Meet the Staff

THE CENTRE FOR PERFORMING AND VISUAL ARTS AT CENTRAL MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL
Band
Dance
Fashion
Media Arts
Strings
Theatre Arts
Visual Arts
Vocal

Leadership

staff-Crimmins, Michelle

Michelle Crimmins

Michelle Crimmins

Learning Leader for Fine Arts and the PVA Program | Theatre Arts Instructor

Michelle Crimmins graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre and began her teaching career outside of the public-school system as an acting instructor for The Company of Rogues Actor’s Studio and Calgary Young People’s Theatre. She later became a guest artist in residence for Central Memorial’s PVA Theatre Arts Program before deciding to complete her Bachelor of Education at the University of New Brunswick. Michelle has been an educator in Beijing, China, and has worked as a member of crew on film and television sets in and around Calgary. She was a CBE teacher at both Bowness and Western Canada High School before returning to the PVA Theatre Arts program at Central Memorial as a member of faculty. Michelle appreciates the opportunities to continually learn and grow as a teacher and artist here at Central and is excited that the PVA program can impact the lives of many young people who love the arts. Michelle is the Learning Leader for Fine & Performing Arts programming at Central, including the PVA program.

Dance

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Alison Stone

Dance Instructor

Ms. Stone is originally from Victoria, BC where she grew up dancing and performing with Stages Performing Arts School.  To further her studies Ms. Stone moved to Toronto to attend Ryerson University’s dance program.  She graduated with a BFA and a passion for choreography.  In Ontario, Ms. Stone’s choreography was seen at fFIDA International Dance Festival and the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival.  Ms. Stone moved to Calgary to attend Decidedly Jazz Danceworks Professional Training Program, which she completed in 2008.  During her career she has performed works by choreographers such as, Meagan O’Shea, Heidi Strauss, Julia Sasso, Kimberly Cooper, Sarisa Figuera de Toledo and Catherine Hayward. Ms. Stone’s choreography has been performed in Alberta Dance Festival, Ember Dance Company, Variety Pack Cabaret, Shoes Off Cabaret, Crosscurrents, Physical Therapy Cabaret, Ignite Festival, AIR, Prairie Dance Circuit, Freak Show, Alberta Dance Explosions and Emerge. Ms. Stone has been the co-artist director of Alberta Dance Theatre for Young People from 2010 to 2012.  She continues to immerse herself in the Calgary dance community as a dancer, choreographer and teacher.

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Suzanne Demers teaches dance for the PVA program

Suzanne Demers

Dance and Theatre Arts Instructor

Born and raised in Calgary, AB, Ms. Demers is a celebrated dancer and instructor known for her lively choreography and unique style of teaching. Her time performing/training was spent locally and abroad and included classes, workshops and performances in Vancouver, New York and London. Her time in the classroom incorporates both the physical and personal aspects of movement examining the reasons why we dance, believing that anyone, no matter what their shape, size or experience can find their love of dance. Her love of the arts is rooted in her desire to connect with students and explore movement and expression. After many years of teaching, including various public-school contracts, and adjudicating across the country, Ms. Demers returned to the University of Calgary to complete her Bachelor of Education. In addition, Ms. Demers holds a variety of certifications including Progressing Ballet Technique, Alixa Flexibility, Mental Skills Teacher Training, Youth Protection and Advocacy in Dance, Acrobatic Arts and is a yoga and reiki practitioner. She is looking forward to continuing to share her passion and joy of dance with the PVA dancers and program.

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Christie Preston

Dance Instructor

Born and raised in Calgary, Ms. Preston started her performing career with Children in Dance (now Alberta Dance Theatre) at a young age and spent seven years with the company. Ms. Preston received her B.A. in Dance with distinction from the University of Calgary in 2001. Her performing career included working with Michele Moss, Neah Kalcounis, Christine Carr, Denise Clark and Decidedly Jazz Danceworks. Her love of West African dance took her to study multiple times in Guinea and Ghana. Ms. Preston loves mentoring young dancers and has greatly enjoyed her experiences working with ADT as well as EKO Dance Projects, Dance Montage, Dance Explosions, DITCO and numerous public schools around Calgary. She returned to the U of C in 2003 and completed her Masters in Teaching and has enjoyed sharing her passion for Dance full-time at Calgary high schools ever since. From 2008-2012 Christie was the Artistic Director for Alberta Dance Theatre for Young People.

Fashion

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Kerry Warner

Kerry Warner

Fashion Illustration and
Visual Art Techniques Instructor

Kerry Warner graduated from the University of Calgary’s Master of Education program in June of 2007 and joined Central Memorial Fine Art Department the following September.

In 2005 Ms. Warner completed her Bachelor of Fine Art at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan with a major in Painting and an extensive knowledge in printmaking, drawing, and sculpture. Since graduation, Ms Warner has shown with the Elissa Cristall Gallery in Vancouver, British Columbia where she has gained recognition with collectors in Canada, the United States, and Asia. Ms Warner’s work has been published in Essential Vancouver magazine, 2006/07 and Passion Pages, 2009.

Ms Warner’s current work is described as formalist abstract. She often works on series’ of up to twelve paintings at a time and can take over 6 months to complete a series. Ms Warner’s work is a juxtaposition between spontaneous washes and controlled methodical impasto areas creating a history within each piece. It is a deconstruction of painting as a language, becoming enhanced each time she adds a new colour or mark to the canvas.

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Dora Blitt

Fashion Instructor

Dora Blitt, a Professional Home Economist, graduated from the University of Calgary Master of Teaching program in 2002 after obtaining her BSc (HEc) from the University of Alberta, majoring in Clothing and Textiles. Ms. Blitt looks forward to sharing her knowledge of clothing construction as part of PVA Fashion Design.

Her love and appreciation of fashion, the arts, textiles and personal expression has continued to grow since her early employment in fashion retailing. Ms. Blitt is proud to join the distinguished faculty of The Centre for Performing & Visual Arts at Central Memorial High School.

Media Arts

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Kevin Scott

Kevin Scott

Media Arts Instructor, Technology Learning Leader

Kevin Scott has worked in the Media Arts industry since 2001 and has been teaching the subject at Central Memorial High School since 2003. Professionally, he has been involved in web development, audio and video design, graphic design as well as animation development for organizations such as The Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Alberta Bone & Joint Health Institute, The American Association of Retired People (AARP), The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), and The National Business Services Alliances, among others.

In 2001, Mr. Scott graduated from the University of Calgary’s Masters of Teaching program after obtaining a degree in Psychology with a minor in Anthropology from Lakehead University. He has competed at the varsity as well as major junior level in football and has been coaching the sport since 1993.

Mr. Scott is excited to be joining the PVA Team and is looking forward to undergoing the rigors of PVA Media Arts with all of the students.

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Erin Boukall

Mark Schwandt

Media Arts Instructor

Mark Schwandt graduated with a Master of Arts degree from the University of Guelph in
2001, and has since completed additional education in computer graphic design, advertising copywriting, digital music production and motion picture technical training. Mr. Schwandt’s media work has included video and location-sound recording, multi-track audio production, sound design, grip and light work for screen productions, both union and independent, as well as live broadcast of theatrical, sport, and music events. His teaching career brought him to the CBE’s Career and Technology Centre where he launched their Broadcasting program in 2012-13 (now called Film, Audio, and Television Production) as studio construction was being completed. Since then, his students have participated in productions such as the Edibles cooking show for Shaw TV Calgary, BOTZ for Telus Optik Local, live theatre and music concert video recording, celebrity photoshoots and interviews for Calgary’s Prostate Cancer Centre, and a twenty-four track live recording of the Calgary Fiddlers. Having experienced the transition from analog to digital media production over the past three decades, he is thrilled to be working with the PVA Media Arts program to prepare students for this exciting and quickly changing industry.

Music

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Katrina Archer

Adam Mailman

Band Director

Adam creates great leaders through music. He helps students of all ages around Alberta as a guest conductor, adjudicator, and clinician to understand how they best can contribute to their ensemble. Mailman has recently been inducted into Phi Beta Mu, the North American Bandmasters Fraternity, for his work in community leadership, commissioning of new music, creative pedagogy, and support of other music teachers. He is a member of the selection committee for the Canadian Band Association’s Howard Cable Memorial Prize in Composition, and has commissioned new works for band, choir, and jazz every year since 2015. Mailman performs regularly as percussionist with Primetime Big Band, Alberta Winds, and as Music Director of Cochrane Music Society’s Adult Concert and Jazz Bands. Mailman holds a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary, and a Master’s of Curriculum design in Music Education from Acadia University.

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Michelle Crimmins

Amanda Hillestad

Vocal/Choral Director

Amanda is an advocate for strong community leadership through the power and impact of music. She is a Calgary native and graduate of the first graduating year of the CMHS PVA Vocal program. Amanda has taught in the Calgary area for the past 9 years as a studio teacher and classroom teacher specializing in voice, choral music, instrumental music, and theory. She co-founded the Sherwood School Musical Theatre program as well as the GSA club at Sherwood School. She graduated from McGill University’s Classical Vocal Performance program as well as the University of Calgary’s Education program. She is an active performer in the community and has performed as The Queen in The Queen, The Bear, and The Bumblebee at the Banff Center as well as the Bella Concert Hall, in the Mountain View International Chamber Music Festival, in the Recital Series at the Lougheed House and performed at venues around the city such as the King Eddy. She has been seen in excerpts and roles with McGill Opera in Montreal, has participated in Opera Nuova in Edmonton and returned to work for Opera Nuova on tour in Isaiah Bell’s Mr. Moreover’s Magic. Amanda has also performed locally with the Calgary Arts Orchestra, VoiceScapes, Classical Revolution Calgary, the Bach Society, Cowtown Opera, Early Music Voices, and Prairie Peaks contemporary trio. She has performed internationally at the Kurt Weill Festival in Germany, local performances in China, and with Tibet World in Macleod Ganj, India. Amanda is incredibly passionate about the unique artist in all her students and is beyond excited to be a part of the PVA team.

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Katrina Archer

Katrina Archer

Strings Director

Katrina believes firmly in the power of musical study to positively transform individuals, communities, and society. Her approach has been shaped by the international El Sistema movement, which exposes at-risk youth to intense musical study on an instrument as a means to create positive social change within a community. To that end, she has been a part of instructing Philadelphia’s “Play On Philly” program, as well as Calgary’s Multicultural Youth Orchestra. As a musician, Ms. Archer performed as a professional orchestral cellist in British Columbia before moving back to her hometown of Calgary to teach music in schools. At Central Memorial, Ms. Archer directs the Orchestra and Beginner Strings programs, and co-teaches the PVA music classes. She serves on the board for the Calgary Association for the Development of Music Education, and is the Educational Advisor to the board for Chamber Fest West. Katrina holds a Bachelor of Music Education specializing in Secondary Education from The University of Calgary, and a Bachelor of Education from St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick..

Theatre Arts

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Len Simon

Technical Theatre Instructor

Len Simon earned his B. Ed from University of Calgary specializing in the instruction of Secondary Drama. He has accumulated more than 25 years of educational and theatrical experience in the classroom, on stage, as well as working backstage in a variety of technical roles. Len teaches Drama and Technical Theatre to all grade levels, as well as serves as the department’s Technical Director, Set, Sound and Lighting Designer. Len enjoys working side-by-side with our aspiring technicians to meet the extensive technical requirements for all of the PVA productions.

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PVA Theatre Arts instructor Jen LeBlanc

Jennifer LeBlanc

Theatre Arts Instructor

Jennifer LeBlanc has always loved performing. She received her BFA from the University of Lethbridge and moved to Calgary where she discovered she also loves teaching, while instructing at Storybook Theatre. She received her BEd from the University of Calgary so that she could combine them both together! She’s been an educator for the CBE ever since and is a practicing theatre artist when she’s not teaching. Jennifer is all about the ‘play’ and the discovery, so it’s no surprise that improvisation and clown are two of her big theatre loves, along with physical theatre, sketch comedy, masks, and puppetry. She works in an ongoing way with the long-form improv theatre company the Kinkonauts on a handful of house teams, as an ensemble member of the Beautiful Young Artists under the direction of Denise Clarke, and creates puppet shows & films for the Calgary Animated Objects Society. She feels so grateful to work with creative young humans every day and can hardly believe it’s her actual job.

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Michelle Crimmins

Kelly Goutsis

Theatre Arts Instructor

After obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria, and fifteen years working as a professional theatre stage manager in Calgary and across Canada, Kelly returned to school to pursue her Bachelor of Education at the University of Calgary, allowing her to combine her passion for theatre with her love of working with young people. Kelly worked extensively in the Calgary performance industry, most notably with Theatre Calgary, Alberta Theatre Projects, Vertigo Theatre, Lunchbox Theatre, Calgary Opera, Decidedly Jazz, and a variety of smaller independent companies during her career as a stage manager. As a long-time member of the Calgary theatre community, Kelly brings a relevant connection to the professional discipline to her work with students, as well as a passion for collaboration and creativity. Kelly is extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with the talented staff and students of the PVA program.

 

 

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Michelle Crimmins

Michelle Crimmins

Learning Leader for Fine Arts and the PVA Program | Theatre Arts Instructor

Michelle Crimmins graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre and began her teaching career outside of the public-school system as an acting instructor for The Company of Rogues Actor’s Studio and Calgary Young People’s Theatre. She later became a guest artist in residence for Central Memorial’s PVA Theatre Arts Program before deciding to complete her Bachelor of Education at the University of New Brunswick. Michelle has been an educator in Beijing, China, and has worked as a member of crew on film and television sets in and around Calgary. She was a CBE teacher at both Bowness and Western Canada High School before returning to the PVA Theatre Arts program at Central Memorial as a member of faculty. Michelle appreciates the opportunities to continually learn and grow as a teacher and artist here at Central and is excited that the PVA program can impact the lives of many young people who love the arts. Michelle is the Learning Leader for Fine & Performing Arts programming at Central, including the PVA program.

Visual Arts

staff-Warner, Kerry

Kerry Warner

Kerry Warner

Fashion Illustration and
Visual Art Techniques Instructor

Kerry Warner graduated from the University of Calgary’s Master of Education program in June of 2007 and joined Central Memorial Fine Art Department the following September.

In 2005 Ms. Warner completed her Bachelor of Fine Art at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan with a major in Painting and an extensive knowledge in printmaking, drawing, and sculpture. Since graduation, Ms Warner has shown with the Elissa Cristall Gallery in Vancouver, British Columbia where she has gained recognition with collectors in Canada, the United States, and Asia. Ms Warner’s work has been published in Essential Vancouver magazine, 2006/07 and Passion Pages, 2009.

Ms Warner’s current work is described as formalist abstract. She often works on series’ of up to twelve paintings at a time and can take over 6 months to complete a series. Ms Warner’s work is a juxtaposition between spontaneous washes and controlled methodical impasto areas creating a history within each piece. It is a deconstruction of painting as a language, becoming enhanced each time she adds a new colour or mark to the canvas.

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Kelly Isaak

Visual Arts Instructor

Kelly Isaak graduated from the University of Calgary’s Masters of Education program in 2008. She began teaching with the Calgary Board of Education the following Fall and joined the Central Memorial Fine Arts Department in 2010.

In 1999 Ms. Isaak graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design with a major in Drawing. She has also studied Painting, Printmaking, Textiles, and Ceramics. She spent six years living in Tokyo, Japan. There she studied photography and continues to work in both film and digital imagery.

Ms. Isaak is very interested in working with the human figure. She draws the body from life with various life-drawing groups around Calgary and is currently working on a drawing series dealing with portraiture and the idea of play.