KDE announces new regional arts specialists


11-3-16-arts-regional-specialists-mapThe Kentucky Department of Education has started a new program of regional arts specialists. Teachers, schools and districts will be able to utilize these individuals as an arts resource for their school and district.

Below you will find a biographies, a photograph and contact information for each arts specialists and the region of Kentucky they represent. For further questions or information related to how these individuals can help, please contact your regional arts specialist at their email address.

Aaron Jones
Aaron Jones

Region A
Aaron Jones, Music
Millbrooke Elementary School (Christian County)
(270) 887-7270

Aaron Jones serves as the general music teacher and assistant band director at Millbrooke Elementary. He has served as a committee member and leader on the school’s Program Review instructional committee, as well as the school’s school-based decision making council. He comes to the regional specialists’ team with an extensive background in youth performing arts in theater and dance, the marching music arts and community music arts organizations from all around the state and country.

Jones has a bachelor’s in music education from Morehead State University and is completing his master’s in teacher leadership through the University of the Cumberlands. In 2013, he was chosen as Millbrooke’s Teacher of the Year. He currently serves his school and community as a coordinator for youth performance theater ensembles throughout the district and volunteers as a musical instructor at Hopkinsville High School (Christian County).


Gena Maley
Gena Maley

Region A
Gena Maley, Visual Art
Murray Middle School (Murray Independent)
(270) 753-5125

Gena Maley is in her 20th year of teaching with the Murray Independent school district. She teaches visual art to 600 students in grades 4-8. She received her bachelor’s of fine arts, a K-12 teaching certification in art education and gifted education, and a master’s in education from Murray State University.

Maley is National Board certified in early and middle childhood art. She was recognized as Middle School Art Teacher of the year in 2012 by the Kentucky Art Education Association and currently serve as the arts representative for the Murray Independent Schools District Leadership Team.


DuWayne Dale
DuWayne Dale

Region B
DuWayne Dale, Music
Daviess County High School
(270) 852-7300

DuWayne Dale is in his 18th year of teaching and his eighth year at Daviess County High School. He holds a bachelor’s of music education and a master’s of music education from Morehead State University. He completed his Rank I in music education at the University of Kentucky and is currently in the dissertation phase for a doctorate in music education from Boston University.

Dale recently completed a two-year term as president of the Kentucky Music Educators Association’s (KMEA) Second District and is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the International Society for Music Education, the National Band Association, the MayDay Group, Technology in Music Education and Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity. He has contributed to GIA Publications Teaching Music Though Performance in Band series and to School Band and Orchestra Magazine.

Dale was named the 2012-13 KMEA second district High School Music Educator of the Year. He also has been honored with a Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association and has presented professional development sessions at KMEA and the Kentucky Colleges National Association for Music Education state conferences. Dale led the Davis County High School’s Wind Ensemble to a performance at the 2014 KMEA state conference – the first time for this prestigious honor in 40 years for an ensemble from the school.

Dale leads the marching band, symphonic band, wind ensemble, pep bands and indoor winds ensemble (Winter Guard International Soundsport). He also teaches Beginning and AP Music Theory and Music Technology. In addition to these duties, Dale is an adjunct professor of music education at Kentucky Wesleyan College, where he assists with the school’s band, has taught private applied brass lessons and teaches courses in instrumental music education.


Kim Soule
Kim Soule

Region B
Kim Soule, Visual Art
Greenwood High School (Warren County)
(270) 842-3627

Kim Soule has taught visual art in Warren County since 1998. Her teaching experience also includes schools in Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee. She received her bachelor’s degree in art education from Texas Woman’s University and her master’s in art education from Western Kentucky University. She is also a practicing artist in the mediums of painting, drawing, printmaking and clay.

Soule is active in the Kentucky Art Education Association and currently serves as past president. Her work can be viewed at her professional websites here and here.


Emily Forrester
Emily Forrester

Region C
Emily Forrester, Visual Art
Ballard High School (Jefferson County)
(502) 485-8206

Emily Forrester received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky in 2000 with an emphasis in ceramics and textiles. From 2000 to 2004, she produced a line of functional ceramics for retail sale and taught visual arts workshops to children and adults through the Speed Museum, Louisville Visual Arts Association and the Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts.

In 2005, Forrester received her master’s in teaching from the University of Louisville. She began her teaching career at Providence Junior Senior High School in southern Indiana. In 2008, she began teaching in the Jefferson County Public Schools with positions at Olmstead Academy North, Seneca High School and now, Ballard High School. She teaches Visual Art 1, 2, 3, 4, Advanced Placement, Seminar and Sculpture.


Rachael Burriss
Rachael Burriss

Region C
Rachael Burriss, Visual Art
Cooper High School (Boone County)
(859) 384-5040

Rachael Burriss teaches a variety of visual arts courses, from ceramics and photography to advanced art and graphic design.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Morehead State University and a master’s degree from the Art Academy of Cincinnati, both specializing in art education.

Burriss is a practicing artist, focusing mostly in photography and mixed media works.


Lauren Case
Lauren Case

Region D
Lauren Case, Dance
The Arts at Ashland Elementary School (Fayette County)
(859) 381-3243

Lauren Case has been teaching dance for more than 30 years. She began her dancing in private studios at a young age and is skilled in tap, jazz, ballet and contemporary dance styles. She attended the University of Kentucky and has a bachelor’s in arts administration, a master’s of arts in teaching from Bellarmine University and holds a Kentucky Dance Teacher Certificate.

Case has taught dance, drama and visual/performing arts in public and private schools for 15 years, as well as having experience teaching in private dance studios. She currently is the dance and drama teacher at The Arts at Ashland Elementary School.


David Fonda
David Fonda

Region E
David Fonda, Music and Dance
Camargo Elementary School (Montgomery County)
(859) 497-8776

David Fonda is an elementary music educator. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s in music education from Morehead State University and the University of Kentucky, respectively.

Fonda has spent the past 18 years teaching high school color guards in Kentucky and the surrounding states; most recently the 2014 and 2015 State 5A Marching Band Champion Madison Central High School. He is currently working on a master’s in instructional leadership from Morehead State and hopes to become an elementary principal.


Jon Oliver
Jon Oliver

Region E
Jon Oliver, Music
Hunter Hills Elementary School (Laurel County)
(606) 862-4655

Jon M. Oliver is a music specialist for Laurel County Schools and has served on the music faculty at Union College. He is a graduate of Sue Bennett College, Union College and Eastern Kentucky University, with additional graduate hours through University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Institute for International Studies. Among his many degrees in music, education and business, Oliver holds a master’s of music in vocal performance, much of it completed while living and performing in Europe.

Oliver was named Hunter Hills Elementary Teacher of the Year, has twice been named Laurel County Schools Elementary Teacher of the Year, was named the London-Laurel County Chamber of Commerce Elementary Teacher of the Year, has twice received the Campbellsville University Excellence in Teaching Award and has three times been named the KMEA District 10 Elementary Music Teacher of the Year. He completed a six-year term on the state board of the Kentucky Music Educators Association, where he served as division chair, all-state chorus chair and on the Executive Board.

Oliver continues to work behind the scenes with the Kentucky Children’s Chorus. He has conducted numerous children’s choirs around the state, including serving as the guest conductor for the Southeastern Kentucky Music Association All-Festival Children’s Chorus for an unprecedented nine years, an event which he helped to found. Oliver also serves as a national teacher adviser on the Quaver Advisory Council with Quaver’s Marvelous World of Music.

His past work with the Kentucky Department of Education has included working on the Program of Studies, revising prior content standards and serving as a writer for the original Program Review in the arts. He has conducted numerous professional development sessions for teachers and administrators around Kentucky. He is active as a conductor, director, producer, soloist and percussionist in the London Community Orchestra, as well as a chorister and soloist with the Southeastern Kentucky Community Chorus. For many years, Oliver served as a production and choreography assistant with America Sings! for the group’s annual performance during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.