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Camp Instructor Biographies

Visual & Performing Arts

All 4 Dance Sharon Barker
Bay Area Children's Theatre Steve Kritzer
Barton Cox Jr. Susanna Ordway
Christie Tomlinson Studio 8 Dance
Cynthia Beckman Tara Floten
Eric Haggin Tess Reyes

Enrichment

Bay Area Debate Club Lekha School of Creative Writing
Berkeley Chess School Mad Science of Mt. Diablo
Brainwave, Inc. Play-Well TEKnologies
Engineering 4 Kids Tess Reyes
Josephine Evonc Tiny Techs Club

Sports

4141 Skateboards On the Ball Sports
California Gymnastic Services San Ramon Soccer Club
Kidz Love Soccer Skyhawks Sports Academy
Kris Milligan & Staff UK International Soccer Camps

Visual & Performing Arts

All 4 Dance - Heather Taborheather tabor photo
Miss Heather began her dance training at the age of 3 with Stars National Dance Academy where she studied ballet, gymnastics, jazz, tap, hip hop and musical theatre. She competed regionally and nationally in the advanced divisions and won many overall awards. Heather later worked as Choreographer for San Leandro High School and dance instructor for Dublin Theatre Company. She studied at California State University's Fresno and East Bay dance focus, London's Basement, and attended teaching conventions with the industry's top master teachers and choreographers. Heather has been teaching children and adults since 1998. She has been teaching throughout the tri- valley for 15 years. Last year, Heather's dance team received their first double platinum award at Showstoppers Regional Competition.  Heather is a mother of two. Her goal is for every child to have a positive experience in dance leading to a lifelong appreciation for the art of performance.

Bay Area Children's Theatre
Bay Area Children's Theatre Youth Education Program offers performance-based camps that help children build their self-confidence, impart self-reliance, and prepare them for success in the adult world ahead. They learn that they can stand up in front of a group and give a speech or sing a song. They gain the skill to speak up and sing out. We emphasize teamwork and a focus on the ensemble in all our programs, for that is precisely what actors must do to win hearts and minds on stage. A non-profit 501(c)3, BACT has been bringing high quality professional theater to families since 2004, and has offered classes for ages 5 and up in San Ramon since 2009.

amber picAmber Dyson - Little Performers
Amber Dyson has built her career directing young people in theater and improv. Currently in her third year directing the Young Performers and Little Performers classes in San Ramon, Amber also directed and managed past Summer Performers camps in all three BACT YEP locations. Amber is a teaching artist for the City of Pleasanton as well as a coach for Creatures of Impulse improve troupe. As the drama teacher at Contra Costa Jewish Day School, Amber works with K-8 classes and directs the all-school shows. Prior to teaching full time, she toured California in a health education assembly. Amber is currently performing in the Pure Moxie Players' production, "We Are Family."

Lanie Weiland - Puppetry Campweiland
Lanie Wieland is a puppet, mask and prop designer. She was introduced to puppetry as an art-form while living in Turkey and later returned on a grant to study traditional shadow puppetry with the few remaining masters in the field. Before moving to the Bay Area, she lived and worked with Bread and Puppet Theater on their farm in Vermont. In the Bay Area, she has designed for the Bay Area Children's Theatre, Golden Thread Productions, Precarious Theatre, No Nude Men, and the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. Lanie is a collaborating artist with Ochlos Theatre Lab and has performed with Golden Thread's Fairytale Players. Shetours the Bay Area as an entertainer for children's parties, and has taught puppetry and theatre arts in public schools. Her website is Laniearts.com

Barton Coxbart pic Jr.
I have been a media producer, Barton Cox Media Productions, for over 25 years and a certificated high school teacher for 13 years. When Deer Valley High School in Antioch opened in 1996 I was hired to develop the video/broadcast department. Over my years at Deer Valley, my students won numerous awards at the California Student Media Festival and created a cable show for Comcast. In 2006 I went to Heritage High School in Brentwood to develop their media department. Over my 13 years teaching at the two high schools, numerous students have go on to college and majored in media productions. Many of those students are now working professionally in the media industry. I retired from teaching in 2010 and in 2012 I developed “Let’s Make Movies!” video production enrichment classes. I continue to also work professionally as a media producer specializing in “live” performance and multi-camera production taping. I look forward to helping your child discover the exciting and creative world of video productions and special effects filmmaking thru my “Let’s Make Movies!” camps.

Christie Tomlinson
Better known around San Ramon as Miss Christie, has been studying dance (all types) since the age of 3. She has danced in three, very different, dance companies and performed in shows such as Once Upon A Mattress, Anything Goes, Music Man and The Boyfriend. She has also done various choreography for professional singers, dancers, bodybuilders, cheerleaders and for two Olympics (which they won 2 gold medals)! She's been teaching ballet, tap and jazz for 34 years! The last 22 years for the City of San Ramon. She absolutely loves it and can't wait to meet all the princesses.

Cynthia Beckmangotta sing logo
Cynthia Beckman is a professional performance coach!  What is that, you might ask?  It is a highly unique coach who specializes in helping other's perform on-stage to "Become the STAR you Are!"  Her business was born out the sincere desire to help children grow through the courageous act of being on-stage as the center of attention in a solo role!  Cynthia has an eclectic background on several stages in life, all of which require excellent communication skills:  Fortune 100 firms in the US and Internationally as a Marketing Director, World Vision as an Artist Associate performing and promoting outreach for underprivileged children world-wide, Musical Theatre where she has received numerous accolades including an Orchid Award from ACTS for singing and acting, and finally consulting for numerous clients with physical and theatrical products.  In addition to coaching others, Cynthia continues to write music, sing professionally, and is completing her first novel, "Her Silent Hero, a daughters journey through war.". Oh yes, and let's not forget the most important role she plays in life:  mother to 3 children and 2 young adults!

Eric Hagginhaggin
Through my art camps, classes, websites, and events I hope to help others discover the joys of creating sculptures. I think it's interesting that as I learn more about making sculptures I appreciate other people's sculptures all the more. I also have learned to appreciate many different types of art which I may not have appreciated before. By focusing on the process, and the art of creation, it's possible to see many ways to explore artistic expression.

My art camps & classes are different than most. I think of these as something more like piano lessons. Making art requires a combination of skills, practice, and inspiration. I don't judge success based on some sort of physical object at the end, I am more interested in the process that got us to that finished sculpture. It’s not about the sculpture, it's about making that sculpture. Just like singing in the shower is not about the song, it's about singing! I hope to help everyone develop enough skills and confidence in their own potential to be interested in sculptural arts for their whole life. For more information, visit www.Facebook.com/EricTheSculptor.

Sharon Barkersharonbarker
Sharon can still remember how excited she was while she sat at a little, antique art table at the age of 3. She was given a new, big box of 64 crayons to open up and create endless combinations of color on paper. She continues to have that same thrill and excitement when she opens up materials to share with other eager children, while teaching art and enrichment programs, for the last 15 years. She started teaching in San Leandro and moved on to Hayward and then added the City of San Ramon 10 years ago. Sharon has worked for the past 5 years for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, developing district art curriculum and teaching elementary art at 2 different schools. Currently, her personal art interests include taking advanced figure drawing courses. She enjoys experimenting with mixed-media, and recently enjoyed creating a mural of dancers on an entire wall in her home. Summer time presents a unique opportunity for her, with large chunks of time to allow her to engage students in ways that can’t be done in short, weekly classes.  Sharon is excited about the upcoming summer session to share the same type of enthusiasm about art, that she had when she first opened up that big box of crayons.steve kritzer photo

Steve Kritzer
A mainstay in the Bay Area music scene, Steve Kritzer has been a performing musician, teacher, and touring recording artist for over 30 years. He’s performed for, taught, and worked with everyone from toddlers to Seniors, and most in between. His musical talents include guitar, mandolin, banjo, and piano, but recently has developed a special passion for ukulele, and has become the “go to” guy for uke in the area. He especially loves working with kids, and helping them discover the joys of music and playing together.

Susanna Ordway suzanna pic
Susanna loves making beautiful things and she loves teaching kids to do the same! As the art teacher at Twin Creeks Elementary for the past five years, and the jewelry teacher at Venture School three years before that, she's taught K-12 students not only fine art skills, but also enrichment classes in jewelry making. She's taught jewelry techniques such as beading, wire work, knitting wire, enameling, metal forming, chain making and many others. Some of her high school students at Venture School even won design awards in competition while under her tutelage. When she has time out from teaching art or jewelry, Susanna creates new jewelry designs that she displays at an art gallery, a fine jewelry store and on her website at www.crystalaccents.com. Susanna is excited to work with the City of San Ramon and to bring jewelry making to more students in our community! She has been a resident of San Ramon with her husband and two daughters since 1994.

Studio 8 Dance
Studio 8 Dance Staff strives to teach artistry, technique and self expression. Studio 8 Dance Staff encourages, nurtures and provides a comfortable environment for students to learn. In the youth classes we use a creative dance approach to teaching technique. Fun props and games are incorporated into the dance curriculum to cultivate creativity, to develop coordination and to help build self esteem through artistic expression.

Tara Flotentara floten pic
Hello! My name is Ms. Floten and I am the art instructor for Young Artist Camp. I am 34 years old, and have been teaching art for 9 years. During the school year I teach 1st-5th grade Art in Moraga at Camino Pablo Elementary School, Donald L. Rheem Elementary School, and Los Perales Elementary School. I earned my BFA in Sculpture from the University of Oregon, and my K-12 Single Subject Teaching Credential in Art from St. Mary's College of California. I live in San Mateo with my two dogs Gwen and Buster. I enjoy painting and riding horses on my free time. I absolutely love what I do and look forward to teaching art every day.

Ms. Tess Reyestessreyes
I am a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Magna Cum Laude graduate. My experience and expertise in the arts ranges from a directorship with one of the top Advertising Agencies in San Francisco to teaching children's Art. I have 22 years of teaching experience at the San Ramon Community Center, 16 years with the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, 2 years with Diablo Vista College for Kids summer program. I also offer private lessons. I expose the children to the usage of different mediums and art styles. Foundations of drawing, color theory and composition of layouts are also introduced. Children learn basic drawing with drawing pencils and colored art sticks,utilize pen and ink, explore pastels (chalk, oil and watercolor oil pastels), experience the challenge of watercolor and acrylic. I am a hands on teacher who believes that everyone can be artists if given the guidance and the opportunity to express themselves. "Learn...Draw...Create!"

Enrichment

Bay Area Debate Clubbadc
Bay Area Debate Club was founded by Ritu Khurana. The club conducts basic and advanced courses and tournaments in Debates, building confidence, critical thinking and public speaking classes for children ages 6 – 14 years. The classes are held at over 50 locations in the bay area. Their programs have helped thousands of students overcome the fear of public speaking and provide forums to engage in constructive debating. The goal of these classes is to improve confidence, public speaking, and communication skills of the students, keeping in mind kids get motivated if the class is FUN! In these classes, students learn how to manage public speaking anxiety, present themselves with confidence, and connect to their audience. It improves their critical thinking, research, listening skills and much more.

bcs logoBerkeley Chess School - Robert Hamm
The Berkeley Chess School is a nonprofit organization offering chess instruction from kindergarten through high school since 1982. Robert (Mr. Hamm) began playing in chess tournaments at age 15, three years before graduating from college. He went on to do graduate work in Biology and Chemistry while playing chess intermittently for some 23 years. In 1987, he achieved the title of Chess Master. He has been teaching chess for over 30 years and, in the mid 80's, was one of the first BCS teachers. He retired from tournament play in 1990 to pursue a career as a stage actor, director, and writer. He lives in Oakland.

Brainwave Inc. - Diljeet Kaur
The mission of Brainwave Inc. is to offer high quality recreational programs that are mentally stimulating and academically enriching.We believe in providing a fun environment where children sharpen their brain and engage in activities that help improve their memory, knowledge, problem solving, logical and reasoning abilities. The company offers after school classes and camps in the Bay area.

Diljeet Kaur, a resident of San Ramon, has been the I. Q. Booster camp instructor for 5 years. She ensures her students are challenged, motivated, and learning in a safe and positive environment. While she enjoyed 14 years of a rewarding corporate career, she truly believes that working with young, creative minds is much more fulfilling!

Engineering for Kidsefk_logo
FUN! Educational Brain Sport!
We put the excitement in S.T.E.M. education by offering age appropriate, inquiry based, hands-on-learning for children ages 5 to 14. We offer FUN activities from designing and constructing rockets, hot air balloons, and roller coasters to LEGO® Robotics and video game designing.

Our teachers are hand picked by our team, and share our passion to inspire the next generation of Engineers! They have a higher education background, whether currently in college, recently graduated, or seasoned Educator; some are even Engineers! Each instructor completes training on our curriculum and classroom management. Your child always receives a safe and quality learning environment! http://www.engineeringforkids.net/sfbayarea

Josephine Evonc
Having taught for more than 20 in the San Ramon Unified School District, in grades 2 through 8, I felt this would be a great time to do something different, so I made the decision to teach cooking. How thrilled I was to find that there was such a great need in the community, to have children gain the experience of being in the kitchen, creating foods other than cookies, cupcakes, or brownies with their parents.  I bring to the table, not only years of classroom experience, but the ability to get kids excited about what they can create themselves, thus being very willing to have brand new experiences with food and tastes.  I am happy to be a part of the San Ramon Community Center, and quite thrilled that my program is so well received!

Lekha School of Creative Writing lekha logo
Lekha School of Creative Writing is committed to developing a generation of children who think beyond the book! We do this by teaching them to write creatively, using a blend of time-tested and newly developed methods that stir one's imagination. For more information on Lekha School, visit http://www.lekhaink.com/aboutus.php.

mad science logoMad Science of Mt. Diablo
Mad Science of Mt. Diablo has been delivering science education in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties for 15 years. We conduct classes at well over 100 schools, preschools and community centers throughout the area as well as perform at birthday parties and special events. The Mission of Mad Science of Mt. Diablo is to spark the imagination and curiosity of children through fun, hands-on science programs that instill a clear understanding of what science is really about and how it affects the world around them. Mad Science makes learning fun! Children will learn how to explore, question and test their theories. Through unique experiments and dazzling demonstrations we hope to inspire young people to explore the world around them, and possibly pursue careers in technology, science or engineering. Mad Science is dedicated to enriching the lives of children through meaningful and educational scientific exploration. We stand behind our programs and guarantee satisfaction.

Play-Well TEKnologiesplay-well logo
Since 1997, Play-Well TEKnologies has been focused on learning through play. When kids are at play, they explore the world. When kids create, they express themselves. And when kids build, they solve problems. In 2013, our hands-on, engineer-designed curriculum helped over 80,000 kids build on the math and science skills learned in school, all through the medium of LEGO. Come play well with us in 2014!

Tess Reyes
I am a Magna Cum Laude graduate of A Bachelor of Fine Arts degree as well as a Suma Cum Laude graduate of the Culinary of Arts. I specialize in baking and international cooking. I LOVE,LOVE baking and cooking. I also enjoy imparting knowledge to kids who may one day use this everyday skill to their advantage, whether it's for their own or a future career. Cooking and baking can be fun and very rewarding. The Culinary arts world is what i continue to experience, learn and experiment. New exciting recipe discoveries brings smiles to my face and happiness to my heart.

Tiny Techs ClubTTC
Tiny Techs Club provides enrichment programs in Robotics and Animation to elementary and middle school students. For the past three years over 350 students have been a part of our curriculum - exclusive designs, built and tested specifically to encourage and inspire a love of creativity through science and technology in young minds! We motivate children to think about their creations - and learn how to apply these concepts to everyday applications.

Sports

4141 Skateboards
Professional skateboarder Robert Ferguson, age 26, started skateboarding at the age of 13. He now dedicates his time and effort teaching men, woman and children of all ages across the states with his amazing staff how to ride a skateboard properly and safely. The staff of 4141 Skateboards and Mr. Ferguson are kind, passionate, helpful and viewed as positive mentors of our time.

California Gymnastic Services
California Gymnastic Services has been teaching in Bay Area schools since 1985. We are structured to bring our innovative instructional program into schools and community centers. California Gymnastic Services offer classes comprised of a variety of activities that are customized to each child’s age and skill level. The staff members are specifically trained in gymnastic technique, spotting, and child development. Our knowledgeable and experienced instructors allow each student to advance at his or her own pace in a fun, non-competitive, learning environment. Because safety is our top priority, all staff members are fingerprinted, TB tested, and First Aid and CPR certified.

Kidz Love Soccer
Since 1979, Kidz Love Soccer has been dedicated to teaching children the world’s most popular sport within a nurturing, recreational environment. At Kidz Love Soccer the emphasis is always on fun! We provide the foremost in soccer classes and camps for kids; instilling an exuberant, skillful, confidence in the young player. A session experience includes age appropriate activities: skill demonstrations, fun games, and instructional scrimmages always conducted in a non-competitive, recreational format.
Kidz Love Soccer…"Where the score is always FUN to FUN!"

Kris Milligan & Staff

Kris Milligan
Kris was trained by John Gardiner and greatly influenced by Dennis Van der Meer two of the greatest innovators-teachers in the history of tennis. He has coached over 20,000 students that have played at the high school level, USTA ranked, collegiate and professional levels.

During Drake University’s Centennial Anniversary Kris was recognized as one of Drakes “All Time Greatest Athletes” and a member o f the “All Century Tennis Team.” He will be inducted into the Parkway School District “Hall of Fame” in 2012 for his accomplishments as an author, player, director and coach.

Daniel Pesce
Daniel Pesce has more than 30 years experience teaching juniors and adult tennis programs. He is a Nationally Certified Tennis Professional by the National Argentinean Institute of Sports Association.  In 1985 he was a Certified Tennis Professional by Argentinean School of Tennis Professionals. He has been running The Milligan/Pesce Tennis Academy - City of San Ramon which trains many of the top players in the San Ramon area for the last five years. Many students have earned USTA Rankings, compete on high school teams and play at the collegiate level!  As a junior player Daniel was ranked #1 in the state, Cordoba Argentina 1976-1979. In the year 2000, he coached in the Netherlands-Antilles. Daniel attended law school at the National University of Cordoba.

Kevin Milligan
USPTA Certified Level 1 Pro and has taught over 10,000 students in ten states.
High School Competition: set career records at Parkway West High School: 44-7 win-loss record that included a twenty six match win streak over three seasons.
College Competition: while playing at Drake University he led the team with a 17-6 record which earned him “Tennis Team of the Decade” honors.
High School Coach: at James Logan High in Union City set school records by recording a combined Varsity and JV records in his second year of 30 wins 4 losses!
College Coach: at Cal State East Bay Women’s Tennis Team ranked in the top 10 NCAA Division II, doubles team twice defeated the #1 ranked team in the nation.

On the Ball Sports

Donna Runyon - Softball
Donna is the Head Softball Coach at Ohlone College is entering her 15th season at the helm of the perennially ranked Ohlone softball team. The 4 time Coast Conference Coach of the Year is an excellent teacher and motivator.

Kathy Higbee - Volleyball
Kathy is a former Division I player at Brigham Young University, will direct this week long volleyball camp focused on individual skill development of all ability levels, as well as team play and concepts. Coach Higbee has vast experience playing at the high school and collegiate levels.

John Peterson - Basketball
John is the Ohlone College Head Men's Basketball Coach. Coach Peterson brings with him a wealth of teaching experience (former Division 1 assistant at USF and former Division 2 assistant at National Champion Metro State).

San Ramon Soccer Club
San Ramon Soccer Club has a rich pool of professional coaches holding top soccer licenses from US and Europe. The SRS coaching staff is second to none with experiences coaching at all levels of soccer, ranging from High School and ODP/PDP to College and MLS. Many of our coaches also have the playing experience across many continents. San Ramon Soccer club has a passion for learning, growth and success. As we grow we continue to educate ourselves as people and coaches passing our passion and knowledge on to the next generation of growing soccer players

Skyhawks Sports Academyskyhawks logo
What started as regional soccer camps has grown into the nation's largest provider of youth sports. More than one and a half million children and young adults have experienced the joys and benefits of sports through Sky hawks. Using its experience, curriculum, and strong community focus - Skyhawks has proven to be the best and largest provider of youth sports.

Skyhawks' purpose is to teach life skills through sports. For over 30 years Skyhawks has provided safe and positive sports camps that emphasize critical lessons in sports and life - such as sportsmanship, teamwork, and winning and losing. Skyhawks continues to build on its foundation of providing healthy and active lifestyle choices, while helping to develop and strengthen the skills and confidence of young athletes. Go to www.skyhawks.com for more information.

UK International Soccer Campsuk logo
UK International's objective is to create the optimal environment in your own community in which children can learn and develop under the guidance of our ‘ultimate soccer educators’.

Coaches, primarily from Great Britain, are selected not only for their knowledge and their coaching ability, but also for their commitment to creating a fun, positive learning environment for the players. The result is a soccer camp experience players will remember for a lifetime.

All camp sessions are based on individual attention to ball skills, as well as fun games to put those skills into practice and develop teamwork. Players are encouraged to express themselves in order to develop confidence and individual creativity on the field.


General Questions: achow@sanramon.ca.gov