SMARTS Community Teaching Artists

SMARTS hires and prepares community teaching artists with professional training and oversight so that they can provide quality arts-focused teaching and learning with lesson plans that follow state standards. SMARTS teachers are  placed with partnering school systems to teach Visual Art, Music, Dance, Theater, and Creative Writing year-round during and after school, and teach free Public classes here at SMARTS.

Click on the underlined names to visit the teacher's website.

Visual Arts

SMARTS visual arts teachers are restoration artists, interior designers, founders of art galleries, painters, and animators.

Jennifer Carlson Web Pic



Jennifer Carlson is an abstract artist, photographer, and designer based in Youngstown, Ohio. She received her BFA in Studio art w/ emphasis in graphic design from Youngstown State University in 2020. She has worked as a social media manager, corporate & freelance designer, and photographer after graduating college. She later became interested in abstract painting as a form of emotional support and therapy. Her work consists of bold colors, organic shapes, and exciting movement. Identifying her art as intuitive abstract art, Jennifer begun selling her work at art markets and festivals around North East Ohio with plans to expand.

Ally web Pic

Ally Christopher is a relief printmaker with studio experience in ceramics, painting, digital media, and textiles. While attending Ohio State University for a Bachelors in Art Education, Ally spent two years leading the education program at a gallery in downtown Columbus that focused on inclusivity and accessibility in the arts.

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Marites Eldred is an interdisciplinary artist from Michigan with over 30 years experience in both music and visual arts. She taught English in Seoul, South Korea for three years and has traveled to Italy, Cambodia, the Philippines and Japan. Her life and art are greatly inspired by many different cultures. She has graced the community theater stage as many characters over the years including: Nancy in Oliver!, Laurey in Oklahoma!, Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, and Penelope in Happy Birthday, Wanda June. One of her favorite art moments is when Josh McLaglen, Shawn Levy and Hugh Jackman all complimented a drawing she made on the set of the movie Real Steel.



Robert Kerr is a professional artist and animator specializing in both digital and traditional media. Self-taught and formally trained, he appreciates the guidelines of creating art while testing the artistic boundaries. His formative years included work in television production, graphic / web design, illustration and animation. His creative process is organic and unique unto itself, like each project commissioned. With over twenty years of experience in the visual arts, he brings an individual tone and energy to every creation.

Willie Duck Web Pic





Will Duck is a painter from Youngstown, Ohio. He specializes in portraits, using acrylic. He is invested in the local arts community and paints on commission. He teaches visual art at SMARTS.

Marisa LaGuardia Web Pic

Marisa LaGuardia is a Youngstown, Ohio native who works in many medias. She obtained a BFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, MD and an MFA from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, TX. During her last year in graduate school, she began incorporating ceramics, sculpture, and installation alongside 2D techniques such as painting, drawing and printmaking. She describes her current practice as interdisciplinary, as she is interested combining multiple elements to tell a richer, more nuanced story. At the core, her practice investigates how individual perception influences our view of reality. She is interested in moments of synchronicity and blurring the line between tangible and intangible phenomena. She teaches visual art at SMARTS. LaGuardia’s teaching focus seeks to invoke a playful curiosity in her students. By interweaving modalities, techniques and media, she strives to make connections between seemingly unrelated approaches. Her project assignments serve as an “open lattice” that provides just enough structure for the students to impart their own unique perspective. Her time working as a Guide at Glenstone Museum in Potomac, MD, a Museum Education Intern at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), and as a college professor gave her insights on the many approaches to teaching and learning. LaGuardia believes all people have an innate creative capacity, and is dedicated to providing a supportive environment to cultivate personal expression.

Sarah LaVoie Web Pic

Sarah Lavoie is all about using the materials available to her; up-cycling is laced in most of her work. She's experienced in painting and sculpting, while dappling in most other art forms like ceramics and photography. She received a B.A. in Creative Writing and English at Southern New Hampshire University, and she is perusing her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, Supervision. She is well-versed in the English language and the creative, professional, and editorial process of writing. Sarah teaches visual art and creative writing at SMARTS. As an educator, Sarah loves to produce an active and equitable classroom where every student feels valued and can utilize their strengths everyday. As students grow, Sarah finds it important to become a guide in the process, allowing the students room in roles of leadership and collaboration. Sarah finds the best way to maintain this is through interdisciplinary teaching while teaching through multiple learning styles.

Malorie Martin

Malorie Martin is an artist and writer with a Bachelor's Degree in English from Husson University. Her primary medium is printmaking, and Malorie has exhibited her works in both group and solo gallery shows. Malorie also has a passion for teahcing; she is working towards her Masters in Fine Arts in the hopes of teaching full time, and hosts printmaking workshops at local businesses.


Daniel Rauschenbach is an American contemporary artist, curator, and gallerist. He completed his BFA in Ceramics and is currently working on his Master’s Degree in American Studies with a focus in Community Development at YSU. Daniel is “planted” as a SMARTS art teacher at South Side Academy and is the owner at the SOAP Gallery. He is also a board member with the Legal Creative. Daniel is a painter, printmaker, and ceramicist. He has exhibited in numerous group and solo shows on the east coast and his artwork is displayed in private collections worldwide. He was selected as one of Youngstown’s 25 Under 35 by the Mahoning Valley Young Professionals in 2017 and has been a SMARTS art teacher since 2016.

SMARTS Community Teaching: Visual Art, South Side Academy


SMARTS music teachers are recording artists, classical musicians, piano and instrumental soloists, church music directors, and are in rock and jazz bands.


Dr. Haley Beverburg strives to provide her students with a well-rounded musical experience that combines the different facets of her musical background; piano, music theory, and composition. She graduated from the University of Arkansas with a BM in Music Composition and a BS in Physics and went on to earn her Master's and PhD in Music Theory at the University of Michigan. She studied piano as her applied instrument at both institutions. She has over fifteen years of teaching experience, including private instruction in piano, theory, and composition, and classroom instruction at the University of Michigan, YSU, and Youngstown City Schools. She also spent a year in Germany teaching English to high school students as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant. Haley has been teaching at SMARTS since 2017.

SMARTS Classes: Piano 101A, Piano 101B, Piano 101C

Rosie Web Pic




Rosie Bresson graduated from Youngstown State University in May 2020 with her BFA in Musical Theatre. Her recent credits include Cabaret (Emcee), Chicago (Roxie), Into the Woods (Baker’s Wife), How I Learned to Drive (Li’l Bit), and The Last Five Years (Cathy). She is also an avid musician and has worked as a music director, director and choreographer. Rosie has been a 2-time Irene Ryan Scholarship Nominee at the Region II Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, a 2018 Region II KCACTF Musical Theatre Initiative Finalist, and was among 120 students selected to attend the 2018 Open Jar Institute Summer College Intensive in New York City.

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Silvia Games DuBos, an Argentinian cellist, has been established in the USA for more than 15 years, specializing in music instruction and chamber music. She teaches music at SMARTS and works with private students ages 7 to adults, combining traditional and Suzuki as a method of teaching. Since 2019 she has been one of the Music Directors of the Arts Docta International Music Festival, giving lessons, group classes, and chamber music coaching, working with students from the USA, France, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Brazil, and Ecuador among others. She has given masterclasses, workshops, and performances in the USA, Europe, and Latin America. Being fluent in Spanish and English as well as having knowledge of Portuguese allows her to connect with a wide spectrum of students, facilitating her to understand their needs, cultures, and languages.

Silvia holds an Artists Diploma and MM in performance from Duquesne University. She has also developed a vast orchestral activity in orchestras in Argentina and in USA. At the present, she plays as a freelance musician in orchestras and ensembles in the area and is currently working in a new chamber music project as a member of the Ars Duo (cello-piano), ensemble created to reinforce the knowledge of new composers and contemporary works, focusing mainly on Argentinian repertoire.



James Harris Web Pic




James Harris is an alumni of East High School and Geneva College. He holds a bachelor's degree in music education and Ohio teaching license in music education . He has taught middle and high school band as well as general music in the Pittsburgh Public Schools for ten years. He also taught middle and high school band in the Wellsville Locals School district for seven years. He currently works as a music teacher in the Youngstown City Schools as well as a piano teacher at SMARTS.


Simon Kenneally is a singer/songwriter, composer who has established multiple musical projects and solo projects. He has recorded and released thirteen studio albums. He has performed thousands of shows across the country and has been commissioned multiple times to create original scores for plays at various playhouses. He studied classical guitar at the Dana School of Music focusing on music education. He also studied secondary education at Youngstown State University and has been teaching music theory and composition publicly and privately for over 20 years. Simon teaches Rock Band, Studio Recording and Production, ukulele, guitar, and piano to SMARTS students.

SMARTS Classes: Rock Band, Ukulele 101

Daniel Shiller (1)

Daniel Shiller graduated from University of Akron with a degree in Percussion Performance. There he studied classical and world Percussion. While there I played in the Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, Steel Band, and helped lead the African Ensemble. He also did a study abroad to Ghana West Africa to study Ghanaian Drumming and Dance. He has also studied Brazilian Percussion with Masters in California during California Brazil Camp. He is currently finishing his Masters degree in World Percussion Performance from Oakland University. While, there he has worked as Teaching Assistant for the World Percussion ensemble, World Cultures Course, and Latin Jazz Combo. He has experience as a freelance artist on Steelpan, Congas, and multiple Percussion. He also worked as a Dance Accompanist for many years, studying with musicians from the Mark Morris Dance Company in Brooklyn, NY.


SMARTS dance teachers work in studios all across Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. They dance in a large variety of styles: Jazz, Modern, contemporary, Latin, African, Bollywood, Ballet, Hip-Hop, and Tap.

Sydney Moore Web Pic




Sydney Moore is a senior at Youngstown State University studying Dance Management. She is currently a Student Assistant at SMARTS and will be teaching dance classes for the upcoming spring semester. Over the years at Youngstown State, she has participated in Dance Ensemble, showcasing her talents in modern and contemporary dance. This year, she served as the treasurer. Sydney attended high school at Woodland Hills High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. During her four years of high school, Sydney participated in many musicals as a dancer and while also playing small roles in plays in the performing arts program. Her dance training began at Amie’s Dance Academy in Forest Hills, PA, where she performed her senior solo to Defying Gravity from the Broadway show Wicked.

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Taryn Patterson is a new teacher and student assistant at SMARTS, but she has been the Hip Hop teacher and choreographer at Kathi's Dance & Gym Center for 3 years. Taryn danced at Kathi’s for the last 18 years, where she received training in all styles of dance including Hip Hop, Jazz, Tap, Ballet, and Pointe. During her senior year at Kathi’s, she passed her Cecchetti Level VI Exam. Taryn graduated in the top ten of her class from East Palestine High School in 2019. She is currently pursuing a major in Psychology and a minor in Dance at Youngstown State University as a member of the Honors College to help and inspire others through the arts. She is also the Secretary of YSU’s Dance Ensemble, and is a new member of both YSU's Competitive and Performance Hip Hop Teams. Taryn is very grateful for the opportunity to work at SMARTS, and she is looking forward to what the future has in store for her!

Margie Rapp Web Pic

Margie Rapp

SMARTS Community Teaching: Dance, Liberty High School


SMARTS theater teachers are prop and costume designers, directors, actors, playwrights, and storytellers.

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Amanda Beagle is a Warren, Ohio based singer/actor who has spent the greater part of her professional life invested in the development of young people through the arts. She has maintained a private vocal studio since 2001, both in the Warren/Youngstown area and New York City. She has been on faculty with music schools in New York City and South Orange, New Jersey serving a diverse body of students. An experienced theatre teaching artist, she has also trained extensively with Lincoln Center Education, The Metropolitan Opera Guild Education Department and The City College of New York in educational theatre and teaching artistry.  Ms. Beagle currently serves on the Musical Theatre voice faculty at Youngstown State University.

Amanda's history with SMARTS dates back to 2001 when she was a sophomore vocal performance major at Youngstown State University. During that time, she worked on a SMARTS team that facilitated the Metropolitan Opera Guild's education program called Creating an Original Opera in which students wrote, produced and performed their own works of musical theatre. SMARTS was also Amanda's community service platform as she competed for the job of Miss Ohio.


Cara DeChurch Web Pic




Cara DeChurch is a singer, actor, and writer who graduated from The Institute for American Musical Theatre in the Spring of 2020. There she learned from working Broadway professionals, and got further feedback from Broadway Stars like Kelli O’Hara and Kate Rockwell. Cara teaches general music, voice, theater, and musical theater for SMARTS.

Jeremiah Web Pic

Jeremiah Kibler is a stage actor, writer, and director with over 16 years of experience in community and professional theatre in the Mahoning Valley. With a background in engineering and a lifelong love of all things theatre, Jeremiah is a well-rounded individual with a passion for teaching. Jeremiah is a theater teacher at SMARTS and is currently studying Industrial and Systems Engineering at Youngstown State University.

Creative Writing

SMARTS creative writing teachers choose their own adventures, study heroes and villains, solve mysteries, and more.

Christiana Web Pic

Christiana Peterson is the author of two non-fiction books, many essays, and a few poems. She has written about the mystics, motherhood, fairytales and death at such places as Christianity Today, Christian Century, and Geez Magazine. She has taught a few writing workshops for elementary students and adults and has been a speaker at universities and conferences. Christiana has a BA in English from Abilene Christian University. She received a Masters in Theology and a PhD in Creative Writing from St Andrews University. She sings, plays a bit of guitar and leads worship at the church where her husband pastors. They have four children.

Kara Zone 112019

Kara Zone likes to make words and pictures. As a writer and an artist, she enjoys spilling her emotions out on a page or a canvas just to see what they look like. Sometimes they are a chaotic mess, and sometimes they are a beautiful mess, but it's always great because they get out of her head and heart, and she can examine them closer.

​She enjoys digital art as much as physical art. She says that digital art gives you the freedom to try something in a hundred ways if need be, and then you get to print it out or save it forever.


Becky Keck, SMARTS President.

SMARTS Circle Members: Diane Palmer, President; Jonathon Fauvie, Vice President; Chris Gabrick, Treasurer; Misty Hazy, Secretary; Myra Vitto, Paul Garchar, Denise Holt, Bergen Giordani, John A. McNally, IV, John Orsini, Megan Jones, Stacia Erdos, Nick Chretien


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SMARTS at Ohio One
25 East Boardman Street, First Floor
Youngstown, OH 44503

330-574-2787 (ARTS)