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News and Announcements

2019-2020 New Staff, Faculty & Board Faces & Positions

We are excited to announce some changes and additions to ASFA staff and the Board of Trustees for the 2019-2020 school year.

Please help us extend a warm welcome to the following new staff members and some familiar faces who will be in new roles for 2019-2020:

Michelle Adams, Child Nutrition Associate: Michelle comes to us from Midfield Elementary as a CNP manager. She has been working in school lunchrooms across all grade levels for 15 years.

Germaul Barnes, Instructor of Modern & Contemporary Dance: Germaul has been working with the ASFA Dance Department since 2012 as guest-artist-in-residence. He is répétiteur and dancer with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Group, founder and artistic director of Germaul Barnes/Viewsic Dance, program curator for Thelma Hill Performance Arts Center, director/facilitator of Contemporary Improvisation for Black Men and guest-artist-in-residence at Yale University.

Les Fillmer, Music Instructor & Orchestra Conductor: Les is the chair emeritus of the ASFA Music Department. He also is the music director of the Gadsden Symphony Orchestra and the Alabama Youth Symphony and the music director/conductor for Alabama Ballet.

Robert Janssen & Cathy Spence, Co-Chairs of Music Department: Robert and Cathy will be sharing the role of chair for the 2019-2020 school year. Robert has been at ASFA since 2006. He teaches clarinet, saxophone, performance seminar, music theory, aural awareness, chamber music, and sight-singing and leads the jazz ensemble. Cathy joined the faculty last year and conducts the choir and concerto delle donne and teaches music theory, voice and ear training. Cathy and Robert are also both active performers. The chair position will be posted again in January of 2020.

John Manzelli, Chair of Theatre Arts: John comes to us from Barry University in Florida where he was an associate professor of theatre. Previously he worked at New World School of the Arts and was producing artistic director of City Theatre-Miami.

Susan McCain, Instructor of Acting, Directing, Movement & Voice: Susan has been working with the ASFA Theatre Arts Department since 2016. She is a former associate professor of theatre at Jacksonville State University, is an actress and member of SAG/AFTRA and Actors' Equity, and is the co-founder and artistic director for Steel Magic Theatre.

Lara Patterson, English Teacher: Lara was an ELA teacher at Jemison High School and previously worked in project management with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama. She also has taught American Literature and composition at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Joel Roudebush, Child Nutrition Associate: Joel is originally from California and came to us from Mile End Delicatessen and The Essential. Joel started working at ASFA in April.

Kim Strickland, Director of Student Support Services: Kim has been on ASFA's faculty for nearly 20 years and served as chair of the music department for much of that time. She has balanced the demands of teaching, conducting and the organizational and administrative work of running the department and has served on various school-wide committees. She also has a #1 song on the Billboard Chart for smooth jazz!

We also have four new Board of Trustees members whose terms begin this month:

Tracey Morant Adams: Tracey is executive vice president of small business and community development director for Renasant Bank. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Talladega College and serves on the Board of Directors for YWCA of Greater Birmingham, McWane Science Center and the United Way of Central Alabama.

Dr. Erinn Fears Floyd: Erinn is the director of professional learning at the National Association for Gifted Children. She previously was the gifted education specialist at the Alabama State Department of Education as well as a principal and a teacher. She regularly presents her academic work in speaking engagements and papers. She is an ASFA alum.

Dr. Rosemary Johnson: Rosemary served on the Board of Trustees from 2008-2016. She is returning for a new term. She is the executive director of the Alabama Dance Council and lead consultant/facilitator for South Arts' Dance Touring Initiative. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Dance/USA. Rosemary is a professional music educator and performer with a Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance.

Steele Marcoux: Steele is the editor-in-chief of the magazine Veranda. She has served on the Junior Boards of Lakeshore Foundation and Birmingham Children's Theatre.