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Deborah Grosmark
Founder, Center Director & Instructor

Deborah is an early childhood music educator and musical theatre teaching artist. She is the founder of The Creative Arts Corner, and the Music & Me Playhouse program. Since 2002, Deborah has been teaching classes and workshops in music, movement and musical theatre. She provides a variety of instruction for many educational levels: classes for mommy & me, toddlers, preschoolers and elementary school students K-5; musical theatre residencies for elementary school students; and special event workshops for girl scout troupes and PTA Family Fun Nights.

Deborah holds a B.S. in Human Development with a dual concentration in Psychology and Counseling. She is a licensed Kindermusic® educator and a trained Music Together® instructor (Center for Music and Young Children, Princeton NJ), while maintaining Level II ECMMA certification. She has acquired extensive musical training at Ithaca College School of Music including Dalcroze and Eurythmics training with John R. Stevenson - DJD, NYU Steinhardt School of Education and The Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College.

Currently, Deborah is the Early Childhood Music Specialist at the Suffern Montessori School (preschool), Musical Theatre Director at R.P. Connor Elementary School and teaches musical theatre at local elementary schools. She has served as the Director of Education Programming at Riverspace Arts and as a teaching artist for R.P. Connor Elementary School’s “Festival of the Arts.”

Deborah is a four-time grant recipient for her intergenerational music project Musical Bridges that served the preschools, seniors and the local community. The program was funded through the Ulster County Environmental Management s Learn and Serve America program, NYS Education Department and the Corporation for National Service.

 

Patrick Birmingham
Drama Instructor

Bio coming soon!

 

Ronnie Blumenthal
Art Instructor

Photo of Ronnie Blumenthal

Ronnie’s educational career began in 1991, when she became a Liberal Arts student at Rockland Community College. In 1994, she began employment at a Suffern Day Care/Nursery School for children from birth through 5. She taught the children and designed numerous age-appropriate educational projects. At the end of every year, she would write and direct the classroom productions. In 1996 she began to teach at a Day Care/Preschool/Camp in Blauvelt, NY. Currently, Ronnie guides and assists the class through daily lesson plans, helps the children create imaginative crafts and all the while, maintaining a nurturing environment. In the summer months she works as an art education/group counselor. Continuously expanding her educational career, she attends many workshops in child-care education, art education and Infant/Child CPR. Ronnie’s experience and desire to explore new and exciting curriculum development makes her an indispensable part of our creative team.

 

Jamie Gaviola
Art Instructor

Jamie studied Art Education (K-12) at Ramapo College. She has had extensive training in all areas of painting, drawing, computer design and pottery. About five years ago, she took a leave of absence to stay at home with her three children. Now, Jamie has come back making her mark in Art Education! She has created a unique curriculum called “Rhythms in Art.” She introduces visual concepts through the interpretation of music written by the masters. Throughout the semester, line, shape, pattern, color and texture are emphasized. As music and song fill her classroom, children are asked to create patterns based on what they hear or choose colored pastels to illustrate the musical movements they feel. Jamie allows this multi-disciplinary process take on a life of it’s own. We welcome her with open arms, as our newest “artistic visionary!”

 

Alice Haining
Yoga Instructor

Alice is a registered yoga teacher and a graduate of Yoga Mountain Institute’s teacher training program, directed by Gail Bentley Walsh. The program is accredited by and registered with the Yoga Alliance, a national self-governing body of yoga teachers created to uphold the integrity of yoga and to maintain national standards of training for teachers. She has also taken workshops through the Omega Institute with Alan Finger, Shiva Rea, Krishna Das, Tias Little, Swami Ramananda, and Judith Lasater, among others. Alice is accredited at the 250-hour level, and has a special interest in teaching pre-natal, post-natal, and gentle/restorative yoga. She is presently pursuing her certification at the 500-hour level. She is the mother of Jackson, age 2 & 1/2, who has provided her with many insights into the ways yoga can benefit mothers and children.

 

Catherine Janjigian
Yoga Dept. Director/Instructor

Photo of Catherine Janjigian Catherine has always known that she would be a teacher. As the daughter of two teachers, she believes there is no more important or rewarding vocation. Before giving birth to her daughters, Nina and Livia, Catherine taught preschool in Ridgewood, NJ. She has practiced yoga for over ten years in different parts of the country. Catherine has completed Sheryl Edsall’s “Angel Yoga,” children‘s yoga teacher certification training at Naturally Yoga in Glen Rock, NJ, and Mary Barnes‘ Yoga for Two™ prenatal and postpartum yoga certification training in NYC. She is currently working on a birth doula certification as well. Now a stay-at-home mom, she feels blessed to be able to be home with her girls and still be able to “work” by spreading the joy of yoga to other children. Catherine has a firm belief in the benefits of yoga for baby from the moment of conception and is therefore delighted to teach prenatal, postpartum and children’s yoga. Being pregnant and giving birth to her girls changed her life just as yoga has changed her life, and she considers the marriage of these two, amazing experiences/practices (is child-rearing not a practice?) - an expression of the true beauty in life.

 

Annette Kissinger
Yoga Instructor

In 2003 Annette graduated from the “Angel Yoga” teacher certification program at Naturally Yoga. Specializing in yoga for children, Annette has completed workshops at the Omega Institute and has practiced several forms of yoga over the past 20 years; Power Yoga - Bender and Birch's program at the NY Road Runners Club; Bikram - a series of postures practiced in specialized “hot” yoga studios; Ashtanga yoga - a very athletic form of yoga; Ana Forrest Yoga - therapeutic yoga focused on recovery from injuries; and Donna Farhi seminar - yoga with a focus on alignment and breathing. Annette’s attention has focused mostly with young children within the local public and private school systems - most likely due to the ages of her own daughters who are three and five. She learned that the key to success with young children is to make yoga fun! Annette encourages the children to be very energetic as they practice yoga poses, so that they can truly enjoy the beauty of being still when they relax.

 

Melissa Lieber MPS, ATR-BC
Art Instructor

Melissa has worked with children and families for many years as an Art Instructor and Art Therapist. She has her BFA from Parsons School of Design and her Master’s Degree in Art Therapy from Pratt Institute. She is a registered and board certified Art Therapist. Currently, Melissa is a full time mother while running a small private Art Therapy and Psychotherapy practice. Part-time she works as a consultant, instructor (parent-teacher workshops and after-school programs) and facilitates Art Therapy groups for children with special needs and their families. Melissa’s unique qualifications make her a true asset and a role model for what we all hope to contribute to The Creative Arts Corner!

 

Neely McCormick
Art and Drama Instructor

Bio coming soon!

 

Photo of Allen Morrell

Allen Morrell
Art Dept. Director/Instructor

Alan studied art education, majoring in Fine Art and Photography at Jersey City State College. In 2002, he began working at a preschool/kindergarten in Blauvelt, focusing on teaching and the education of young children Assisting with daily lesson plans, he continually emphasizes the beauty of artistic exploration. His unique projects fill the children with individuality and imagination. Currently, he is in his third year of teaching, participating in a variety of art education courses! Driven by his hope to bring the gift of art to many other children, he immerses himself in drawing, painting, sculpting and photography; exhibits his work throughout Rockland County; constantly expands his educational knowledge; and has become an integral part of the Creative Arts Corner. We welcome his dedication, passion and artistic talents!

 

Jennie Redling
Artistic Instructor

Jennie holds a B.F.A. in Literature and Drama and completed the Sanford Meisner two-year program with Phil Gushee, faculty member of Mr. Meisner’s acclaimed Neighborhood Playhouse. While performing professionally, Ms. Redling’s focus moved to teaching and directing theatre as well as playwriting. She has received numerous awards including a N.Y.S. Council for the Arts grant, first prize for poetry in the Arts Council of Rockland’s Art Competition, the 1999 Arlene R. and William P. Lewis Playwriting Award for Women and the 1998 Stanley Drama Award. Ms. Redling is a member of AFTRA, SAG, Actor’s Equity Association and The Dramatists Guild. Currently, she teaches at the Southern Westchester BOCES after-school program for gifted students, the Nanuet Public Library’s “Young Adult Program” and Rockland Center School for the Arts, West Nyack. We are so fortunate to have such a wonderfully gifted and nurturing artist among our staff.

 

Susan Shapiro
Yoga Instructor, Film Instructor

Bio coming soon!

 

Jennifer Simon Tabak
Dance Dept. Director/Instructor

Photo of Jennnifer Simon Tabak

Jennifer has been dancing since she was five. Her diverse background ranges from jazz, modern, and tap to improvisational movement. Throughout the years her creative arts education has included music, theater, art, and yoga. A few of the many dancers she has personally studied with are Jane Alexandre, Lisa Hopkins, Mickey Davidson and Susan Lourie. Jennifer has performed with the dance company “TZDG Jazz Workshop,” of which she is presently a member, as well as “Just Dance!” while she continues to work with additional Westchester studios. Over the years she has taught tap, clowning, puppetry and drawing to young children. She is also currently working with the Elisa Monte Dance Company to develop a younger audience. In addition to her dance experience, Jennifer holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Wesleyan University, and a Masters degree in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania. For almost nine years she was a programmer, developing educational software for school systems all over the country. Jennifer’s unique background in both the arts and children’s education allows her to create a wonderful age-appropriate curriculum that overflows with imaginative artistry and developmental strength. We are proud to have her be a part of the Creative Arts Corner!

 

Photo of Michelle Zaro

Michelle Zaro
Drama Dept. Director / Instructor & Art instructor

Michelle is a graduate from the University Of The Arts in Philadelphia and holds a BFA in Fine Arts with a concentration in Theater, Dance and Music. She has been in over 50 professional and non-union stage performances ranging from Annie to Hamlet. Her roles include: performer, director, producer, stage manager, lighting designer and set designer. For the past 4 years, Michelle has been a pre-school teacher at Gymboree Play, Music and Art, Sunday School Instructor (ages 3 & 4) and Director of the Children’s Drama Department at Nyack’s “The Playhouse on Main.” She has resided in Rockland County her entire life and is proud to be part of such an innovative program that incorporates her love for the arts, children and the community. She has two boys (ages 7 & 3) and is very excited there is a finally program with such variety that both children wish to attend! Michelle’s expertise and endless enthusiasm makes her a pleasure to work with!

 

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