Camp Instructor Biographies
Visual & Performing Arts
|All 4 Dance||Susanna Ordway|
|Bay Area Children's Theatre||Steve Kritzer|
|Bart Cox||Sharon Barker|
|Christie Tomlinson||Studio 8|
|Cynthia Beckman||Tara Floten|
|Desiree Elder||Tess Reyes|
|Eric Haggin||Valerie Deam|
|Bay Area Debate Club||Mad Science of Mt. Diablo|
|Berkeley Chess School||Play-Well TEKnologies|
|Brainwave, Inc.||Rainbow Chefs|
|Josephine Evonc||Tiny Techs Club|
|Lekha School of Creative Writing|
|4141 Skateboards||San Ramon Soccer Club|
|California Gymnastic Services||Skyhawks Sports Academy|
|Kris Milligan & Staff||UK International Soccer Camps|
|On the Ball Sports|
Visual & Performing Arts
All 4 Dance - Heather Tabor
Heather has 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 studied at California State University's Fresno and East Bay, London's Basement, attended teaching conventions with the industry's top master teachers and choreographers. Heather has been teaching children and adults for 15 years. She has been teaching throughout the tri- valley for 12 years. Heather is a mother of two, resides in the Central Valley, teaches in the tri-valley weekends and attends Crosswinds Church every Sunday.
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 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."
Mindy Dillard - Summer Performers
Mindy Dillard has 10 years experience as a performing arts teaching artist for kids 2 – 18 years old. She has a BFA in Acting from the University of Utah and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard College. Before the Bay Area, Mindy lived in Portland, Oregon where she worked with Oregon Children's Theatre, Northwest Children's Theatre, Artist's Repertory Theatre and Sojourn Theatre as a teaching artist and actor. Also a musician and singer-songwriter, Mindy plays guitar, banjo, fiddle and ukulele in the nationally-touring Snail People family music duo and joyful Americana band, Heartroot. She loves helping her students take risks and become strong ensembles!
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.
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 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!
Desiree Camero Elder is the Director of Island Spice Polynesian Dance Revue, a non-competitive halau (hula school) that has been performing for over 30 years. Besides teaching choreography, Polynesian language & culture to the performance group for community events, fairs, hotels, country clubs, private and senior events, Desiree has also taught basic Hula and Tahitian dance for recreation departments in Sunnyvale, San Jose, East San Jose and Sacramento – teaching as many as 60 students in a session between the ages of 3 and 75.
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.
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.
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 loves making beautiful things and she loves teaching kids to do the same! As the art teacher at Twin Creeks Elementary for the past four 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 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.
Hello! My name is Ms. Floten and I am the art instructor for Young Artist Camp. I am 33 years old, and have been teaching art for 8 years. During the school year I teach 1st-5th grade Art in Moraga at Camino Pablo Elementary School and Donald L.Rheem 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 Francisco with my bulldog Gwen, and enjoy painting on my free time. I absolutely love what I do and look forward to teaching art every day.
Ms. Tess Reyes
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!"
Valerie Deam grew up in a family full of Irish Dance! She began dancing at the tender age of 3 in her hometown of Waterford, Ireland. Over the years Valerie has competed and won many awards for her dancing before becoming a teacher herself- the 3rd generation of teachers in her family. After moving to California, Valerie established McGrath Irish Dance , and currently offers dance classes and camps for children through adults. The McGrath Irish Dancers have won accolades and many local, regional and national awards. Every other year an advanced group of her dancers travel to Ireland to compete as well. As you can see, Valerie loves everything about Irish Dance and looks forward to sharing that with her camp participants!
Bay Area Debate Club
Bay Area Debate Club was founded by Ritu Khurana. The club conducts basic and advanced courses in Public Speaking and Debates throughout Bay area at various schools and city locations for students from 8 yrs – 14 yrs of age. Bay Area Debate club also hosts Speech tournaments - BEST (Bay Area Speech Tournament). Our staff includes highly qualified and talented teachers. The teachers have background in English, Theater Arts, Communication Studies and Literature. The coaches have extensive experience in Public Speaking, teaching, Theater, and have authored books and plays. Please visit our website www.bayareadebateclub.com and on facebook Bay Area Debate Club to know more about us.
Berkeley Chess School
The Berkeley Chess School is a nonprofit organization offering chess instruction from kindergarten through high school since 1982. Founded by former Irish Women's Chess Champion, Elizabeth Shaughnessy, we are an affiliate of the US Chess Federation. Over the years our students have won many state championships and several have gone on to become National Masters, FIDE Masters, and International Masters. For more information, please call us at (510) 843-0150, email us at email@example.com, or visit our website at www.berkeleychessschool.org.
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!
EZ-STEM offers specialized programs within a unique curriculum equipping school-age kids with what they need to explore & pick the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) career of their choice. EZ-STEM courses and programs are based on well tested and proven curriculums particularly focused on enhancing the STEM education from Elementary through High School. In an engaging framework and through unique hands on activities, EZ-STEM has the mission of growing a young generation of engineers and scientists through its STEM Academy programs. Through these programs, kids get to explore various STEM fields. The dazzling hands-on activities, inspire young people to explore these STEM fields preparing them to possibly pursue careers in technology, science or engineering and allowing them to make more informed career decisions when they grow.
What makes our courses unique is that we keep adding new components and hands-on, student-led projects to our courses. For each course, we have a wide variety of hands-on activities backed with rich academic content which allow us to offer differentiated enrichment programs with a strong academic component. All EZ-STEM instructors have engineering and/or teaching backgrounds, but more importantly they all share a common enthusiasm for kids and engineering.
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 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 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 TEKnologies' instructors all have engineering and/or teaching backgrounds, but more importantly they all share a common enthusiasm for kids, engineering, and the LEGO® building system. What distinguishes our staff from many other programs that offer summer camps is that we do not seasonally hire our instructors. Our instructors teach year-round at schools, recreation departments, YMCA's, and home-schools, enabling them to provide a thoroughly engaging, challenging array of engineering projects that they have come to master through the year.
Classes are enhanced by a collection of bright, motivated high school and college instructional assistants who are specifically chosen for their ability to be role models for the young builders.
Rainbow Chefs offers children the opportunity to learn Culinary Arts, Nutrition, Kitchen Safety, Manners and Etiquette. We have dedicated ourselves to providing children with a support system that begins in the kitchen to develop healthy eating habits, explore their creativity and enjoy being in the kitchen!
With our curriculum based classes and trusted staff of Registered Dieticians, Culinary Arts Educators, and Child Psychologists, Rainbow Chefs has created a program that brings our families back to the dinner table. Rainbow Chefs has successfully hosted classes, camps, birthday parties & specialty class at over 25 locations across the Bay Area including the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford, Recreation Centers, Elementary Schools, Middle Schools and High Schools.
Rainbow Chefs is committed in making the difference in the life of every child by teaching them life lessons through hands-on culinary arts classes. Our hands-on culinary-cooking classes teach valuable life skills as well as reinforce the lessons learned in school like math, writing, reading, science, geography and much much more. Our goal is to empower our young chefs-in-training to develop healthy eating habits, self-sufficiency and self-confidence. Our curriculum based classes consists of cooking fun while learning about nutrition, healthy cooking, baking and cooking skills, the basics of gardening, food facts, manners, etiquette, meal planning, healthy choices and foods from diverse cultural traditions! We teach healthy eating!
Tiny Techs Club
Tiny Techs Club provides enrichment programs in Computers, Science and Robotics for children ages 3 - 11 years. Our programs are all created with your child in mind and our mission is to be an integral part in increasing awareness in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) for all students. We believe in making our programs available to all children from all communities so that together we can prepare for a rewarding tomorrow. Our low student-teacher ratio ensures that your child gets the complete attention that he/she deserves! Visit our website to learn more about our programs and locations. www.tinytechsclub.com
Professional skateboarder Robert Ferguson, age 25, 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.
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 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.
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.
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 weeklong 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 Academy
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 Skyhawks.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 teachlife 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 Camps
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: firstname.lastname@example.org