Wade Kramm started teaching summer camps at Lauri Ann West/Boyd Community Center in 2007 and has been the lead teacher in the Arts and Enrichment program for the past four years. Since graduating from Rhode Island School of Design in 2002, Wade has worked as an educator and a professional artist. As a teacher, Wade strives to present activities that engage, stimulate and encourage children to explore and think creatively. He exhibits his work nationally and abroad, including shows in Berlin, Uruguay, Italy, and a permanent installation at the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum. Wade is knowledgeable about a wide variety of subjects including: Sculpture, early film and animation devices, gears and mechanisms, pop-up books, shadow puppets and architecture. Examples of his art can be seen here: www.wadekramm.net
Jason Fate has been teaching floor hockey and various youth activity camps at the Lauri Ann West/Boyd Community Center for two years. Mr. Fate has many varied experiences in the worlds of art, music and hockey. A working artist/musician for over 10 years, Mr. Fate holds an Associate’s Degree in Art History and Management and has worked for several museums including the Andy Warhol Museum. He has had several art shows at various galleries throughout Pittsburgh. As a musician, he has been a member of several local indie bands and has also created and sold clothing at several Pittsburgh boutiques. Mr. Fate is a USA Hockey certified instructor, has coached both youth dek and ice hockey teams, has worked as a goaltending instructor for several youth organizations and leagues and was part of the 1999 National Championship Dek Hockey Team defeating the best dek hockey teams in North America. “I enjoy sharing what I have learned with our community. I love creating and passing on great experiences to our program-goers, helping foster new passions or interest.” says Mr. Fate. A fan of any Vietnamese or Indian meal, Mr. Fate also enjoys peanut butter and vanilla ice cream.
Graduating with a M.Ed, Sarah Banach has facilitated education programs that incorporate the ever fluctuating world around us as a teaching artist. Sarah is a fabric artist and enjoys incorporating new technology with traditional techniques.
Erin Bechtold received a BFA in photography from Point Park University and Pittsburgh Filmmakers in 2003. Her work has been exhibited at the Silver Eye Gallery, The Center for Emerging Visual Artists Philadelphia, Irma Freeman Center for Imagination, and Pittsburgh Filmmakers Melwood Gallery. Publications include: Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Pittsburgh City Paper, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Spin.com, and Black & White Magazine. She was awarded an Emerging Photographers grant from Pittsburgh Filmmakers in 2002. Her work can be viewed at erinbechtoldphotography.com
Bobbie Cubbage has been teaching at the Lauri Ann West/Boyd Community Center for the past five years. And, she’s taught almost everything, including the A&E After School Program, birthday parties, summer camps, Kids in the Kitchen, Frozen, Fairy Garden Princess, Ella Minnow Pea, Dino Safari, Silly Science, Make a Mess, etc., etc. Mrs. Cubbage has a BA in Journalism and Communications from Point Park University and is also a certified youth fitness instructor and holds certification from the Penn Foster Early Childhood Program, as well as numerous professional development certificates from Penn State, PAEYC and FCASD Early Learning Consortium. With over 20 years of experience teaching various ages of children, Mrs. Cubbage currently works for the FCPC Preschool and has been a presenter for the ACSI Conference Seminar on the subject of ‘Creation’. Mrs. Cubbage was also a sprinter on the Penn Hills award winning high school girls track/field team and she played the clarinet in the high school marching band and concert bands. “I love the ‘a-ha’ moment in a student. That moment when you’ve been teaching the children something and the light bulb comes on! They really get it! At that moment, you know why you do what you do, and why you are so passionate about your position.” says Mrs. Cubbage. Her favorite meal? – a pizza with a fresh garden salad, followed by chocolate almond ice cream.
Filmmaker Shannon Dailey is set to receive her degree in Cinema Production from Point Park University in 2017. While attending school and working on a plethora of outside film and video projects, she also works for Filmmakers Youth Media, teaching photography, animation, and filmmaking to a variety of young learners. Shannon also teaches animation at Assemble, a community space for arts and technology. Focusing on production design and set building, Shannon loves to build new worlds for stories to thrive in, a passion that comes into play when she’s teaching animation.
Em DeMarco is a journalist, cartoonist and illustrator. She writes and draws a monthly comics journalism feature for the Pittsburgh City Paper. “Killer Croutons,” a nonfiction comic about her cousin’s deadly wheat allergy, can be read online here.
Kathy Demetri began teaching Pickleball at the Lauri Ann West Community Center in the spring of 2016. Kathy is a Pickleball Ambassador in the Pittsburgh Area (focusing on Fox Chapel Area) and is a ranked USTA 4.0 tennis player for various USTA women’s and mixed teams in the Pittsburgh Area. A member of the United States Pickleball Association (USAPA) and the United States Tennis Association (USTA), Kathy enjoys the strategy and physical benefits of Pickleball. She says “My goal is to promote the growth of Pickleball in the Pittsburgh area with a vision to develop a Pittsburgh USAPA League in the near future.” When not playing Pickleball, Kathy enjoys pecan pie with French vanilla ice cream.
George Dieffenbach is a certified tennis professional with the USPTA. Since 1981, he has been the head women’s tennis coach at the University of Pittsburgh and was the head men’s tennis coach for five years prior to that. George spent 16 summers as the head tennis pro at Wildwood Golf Club in Allison Park. He holds a Ph.D. in Science Education from the University of Pittsburgh.
Rachel Ferris is a freshman at Fox Chapel Area High School. She has 3 years of experience playing volleyball, during all of which she was on a school team, and two of those years, including this current season, she has played club volleyball with. She volunteered at Lauri Ann West last year helping to teach a volleyball.
Jasmine MacDonald started playing volleyball in seventh grade. She is a freshman at Fox Chapel Area High School. Jasmine is looking forward to teaching the girls I’ll hopefully be playing with in years to come.
Lisa Glaser is a health coach certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Her approach is not to dwell on calories, and create lists of restrictions or good and bad foods. Instead, she supports you to break through the dieting and deprivation mentality and focus on creating a healthy, energetic life built on strategies personalized to you.
Mark Haffner is a graduate of the University of Maryland who is a certified tennis professional and personal trainer. He also holds certifications as a skating instructor, life coach and pilates instructor. Mark has spoken to many groups and is the author of the book Overcoming the Odds, The Mark Haffner Story.
Michael Korinek is a teaching artist from upstate New York. Michael earned his BFA in Ceramics and Masters in Art Education from the State University of New York at Oswego. Michael’s personal experience with assorted materials, inspires him to develop creative and engaging learning opportunities. Michael has provided instruction at a youth summer camp in the western Adirondacks for the last 4 years and has offered countless private lessons to art enthusiasts. Michael currently lives on Pittsburgh’s North Side. He spends the bulk of his day working in his studio; gaining momentum as a production potter. As a community-centric artist, Michael strives to share his abilities with the greater Pittsburgh area in an effort to sustain and strengthen local creative culture.
Dr. Kovacs is a 4th Degree Black belt and has practiced Karate since 1972. He is responsible for Mumon’s Curriculum and Instructor Syllabus.
Marcel Lamont (M.L.) Walker is a lifelong resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and graduate of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He works as a freelance illustrator, graphic designer, comic-book creator, photographer, and art instructor.
For several years he taught comic-book creation classes, workshops and camps for children and adults at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. He continues to instruct at Pittsburgh’s ToonSeum, The Museum of Cartoon Art, where he is also a member of their Board of Directors. He has also contributed artwork for their NORTH and OAKLAND anthology comic-books.
He is the lead artist and book designer for CHUTZ-POW! SUPERHEROES OF THE HOLOCAUST, an anthology comic-book produced by The Holocaust Center of Greater Pittsburgh, and the featured artist in COMIC-TANIUM! THE SUPER MATERIALS OF THE SUPERHEROES, a nationally touring sciences-and-art exhibit sponsored by The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society.
As the creator, artist and writer of the independent comic-book HERO CORP., INTERNATIONAL, he has recast his friends and associates in a world of corporate American superheroes. For the next installment, he received a 2016 grant from the Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh Program courtesy of The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments.
James LaRosa is a Die Hard Pickleballer. He has truly learned to embrace the sport of Pickleball and has made so many friends through Pickleball, having played in Utah, Virginia, and Florida. He wants to help people find not only a new sport for fitness but a place to make new friends and of course have FUN!!! Tennis Experience: Played USTA Tennis as a youth; Played High School and College Tennis; Former Tennis Instructor. PickleBall Experience: Playing Pickleball for over 3 years; USAPA Member and Tournament Player; New Castle PA Pickleball Group Ladder Member 3 years; Playing in 2017 Pittsburgh Classic in the Open Division Mens / Ages 40 to 59; Scheduled to Instruct Pickleball in several loctions in Western PA.
Hello Friends–I’m Cara Livorio, the owner, artist, creative director, and lead educator at Artissima. I’m a Pittsburgh native, but I have traveled around a bit before settling back in the ‘burgh. I have received my art degrees, a B.F.A. in Painting and Drawing & a minor in Art History with master studies in Visual Art and Curatorship, studying both in the US and in Milan, Italy.
Darlene Mannheimer has been teaching beginner and intermediate bridge at the Lauri Ann West/Boyd Community Center for over five years. An accredited bridge teacher and director, Darlene has been playing bridge for 50 years and is a Ruby Life Master. She also is a duplicate and tournament player. Darlene says “I enjoy watching folks go from puzzlement to enjoyment of the special and challenging game of bridge.” What’s her favorite food? Well, that’s simple: chocolate, chocolate and chocolate!
Glenn Mannion is celebrating his 10th year of teaching at the Lauri Ann West/Boyd Community Center where he has taught a variety of sports-oriented classes for ages 3-12. Coach Mannion has a dual certification in Health and Physical Education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and is certified to teach Kindergarten-12th grade. He also has minors in fitness management and coaching with a level II certification through the state of Pennsylvania. “Mr. Glenn” has been teaching for 14 years in Ohio, Maryland and Pennsylvania and is in his 11th year teaching full-time Kindergarten through 6th grade health and physical education at South Allegheny School District. He has coached both boys and girls of all ages in football, basketball, softball and soccer. In college, Mr. Glenn was a four-year letter winner and starting defensive nose tackle in football – he also played football and basketball in high school. Mr. Glenn says “I love being around kids! If I can affect even one life in a positive way, I have done my job.” Although his favorite meal is anything from the grill, Mr. Glenn confesses he is a sweets eater and ice cream is his favorite!
Fritz Mitnick has taught at community and art centers, at fiber festivals, and at camps and workshops including Sheep Thrills in Chautauqua, New York and Rug Hooking Week at Sauder Village in Ohio. She is comfortable teaching students using all cuts and styles of rug hooking. She especially enjoys introducing beginners to her favorite fiber art and seeing them develop their own styles.
Margaret Olson has been teaching voice for two years to students as young as five years old through adulthood. Her focus is on developing healthy vocal habits that allow students to continue their music throughout the years, instilling whole-body performance, and providing pedagogical tools for students to continue their study independently. As a performer, Margaret has graced the stage and audiences in solo, ensemble, operatic, and musical theater productions for just over 20 years. A returned resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Margaret currently teaches voice at the Center for Young Musicians in Sewickley and Wexford, sings as a soprano substitute at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, substitutes as a teaching assistant for the Mars Area School District, and will soon act as Musical Director for Indian Creek High School in Wintersville, OH. Margaret obtained her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York and also holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Join The Scoring Factory for six weeks of high intensity and detail-oriented basketball instruction. Led by former Davidson and European standout Ian Johnson and former Geneva sharpshooter and current assistant coach Jordan Harbison, players will learn and reinforce the important details necessary to build a solid all-around foundation, including shooting mechanics, ball-handling, footwork, and defensive techniques. Come get some!
Casey Cunningham is teaching for the first time at the Lauri Ann West Community Center . She holds a BA in Theater Performance from Penn State and completed the School at Steppenwolf summer residency, as well as courses in Shakespeare, on-camera acting and dance. Although originally from Pittsburgh, Ms. Cunningham lived in Chicago for ten years and worked in storefront theater as an actor, director, singer and casting director; she recently moved back to Pittsburgh. Says Ms. Cunningham “Some of my best memories as a child and teen are from theater camps and classes. My hope is to spark and support a love of theater and performance in children and young adults; create memories that las; and guild a skill set that translates well beyond a stage.” A big fan of pumpkin pie with whipped cream, Ms. Cunningham also says she could eat pizza every day of her life.
Nancy Mimless has taught various acting, musical theater and performance classes and camps at the Lauri Ann West Community Center for the past year. A Pittsburgh native, Ms. Mimless earned her BA in Speech/ Theater Arts from the University of Pittsburgh. After years in Los Angeles working as a performer and in TV production for Barris Industries, Guber Peters Entertainment and various talent agencies, she returned to Pittsburgh to pursue her career. Ms. Mimless is a member of SAG-AFTRA and Actors’ Equity. She has worked in theater, numerous voice-overs, television and film for 30 years, appearing in productions with No Name Players (SWAN Day), Bricolage (Bus 6), McKeesport Little Theater, Pittsburgh Playwrights, Theater Factory, Little Lake Theater , Prime Stage Theater, South Park Theater, just to name a few. She has toured with Gateway to the Arts (On the Wing Theater) and Pittsburgh CLO. She has also performed with Latshaw Productions (Tony and Tina’s Wedding), Amish Monkeys and in an improv group in Los Angeles. She also appeared on The Weakest Link game show and the Gong Show and has worked as a talent/contestant on The Dating Game and the Newlywed Game and the Gong Show. Currently, Ms. Mimless is a review for Burgh Vivant. As an instructor, Ms. Mimless has taught acting, improv and musical theater at Pittsburgh CLO Academy, Keystone State Musical Theater, The Jewish Community Center, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and as a private coach. She has also worked with special needs children and adults as part of the New Horizon’s program at CLO Academy and with Cub Scouts and Girl Scout Troop # 54450. Ms. Mimless says, “Teaching is the best job in the world. What a joy to be able to see a student’s eyes light up when they grasp the concept or skill you are teaching! Or when they grow up and have perfected their skills and share their talents.” Although there’s a tie for her favorite food – either grilled chicken or salmon – she has one favorite baseball team – the Pittsburgh Pirates!
Sorin Achim has been teaching classes at various times since 2001 at the Lauri Ann West/Boyd Community Center. His classes have included Robotics, Animation Movie Studio for Kids, 3-D Printing, Drones, Video Game Design and Mobile App Design. With an MS in Electrical Enginnering and Research at the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute and Computer Science Departments, Mr. Achim has over 15 years of experience introducing elementary and middle school students to the latest science and technology developments through after-school classes and STEM summer camps. Mr. Achim says “During a public robotics exhibition in Japan, Japanese school children asked me all kinds of interesting questions about the robots presented by the team from Carnegie Mellon University and that made me realize that I could use robotics to get my son (then 7 years old) to be more interested in science and technology. It worked! He is now getting a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from Stanford University and many of the kids who went through my ‘Advanced Technologies for Kids’ programs are now students at leading engineering universities in the United States. That makes me feel GREAT!” Chicken wings and butter pecan ice cream is Mr. Achim’s favorite meal.