Jason Fate has been teaching floor hockey and various youth activity camps at the Lauri Ann West/Boyd Community Center for 3 years and is currently the Centers Program Manager. 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
Erin Brennan, A&E Instructor- Erin has been involved with youth programs for several years, as a public library assistant and a Youth Program Director. Erin is currently completing her Masters of Library and Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. In addition, Erin has been awarded Employee of the Year at the Rankin Christian Center in 2015 for excellence, as well as a 2016 Sustainability Award for Program Management, and a 2018 National After-school Association “Next Generation” Award for leadership in the after-school field. When working with kids, creativity is a must! Erin loves encouraging kids to think outside the box and use their imaginations.
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.
Mark Haffner has been a teaching pro for over twenty years. He provides sports instruction and fitness services in a professional and prompt manner. Fun and engaging, whether in a private lesson or with a group, Mark can help you improve your game or help you with your mind, get fit, or provide a great group experience. Mark uses dynamic exercises, clear and thoughtful encouragement and approved methods for getting the most out of your experience. Mark teaches Floor Hockey to children between the ages of 6-12 here at the Center.
Emily Harris – Storyteller and Teaching Artist – My parents recognized the artist in me from an early age and enrolled me in classes and summer camps in Pittsburgh’s world class cultural institutions of visual and performing arts. After earning a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design, I moved to Florida and worked as a costume designer for film and television. I also joined the faculty of the Hoffman Performing Arts Institute and presented original story based residencies following county curriculum requirements for grades K-8 Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts. I have come home to Pittsburgh and offer programs that spotlight the “A” in STEAM initiatives. In a tech-free space where the creative process leads the way, many students discover their unique voices and express themselves with confidence, clarity, and grace. It is my honor to encourage your children to become their best selves through the arts.
Erin Kleinman began dancing at the age of 3, which is one reason she loves to pass on the love of dance to other young children! Miss Erin has considerable experience teaching younger children and her main goal is to bring confidence and joy into the classroom. In high school, Erin and her family moved to Chicago where she joined Von Heidecke’s School of Chicago Festival Ballet. This school provided her with opportunities to tour with a company performing The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Firebird, and many other full length classical ballets. While attending Hope College in Holland MI, Erin majored in Communication and Dance. After college Erin spent time dancing in Chicago and then teaching at a dance studio in Nashville TN. In Nashville, she taught dance and planned summer dance camps for over 150 students ages 5-12. After returning to school and completing her PhD at The Ohio State University in Communication she landed here in the Pittsburgh area. For the past three years Erin, has taught at a variety of dance studios in the area and here at the community center. Erin has over 20 years of experience teaching a variety of dance disciplines to children and adults alike. Erin especially loves teaching dance to her younger students and being able to pass along her love of dance to them! Miss Erin would love to share her love of dance with your child!
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.
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.
Katie Lascola was introduced to yoga in 2005 while working as a social worker in Philadelphia. Initially she saw yoga as a means to tone and strengthen muscles and increase flexibility. Soon it was apparent that yoga not only had physical benefits, but mental and emotional as well. Katie found a way to nourish herself, find calmness and breathe. In 2010 she completed her Yoga Alliance 200 hour teacher training certification and began teaching at Yoga Flow in Pittsburgh.
In addition to teaching studio classes, Katie teaches corporate yoga and in 2015 attained her children’s yoga certification through Yoga Playgrounds. She enjoys teaching various workshops including live music, yoga for runners, and yoga for survivors of sexual assault. Katie loves her community and the people within it and wants nothing more than to share with others what her yoga journey has given her…the ability to breathe through anything, courage, strength, and a sense of peace.
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 11th 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.
Sandra Moore, an art educator with private school certification, taught in Pittsburgh city schools’ after school programs and Artists Residencies. She also taught full time for eight years at The Neighborhood Academy, and now teaches Scenic Art and Clay workshops at Winchester Thurston City Campus. She has been teaching Clay Classes at Lauri Ann West Community Center since the summer of 2016. Students work with clay making a unique artifact, mosaic and utilitarian ware. They learn about a variety of surface treatments to add detail to their clay work, such as burnishing, stamps, texture and glaze. We fire the work using the low fire technique called Raku in a portable kiln built on site. Children are able to experience the process, from the creation of their artifact to the finished firing of their pieces. The hands-on approach of student led creation is empowering and magical.
Firings of the student’s work are posted on #fineartsbysandra
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!