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About the Teachers - College for Kids

for bios of instructors teaching adult classes, click here »

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.

Thena Axiotis-Dahl, B.A.-French and Communications from Oakland University, has a Secondary Education Teaching Certificate and a minor in Spanish from University of Michigan-Dearborn. She taught both French and Spanish to middle school and high school students before moving to Traverse City. She currently works at Peninsula Community Library where she reads for Story Stew (PCL’s story time) and promotes library programming. She is also an organizer for the French Language Group of Traverse City, a semi-biweekly French conversation group.

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.

Annie Callahan, B.A., is a preschool teacher at Grand Traverse Academy. ­­­­­She has been teaching College for Kids classes since 2014.

Jennifer Campbell, BSW Social Work, Michigan State University; AAA Sign Language Interpreting, Lansing Community College; MSW Social Policy and Evaluation/Interpersonal Practice, University of Michigan; MAT American Sign Language/K-12 Teaching Licensure, University of Northern Colorado Graduate School. She is a teacher at TC West Senior High School and has been a BEI I certified interpreter for ASL since 2015. She is a licensed counselor in the state of Michigan and also has teaching experience teaching nature courses at the Grand Traverse Conservation District.

Pat Campbell is a 40+ year veteran of educating students in Michigan. She has worked with students from ages 3 through adult. As a retired educator from Midland Public Schools, she has had a lifelong passion for bringing natural and historical explorations to her students. During retirement, Pat also worked as an educator at Chippewa Nature Center in Midland County. In 2016, Pat and her husband Craig, moved to Benzie County. She now shares her considerable talents with the Benzie Area Historical Museum, where she brings history to life for students of all ages.

Katie Clark has been teaching local students on and off since 2010. As a young artist, Katie studied at the Dance Center and performed in numerous ballets, including The Nutcracker as Clara, and Sleeping Beauty as the Ruby Fairy. After getting a taste for theater at West Senior High, Katie completed a BA in Japanese Language and Culture at Wellesley College where she enjoyed pursuing such roles as a Witch in Macbeth, and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. Upon graduating in 2014, Katie was awarded the Paul R Barstow award for Theatrical Excellence. Katie has continued her involvement in the arts as a teacher for Drama Kids International and in her volunteer work at the Old Town Playhouse, appearing most recently as Sophie Sheridan in 2018’s Mamma Mia.

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.

Brady Corcoran, A.S.-Recording Engineer, B.S.-Finance, is a lifelong musician and multi-instrumentalist. Brady is a song writer, music teacher and recording engineer, and has worked for several major LA recording studios that include Paramount and Record Plant. Currently he works as an adjunct instructor for NMC’s Audio Technology Department.

James Dake is the Education Director at Grass River Natural Area and author of Field Guide to Northwest Michigan.

Brooke DeVault , B.S.-Natural Resources Management, M.S.-Fisheries Biology, has worked as a fisheries biologist since 2002.

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

Kay Epple, RYT 200, is a certified yoga teacher who has specialized training in children’s yoga and mindfulness from Jen Rapanos at Well-Bean and Rainbow Yoga. She and Cathy Fitzgerald run Little Minds Yoga and Well-being and teach yoga and mindfulness to children in the Traverse City area.  

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.

Kevin Fitton, M.A.-Writing and Literature, is a graduate of the Writing Seminars at Bennington College. He is the author of the children’s book, Higher Ground, with Caldecott-winning artist Mary Azarian.  He has published in a variety of magazines and journals, including Jabberwock, The Broad River Review, and Limestone, and his short short, “Crashums,” which appears in The Broad River Review, was a finalist for Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction Award. He currently lives with his family in Lansing, MI.

Cathy Fitzgerald, B.A., owned and taught classes at her dance studio in Missouri for over 20 years. She took 2014 off to see the world, sharing photos and stories on her blog Between travels, she loves to photograph weddings, families and dancers. She has taught in the College for Kids program since 2016.

Michael George is the Instructional Technologist for the Regional Education Media Center at the Traverse Bay Intermediate School District.

John Gilligan, technology expert and entrepreneur, spent 10 years in the professional world before starting his own successful technology business. He is a co-owner of Quarkmine - a company based in Traverse City and dedicated to inspiring students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through events and World Championship level instruction.

Scott Goethals, M.S., career and technical education, is a faculty member in NMC’s Business Area where he teaches computer-related courses. Prior to coming to NMC, Scott worked 11 years for Empire National Bank in network design, administration and support.

Rachael Harrell, M.A., is the Owner/Director of Drama Kids of Northern Michigan which offers classes and camps to students throughout Northern Michigan. Rachael attended college at University of Michigan and received her Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance from Roosevelt University in Chicago. Rachael is part of the Drama Kids International network, which cultivates skillful, caring teachers who are fully trained in their program and are focused on providing individualized attention and positive reinforcement to each student.

Eleonora Hayes, M.F.A., has been teaching and creating art since 2000. Her art has appeared in the Grand Rapids Art Prize competition since 2013.

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.

Nan Katzenberger, B.A., is an artist working in watercolor, acrylic and mixed media. She has taught art and painting classes to both children and adults for over 25 years in her studio at Art in the Loft. She has studied under well-known contemporary collage artists including Gerald Brommer, Jonathan Talbot and Elizabeth St. Hilaire.

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.

Molly Korroch is a writer and multimedia journalist originally from Williamsburg, VA. She holds a master’s in journalism from Georgetown University, and her work can be found in a variety of local and regional publications including the Northern Express, Belt, and Traverse Magazine.

Kimberly Kramer, B.S. Communications, University of North Florida; M. Ed. Curriculum and Instruction in Special Education, Ferris State University; is a teacher at West High School. She previously taught high school students with physical and cognitive impairments in Tampa, Florida, before her family moved to Traverse City in 2013. She is a certified K-5/6 elementary teacher and K-12 cognitive impairment and exception education teacher in both Florida and Michigan.

Coreene Kreiser, B.F.A., is an adjunct instructor in NMC’s Humanities Area. A professional photographer, Coreene has many publications and years of experience in the field.

Melissa May is a performance arts instructor at the Old Town Playhouse and with Drama Kids International. Growing up in Traverse City, Melissa trained at Dance Arts Academy as a member of their elite competition team. She has nearly 3 decades of performance experience and 5 years as an educator. Some of her favorite shows she has choreographed are Mamma Mia, Lion King Kids, Singin’ In the Rain Jr, Aladdin Kids, and Madagascar Jr.

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 lead preschool teacher for Kingsley Children’s Center.

Whitney Miller is a USA and YMCA certified swim coach with two years coaching experience and over 15 years swim lesson instruction experience. She is the owner/operator of TC Mermaid, LLC.

Sarah Montgomery-Richards, M.A.-Interfaith Action through Claremont Lincoln University in California, has abundant experience in cultural and religious studies. Sarah studied Comparative Religion at the undergraduate and graduate levels at Western Michigan University. Her experience includes: teaching at Western Michigan University in the Department of Comparative Religion during graduate school, and a current adjunct faculty role in the Philosophy Department at NMC where she teaches Western and Eastern Traditions, as well as a seminar on Global Citizenship & Religion. She is currently serving as the Director of Lifespan Experience for the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grand Traverse, has made multiple trips abroad, and participated in the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City, UT. Sarah has a background in world religions, history of religion, psychology of religion, philosophy of religion, interfaith action, mindfulness, religion in the public sphere, and myth and ritual. She enjoys teaching in an academic setting, as well as leading group meditation and ritual, and participates in celebrations of a variety of world spiritual perspectives.

Jenna Parker, B.S.-Engineering, is a guest teacher for TCAPS. Jenna uses her love of science and art to create dynamic classroom STEAM experiences. She spends most of her time working with youth and teaching art classes in the area.

Allison Leigh Peters, B.A., was Journals and Outreach Coordinator at Michigan Publishing, where she founded the Michigan Library Publishing Club. Allison is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize. She is founder, editor, and director of Green House Press and publisher of Orange Quarterly.

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 and Design. She is a designer and College for Kids instructor. She has taught art workshops and classes for over 25 years and her experience spans pre-school through adults.

Gavin Richmond, teaches 4th grade at Glen Lake Community Schools and coaches U-10 Soccer in Leelanau County.

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.

Michelle Rodriguez graduated from Western Michigan University with two majors, business marketing and comparative religion, but always knew she wanted to be a chef. She has always had a huge passion for food, and has traveled to find inspiration, read hundreds of books, and practiced at home and worked in some of the nation’s best restaurants. She never stops asking questions! She says “It’s important to have fun in the kitchen and learn the life-long impact of healthy eating early on!”

Caroline Schaefer-Hills, has a B.F.A. from The College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit and an M.A.-graphic design from the Savanna College of Art and Design (SCAD) graduate program. She has been the Visual Communications Program Coordinator at NMC since 2008. Her background is in Graphic Design and Art Direction. She was accepted into the MFA program at Royal College of Art in London for Graphic Design, and also explored film and new media with graduate work at the Maine International Film and Television Workshops in Rockport, Maine where she was first Apple Final Cut Pro Certified. Caroline is currently completing her M.F.A. from SCAD in Visual Experience Design.

Alexandra Smith B.A.-Communications, B.F.A.-Graphic Design, has worked for several marketing and promotions firms including Visual Services, Inc. and Evigna, where she worked on accounts for several Fortune 500 companies such as Ford, Jaguar and Bosch. She now dedicates herself full-time to teaching, and is currently an instructor for the Digital Graphic Design and Digital Imaging classes at NMC.

David Sprenkle teaches English Composition at NMC. He has extensive experience teaching chess to both kids and adults. 

Maggi Steele, B.A., M.M., is a retired teacher who taught for Midland Public Schools for 30 years. She teaches College for Kids cooking classes and is also a volunteer assistant for NMC-EES adult cooking classes.

Jackie Stremlow, M.A.-Curriculum and Teaching, B.A.-Elementary Education, ZA endorsement for Early Childhood, has spent her career in lower elementary classrooms, and is currently a kindergarten teacher at Long Lake Elementary.

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 Van Houten, M.A.-Curriculum and Teaching, B.F.A.-Painting and Art Education, is a full-time visual arts instructor for TCAPS. His watercolor paintings appear in many local art galleries and have received many awards including First Place for the 2014 National Cherry Festival Commemorative Print Competition. His illustrations appear in Reggie’s Runaway Adventure. He has been teaching classes to children and adults with NMC-EES since 2012.

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.

Sarah Wangler has an MFA in Poetry, and an MA in English. She is a poet and writing professor who has taught at the college level for over ten years and has published poetry in numerous literary magazines. She currently teaches full time at NMC in the English department and has a passion for working with students of all ages. Sarah has volunteered in preschools, nurseries and with special needs children in various capacities for over 20 years.

Janine Winkler, B.S.-Elementary Education, is a teacher at Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools. Janine holds an elementary and middle school science endorsement from Northern Michigan University and certificates from University of Michigan Pellston Biological Station's LEAD Science Education and Groundwater Education programs.