The Fairmount Center is proud to present our Faculty. Please see below for all Dance, Music, Theatre, Visual Art, and Fitness Faculty.
Dance & Fitness Faculty
Kate Webb Berk, Director of Fairmount Dance Company & Dance Faculty
Kate dances professionally with Verb Ballets in Cleveland. Originally from Richmond, Virginia, she danced as a company trainee with Richmond Ballet. She then attended Butler University where she graduated cum laude with a BS in Dance-Arts Administration and high departmental honors. Seeing her students improve is one of her favorite things! She is deeply passionate about helping children experience personal growth by finding their own artistic connections.
Saundra Bohl, Dance Faculty & Spanish Dance Artistic Director
Saundra Bohl studied ballet at the Ballet Arts of Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Company in New York. She has a BA in Math and Music from Oberlin College and a Masters in Education from John Carroll University.
Emily (Dietz) Shepard, Dance Faculty
Emily grew up in California, training at the Western Ballet. As her love for dance grew, Emily attended summer programs with the American Ballet Theatre School, Colorado Ballet and American Ballet Repertory Ballet. She continued her dance education at Butler University, graduating with a BS in Dance Arts Administration. Emily has been dancing professionally with Verb Ballets since 2018.
Kia Jimmy, Dance Faculty
Kia is from Saskatoon, Canada and fell in love with dancing at her local studio. She began her dance training at the age of seven and has done many summer intensives including Royal Winnipeg Ballet. At age 16 she was accepted to Alberta Ballet School’s Professional Division and continued her training in their Post-Graduate Program. Following graduation in 2019, Kia joined US International Ballet as a trainee for two seasons where she had the opportunity to perform Giselle and Alice in Wonderland. Kia is now an apprentice with Verb Ballets.
Darlene Kelbach (Miss D), Dance & Fitness Faculty
Darlene has been part of the Fairmount Team since June 2018. She serves as the Outreach Director as well as teaches various dance & fitness classes. She also enjoys teaching creative multi-arts programs.
Her on site classes include Yoga; Barre Fitness; Senior Stretch, Balance, and Strengthen; Line Dancing; Itty Bitty Ballet; and Homeschool Dance. She also teaches Deep Relaxation online and is part of the Summer Camp teaching staff.
In the community, Darlene leads such classes as Music in Motion, Line Dancing, Adapted Strength & Balance, Kids Yoga, Adult Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Dance, and Drama Club (Choreography).
Darlene also offers workshops such as “Art & Yoga” where she designs a yoga practice with inspiration from famous artists such as Van Gogh and Cezanne. In “Tales for the Budding Artist,” she partners with Instructor Mary Jo Dean to bring children’s stories to life through visual arts, musical instruments and songs, dance and theatre.
As the Outreach Director, Darlene fosters partnerships with community organizations by tailoring arts programming to their specific visions. She establishes contracts and manages the agreements to bring high quality arts instruction to their off site location. See the Outreach link for more information on the types of programs offered.
In addition to her work at Fairmount, Darlene is also an independent contractor who promotes holistic health. Prior to Fairmount, Darlene worked for the National Park Service as an Historic Landscape Architect for 18 years.
Darlene is 200 hour certified in yoga and is currently working on her 500 hour certification. She recorded the album, “Children’s Yoga Songs for the Classroom” in 2016 to help teach yoga to preschool and elementary aged students. She is also certified with Barre Above and Music Together, LLC. She has a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture and is certified in Plant-Based Nutrition as well as Reiki.
Sabrina Lindhout, Dance Faculty
Sabrina began dancing at the age of 4, and was accepted as a member of the pre-professional program, Ashland Regional Ballet, when she was 12. She studied at summer programs with Magnus (Joffrey) Midwest, Orlando Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, and BalletMet in Columbus, OH. She performed as a guest dancer in Ohio Dance Theatre’s and Verb Ballets’ first collaborative production of The Nutcracker and was a guest dancer with Verb for their Heinz Poll repertoire for their 2015-16 season. She then joined Verb Ballets as a trainee for their 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. Sabrina is now a Company B member with Inlet Dance Theatre- known for their modern dance technique and non-traditional partnering style.
Libby Lubinger, Recreational Dance Director, Spanish Dance Artistic Director Emeritus
Libby has been part of Fairmount Center since its inception in 1971, sharing her passion and vision for the Spanish Dance program. In addition to Spanish Dance, she has studied Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Ethnic dance. She holds a BA in English from Brooklyn College in New York City.
Fredrick Moodie, Dance Faculty
When you ask about Kinderdance or Tap Dance at Fairmount, you’ll hear one name again and again: Mr. Moodie. Fredrick teaches tap, ballet and jazz. He has choreographed dance works at East Cleveland Theater, Karamu House, Theatre Ensemble, Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland Coordinated Arts Program, and in numerous schools.
Ryan Rosinski, Dance Faculty
Ryan Rosinski is a professional dancer that you might have seen on “So You Think You Can Dance” or perhaps from his full dance segment/interview on the hit PBS show “Fashion Style Miami.” Ryan has been featured in numerous online commercials where his dance moves have helped promote energy drinks, clothing, and even LED shoes. His dance skills have been seen all around America from numerous tours and from his YouTube channel and persona: the “Silver Suit Dancer”, where he has more than 2,000,000 views. If you ever see Mr. Ryan in class or at the studio please be sure to say “Hiiii”; he will be the person with the biggest smile on his face and some crazy awesome dance moves!
Ben Shepard, Dance Faculty
Ben began his dancing career in Maryland where he trained with the Ballet Theater of Maryland as well as attended summer programs at The Washington School of Ballet, The Kirov Academy, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Ben continued his training and education at Butler University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Arts Administration and Dance. Ben has danced professionally with Verb Ballets since 2018.
Tingyu Xie, Dance Faculty
Tingyu Xie holds an MFA degree in Contemporary Dance at Case Western Reserve University, and a bachelor’s degree in Physics at Southeast University in China. She currently works as a part-time lecturer at CWRU dance department. She’s also been working as a dance teacher for children and adults at Good Land Chinese Culture School founded by Church in Cleveland. She offers regular online dance classes to Chinese students both in China and the US, also loving to share her inspirations and knowledge in dancer wellness with the Chinese dancer community. She has a fifteen-year dance performance experience, which includes trainings in ballet, modern dance, Chinese classical dance, and Jazz. Xie was awarded the Edna Rafael Award for Excellence in Performance of Modern Dance in 2022 when she graduated. In her thesis concert, she created and performed a solo, Escape; created an ensemble piece, Ruach, base on her Christian faith, and performed a duet, Tracing Time, with Mary-Elizabeth Fenn choreographed by Karen Potter. During her graduate years at CWRU, she has also performed in works such as Like Fragments of an Old Song by Pam Tanowitz, Caffeinated by Larry Keigwin, and Spaces and Places and Sisters by Gary Galbraith, as well as choreographing digital dance works Cubicles, Wonderland and several solos.
Xie was a lead dancer in the College Student Art Troupe of Southeast University in China and won the first prize in Jiangsu Province’s University Art Exhibition and the National Excellent Dance Performance in Hong Kong.
Gregory Berlin, Violin and Viola Faculty
Gregory’s passion for strings began at age seven when he started learning the Suzuki method, which creates a positive, interactive environment for students to learn and grow through music.
Gregory teaches violin and viola and has performed in several local ensembles, including the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. He also teaches at the Great Lakes School of Music and formerly instructed at Mercyhurst College’s Young Arts String Program in Erie, PA.
A few weeks before former Cleveland Orchestra concertmaster Josef Gingold passed away, he praised Gregory’s skill in a violin master class. “He gave me a wink and said, ‘You did a good job today, young man,’” says Berlin. “I’ll always remember that.”
Andrew Dyet, Piano, Trumpet, & Guitar Faculty
Andrew is a multi-instrumentalist performer and composer who specializes in piano, trumpet, music theory, and composition. Andrew plays everything from jazz and classical to experimental music. Andrew earned his Bachelor of Music in Composition from Baldwin Wallace University and his Masters of Fine Arts in Experimental Sound from California Institute of the Arts. Andrew has taught band, music theory, trumpet, and piano to young beginners all the way to undergraduates. Andrew often plays keyboard and guitar for local musical theaters including the Porthouse Theater.
David Gorski, Guitar, Ukulele & Saxophone Faculty
Beloved music teacher at St. Anselm School, David shares his passion for music teaching guitar, ukulele and saxophone with the Fairmount community. David has a BS in Music Education from Malone University. When he’s not in our community teaching, you may find David hanging out in one of his favorite spots in Ohio – the corner of E. 9th and Carnegie.
Abigail Johnson, Violin Faculty
Abigail is a multi-instrumentalist performer and composer who enjoys playing everything from folk to classical to electronic music. Abigail teaches violin, music theory, composition, and electronic music. Abigail was a student of CIM’s preparatory school and suzuki program before earning her Bachelor of Music in Composition from Baldwin Wallace University. She earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Experimental Sound from California Institute of the Arts where she taught music theory and music history courses. Abigail has traveled all over the world for festivals and artist residencies including Alaska, New York City, and France.
Allan Licht, Piano & Voice Faculty
Soon after graduating Cleveland Heights High school, Allan began performing at many of the upscale night clubs in the Cleveland, Ohio area. He moved to California to further pursue a music career on the west coast. While working as Director of Entertainment at Sambi of Tokyo in Los Angeles, he performed there seven nights a week, backed by a three-piece band. Allan also performed in Las Vegas, at venues such as The Aladdin and The Sahara on the strip. Following Vegas, Allan moved back to Orange County, California to play the night club circuit at venues such as The Del Ray, Mama Cozza’s, The Queen Mary in Long Beach, and the LGT Vegas in Los Angeles. Along with performing for the past 40 years, Allan has composed over 250 songs, many of
which have been recorded and released nationally and internationally. Allan has also composed numerous songs for non-profit organizations and corporations such as Signet Jewelers, The Ronald McDonald House in Cleveland, Ohio, The Vanished Children’s Alliance, and the Relay for Life/The American Cancer Society. Allan also has songs licensed through Crucial Music out of Los Angeles, California for movie and T.V. placements.
Alex McGuire, Flute & Piano Faculty
Alexandra (Alex) McGuire holds a Bachelor of Music degree with a minor in Eurythmics from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Mary Kay Fink, in addition to holding a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Case Western Reserve University. She is continuing her studies with a Master of Music in Flute Performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Additionally, Alex serves as a substitute flutist/piccoloist with the Canton Symphony Orchestra and the Mansfield Symphony. In March of 2022, Alex won the Woodwind Division of the Tuesday Musical Scholarship Competition. She has also performed as a soloist with the Jacksonville Symphony after winning their Young Artist Competition in 2016 and was featured as a soloist with the First Coast Wind Symphony after winning their Young Artist Competition in 2017.
Joseph Rangel, Piano, Guitar, & Ukulele Faculty
Joseph has been playing guitar and was originally trained by his father, Rey, in classical guitar. He soon began to study pop and rock music, enjoying classic rock as well as other genres like Motown. In 2005, he began studying jazz. This love led him to Tri-C Metro studying jazz performance with a minor in piano. Joseph recently graduated from Cleveland State University and landed at Fairmount sharing his love for music. In addition to guitar, Joseph teaches ukulele and beginner piano students.
Cara Rovella, Voice Faculty
Cara Rovella, soprano, has been singing for much of her life. She has a diverse background, from rock, to opera, to musical theatre. Cara received her Bachelor’s of Music in Voice Performance from Cleveland State University, where she studied with Amanda Powell and Elena Mullins. In 2022, she was the winner of the Daniel Rains Solo and Concerto competition, singing with the Cleveland State University Orchestra. Currently, she is a member of The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and the cathedral choir at St. John the Evangelist in Cleveland.
She has also sung with the CWRU Early Music Singers and Cleveland Chamber Choir. Cara has been a featured soloist with both CSU Chorale and University Chorus, as well as a cantor at St. Anselm Anglican Church.
Penny Sherman, Piano Faculty
Penny has studied at Cleveland State University under pianist Andreis Kaprevachiz and was awarded music scholarship to study under Artist in Residence, Jerome Rose. She has also studied at Aaron Copland School of Music under pianist Alex Hoc, Faine Wright in Brooklyn, New York, and Geraldo Teissonniere at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Penny is currently a performing member of the Cleveland Music Society, has performed in multiple recitals throughout her career, and has been teaching children and adults of all ages for twenty years.
Gary Siperko, Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, & Ukulele Faculty
Gary Siperko is a professional touring/recording guitarist and composer most notably associated with The Legendary
Shack Shakers, Pere Ubu, and Rocket From The Tombs. Mr. Siperko has over 30 years of experience teaching and performing. He teaches Contemporary and Classical Guitar as well as Bass, Mandolin and Ukulele. Beginning lessons focus on fundamentals as well as playing basic songs. Intermediate to advanced lessons focus on the application of Music Theory to the instrument to help students acquire strong compositional and songwriting skills,
knowledge of chord construction, the ability to play scales proficiently, and gain necessary skills needed for solo improvisation, as well as sight-reading skills.
Joan Bendix, Music Director of the Youth Theatre Program & Theatre Faculty
Joan studied piano and voice at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Joan has served as music director and performed on the keyboard/piano for musical productions in schools and theaters, including the Cleveland Playhouse, Cleveland Public Theater, Chagrin Valley Little Theater, Mercury Theatre Company, Walsh Jesuit High School, and University School. She is currently Music Director at First United Church of Christ in Eastlake.
Joan loves teaching children and helping them find that spark of passion for music. She believes in guiding students to find their own voice and the confidence to participate in the community of theater and musical production.
Merlynne Hancock, Choreography Director of Youth Theatre Program & Theatre Faculty
Merlynne Hancock joined the Fairmount faculty in 1989 as a choreographer for the Youth Theatre and has taught a variety of children’s classes and camps, including Movin’ Together and Kreative Kids. For 35 years, Merlynne has choreographed productions at area schools, from elementary to college level. She started dancing at age 6, and studied under Bea Fried, Noreen Londregan, and Ernst Hillenbran. She graduated from Heidelberg College with a degree in Communication and Theatre Arts and French, with an acting/directing emphasis.
Patti Susman, Director of the Youth Theatre Program & Theatre Faculty
Patti is an honors graduate of Cleveland State University. She has a degree Dramatic Arts. She has been with the Fairmount since 1982, where she has directed over 80 productions. She has also taught dance, art and gymnastics. Patti was the first Youth Theatre Director at the Solon for the Arts and was also an Assistant Director and instructor for the Heights Youth Theatre.
Patti trained as a dancer with Dave and Shirley Morganstern. She was a member of the Morgan Dancers. She and her sisters performed throughout the Cleveland area. She began her acting career at the old Musicarnival Theatre, located in Warrensville Hts. Ohio. At age 13, she was selected as one of the youngest apprentices in the theatre’s history. She spent 3 summers working, in various capacities, on Broadway touring company productions, concerts and children’s theatre performances. It was at Musicarnival that Patti was given the opportunity to teach and direct theatre classes to younger students and that is when she decided that arts education was her passion, and she has pursued that passion ever since.
Clay Yoder, Theatre Faculty
Studied theatre and music at the University of Mount Union. Clay began acting at the age of 6 and has been in love with finding truth under imaginary circumstances ever since. Some of his favorite roles include; Shrek (Shrek The Musical), Amos (Chicago), Horatio (Hamlet), and Rosencrantz (R&G are Dead). During his time at the University of Mount Union Clay began to form a deep appreciation for the work of Michael Chekhov and Rudolf von Laban. He soon began developing voice and movement workshops based off of their work, and exploring how these movement techniques can be applied to the world of stage combat. Clay has served as a guest artist at Jackson High School in Jackson Township Ohio, Lakewood High School in Hebron Ohio, as well as serving as the TA for the University of Mount Unions stage combat course.
Clay believes in the process of “finding one’s body” and hopes to help youth and adults alike discover the power their most important instrument holds, so they may tell their stories as beautifully and honestly as possible.
Visual Arts Faculty
Michelle Chiacchiari, Visual Arts Faculty
Michelle has over 10 years of classroom teaching experience and has been a Power of the Pen coach for 5 years. As a parent of two young ladies with husband Mark, Michelle and her family have been Fairmount Center for the Arts patrons for many years. She has a passion for reading, traveling, teaching, swimming and being in nature. When she is not attending to her family or in the garden, she is painting, making jewelry or writing.
Jamie Davis, Visual Arts Faculty
With a love of visual arts, Jamie explored many mediums and then found her true passion playing in mud: Creating her own independent studies in ceramics and Raku in college, she fell in love with clay. After receiving an undergraduate degree in Art Education, Jamie boarded the train called life. She married, had two beautiful energetic girls, and started a new path.
Jamie’s days filled with arts and crafts, flash cards, preschool library times, farm park adventures and even time watching Sesame Street. During this at home-time with her girls, she collected a few little ones along the way as she opened up and shared her home for other kids needing childcare in her community.
Stephen DeSantis, Visual Arts Faculty
Stephen DeSantis is an interdisciplinary artist and educator. He was a commercial photographer in New York for twenty-six years with clients including Estee Lauder, The Wall Street Journal, and PEOPLE Magazine. As an educator, Stephen has taught photography, books arts, letterpress printing, and rocket science in New York, Chicago, Portland, and Pingyao China. He has also curates arts exhibitions including on a moving CTA train in Chicago, ancient brick walls in China, and in elevators and traditional gallery spaces in Chicago.
Stephen earned his BFA in Communication Design at Parsons School of Design, and his MFA in Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago. His artists’ books have been exhibited internationally and his interdisciplinary work is in collections including the National Gallery of Art, the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection, and the University of Iowa Library Special Collection.
Brigitte Fiorille, Director of Visual Arts & Visual Arts Faculty
Brigitte loved teaching her four sons (now awesome adults) about her love of the arts. Growing from those arts lessons, Brigitte was inspired to pursue a degree in Art Education (Kent State University). Brigitte has grown with Fairmount, as an instructor and administrator and wears many hats each day to support the mission of Fairmount. When she’s not in the ceramics studio creating awesome art, you’ll find her with the admin team making the arts happen at Fairmount and in the community. When she’s not at Fairmount, you’ll find Brigitte playing with her granddaughter, making the world a more beautiful place with her green thumb, or cooking for her awesome family.
Mary Lyons, Visual Arts Faculty
Mary Lyons loves taking long walks, a camera or sketchbook in hand, searching for a picture that begs to be captured. The key to bringing a subject to life in a still image is contrast: light and shadow, structure and chaos, ordinary and unusual. The passion for capturing life in this way has catalyzed Mary’s lifelong study of fine arts, and molded her style of realism in nature and in portraiture. She believes that the stories written in the lines of a face tell of truths that few words can express. From watercolor to charcoal, pen and ink to photography, the medium used sets the emotional tone of the piece. It is not the emotion itself that drives Mary’s work, but the desire to kindle within the viewer a corresponding impulse to create something beautiful. As a teacher, it is Mary’s goal to equip her students with the skills to express this beauty through their art.
Dale Olson, Visual Arts Faculty
Dale has been involved with art ever since he took painting lessons as a child at the Cleveland Museum of art. He attended Ashland University and received a BFA degree in ceramics and a degree to teach art education K-12. After 4 years of teaching, he switched to computers and eventually continued his family’s business in the construction field. He began concentrating his spare time into watercolors because they were easy to transport, fast to complete and he enjoyed the challenge they presented. Dale has been teaching watercolors for about 10 years at Kenston Community Education and had a very successful following. He is also versatile with many other mediums including oil and acrylic paints, all types of pencils, charcoals and pen and ink. He also enjoys plein air painting and his work has been accepted in many art shows in the surrounding area.
Tara Seibel, Visual Arts Faculty
Tara’s best known for her collaboration with the late Harvey Pekar of American Splendor comics. She worked at American Greetings and spearheaded Tara Seibel Art Gallery in Cleveland. Her editorial cartoons and graphic stories have been published in The Graphic Canons Volumes 2 & 3, Graphic Canon of Children’s Literature, Comics Comics, Mineshaft, Jewish Review of Books, New York Times, LA Times, Cleveland Scene, Austin Chronicle, Chicago Newcity, US Catholic, Heeb, Hippy Comix, and USA Today’s Pop Candy. She teaches at Fairmount Center for the Arts and lives with her husband, Aaron, her three children, and her dog and cat in Pepper Pike, Ohio.
For more on Tara, check out taraseibel.blogspot.com
Amy Shea, Visual Arts Faculty
Amy Shea received a B.A. from Cleveland State University in Visual Arts, licensed to teach grades K – 12. She taught in public schools for four years before having children. Amy continued to teach Art part time at Lakeland Community College in the Community Education Department and also Art History at Breckenridge Village. Then, she taught at Grace Christian Academy for ten years as she homeschooled her two children. Currently, Amy teaches private and group lessons and is involved with the homeschool community in Lake and Geauga County. Amy also enjoys teaching arts and crafts at a community horse camp during the summers. She loves to work with children in a creative manner and pursues her own artistic endeavors as well. Amy lives in Painesville with her husband and has two adult children.
Heather Skye, Visual Arts Faculty
Heather Skye is a fine art instructor and art class assistant at Fairmount. She loves working with kids, saying, “They always surprise me with their creativity and innovation!” She is a mom of two, an artist, an editor for the Native Plant Society of Northeastern Ohio Journal, and an Outdoor Education Specialist Apprentice for the Willey Creek Forest School. Heather also participates in art fairs showing and selling ceramics, plant-based art, and jewelry. She also enjoys working in gardens and hiking with her kids.
Anne Stottler, Visual Arts Faculty
Anne Marsh Stottler graduated from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio with a degree in Art Education. Anne lived in Maine for 20 years where she taught art in grades K-12, adult aer education, was a floral designer, and owned her own business, silk screening quilt patterns on t-shirts and totes. She has been sewing since she was eight years old. Once she started quilting she couldn’t stop and has been incorporating her
love of gardening into her quilts ever since. Just as in nature’s textures and colors, her quilts honor the patterns and textures of the fabric keeping the designs simple to highlight the true beauty of the material. She loves teaching sewing and continuing the time honored traditions of our ancestors. “Wow ! Look what I made!” is music to her ears!
Thank you to the wonderful Fairmount Center Faculty for all that they do. If you would like to read more about our team, please see our administration page.