The arts faculty at Lake Highland brings impressive real-world experience to our visual and performing arts classrooms and programs. Learn more about their distinguished backgrounds by reading their biographies here.
Tara has been teaching at LHPS since 1985. She has produced the American Scholastic Press award-winning Lakhischan Yearbook since 1992. Ms. Bork teaches Humanities, History of the Motion Picture, and Journalism/Yearbook. Ms. Bork is a member of The Humanities Interdisciplinary Association, as well as The Byron Society of America. In her free time, she writes and creates mixed media paintings.
Angela is the Coordinator of our Private Lesson Program at LHPS. The program offers private lessons in all string and band instruments, taught by teachers and performing professionals in the Orlando area. She has served on the board of the National Federation of Music Clubs and is the Chairperson for the Orlando Center of the National Piano Auditions. Angela has served as musical director/pianist for community and school theater, and performed with local bands. She has taught piano at LHPS since 1988, guiding several of her students to complete a Diploma in Piano Studies from the American College of Musicians.
Trudy is a native Floridian and has worked in theatre in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Ms. Bruner served as Director of Theatre for Young People and the Acting Studio at the Civic Theatres of Central Florida and has directed theatre at The Civic Theatres, Seminole State College, Orlando Repertory Theatre, and Mad Cow Theatre Company, where she was a founding member and Co-Artistic Director. LHP Arts Administrator since 2013, she also teaches and directs the US Drama Department.
Ginger teaches 11th grade English, Shakespeare Honors, and Upper School newspaper. She is the sponsor of the Upper School newspaper, the literary magazine, and the club for David Copperfield’s Project Magic. Ms. Bryant worked and studied at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, and is the Vice President for The English Speaking Union and Shakespeare Competition Coordinator for Florida. She serves as an Associate at the Orlando Museum of Art, is a freelance writer for international magazines such as Miniature Collector, and has written a book entitled Orlando Firefighting.
George is the LHPS Head Coach for Speech and Debate. He has taught AP European History, World History, and US History at LHPS since 1995. LHP’s speech students have been in final rounds of both CFL and NFL Nationals, have won numerous varsity and novice state championships, and have won championships at every national invitational tournament they have attended, including Harvard, Yale, Wake Forest, Emory, the Glenbrooks Invitational
(Chicago), the University of Pennsylvania, Florida Blue Key, and the Crestian Classic.
Elizabeth hails from Los Angeles where she worked as a professional actress since 1989. Her numerous theatrical performances include Light Up the Sky directed by David Lee at the historic Pasadena Playhouse. Television credits include series regular and recurring roles on Good Company, According to Jim, Almost Perfect, and Thanks, as well as guest starring roles. She is a member of Screen Actors Guild (SAG/AFTRA) and Actors Equity Association (AEA), and teaches Drama in the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools and directs two Middle School drama performances.drama performances.
Cris "Cheez" Denard
Cris teaches Middle School Public Speaking and Design & Modeling, a branch of the Innovation Institute along with several athletic coaching responsibilities. Mr. Denard displays many of the wild characters he has created in videos on Youtube at Cheez54. Always keeping his head in middle school, Coach Cheez for more than 11 years has been playing the role of Marshall, a 7th grade boy, in Summit Church’s family production, Base Camp Live!
Delicia is the Lower School Music and Chorus Director for grades 4-6. She is a classically trained vocalist and vocal coach and has trained youth and adult singers for over 15 years. Choirs under her direction in both Tennessee and Florida have consistently earned Superior ratings at local and national competitions. As a vocalist, she has recorded with Grammy Award-winning producers and renowned recording artists such as Tommy Sims, Israel Houghton, and Tony Orlando. Delicia founded The Children’s Choir of Orlando, a city-wide choir supported by Orlando’s Families Parks and Recreation that serves youth from community centers through the city.
Kathy’s teaching experiences include the Peace Corps, Fiji Islands, teaching art in California Community Colleges, and at the San Francisco Academy of Art University. In 2001, Ms. Forster joined LHPS, teaching US Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, and AP® Studio Arts. She produces her art work at the White Heron Studios in Orlando and participates in Orlando’s Artist Registry. In 2012, Ms. Forster earned the Clause Noble Educator of the Year distinction. In 2018, Kathleen’s illustrations were published in a children’s book written by her brother Robert Mohr, titled Rosanna and Owl.
Chris came to Orlando in 1993 and began his teaching career with Orange County Public Schools as an elementary music teacher. He also taught instrumental music at the Middle School level and was named Teacher of the Year for his school. At Lake Highland, Mr. Greening is Director of Bands and teaches all band classes including the Marching Highlanders and Lake Highland Jazz. He also teaches AP® Music Theory and Introduction to Recording Studio. Mr. Greening is a working trombonist and pianist and leads worship at First United Methodist Church in downtown Orlando. Visit the Band website!
Pamela is the visual arts teacher for grades 4-6 where she is able to instill a love of art and creativity in each student. Pamela is also a STEAM instructor in the Lower School’s iLab where she cultivates a community of collaborative and innovative learners for both students and teachers. She also assists with the Lower School garden where she fosters a love of nature, vegetables, and butterflies combined with outdoor, student made art pieces. She is a National Board Certified teacher, a published author, has worked as an independent contractor, and has spoken across the US. Most importantly, however, she is a mother of three beautiful children, a proud wife, and a passionate teacher who believes in helping children find happiness and their passions in life.
Holly is a dance educator, choreographer, and creative director. She is the founder of National Dance Day Orlando and she just completed her fourth year as Program Director for Creative City Project’s signature arts festival, Immerse. Locally, Holly has earned accolades as producer and choreographer of three short dance films and director of two original plays. She has served as a dance educator with Orlando Ballet School, Orlando Repertory Theatre, and Central Florida Community Arts. Holly is presently teaching Middle School Musical Theatre and Digital Literacy at Lake Highland.
Melissa previously worked with OCPS as a music teacher with grades K-5. At Lake Highland, she teaches K through 4th Grade General Music. Melissa has completed all three levels of Orff Schulwerk Teacher Education training which develops musicianship in young students. She holds professional memberships with FMEA, FEMEA, MENC, and AOSA. Melissa has a passion for teaching young musicians in a style that is playful, authentic, and meaningful.
Jackie is the Visual Arts teacher for PK-3rd grades. Jackie began teaching art in Seminole County to grades K-5. She holds a M.S. in Art Education, a B.A. in Studio Art, and a B.A. in Creative Writing from Florida State University, where she earned the Arnett Outstanding Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art Award and the George Harper Outstanding Creative Writing Award. Jackie has taught art at Pyramid Studios for adults with intellectual disorders, and worked with college students in Florence, Italy. She currently shows her paintings in local arts spaces and is focused on incorporating mindfulness and community in her teaching.
Renee has choreographed award-winning routines for studios, high schools, and universities. In 2003, Renee began her professional dancing career with Holland America Cruise Line, dancing in their renowned production shows. In 2010, she danced for the AFL Orlando Predators Dance Team and continues to perform and choreograph. She joined LHP in 2015 as the Dance Teacher and Coach of the Advanced Dance Team.
Joseph has been the Upper School Digital Video Production teacher since 2007. His professional experience includes production work in corporate and non-profit broadcast television, primarily focusing on video editing. His production experiences include working with Disney, Sea World, Court TV, LMG, and other companies. His production work includes his extensive international and domestic travel experiences. Mr. Kostura has taught at the college level and with the Private Industry Council.
Robbie Lee earned his Bachelor of Arts in Education from UNC-Chapel Hill and has taught visual art as well as a variety of robotics classes in the Middle School since 2003. He is active in the world of freelance t-shirt design, with hundreds of his designs going to print and selling over 200,000 copies. Robbie has combined his teaching and drawing experience to create two books on drawing instruction: Perspective Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Guide and Drawing Made Easy: How to Draw from Observation and Imagination, both published by Impact Books.
Michael grew up in Central Florida and graduated from Winter Park High School. He received a BA in literature from Duke University, and later earned an MA in humanities from New York University. At Lake Highland, Mr. Levin has taught 10th Grade English and Composition and 8th Grade English. He also directed the Middle School School of Rock program. Currently, he teaches AP® Art History and English II. He also continues his musical “career” by recording and playing shows with his bands The New Lows, Curtains, and The Hamiltons. .
Lucinda says she is fortunate to have found her way in 2008 to Lake Highland as Production Manager for the Harriett Coleman Center for the Arts. A working theatre professional since the 1980s, Ms. Nichols’ work has taken her from California to the mid-west, the Carolinas to Florida. Locally, she has been involved in multiple productions for the Civic Theatres of Central Florida, Mad Cow Theatre, The Ice House Theatre, Bob Carr Performing Arts Center, and Orlando Repertory Theatre. Both of Ms. Nichols’ children are LHPS graduates.
Betsy has worked professionally as an actress, director, stage manager, and as tech director for Clubhouse Kids, a children’s theatre group. She came to LHPS in 1984 and became a full time drama teacher in 1999. She now directs Lower School Drama for 4th-6th grades.
Ms. Pav has performed with American Young Actors’ Theatre at Valencia, Mt. Dora’s Ice House Theatre, and at Theatre Downtown, and is a Board member for FATE, Florida Association for Theatre Education.
Brent has been at LHPS over 20 years as our STEM/Robotics and Multimedia instructor in the Lower School. He provides innovative technical support and production/media streaming across campus. Prior to LHPS, Pirie taught 8 years at the college level and also as a director/editor for CBS, ABC, Disney, and various reality/commercial productions. Mr. Pirie has an AS degree in computers, BS in Business/Communications, and an MBA in CSE/Business. He is a member of CSTA, ISTE, Apple Educator, MCP, and LHPS Blackwatch Leadership.
Pamela has been a choreographer, musician and theatrical director since 1973. Ms. Reynolds teaches Computer Education and works with the Academy Singers organization as choreographer and creative consultant. For a decade, Ms. Reynolds played the White House Steinway piano as she accompanied the Academy Singers. Her extensive experience in the arts includes productions with schools and theaters, dance and summer stock companies, TV production, convention production, pageants, teaching, and talent development.
Michael began his teaching career in 1980. Before joining the LHPS faculty, he served as orchestra director at Olympia High School in Orlando, FL. He is currently the orchestra director for A Gift for Music’s Concert Youth Orchestra and has conducted numerous youth orchestras both in Florida and in Virginia. He has been a guest conductor for honors orchestras around the state of Florida, the Kent School of Music in Maidstone, England, the Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City, California and in 2008 conducted the Florida Ambassadors of Music Student Orchestra on a seven-country performance tour of Europe.
Cheryl has taught and produced special events for more than 30 years and has received her CMP certification from Meeting Professionals International. As an accomplished meeting planner and the founding Director of the Academy Singers Organization, she writes, composes, and produces original scripts and programs. She has taught primary music at Lake Highland since 1997. Mrs. Sims seeks to inspire young performers to reach for excellence through opportunities that showcase their enthusiastic gifts of singing, performing, and embracing the arts. Visit the Academy Singers Website!
Since 1992, Matt has worked in the entertainment industry in Orlando on projects that include rigging, scenic, lighting, audio, and video for Civic Theatre, Orlando Rep, Nickelodeon Studios, Disney, Universal Studios, Rollins College and more. His set design work includes Salt and Pepper, Sideways Stories from the Wayside School, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Go Dog Go, Zarafa and many others. Mr. Smith teaches Stagecraft I – IV at Lake Highland and is also the HCCA Operations Manager, Technical Director and Set Designer.
Allie Turner '12
Allie, a 2012 LHPS graduate, studied advanced painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, ceramics, and graphic design in college. Ms. Turner also participated in a month-long program in Italy studying Italian art, history, and art restoration. Her teaching experience includes heading the Art Department at Sweetwater Episcopal Academy where she designed and implemented the Art Curriculum, helped implement the STEAM program, and organized and led the after-school Art Club and Photography Club. At LHPS, Ms. Turner teaches Photography I and II, Ceramics I and II, and Computer Art Electronic Imaging.