv, M.A.-human behavior, has been a classroom teacher for 13 years. She is co-author of several Teacher Education books.

Elizabeth Dornbos, B.A.-education, is a certified elementary teacher. She taught in Alaska since 2010 and recently moved to Traverse City.

Julie Doyal B.A., has 12 years of elementary teaching experience. She is a Program Coordinator for NMC-EES.

Kate Fairman, M.S.-education, is an adjunct instructor at Grand Valley State University and artist who has taught art and outdoor education courses since 1984.

Tina Norris Fields, M.A.-leadership, B.S.-business/CIS, owns Tall Pines Computer Training and teaches computer courses for NMC-EES.

Annie Froehlich, B.A., is a preschool teacher at Grand Traverse Academy.

Shanna Girrbach, B.A.-business administration, is a certified elementary teacher with a major in language arts. A mother of two energetic preschoolers, she previously taught preschool for 3½ years and was a summer camp supervisor for 3 years.

Cathy Hartman, B.A., owned and taught classes at her dance studio in Missouri for over 20 years. She has done wedding photography since 2003. She took 2014 off to see the world, sharing photos and stories on her blog cathyflewthecoop.com.

Lisa Hockin, A.A. B.F.A.-art education, is currently an elementary art educator with Elk Rapids Public Schools. As an artist, she uses a variety of art mediums including clay.

Jennifer Hoffman, M.A.-early childhood education, is a certified elementary teacher. She has taught kindergarten and first grade at Kingsley Elementary since 2002.

David Hosler, A.S., B.S.-computer information systems, is an NMC CIT Instructor and lead CISCO Academy Instructor. He earned a certificate for Network Administration at NMC.

Paul Hurlbert, A.A.S.-aviation technologies and air traffic control, is currently an NMC Flight Instructor with 8 years of flying experience.

LeeAnn Jacobs, B.A., grew up with horses and has worked with children and horses teaching novice through advanced levels of riding since 2000.

Annette Johnson, M.S.-exercise science, B.S.-biology and chemistry, is an instructor of biology at NMC.

Jackie Kaschel is the Executive Director of PEACE Ranch which uses rehabilitated rescue horses in therapy programs. The rehabilitation process for rescues is based on natural equine communication methods often referred to as “horse whispering”. Ms. Kaschel is Advanced Certified by the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association, a Certified Equine Interaction Professional, and Certified at the Partnership Level in Parelli Natural Horsemanship.

Diane Kimmel, M.A., is a recently retired certified teacher specializing in educational technology. Throughout her career she has taught English, Business, and Computer courses. Diane has been teaching computer courses for NMC-EES since 2004.

Autumn Kirby, MFA, BFA, has been teaching art to youth and young adults since 2001. Her experiences include inner-city community outreaches in Minneapolis, MN, Elgin, IL and Flint, MI. She has also studied art history in Florence, Italy. She is currently a guest teacher for TCAPS.

Kathleen Merrill Leach, M.A., taught since 1972 in Lansing and Grand Rapids. She has been teaching cooking classes for teens for many years, cooked for summer camps, and cooked as a personal chef.

Philip Leete is currently the Robotics Program Director at TC West Senior High School and runs the Northwest Michigan VEX and VEX IQ Robotics League. He has a background in Mechanical Engineering, Math and Dance Choreography along with a deep fondness for all things “technology.”  

Shannon McCann, B.A.-secondary education, has taught at Grand Traverse Academy since 2010. She holds a teaching certificate with a biology endorsement.

Olivia Meyer, B.S.-early childhood education, has been volunteering and working with young students since 2010. Olivia is currently a preschool assistant teacher for TCAPS.

Wayne Moody, is Director of Automotive Technology at NMC. His is an ASE Master Automotive and Truck Technician who, for 34 years, owned and operated a local automotive repair facility in Traverse City.

Nicole Mullin, B.A., is a certified elementary teacher who has been a guest teacher with TCAPS since 2010 teaching Kindergarten through high school.

Brad Novak has been playing drums and percussion for over 25 years. He studied at Central Michigan University and the Berklee College of Music in Boston with famed instructors Larry Finn, Dave Zerbe, and Robert Hohner. Presently Brad teaches percussion for Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools and is owns the Beat Lab in Traverse City.

Pam Palermo, M.S.-organizational leadership, is Director of Financial Aid at NMC. She has been in financial aid for higher education since 1996. She has a passion for helping students manage the financial aid process and helping them achieve their educational goals.

David Parrish, B.M.E., M.M.E.-music education, M.F.A.-humanities, is a retired music and humanities teacher. He taught choral music and served as Music Coordinator for TCAPS. David has been a major presenter at state and national humanities conferences.

Mary Parrish, B.M.E.-music education, has been teaching elementary general and vocal music with TCAPS since 1965. She has taught private piano and been a conductor/accompanist for the Traverse City Elementary Honors Choir.

Kim Peltier has a bachelor’s degree in English, language, literature and elementary education; master’s degree in early childhood education; endorsements: elementary K-5, SA, BX, ZS. She is currently a special education teacher for Kingsley Area Schools, working with 5th and 6th grade students.

Jerrilynn Pike has over 17 years coaching and judging experience in cheerleading. She is a former Ferris State University head coach and currently head coach of Traverse City West High School competitive team as well as Waters Edge All Stars cheer program. She is certified nationally through National Cheerleading Association for first aid, CPR and cheerleading safety for tumbling and cheerleading. 

Patti Ramoie is a graduate of Kendall College of Art & Design. She is a designer and returning College for Kids teacher. She has taught art workshops and classes for over 25 years and her experience spans pre-school through adults.

Rebecca Richardson, B.S.-mathematics with a chemistry minor, is certified to teach math and science through 12th grade. She is currently a guest teacher with TCAPS where she has had several long-term teaching assignments.

Annette Richter has worked in early childhood education since 1993. She has completed Early Childhood I and II and has worked for pre-schools in Cedar Rapids, IA. Recently, she worked for Head Start and is currently a church Children’s Director.

Kaitlyn Rickman, M.Ed.-education technology, B.A.-language arts/elementary education, has been teaching with TCAPS since 2009. She currently teaches kindergarten at Courtade Elementary and is passionate about the power of technology for younger learners.

Rosemary Rokita, B.S., lived and traveled in Japan for three years where she taught English.

Jamie Roster, B.A.-secondary education/biological sciences, is a former 7th-grade science teacher. She is currently president/co-owner of Northwood Fruits, Inc.

Mark Rozeboom, M.A.-education, teaches English and drama at Traverse City Christian Schools. He has directed many theater productions.

Stephanie Schall-Brazee, M.M.E., B.M.E., teaches elementary music for TCAPS. She has worked with elementary, high school, and college choirs and currently directs NMC’s Advanced Children’s Choir.

Kim Schrader, M.S.-forensic science, participated in undergraduate field research that analyzed the effects of environmental extremes on corpses and a burial excavation.

Kate Scott, B.A., has worked as a guest teacher for TCAPS since 2011.

Andrew Sias, B.S.-education, is a certified teacher. He has taught history, English, art, photography, and design in since 1998 and currently teaches art at Kingsley Middle School.

Kevin Skarnulis, M.A., CIT, is a certified teacher and computer specialist with numerous technology certifications. Kevin is the owner of a computer consulting business in Traverse City.

Jason Slade, B.S., M.S.-electrical engineering, is a NMC Engineering Technology staff member.

Maggi Steele, B.A., M.M., is a retired kindergarten and first grade teacher who taught for Midland Public Schools for 30 years. She currently is a volunteer assistant for the NMC Extended Ed community cooking classes and assisted with last year’s College for Kids cooking classes. She enjoys cooking and looks forward to helping young children experience the joy of cooking.

Janet Steinhoff, B.S.-education, with a major in elementary-level sciences, has over 20 years of experience in K-8 classrooms. She has also been a Girl Scout leader, Odyssey of the Mind coach and judge, and a 4H leader.

Jenni Steinhoff, B.S.-elementary education, with an emphasis in early childhood education, has 6 years of experience in K-8 classrooms. She has been a camp counselor, Americorps volunteer, and currently works in an Early Childhood classroom. 

Jackie Stremlow, B.A.-elementary education, M.A.-curriculum, has been teaching kindergarten and first grade since 2005. She currently teaches kindergarten at Eastern Elementary for TCAPS.

Gerry Swaney, B.S., has worked in engineering and education, including 8 years at NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center designing packaging of space foods for Apollo and other space missions.

Adam VanHouten, M.A., B.F.A.-art education, teaches art and photography at TC West Middle School.

John Velis, B.S.-mathematics, secondary certifications in mathematics and science, with over 25 years in education, information technology, web site design and is currently an instructor at NMC in Computer Information Technology. He is an active coach and mentor for various unmanned vehicle and robotics teams.

Todd Vipond is Director of the Dolce Ensemble of the Northwestern Michigan College Children’s Choir.

Rebecca Walters, B.A., K-12 certified, currently teaches American Foods, Global Foods, and Creative Living at West Middle School. She has been a part of TCAPS since 2008.

Tiffany Webb, A.A.-art education, is working to complete her Bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She has volunteered and worked in many diverse classrooms throughout Traverse City and completed her student teaching at Blair Elementary this spring.

Stephanie Wiitala, A.S., is a graduate of Great Lakes Culinary Institute. She is currently employed by Black Star Farms where she is a pastry chef and also their on-site wedding and event coordinator.

Janine Winkler, B.S.-elementary education, currently teaches fourth grade at GTACS, having facilitated hands-on science investigations in Michigan for almost 30 years.

Kristi Wodek, B.A., M.F.A, has been teaching art and crafts in both the traditional classroom setting as well as art centers for over 20 years. She currently teaches for TCAPS.

Laura J. Wright, B.A.-English, has been teaching with TCAPS since 2000. She has also been participating in Art & Craft shows since 2008.