KDE expands regional visual and performing arts specialists

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The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) – in its mission of providing service, support and leadership – has expanded its cohort of regional visual and performing arts (VPA) specialists. For the 2017-18 school year, KDE has added seven new arts teachers to the specialist cohort and developed a sixth region for support.

KDE began the specialists program in 2016 in order to assist teachers, schools and districts in implementing the Kentucky Academic Standards for the Arts, which were adopted in 2015. The VPA specialists are available to all public schools, districts and teachers to assist in developing arts curriculum, creating authentic arts assessments and providing professional learning opportunities specific to the needs of arts teachers.

Region A encompasses the districts primarily in far western Kentucky. The VPA specialists for this district include:

  • Chris Fortenberry
    Chris Fortenberry

    Chris Fortenbery has been in education for 26 years. She is currently the elementary arts coordinator for the Marshall County Schools. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in gifted education from Murray State University. Fortenbery can be contacted at chris.fortenbery@marshall.kyschools.us or by calling (270) 354-6462.

 

 

  • Aaron Jones
    Aaron Jones

    Aaron Jones is a returning VPA specialist. Jones serves as the general music teacher and assistant band director at Millbrooke Elementary School (Christian County) and also works with the Christian County High School band. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Morehead State University and is completing his master’s degree in leadership at the University of the Cumberlands. Jones can be contacted at aaron.jones@christian.kyschools.us or by calling (270) 887-7270.

 

 

  • Gena Maley
    Gena Maley

    Gena Maley is also a returning VPA specialist. Maley is in her 20th year of teaching visual art in the Murray Independent school district and is currently at Murray Middle School. She is a National Board certified teacher in early and middle-childhood art and earned her bachelor’s degree in art education and a master’s degree in education from Murray State University. Maley can be contacted at gena.maley@murray.kyschools.us or by calling (270) 753-5125.

 

Region B encompasses districts in primarily western Kentucky. The VPA specialists for this district include:

  • Aaron Dale II
    Aaron Dale

    Aaron Dale is a new visual and performing arts specialist. He teaches music for the G.C. Burkhead Elementary School in Hardin County, as well as working with the Central Hardin High School marching band. Dale received a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree in special education from Campbellsville University. He also is certified as an Orff-Schulwerk educator. Dale can be contacted at aaron.dale@hardin.kyschools.us or by calling (270) 769-5983.

 

 

  • Alecia Meyer
    Alecia Meyer

    Alecia Meyer is a new VPA specialist. She is in her 28th year of teaching and currently teaches music at Owensboro Middle School in the Owensboro Independent Schools. Meyer received her bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Kentucky and her master’s degree in education from Georgetown College. She is a National Board certified teacher. Meyer can be contacted at alecia.meyer@owensboro.kyschools.us or by calling (270) 686-1130

 

 

  • Kim Soule
    Kim Soule

    Kim Soule is a returning VPA specialist currently teaching visual art at Greenwood High School in the Warren County Schools. She received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Woman’s University and her master’s degree from Western Kentucky University. Soule can be contacted at kim.soule@warren.kyschools.us or by calling (270) 842-3627.

 

 

Region C encompasses districts in north central and northern Kentucky. The VPA specialists for this district include:

  • Rachael Burriss
    Rachael Burriss

    Rachael Burriss is a returning VPA specialist teaching visual art at Cooper High School in Boone County. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Morehead State University and a master’s degree from the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Burriss can be contacted at rachael.burriss@boone.kyschools.us or by calling (859) 384-5040.

 

 

  • Emily Forrester
    Emily Forrester

    Emily Forrester is a visual art teacher at Ballard High School in the Jefferson County Public Schools and is a returning VPA specialist. Forrester received her bachelor’s degree in visual art from the University of Kentucky and her master’s degree in teaching from the University of Louisville. Forrester can be contacted at emily.forrester@jefferson.kyschools.us or by calling (502) 485-8206.

 

 

  • Melissa Marotta
    Melissa Marotta

    Melissa Marotta is a music teacher at Campbellsville Ridge Elementary School in the Campbell County schools. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from Morehead State University and is an Orff-Schulwerk certified music educator. Marotta can be contacted at melissa.marotta@campbell.kyschools.us or by calling (859) 448-4780.

 

Region D encompasses districts in central Kentucky. The VPA specialists for this district include:

  • Lauren Case
    Lauren Case

    Lauren Case is a returning VPA specialist. Case is a dance and theater teacher at Ashland Elementary School in the Fayette County schools. She earned a bachelor’s degree in arts administration from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree in education from Bellarmine University. Case can be contacted at lauren.case@fayette.kyschools.us or by calling (859) 381-3243.

 

 

  • Amy Harrod
    Amy Harrod

    Amy Harrod is the Jessamine County Schools district arts coordinator and is a new VPA specialist with a teaching background in elementary music. Harrod earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from Asbury University and her master’s degree from the University of Kentucky. She also is an Orff-Schulwerk music educator. Harrod can be contacted at amy.harrod@jessamine.kyschools.us or by calling (859) 885-4179.

 

 

  • Amie Kisling
    Amie Kisling

    Amie Kisling is a new VPA specialist. Kisling is a theater teacher at the School for Creative and Performing Arts and Lafayette High School in the Fayette County schools. Kisling holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University in theater and music education, and a master’s degree in theater from the University of Central Florida. She also has an extensive background in dance. Kisling can be contacted at amie.kisling@fayette.kyschools.us or call (859) 381-3474.

 

Region E encompasses districts in northeast Kentucky. The VPA specialists for this district include:

  • David Fonda
    David Fonda

    David Fonda is a returning VPA specialist. He teaches music at Camargo Elementary School in the Montgomery County school district and has an extensive dance background. Fonda earned his bachelor’s degree in music education from Morehead State University and his master’s degree in music education from the University of Kentucky. He is currently working on a second master’s degree in school leadership from Morehead State. Fonda can be contacted at david.fonda@montgomery.kyschools.us or call (859) 497-8776.

 

 

  • John Johnson
    John Johnson

    John Johnson is the director of bands at Boyd County High School and is a new VPA specialist. Johnson holds both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in music education from Morehead State University. Johnson can be contacted at john.johnson@boyd.kyschools.us or call (606) 928-7100.

 

Region F is a newly created region and encompasses districts in southeast Kentucky. The VPA specialists for this district include:

  • Amanda Haynes
    Amanda Haynes

    Amanda Haynes is a new VPA specialist and is an elementary art teacher in the Pulaski County schools, where she teaches in Pulaski Elementary School and Northern Elementary School. Haynes earned her bachelor’s degree in art education from Eastern Kentucky University and also holds a master’s degree in art education and leadership from Western Kentucky University. Haynes can be contacted at amanda.haynes@pulaski.kyschools.us or call (606) 678-1574 for Pulaski Elementary or (606) 678-5230 for Northern Elementary.

 

 

  • Rebecca Liford-Hibbard
    Rebecca Liford-Hibbard

    Rebecca Liford-Hibbard is a new VPA specialist and teaches theater at Corbin High School in the Corbin Independent schools. Liford-Hibbard holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in theater from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree in teaching from the University of the Cumberlands. Liford-Hibbard can be contacted at rebecca.hibbard@corbin.kyschools.us or call (606) 528-3902.

 

 

  • Jon Oliver
    Jon Oliver

    Jon Oliver is a returning VPA specialist teaching music at Hunter Hills Elementary School in the Laurel County schools. Oliver earned an associate degree from Sue Bennet College in music and business administration, a bachelor’s in music and business administration from Union College and a master’s in music from Eastern Kentucky University. Oliver can be contacted at jon.oliver@laurel.kyschools.us or call (606) 528-3902.

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