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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.

Debra Anton-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.

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.

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.

Mary Bridges, M.A.-writing, has taught at the National Louis University and the College of DuPage. She has extensive computer experience.

Ali Bridson has been an active member of the Northern Michigan Mountain Biking Association since 2006. She has spent many years riding and racing mountain bikes on the local trails that she enjoys helping to maintain.

Olivia Brown is a spring 2015 Early Childhood Education graduate from Western Michigan University. She has been volunteering and working with young students in Kalamazoo County since 2010.

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

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli is a published novelist and journalist who teaches writing seminars and workshops for NMC-EES. She is now working on a non-fiction book with a survivor of 9/11. Her work has been produced on stage and for NPR.

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.

Kathy Cole, B.S., has over 30 years experience in early elementary education. She is a former pre-school and kindergarten teacher and writer of educational materials. She loves fun, hands-on activities and believes playing with a concept is the best way to learn.

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.

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.

Paul Deyo, B.A., has over 35 years experience in automotive and industrial design. Initial training as a model maker formed the basis of transitioning these skills to computer design. He has consulted at major design firms around the world and is currently a senior designer at Auto Desk, Inc.

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.

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.

Gael Eschelweck, A.A., is an accomplished classical and Spanish guitarist. She taught guitar classes for TCAPS and gives private lessons.

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.

Kristen Grote, M.S.-biology, is a trained biologist, an outdoor educator, and a certified high school science teacher. Currently, she coordinates the Grand Traverse Stewardship Initiative, working with school teachers to execute place-based education projects and activities in their schools.

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 Horstman, M.A., a retired teacher and elementary school principal, has taken many cooking classes and teaches cooking classes for NMC/EES.

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

Lisa Johnson, M.S.-natural resources, B.S.-environmental economics, is a biology teacher at TC Central High School. 

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.

David Kenny has worked with TC athletes for 20+ years, coached elementary sports for five TCAPS schools, and coached Little League baseball for 10 years. He teaches at Blair Elementary and coaches football at TC West High School.

Coreene Kreiser, B.F.A.-photography, owns Tavla Studio in Traverse City, where she works as a commercial and portrait photographer. She is currently a guest teacher with 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.”  

Thomas Lhamon, M.E.-education leadership, B.S.-math and general education, has over 20 years of experience teaching high school science and math in Flat Rock, Michigan.

Maddie Lundy, B.A.-history and museum studies, is the Executive Director at the History Center of Traverse City. She has 10 years of experience as a camp counselor/supervisor with the Crystal Lake Park District in Illinois.

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

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.

Christi Morgan, B.A.-early education and family service, has almost 20 years of experience working as a caregiver, coach, teacher, counselor, and program director. She currently works with youth, parents, and providers through MI Families LLC.

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

Kelly Nash, B.A., M.A., is a certified teacher currently teaching with TCAPS. She has been teaching since 2005 in Florida, Michigan and Alaska.

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.

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 Forest Area Community Schools, working with students preschool to first grade.

Jerrilynn Pike has over 17 years coaching and judging experience in cheerleading. Former Ferris State university head coach and now head competitive coach at Traverse City West High School and L.E.A.P cheer through West middle school. She is certified nationally through National Cheerleading Association for first aid, CPR and cheerleading safety for tumbling and cheerleading. 

Heather Quick, B.S.-elementary education, is a retired teacher with 20 years experience teaching kindergarten.

Maggie Racich, B.S.-theatre performance, is a certified Yoga Instructor. She has been teaching kinetic and circus arts since 2008. Presently, she is co-owner of Third Space Movement in Northport, MI which provides performance and instruction services in kinetic arts.

Pattie 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.

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.

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

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

Deanna Sayer, M.S.-education, B.S.-marketing and management, is an experienced teacher working with students of all ages. Blending her knowledge in education and business she brings real world experience to the classroom. Deanna is currently working as a consultant and advisor, assisting parents and students in all that is involved in the college admissions process.

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.

Mike Schmerl is a Master Electrician and electrical contractor with over 30 years of experience. He is an adjunct instructor in NMC’s Renewable Energy program and a NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installer and solar PV and electrical code trainer throughout the Eastern U.S.

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.

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

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.

Brian Sweeney, B.S.-mechanical engineering from West Point, M.S. Cornell University, retired after 26 years working as a nuclear weapons and ordinance disposal technician.  Currently, he teaches physics, electronics, photonics and lasers at NMC.

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.

Susan Walker, B.A., is an award-winning quilt maker, teacher and lecturer. She has taught children, teens, and adults for more than three decades. She has developed and presented special programs on quilting in schools and for Girl Scouts. She is vice president of the Interlochen Quilt Guild.

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.

Sarah Wilcoxen, B.A., taught elementary children from 2003-2013 and now stays at home with her two young daughters who love to help her in the kitchen. She has taught College for Kids cooking classes since 2006 and looks forward to helping young children find the joy in cooking.

Janine Winkler, B.S.-elementary education, is a fourth grade teacher at Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools, 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.

Holly Zatkovic, B.S.-chemistry and math, B.S.-secondary education, is a certified teacher focusing on chemistry and forensic science. Holly has 12 years of experience working as an analytical chemist and currently teaches at Elk Rapids High School.