Douglas Santini, Ed.D., is the Executive Director for the Fine and Performing Arts of the School District of Lee County. He has been in education for over 50 years and has taught or was a Principal in Lee County, Florida for his entire career. For the past 10 years he has been the proud Principal of North Fort Myers Academy of the Arts and has taken the school from an F to an A school. He has successfully taken this Title One School to one of the most sought-after schools to attend in Lee County. Dr. Santini’s philosophy is to provide students with solid foundations in academics and the arts. Through Arts Integration he has given our students the tools they need to be successful. His passion is and has always been giving each and every child the opportunity to succeed.
Principal Lianna Knight makes it a priority to work collaboratively with all stakeholder to ensure her students receive a challenging, academic repertoire while fostering and encouraging a life-long passion and appreciation for the arts. Ms. Lianna Knight is in her 5th year as principal of LaVilla School of the Arts. Under her leadership, the school has received many awards and recognitions, such as Florida Arts Model School in Dance and Music, Arts Schools Network Innovation Award, Outstanding Art School Award, and North Florida Math Counts Championship. Prior to her role as the Principal of LaVilla School of the Arts, Ms. Knight served as the assistant principal of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts for 8 years. Ms. Knight has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance and Masters in Educational Leadership. Prior to her move to Jacksonville in 2005, Ms. Knight served as a middle school and high school dance and math teacher in Houston Texas.
From the trenches to boardrooms, Grace Kewl-Durfey has a rich public and nonprofit sector background in arts and culture, community and neighborhood development, and non-profit organizational management. Her mission is to contribute to the systemic integration of the arts and cultural sector within the socioeconomic and educational fabric of our everyday lives. Grace holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from Nova Southeastern University, credits towards a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning at Florida Atlantic University, and a bachelor’s degree in Community Studies from Union Institute and University. She is president of The Association of American Cultures, a national arts service organization dedicated to advancing democratic and equitable policy, practice, leadership and funding in the arts and cultural sector; and is a guest lecturer with UMass Amherst College of Humanities and Fine Arts, Arts Extension Service.
Caroll Vick joined the Arts Council of Hillsborough County as Director of Education in July of 2014. This signified her return to the Council as she previously held the position of program coordinator for the Arts in Education collaborative between the Arts Council of Hillsborough County and Hillsborough County Public Schools. Ms. Vick has over 20 years of experience in developing, implementing, and improving programs and organizational performance in a variety of non-profit settings, including education, social services and cultural institutions. Prior to her return to the Arts Council, Ms. Vick was the Executive Director of the Florida Alliance for Arts Education, a state-wide arts education advocacy and professional development organization and currently serves on the board. In addition, she serves on the board of Arts for Health Florida and volunteers with other organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children in our community. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.A. in Art History. Ms. Vick is committed to developing programs, resources, and initiatives that support arts education in the state of Florida.
Julie Hebert is the Visual and Performing Arts Curriculum Specialist with the School District of Manatee County. Prior to this position, she was the Executive Director of the Florida Alliance for Arts Education and an elementary music educator for 17 years in the School Districts of Manatee and Sarasota Counties. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education from The University of Central Florida and a master’s in educational leadership from The University of South Florida. Julie is a passionate advocate for equitable high-quality arts education for all K-12 students. She works toward this goal by serving on the Executive Board of the Florida Alliance for Arts Education and the Board of Directors for the Florida Center for Partnerships in Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInT). Additionally, she is a Past-President of the Florida Elementary Music Educators Association.. In 2018, Julie partnered with Manatee Education Foundation President, Mary Glass, to launch the Manatee Arts Education Council. Julie serves as co-founder and advisor to the MAEC Board of Directors.
Board of Directors
Michael Caldwell, D.M.A. is celebrating forty plus years of distinction as a higher education professor, concert pianist and cultural leader. With titles ranging from artist-teacher of piano, associate dean, managing partner of a closely held arts corporation to Pianist Foundation of America Pianist of the Year, he most recently served as Founding Director of the Performing and Visual Arts Division of the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences at Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Caldwell’s civic experience has included symphony orchestra, cultural theatre, music academy and library board memberships in New Mexico, North Carolina, and Tennessee. He currently serves as a board member for Business for the Arts, Fort Lauderdale and Professor of Music in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at NSU.
Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton is the Coordinator for the Florida Center for Partnerships for Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInT). Prior to her appointment at PAInT, Dr. Davis-Cotton has been a longtime champion of the arts and arts-integrated instruction, a teaching method that combines academics and the arts. She founded the Detroit School of the Arts in 1992 and served as the school’s principal, a position she held until 2010. Among other career highlights, Dr. Davis-Cotton received the Milken Educator Award (1998); is a board member and past president of the Arts Schools Network, a national non-profit group that advocates inclusion of the arts in schools; and is the author of Losing My Mind over Education (Finding My Way Back to Me), in which she chronicles the discord between the preparation of her educational journey, what she discovered and what needs to occur to reignite the educational spirit.
John S. Gebhardt is a former Trustee of the Byram Hills Public School Board in Armonk, NY, having served twelve years, where he was President three non-consecutive years. John was also elected to the Board of Directors of the Westchester-Putnam Regional School Boards Association, where he continued to serve in various positions for eleven years. Mr. Gebhardt was elected twice to the Board of Directors of the New York State School Boards Association, was appointed to Representative Nita Lowey’s Education Advisory Committee, representing public elementary and secondary schools, and to the National School Boards Association’s Federal Relations Network, which lobbies Congress on behalf of public education issues. John was also elected twice to the Board of Directors of the New York State Caucus of Black School Board Members. John has served as a money manager and financial consultant to public companies since retiring from over thirty years of experience on Wall Street, where he served as a Managing Director at PaineWebber (now part of UBS Financial) and later as a Managing Director at Knight Capital Group. Here in Florida, John is on the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Osceola County, as well as the Education Foundation of Osceola County, and is Chairman of the Celebration Community Development District. He also serves as Chairman of the Osceola County School for the Arts (OCSA) Advisory Counsel. In addition to mentoring the high school young men at the Kissimmee Boys & Girls Club, he also mentors students in Florida’s Take Stock in Children program. John is an alumnus of NYU’s Stern School of Business (Economics) and Pace University’s Lubin School of Business (Economics).
Pamela Haas is a graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. After a successful career in the field of design, she decided to pursue her passion for teaching in Osceola County. Ms. Haas currently serves as the Fine and Performing Arts Resource Specialist for Osceola County. Since 2016, she has also been a consultant for FAAE, to bring high-quality arts lesson plans and resources to the CPALMS platform for the use of all arts teachers in Florida.
Dr. Thomas Millins is a currently a 20 + year veteran of the School District of Lee County. Dr. Millins is currently the Principal at North Ft. Myers Academy for the Arts since 2016. Dr. Millins graduated from the University of South Florida 1995 and later earned his master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. In 2010, Dr. Millins earned his Doctorate degree in Organizational Leadership and School Finance from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Millins also worked at Nova Southeastern as an Internship Coordinator for the Educational Leadership program for 2012-2016. Dr. Millins also serves as a Board of Director on the Florida Alliance Arts Education (State level Foundation) and as a Board Member of the North Ft. Myers Academy for the Arts Foundation.
Michael Petty is the Assistant Principal at Deer Point Elementary in Panama City, after three years as an administrator at Jinks Middle School. He has also worked at Bay High School, Rosenwald Middle and High School, and Mowat Middle School, all in Panama City. He has served as an ELA Chair, FOCUS Expert, and an intensive reading and literacy coach. He is passionate about literacy and the arts and the intersection of the two as it relates to student success, and Deer Point Elementary is an inaugraral Advancing Arts Education Grant recipient through the Arts for a Complete Education Grant with the Florida Department of Education. Petty has a Bachelor of Science Mass Media Studies from Florida State University and a Masters in Educational Leadership from the University of West Florida.
Sharon Reid-Kane serves as the Chief Officer of Education & Outreach at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida. Under her leadership, outreach efforts of the Hall have grown exponentially, now reaching 45,000+ students of all ages and abilities annually with over 82,000 contact hours of high-caliber arts experiences throughout the Tampa Bay area. Prior to joining the Hall, she served as a community relations specialist and educator within the state’s public school system, and as a Director of the United Way in Pinellas County. Throughout her career, she has been the recipient of several prestigious accolades including the Cooperman-Bogue Award for service to children and families, and the President’s Service Award. Sharon holds a Master’s Degree in Arts and Academic Interdisciplinary Education and is currently pursuing her Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership. Her personal background includes years of appreciation, instruction, and performance in all artistic genres - leading to a lifelong passion for the arts and arts education.
Samika Satterthwaite is a jazz musician who is currently an arts integration specialist for the School District of Palm Beach County. Satterthwaite manages a $2.1 million U.S. Department of Education Arts in Education grant that supports integrating the arts into literacy, math, science, and social studies in select Title I schools. Satterthwaite creates and develops integrated curriculum and advocates for student centered learning. Satterthwaite has presented at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Annual Partners Meeting, the 2018 National Art Education Association National Convention, the Florida Alliance for Arts Education Annual Summit, and at multiple local professional development institutes and conferences. Satterthwaite began her career in education as a music educator and holds a Florida Professional Teaching Certificate in K-12 Reading, K-12 ESOL, K-12 Music, and Educational Leadership – all levels. Satterthwaite understands the positive impact that the arts can have on a student’s life, and as a result, she is passionate about her work, and advocates for equity and access in the arts. Satterthwaite holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Miami in jazz studies and music business and entertainment industries with a minor in marketing. Satterthwaite also holds a Masters of Education in educational leadership from Lynn University.
Joshua Vickery is a vocalist, actor, teacher, producer, musical director, arts administrator, and conductor. He earned his AA in Vocal Performance at Indian River Community College, and a BA in General Education/Music at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Joshua has been a featured soloist in countless venues, produced musical recordings, and been the director of numerous productions. Joshua has been an entertainment leader, casting director, and vocal coach for Walt Disney Entertainment. He has the honor of several accolades including being named Arts Educational Professional of the Year by the Florida Arts Education Alliance and 50 Most Powerful People in Orlando and Top 3 Community Leader by Orlando Magazine.
Joshua currently serves as executive director of Central Florida Community Arts, an organization which he founded in 2010. CFC Arts strives to make the arts affordable, accessible, and uses the arts as a catalyst to create change in the community in a variety of ways.
Flutist Donna Wissinger has been called a 'flutist of rare gifts' by the New York Times. Her concerts include acclaimed solo recitals on the mainstages of Carnegie Hall and on the equally renowned Glinka Capella in St. Petersburg, Russia. Her recital tours include Europe, South America, Asia, and the USA. What audiences love about Donna is her beautiful sound and her obvious love for playing and music. Her enthusiasm is contagious! Donna combines fun and real learning for unforgettable educational programs. She is the inaugural recipient of the prestigious Doris Leeper Award for Excellence in Arts Education and is a premier artist with the Florida State Touring Program; The New York based Learning Arts; the Southern Artist Registry, and the South Carolina Arts Commission.
Jennifer Coolidge is an arts and non-profit consultant and curator working with artists and non-profit arts and social service organizations. During her 30 years of experience as an arts administrator, Coolidge has served as Director of Development for the University of Florida, College of the Arts raising over 9.5 million during her tenure; Executive Director for the Museum of Florida Art in DeLand, FL; Executive Director of the Florida Alliance for Art Education and in arts education and curatorial positions for the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, FL, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art and The Arts Council in Winston Salem, NC, and others.
After 20 years serving as an elementary music teacher and 11 years as the Arts Specialist for the county, Debbie Fahmie has recently retired from the School District of Osceola County. She serves as Past President of Osceola Phi Delta Kappa, Osceola Arts for a Complete Education, Osceola Arts, Florida Elementary Music Educators Association (FEMEA) and Central Florida Orff Chapter. Debbie is currently serving on the following boards: Florida Music Education Association (FMEA), United Arts, The Education Foundation, Osceola Arts, and the Florida Alliance of Arts Education. She has worked with the Florida Dept. of Education as an evaluator for Florida Arts Model Schools and spent 6 years as a trainer for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. She served on the Performing Fine Arts State Assessment Task Force and as a Division of Cultural Affairs panelist as well as on the United Arts Large Budget Panel. She was the Project Manager for the Start With The Arts Curriculum Writing Team and headed up the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra’s Young People’s Concert Assessment Project. She has provided music workshops in five states and extensively throughout Florida as well as served as an Elementary Music Clinician for All County events throughout the state and for the Chorister’s Guild. She is the Fusion Fest “Diversitastic Choir” Coordinator for the Greater Orlando area. Currently, she is the Music Education Consultant for Live Music Tutor and oversees the curriculum development of the Share the Care Arts Project with Central Florida Community Arts. Debbie has been a part of the Florida Music Education Association’s Conference Planning Committee since 2010. In 2008, her elementary performing group was invited to debut an original work at the Kennedy Center. Debbie also serves on several cultural committees including the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Education Committee and the Celebration Concert Series Committee. Debbie is an adjunct professor for the University of Central Florida. She has been the Contemporary Choir Director at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Kissimmee, FL for the past 34 years. Debbie was a state finalist for the 2008 Florida Teacher of the Year. She was named 2008 FMEA Music Educator of the Year and was inducted into the Arts Alive Hall of Fame in 2015. In 2016, she was selected as the recipient of the Florida Music Education Association Leadership Award and in 2018 was awarded the Florida Alliance for Arts Education’s Administrator Award.
Jennifer N. Jones is the President of the Florida Cultural Alliance and has been with Bay Arts Alliance since 2000 and as Executive Director since 2002. After graduating Florida State University School of Music, she held positions in accounting and marketing which eventually led her to a marketing position with Bay Arts Alliance, Bay County Florida’s Local Arts Agency. Since then, she has acquired the responsibilities of programming and marketing for the organization’s performance series, arts in education activities, promoting the efforts of the county’s artists and arts organization and advocating for both the Arts as an industry and in Florida schools. She also serves on the board of Bay Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Panama City, FL. She is married to Bill and they have one daughter, Maggie.
Dr. Mary Palmer is President of Mary Palmer & Associates, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in the arts and education. She is also the current President of the Board of Directors for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. She holds Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral Degrees from the University of Illinois. Recently named Professor Emerita at the University of Central Florida, Dr. Palmer was Professor and Coordinator of Graduate Studies in Music Education at the University of Central Florida, Orlando; she also served as Dean of the UCF College of Education. Dr. Palmer is senior author of a Pre-Kindergarten through grade 8 music textbook series published by Silver Burdett Ginn and has authored over 40 textbooks which are used worldwide. Dr. Palmer is the Founder of Arts for a Complete Education/Florida Alliance for Arts Education.
Nancy Puri has over 30 years’ experience in supporting visual arts programming in Florida and 23 years as a teacher and administrator. She is dedicated to the growth and development of both teachers and students in the educational system as well as a supporter of the arts within the community. Currently, Ms. Puri serves as the Senior Coordinator of Visual Arts for Polk County Schools in Lakeland Florida and has previously served as a school based Administrator and visual arts teacher. Ms. Puri has extensive experience in curriculum support and design, professional development in the Fine Arts and for academic courses. Her experience extends to recruitment and hiring of teachers; new and emerging teacher training and programs; on-site support for teachers; development and oversight of District Assessments and visual arts exhibitions’ development and implementation.
- FAEA Board of Directors
- Director of Supervision & Administration Division
- Executive & Finance Committee
- Chair Exhibitions Committee
- NAEA Professional Materials Committee
- Reviewer/Florida Alliance for Arts Education Florida Arts Model Schools
- Board of Directors Art Crawl for Emerging Artists
- National Arts Education Association (NAEA)
- Art Crawl Board of Directors
- Assessment Review & Development, State of Florida Art Subject Area Exam
A leader in Theatre Education, Randall is the Interim Executive Director of The Florida Association for Theatre Education. He has served on the steering committee and as the lead content reviewer for the Performing Fine Arts Assessment for the state of Florida. He currently serves as the Assistant State Director for the Florida Thespian Society, and has been a board member for 11 Years.
As a writer and filmmaker, he has consulted on multiple film and TV projects, including the award winning documentary, The Messenger of the Truth, which premiered on PBS in 2015.
He holds a Master Degree in Entertainment Business from Full Sail University and a Master of Fine Arts in Script and Screenwriting from Regent University.
He currently is available as a Teaching Artist through the Teaching Artist Alliance.Florida Dance Educators Organization (FDEO)
Tenaj Lynn Davis holds a Doctorate in Education with a Minor Degree in Curriculum Development from Nova Southeastern University. She holds a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Barry University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from California Institute of the Arts. Dr. Davis spent several years as a professional commercial dancer working out of Los Angeles. She has taught and performed in nine countries and throughout the United States including three years with the first National Broadway Tour of The Wiz and two years as a spokesperson for Dance Reebok. She has been featured in several national and international publications including a ten-page layout in Shape Magazine. Dr. Davis has worked as an adjunct professor at Barry University and Miami-Dade College. She is presently employed by Miami–Dade County Public Schools where she has taught general and magnet dance, served on the school site leadership team, mentored new teachers, and coordinated the school center for special instruction.Florida Music Educators Association (FMEA)
Kathleen D. Sanz received her B.A. and M.A. in Music Education from the University of South Florida, and her Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Colorado. Presently she is the President and CEO of the Center for Fine Arts Education in Tallahassee, Florida. Prior to that Ms. Sanz served as the Supervisor of Curriculum and Instructional Services and Co-Directed the District School Board of Pasco County Curriculum Department from 2007-2011. From 1985-2006 she supervised the Fine Arts at the K-12 level. Her past teaching experience includes 8 years as a music educator at the elementary level. Ms. Sanz has been instrumental throughout her career in curriculum and assessment development and implementation at the district and state level.
Ms. Sanz served as a grant evaluator of U.S. Department of Education “Professional Development in Arts Education” (PDAE) grants for the Hillsborough County, Florida public schools. She also developed and received grants from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs for the Florida Music Educators Association awarded annually from 2011-2016.
Ms. Sanz is Past President of the Southern Division of NAfME, as well as Past President of the Florida Music Educators Association. Ms. Sanz has also served as President of the Florida School Music Association, 2010-2011. Currently, Ms. Sanz is the State Executive of the Florida Music Educators Association.
Leiland Theriot is the Executive Director for the FAAE. She is a member of the Board for the Manatee Arts Education Coalition and a member of the Sarasota County Arts Education Partnership. She taught music in the Sarasota County Schools system for seventeen years, both at the elementary and secondary levels. She is a graduate of the Sarasota County’s Leadership Academy and was the program leader for a STEAM magnet school program, where she created a speaker’s bureau, coordinated professional development, and collaborated in educational leadership teams. Leiland has written and reviewed lesson plans, teacher resources and assessments at both the local and state levels and has secured numerous grants for herself and her instructional teams, particularly in the area of arts integration. Mrs. Theriot earned her bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Florida State University, her master’s degree in Counselor Education and another Master’s in Educational Leadership from the University of South Florida.