TEACHING ARTISTS

SUSAN ALTMAN - Visual Arts (AHS) - Exhibiting artist in national & international exhibitions (solo and group); major grants & fellowships including a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship; Asst Chair of Visual, Performing and Media Arts Department at Middlesex County College, & Associate Professor of painting, drawing & printmaking. Education: MFA Tyler School of Art, Temple University, BFA State University of NY, Buffalo

DAVID AMBROSE - Visual Arts (AHS)-Painter w/studios in NY & NJ. Exhibits work with Margaret Thatcher Projects, NY, Amy Simon Fine Art, Westport, CT, Marcia Wood Gallery, Atlanta, GA & Pentimenti Gallery, Phila, PA. Mid Career Retrospective, NJ State Museum, Trenton, NJ 2016. Received 2 fellowships from NJ State Council on the Arts, including a Distinguished Artist Fellowship. Adjunct Professor of Drawing - Parsons the New School for Design. Adjunct Instructor - Fashion Institute of Technology, Visiting Artist - Pratt Institute. Education: MFA, Univ of Pennsylvania.; BFA, Muhlenberg College.

KAT BLOCKVisual Arts (AMS) Career artist. Won numerous awards, (28), participated in many solo, group & juried shows. Work was featured in the 2010 release, "Remember Me" starring Pierce Brosnan and Robert Pattison. Created images for Union County Jazzfests. Illustrated a children's book, "Little Mouse" published by Little Iris Press. Art director for calendars benefitting NJ Breast Cancer Research Fund. Well-known art educator. Currently teaches at duCret School of Art, Visual Arts Center of NJ & Institute of Music for Children. Conducts art workshops throughout New Jersey, such as Union County Teen Art Festival, numerous private art students, many of whom have gone on to win awards of their own. Education: BA Kean University Summa Cum Laude.

BARBARA BLUMENTHALMusical Theatre (AMS) – Directing adult & children’s theater productions for 22 years.  Founder & Dir - NJ Footlights Drama Workshops, conducts Theater Arts & Teacher-Training Workshops in NJ & NY.  Education: BA Theater Arts, Rutgers U.

MARC DAVID BONAGURACreative Writing (AHS) -Associate Professor of English at Brookdale Community College. Co-author (with Leslie Schwartz) of Surviving the Hell of Auschwitz and Dachau, A Teenage Struggle Toward Freedom from Hatred (2013 Lit Verlag Press). Education: MFA Creative Writing, U. of Georgia.

P.J. BRACCO – Film Making (AHS/AMS)-Owner/Executive Director- Red Hook Films®. Began his career directing & producing Off-Broadway in the 90’s. Launched production company (1997) w/ the award winning feature film “The Court”, Maintained a career on the fringes of the independent scene, producing films, music videos & commercials. Currently in development w/several new projects, pursues, & creates new opportunities in motion pictures, Brings experience & knowledge to the classroom. Each project is approached w/a focus on clear & engaging stories, exploring various styles & techniques to achieve cinematic excellence, while delivering on time & on budget. www.redhookfilms.com  Education: BFA, Acting, Boston University’s College of Fine Arts.

ELOISE BRUCE— Creative Writing (AMS)- Published collection of poetry, Rattle-CavenKerry Press. Member-Cool Women poetry group. Theatre for Young Audiences director/playwright. 1998 Fellowship in Poetry-NJSCA; teaching artist-NJ Writers Project, Playwrights Theater, YANJ.  Coach Educational Leaders as Scholars. Mentor NJ Poetry Out Loud. Youth Editor RavensPearch Literary Magazine . Education: MEd, Mercer Univ; MFA, Univ. of Alabama; BFA, Wesleyan College

JOHN BUKOVEC – Theater Arts (AHS) - Head of Theater Dept -Brookdale CC. Teaches Acting I - IV, Directing & Contemporary American plays. Founded Brookdale Summer Shakespeare Ensemble. Taught & acted w/McCarter Theater Outreach Dept. Acted in NJ/NY/Chicago/Wash D.C. Favorite acting roles: Weston. The Fifth of July; Macbeth, Macbeth; Theramanes, Phadre; Juror #7, Twelve Angry Men.  Education: BFA, Ramapo College; MFA Acting, Theater School in Chicago-formerly Goodman School of Drama

MEI LI CHENVocal Music (AMS) Taught music at Tainan Theological Seminary & served as Music Director of First Reformed Church, New Brunswick. Currently serves as Organist & Choir Director of Wesley United Methodist Church , So. Plainfield.  Awarded outstanding teacher by Piano Teachers Assn, maintained a private piano studio in Piscataway. Graduated Tunghai University, Taiwan—major in piano.  MFA, Westminster Choir Coll majoring in choral conducting and church music with Dr. Joseph Flummerfelt, Mrs. Frauke Haasemann & Mr. Allen Crowell.

DOUG CLARKE Jazz Improv (AHS) Performed w/Joe Williams, Bruce Barth, Harry Allen, The Nelson Riddle Orchestra as well as shows backing Shirley Jones, Jerry Vale, Al Martino, &many others. Recent performances incl a concert w/special guests Wynton Marsalis, Jon Faddis, & Mulgrew Miller. Played on more than 20 cd’s, w/arranging & composition credits several. Composed the theme music for PBS cooking show “Healthy Heritage Kitchen”. Author of a guitar method book/cd used as course material at Brookdale CC & other learning institutions. Currently teaches at Monmouth U., Brookdale CC,& maintains an active performance schedule throughout NY, NJ & abroad. Education; BA, Berklee College of Music, MA , jazz performance Rutgers University

JOAN CONWAY Visual Arts (AMS) Taught & supervised art education in the Piscataway Schools. Former District Dir for Visual Practical & Performing Arts.(Retired) Several yrs leadership for Art Administrators of NJ (Pres, VP, Secty, Student Achievement Award Chair). Worked on several projects w/NJDOE on NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards, Assessment & Evaluation. Supervisor of the Year, NJ Princ & Supv Assn 2002; worked on State Advisory Committee for Professional Development for School Leaders as NJPSA Rep. NJ City University Adjunct Professor. Commissioner to the Middlesex County Cultural & Heritage Comm, Docent at Rutgers U Zimmerli Art Museum.  BA & MA, Arts Education; MA, Educational Administration, Kean Univ.

DAN COOLEY—Theatre Arts (AMS) New Jersey based director and actor with a passion for social issue theater. He is the Producing Director for the Playground Theatre Project, which is a collection of socially conscience kids, teens and adults who use their art to inspire change and community discussion. Dan has been teaching acting and directing for 9 years at the Actors Playground School of Theatre, and has been honored to be on staff at AMS the past 5 yrs.

MEGAN DONOVAN-Theatre Arts (AMS) Actor & Educator. Performed in/Directed countless productions in the tri-state area & in independent films, one that went to New York International Fringe Festival, 2014. Founder/Artistic Director Playground Theatre Project, Asst. Artistic Dir/Teacher Actors Playground School of Theatre. Teaching Artist Dance Theatre Project, Count Basie, Algonquin Arts & Ranney School. Local Artists’ Network at Two River Theatre Co.

DAVID DZIEMIAN-Visual Arts (AHS)  Painter. Exhibiting nationwide. Painting Fellowship NJS Council on the Arts 2006. Education: MFA, Painting & Drawing, Montclair State U; BA Studio Arts, Stockton College NJ

MARJORIE ENERSON-Theatre Arts (AMS) Drama Director since 1998- Ranney in the Summer, Ocean Twp. For the past 2 years, teaches at Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank. Education: BFA Montclair University.

TERRY GEERDTS- Photography (AMS)- Business owner for 13 years with a studio in Metuchen. Council member of Professional Photographers of NJ. Member of Professional Photographers of America. Regional speaker for NY & NJ Photographers. Regional & National award winner. Education: BA Fashion Institute of Technology.

RANDY JAMES—Modern Dance (AHS & AMS) Founding Artistic Director of 10 Hairy Legs, significantly impacted the field of dance for more than 3 decades locally, regionally, nationally & internationally as a highly regarded dancer, choreographer, teacher, guest lecturer, panelist & staunch advocate of the arts.  In 2010 The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation cited him as “The Patron Saint of New Jersey dance.”  As a choreographer, he has created more than 40 works on his own companies & on 16 other professional companies throughout the US, garnering positive reviews from NY Times & Village Voice.  The NJ State Council on the Arts/Dept of State honored him 3 times w/Choreography Fellowships in 1995, 2002 & 2014 in recognition of his artistic excellence & named him "Distinguished Teaching Artist." Associate Professor of Dance, member of the dance faculty at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, since 1998.

CHARLES H. JOHNSON -- Poetry (AHS) - 2014 NJPAC main stage reader in program honoring veterans & their poetry, 2013 2nd place winner of Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards for his poem “Sunday Comics” & winner of County College of Morris' 2011 NJ Poets Prize for his poem "Leaving." For his 3rd book "Smoke Signals," he received the 2010 Paterson Poetry Prize for Literary Excellence. A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, he is poetry instructor for Middlesex & Monmouth Counties Arts HS, & visiting poet for Paterson, NJ school system.  A 1998 first-place winner of Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, he has been poetry editor for the online literary e-zine Identity Theory, poetry instructor for the Middlesex County Youth Shelter & night editor & poetry reviewer for the Home News Tribune. A graduate of Rutgers University, he is a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Poet in the Schools. His Web site:charleshjohnsonpoet.net

DIANA LANG -Art Photography (AMS) Photographer based in Central NJ. Portrait & Wedding Studio for over 6 years with an additional 20 years of photographic experience. President of the Professional Photographers' Association. On the committee for Hightstown Harvest Fair Photography Exhibit.

 KAREN LESTERMusical Theatre (AMS)-Choreographer. Teacher-Dance Carousel, Spotswood-24 yrs. Choreograph plays at St. Bartholomew’s MS, E. Brunswick-20 years. Certified thru Dance Educators of America, NYC. Member -Assoc Dance Teachers of NJ, Level III trained thru Dance Masters Inc

LAURA MANDILE - Visual Arts 3D (AMS) Has had a multi-faceted career as an artist, designer & teacher for over 30 years. Began a successful career as an advertising art director & designer in the fashion & cosmetic industry. Later wishing to return to her love of drawing & painting, she became a certified art teacher, & has taught at several NJ HS’s. Her personal work, including oils, pastels, watercolors, & hand-painted glassware, has been shown at many NJ galleries & venues, & has traveled w/the NJ Symphony Orchestra Art Strings program.  Education: BFA , School of Visual Arts, NYC

JOSEPHINE NAGLE—Classical Vocal Music (AHS) Concert, operatic, recital soloist in NY, NJ & PA.  Lyric Soprano. Retired HS Choral Director & coordinator of Fine & Performing Arts Highland Park School District. Musical Director/Conductor for a wide variety of HS & Community Musicals. Board member of Trenton Community Music School, Adj. Prof. at Brookdale CC. Private Vocal Teacher. Education: MM, Voice Performance & Pedagogy, Westminster Choir College, BA, Music Ed, Penn State Univ.

CARLYLE OWENS—Theatre Arts (AHS) has appeared onstage at Shakespeare and Company, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Cleveland Play House, Monomoy Theater and the McCarter, as well as in a number of off-off Broadway productions. He has also worked as an artist in the schools in New York City, Jersey City, and northeast Ohio. Carlyle teaches theater history at Pace University and previously taught acting and voice while a member of the resident acting company at the Cleveland Play House, at About Face Theater, The Laurel School and while earning his MFA at Ohio University. He is an original member of Raconteur Radio, performing staged radio plays throughout New Jersey and in New York City. He has also taught auditioning; juggling and mask work and makes a mean North Carolina barbecue.

AMANDA RICHARDSONCreative Writing (AHS/AMS) has been writing since she could hold a pen. She has been teaching a variety of writing classes at Hudson County CC, Atlantic Cape CC, Middlesex CC & Stockton U for 12 yrs & has been involved w/Arts Middle School since 2011. She is also a Learning Assistant in the Writing Center at Brookdale CC. She has participated as both staff & writing student at the Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway since 2002 &  has been published in MARGIE/The American Journal of Poetry, won The Jeanette Gottlieb Award for Poetry, & received an Honorable Mention for the R.J. Corradino Prize for Love Poetry. Education: BS Marine Science, Minor in Writing, Stockton U. MFA Creative Writing: Poetry, Sarah Lawrence College

ALLAN ROBINSON—Musical Theater and Vocal Music (AHS/AMS) -Middlesex County College: Instructor of Music Theory and Music History. Choral conductor and organist for organizations in Red Bank and Livingston, NJ. Education: B.Mus., Westminster Choir College, Princeton; M.Mus., Rutgers Univ.; D.M.A. Boston University

ARIEL E. SAULOGPhotography and Filmmaking (AHS/AMS) More than 15 years working in the Motion Pictures, Advertising, Photography industry, working as award winning (MarCom Gold 2012, 2013) Motion Graphic and Animator, Video/Audio Editor, Cinematographer, Digital Special Effects Supervisor on big budget Hollywood films and as well as small budget indie films, Worn many hats i.e. Post Production Supervisor, Director & everything in between. As a Photographer, has shot many films behind the scenes as a stills, portrait & event photographer while working numerous advertising campaigns for Pharma, Chemical & Entertainment industry. Currently manages his own Cinematography, Photography & Post Production studio. Education: BFA, School of Visual Arts (SVA), NYC. Continued to do course work related to his Art interests & passion at Pratt Institute.

DAVID SCHLOSSBERG—Musical Theatre (AMS) Accompanist for many choirs in Monroe, West Orange, Highland Park and New Brunswick, including the prestigious New Jersey Cantor’s Concert Ensemble. Accompanies vocalists and instrumentalists from all over the Tri-State area, and entertains at local libraries, senior communities, and hospitals. Musical Director for various summer camps, high schools, and religious organizations. Received his Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance from The College of New Jersey in 2006.

RADAM SCHWARTZ Jazz Improv (AHS) --Noted jazz performer, staple on the NY/NJ/Philly jazz scene. Arranger, composer, organist, pianist. Last 5 CDs on national charts( high as #9). Many other recording credits. CD in 1995 was named in B3 Organ Bible as an essential organ record of all time. Performed throughout US & Europe. Played on over 40 recordings. Educator at Jazz House Kids & the former Jazz Institute of NJ (music director), Jazz Connections, Middlesex County Arts HS. Mentioned in the 2009 Downbeats Critics Poll. Received Sesac award for Jazz Composition in both 2008 and 2009.Masters in Jazz History and Theory from Rutgers Newark, Recipient of the Morroe Berger -Benny Carter grant. Worked with David Fathead Newman, Arthur Prysock, Al Hibbler, Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Cecil Brooks III, and many others.  Mentioned in 2009 and 2015 Downbeats Critics Poll

 VICTOR SHEN—Vocal Music (AMS) Dr. Shen has extensive teaching & performing experience with vocal groups in Taiwan & US.  Taught in school, church & university settings.  Previously on Music faculty at Tung Hai Univ & Kaoshiung Normal Univ. Music Dir of National Taiwan Univ Chorus, Chorus Master for Bel Canto Opera Co, NYC as well as Nat’l Taiwan Symphonic Chorus, Taipei.  Artistic Dir of Trenton Childres’s Chorus, Rutgers Univ Queens Chorale among others. Presently he is Artistic Director of New Jersey Vox Nova Chamber Chorus and Vocal Singers Ensemble of Greater Washington DC

ARLENE SMELSON-Visual Arts (AMS) more than 35 yrs’ experience teaching art on all grade levels. Workshops throughout the state for professional development for teachers & administrators on the integration of art & technology, mixed-media, portrait painting, watercolors, acrylics, pastels, wall murals, & mosaics. Over the last decade, she put into practice a successful art enrichment program combining art & technology for the Middle Schools in Freehold Twp. Received the Monmouth County Teacher of the Year Award from the Monmouth County Arts Council. Her paintings have been exhibited in galleries & museums throughout the area. Although her passion is in painting & sculpture she has developed a unique style in all Medias. Currently, Arlene is the art educator for Change, and has created the student art instillations on Rwanda, Armenia, & “Facing Racism” that is presently being exhibited in their gallery at Brookdale Comm Coll. Her students have won state, national & international recognition along with numerous art awards.  Education: BA, Art Education, Kean University.  MA, Instructional Technology in the Visual Arts, Georgian Court University.

LAINE SUTTON JOHNSON – Musical Theater (AMS) Theater Arts (AHS)-was 1998 NJ Speech & Theatre Teacher of the year, taught in the Middletown NJ district 38 years, mainly at HS South, where ,with the help of Geraldine Dodge  Foundation Program,administrators & gifted students, she developed several innovative programs in Drama & Playwrighting. Performed in several Equity shows & non-- both musical & non and successfully playing both musical and non -musical leads. Her poetry has been published in several anthologies;  Education:  MA, Speech and Theatre from Montclair State U.

ARTHUR T. WILSON- Creative Writing (AMS)- Seasoned performer, & producer, Acted in, written for, & directed theater for over 50 yrs (US & abroad). Received numerous scholarships, incl Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship for Graduate Study, NYU. Co-Editor/Publisher-Attitude Magazine. Served as Director of Education (Playwriting In the Schools Program) at the Shakespeare Festival for legendary producer Joseph Papp for 12 years, while also serving as tutor/advisor for the Antioch Univ Master's Degree Program in Acting New Actor's Workshop (NY) founded & administrated by the late genius actor/director Mike Nichols. Wilson's poetry has been published in numerous collections & periodicals, Received notable playwriting commissions from – American Express Ltd., Harberg Foundation, NJ State Council on The Arts, & Princess Diana Foundation. His biography appears in Who's Who in America – Who's Who in the World – the Registry of Distinguished Leadership – & others. Most proud of his affiliation with the late Hollywood legend, Actress Geraldine Fitzerald & Everyman Theater Co. Partnered with Hollywood Star Ava Gardner in the Minority Actor's Wing of British Equity. Currently finishing a retrospective manuscript of his poetry for publication titled “Unfinished Screams.” Member of The Dramatist's Guild Inc., Academy Of American Poets; Artist Collective for Social Change; & participated in events sponsored by International Association of Poetry. Education: BA, Humanities, The New School for Social Research, NY. MA, Aesthetics & Philosophy of Mind, Univ. of London (Bedford College at Regent's Square Park). MA, Social Studies Education, New York University.