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Instructor Bio's

Kimberly Beckler


Principal

Mrs. Beckler comes to Howard with a unique background, including a BA degree in theatre and psychology from UCF, a background in mental health counseling with a Masters from Rollins College, and 14 years of experience in public education with her certification in Educational Leadership from Stetson University.   She has served in a variety of positions with OCPS and at all levels (K-12 and district), including teacher, SAFE Coordinator, AVID Coordinator, District Counselor (for character education), Curriculum Resource Teacher/Testing Coordinator, MTSS Coach, Assistant Principal, and Senior Administrator for the Southeast Learning Community.

With theatre as her first passion, she is thrilled to be at Howard, and to be leading the school in its first year as a 100% visual and performing arts magnet program.  Mrs. Beckler hopes that she will be a member of the Howard family for many years to come!

Bachelor of Arts: Theatre, University of Central Florida

Bachelor of  Science: Psychology, University of Central Florida

Masters of Psychology, Rollins College

Certification in Educational Leadership, Stetson University



Clinton McCracken


HMS Magnet Coordinator, Art Instructor, Department Chair


Mr. McCracken earned his BFA in Studio Art from Truman State University in 1996. He also received a Master of Arts degree in Art Education from the University of Central Florida and completed “Views on Understanding” at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2003. He is a National Board Certified Teacher in Early Adolescence and Young Adulthood Art and a former Teacher of the Year. Clinton is a member of the Florida Art Education Association, National Art Education Association and Arts Schools Network. He has presented at state and national education conferences, was a contributor to the Southeastern College Art Conference policy for Visual Arts Education, and authored the White Paper for creating Howard's Arts Magnet Program. Clinton is the recipient of the 2015 Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton Emerging Leader Award from Arts Schools Network and the June Hinckley Award for Teaching Excellence from FAEA. Clinton's own art interests encompass both sculpture and textile arts where he explores the relationship between utility and aesthetics. He has exhibited work in Chicago and Orlando and was a guest artist at the American School of Den Haag, The Netherlands. In his spare time Clinton also enjoys spinning cotton and wool on a drop spindle and spinning wheel and he also likes gardening and quilting. He lives in Orlando with his husband, Mike.

Bachelor of Fine Arts: Studio Art, Truman State University

Master of Arts: Art Education, University of Central Florida

National Board Certified Teacher-Early Adolescence and Young Adulthood

 Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate: Art (K-12)

Contact:email:clinton.mccracken@ocps.net

407-245-1780 ext. 5092305



Lee Ramsey


Magnet Program Asst. Coordinator


Lee Ramsey joined Howard Middle School in August 2011 as the Mentoring Coordinator and Assistant to the Howard Academy of Arts. An Alabama native, she holds a B.S. Degree in Consumer Economics from Auburn University. Lee worked in the Mortgage Banking Industry as a Mortgage Underwriter, until relocating with her husband, Paul Ramsey, to Orlando in 1991. Lee became a Substitute Teacher in 2006 which was her occupation until she joined Howard Middle School in the fall of 2011. In October 2016, Lee was selected as the Howard Middle Support Person of the Year and was then chosen as one of the 5 Finalists for District Support Person of the Year. She is very excited to be a part of the outstanding magnet program at Howard Middle Academy of Arts. Lee and her husband Paul have two sons, 25 and 21 years of age, both of whom attended Howard Middle School.


Bachelor of Science: Consumer Economics, Auburn University

email:janet.ramsey@ocps.net

407-245-1780 ext. 5092303



Rachel Buckley




Visual Art- 2D Art 1 and Photography


Rachel Buckley teaches beginning art, art history and computer animation. She is a graduate of Florida State University (GO NOLES!). She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education in 2001. She grew up in Orlando and attended Orange County Public Schools. She has been teaching art at the middle school level for 12 years. Her art interests and areas of proficiency include painting (acrylic and watercolor), drawing very detailed designs in pen and ink, sewing and fiber arts, painting furniture, graphic arts, clay sculpture, jewelry fabrication and design. Rachel is an active member of the Florida Art Education Association and the National Art Education Association. She was a recipient of the Kessler, Grand Bohemian Excellence in the Arts Award and scholarship in 2006. She also published and edited an award winning art and literature magazine, Voice, in partnership with Howard Middle School in 2004. Most importantly, her passion is teaching students how to express themselves through art.

 

Bachelor of Science: Art Education, Florida State University (May, 2001)

Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate • Art (K-12)


email: rachel.buckley@ocps.net

407-245-1780 ext. 5092305



Valerie King


Graphic Design, Digital Video, Digital Photography


Valerie has taught at Howard since 2005.  Valerie has taught Intensive Reading from 2005-2012 and was also the Reading Coach at HMS from 2009-2012.  She re-started the Yearbook program at Howard in 2006, winning various awards for the HMS Yearbook for the last 3 years in a row. She also started Howard’s online newspaper with the help of Page 15, The Howard Hype (www.howardhype.com) in 2008.  She has maintained a working relationship with Page 15 (www.page15.org), which is a non-profit organization that manages our website, provides free workshops for her classes, and provides volunteers from local businesses (including news stations) to come volunteer their time with her Journalism student’s.  This organization also provides off-site after school tutoring for all Howard students. Valerie’s own Art interests are deep-rooted in Orlando.  She has been a photographer/editor for yearbooks in her youth (Seminole County). She has been a FL licensed cosmetologist since the year 2000 and continues to do hair for fun and creative expression.  She has designed brochures for local businesses, invitations for events, and she re-wrote the web-CT online manual for UCF in 2004. She plans on working towards her own Masters in 2013-2014 in Education Media Design and Technology at Full Sail University.

Bachelor of English: Technical Writing, University of Central Florida (December, 2004)

OCPS Reading Endorsed (2006)

Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate: Middle Grades Integrated Curriculum (5-9)

 

email: valerie.sfalanga@ocps.net

407-245-1780 ext. 509230

 


Meredith Olinger


Visual Arts- Advanced 2D Art


Meridith Olinger is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a degree in art and taught visual art for 14 years in Orange County. She is also professional artist exhibiting her artwork throughout the Central Florida area.

She is the mother of two boys and a Howard alumni.   Meridith is the former Director of Arts Education for the Orlando Downtown Arts District funded by the City of Orlando and  the Walt Disney Company Foundation. She is a professional artist, regularly exhibiting in the Central Florida area in her mediums of choice, acrylic painting and mixed media.

Bachelor of Arts, Art, University of Central Florida

The Kennedy Center, Artist Residency Education Program

Florida Professional Educator's Certificate, Art (K-12)


email: meredith.olinger@ocps.net

407-245-1780, ext. 5092314                   



Kristen Warskow

Visual Art- 3D and Photography


Kristen Warskow is happy to call Howard her home for the 4th year after joining the HMS staff in 2015. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art Education from the University of Central Florida. She completed extensive research on creative processing which has been presented at state and national conferences and has been published by the University of Central Florida under the title "The Art Teacher's Guide to a Cognitive Teaching Process: Prompting Student's Creative Thought." Kristen's passions include teaching and attending yoga classes, reading, gardening, traveling, and making art. Her artistic areas of interest include drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed media, and kinetic art. Kristen is an active member of the Florida Art Education Association and the National Art Education Association. She was the honored recipient of the June Hinkley Art Educator Award of Excellence in 2018 awarded by the Florida Art Education Association. Kristen displays work for local events, including the Orlando Museum of Art’s 1st Thursdays events. Her artwork has been exhibited locally and nationally.


Bachelor of Science in Art Education, University of Central Florida May 2015
Florida Professional Educator's Certificate: Art (K-12)

Instructional Design for Simulations, University of Central Florida (Certificate)


email: kristen.warskow@ocps.net
407-245-1780 ext.5092278


Lisa Devins-Horohoe 

Theatre Director

 

Ms. Horohoe is happy to be back and in her 6th year as Theatre Director at Howard Middle School Academy of Arts. Before joining the faculty at Howard, Ms. Horohoe worked at Orlando Shakespeare Theatre where she served as the Theater for Young Audience Coordinator; creating interactive theatre based school programs and workshops, directing children’s summer theater productions as well as teaching a wide range of youth and adult acting classes. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Acting and Directing from Montclair State University. In addition, she received film and commercial training at Weist Barron Academy in NYC and is a Kennedy Center certified teaching artist. In June of 2015,Ms. Horohoe was as one of 30 teachers chosen from across the country to participate in a summer intensive performance program and the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC.


BFA Acting and Directing, Montclair State University

Commercial and Film Acting, Weist Barron Studios, New York, New York

Kennedy Center Teaching Artist CETA certification


email:lisa.horohoe@ocps.net

407-245-1780, ext. 5092267



Aaron W. Penfield


Chorus, Acting (Drama/Musical Theatre)


Aaron has been at Howard Middle School since 2007, and he is the Director of Choral Activities and the Musical Director for all musicals at HMS.  He is the conductor of four choirs, including the Ranger Chorus and highly-acclaimed HMS Show Choir, and his students are regularly selected to All-County and All-State Honor Choirs.  In addition, Aaron also serves as music and technical director for two major musicals each year at HMS, which are performed for thousands of elementary-aged students.  He also teaches classes in beginning guitar.  Aaron holds a Bachelors Degree in Choral Music Education from Florida State University, an Orff-Schulwerk Level One Certification, and a Music K-12 Certification from the Florida Department of Education.  An active vocalist and performer, Aaron has performed extensively with many choirs, and has performed under the direction of great composers and conductors, such as John Rutter, Krzysztof Penderecki, André Thomas, and Bobby McFerrin, and he has also performed with the London Symphony Orchestra.  As a professional musician, Aaron is a member of multiple professional choral ensembles, including the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park.  He is also the Music Director at College Park Presbyterian Church in Orlando, Florida.  Aaron is an active member of Florida Music Educators’ Association, Florida Vocal Association, and American Choral Directors’ Association.  He lives in the Orlando area with his wife, Megan.


Bachelor of Music Education: Choral Music Education, Florida State University (May 2007)
Orff-Schulwerk Level 1 Certification (July 2006)
Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate: Music (K-12)


email: aaron.penfield@ocps.net

407-245-1780 ext. 5092274




Melissa King


Piano


Melissa is an Orlando native and graduated from the Orange County Public School system. She joined the staff at Howard Middle School in 2005 and has since developed the Music Theory and Composition, Piano, and Guitar programs, as well as expanded the band program. Melissa is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor degree in Music Education. Not only is Melissa a dedicated music educator, she also performs regularly with the Orlando Concert Band, in addition to other freelance venues. She is also an active member of the Florida Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, National Flute Association, and Florida Flute Association. Her students have gone on to study music in various colleges across the country, and even become music teachers themselves. Her students have also been represented in All-State, All-County, Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, Florida Young Artists Orchestra, and the Interlochen Center for the Arts


Bachelor of Arts: Music Education, University of Central Florida (December, 2004)

Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate: Music (K-12)


email: melissa.sandusky@ocps.net

407-245-1780 ext. 5092268



Mary Lubaroff

Orchestra Director


Mary Lubaroff is in her twenty ninth year teaching orchestra, having taught in Iowa, Michigan, Kansas, Missouri, and now in her second year at Howard Middle school. Mrs. Lubaroff received her Bachelor of Music degree with teacher certification from The University of Iowa, and a Master of Music degree from Kansas State University. She is a member of the Florida String Teachers Association, American String Teachers Association, and Florida Music Educators Association. She has directed honors and camp orchestras at the University of Wyoming, Fort Hays State University, and Kansas State University.

Mrs. Lubaroff considers violin her primary instrument and has played professionally with symphony orchestras, performed with area string quartets as well as the Moody Blues, Red Skelton and pit orchestra for the Joffrey Ballet’s premiere production of “The Nutcracker.” Teaching beginning and middle school strings has been her main focus with the orchestra programs she has been involved in, seeing growth in both playing skills and numbers that have brought these programs to high levels by preparing students for their future. She has presented at the Missouri State ASTA conference and participates in ASTA activities in the state of Florida. In her spare time she enjoys traveling with her husband, Scott, attending his wind ensemble events at UCF, visiting her children, and enjoying the many fine restaurants of central Florida.


Bachelor of Music, Violin Emphasis, University of Iowa, 1988

Master of Music Education, Kansas State University, 2006

Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate, Music (Grades K-12)


email:  mary.lubaroff@ocps.net

407-245-1780 ext. 5092275



Belinda Flores


Musical Theatre, Theatre


Belinda Flores joined the Howard faculty in 2017 and teaches both Musical Theatre and Theatre, as well as directing the fall and spring musicals. She was instrumental in the process of getting Musical Theatre added to Orange County’s middle school curriculum. Ms. Flores holds a Bachelor of Music from Stetson University. Before becoming a teacher, she was a full-time singer/actor, and she continues to work in entertainment whenever her schedule allows. She can be seen at Universal Orlando, conventions, heard singing at various venues around town, and voice-overs for a local escape room, as well as in radio spots nationwide.

Bachelor of Music, Musical Theatre, Stetson University

Florida Professional Educator Certificate English/Language Arts 6th-12th Drama 6-12 
Pre K- 3rd


email: Belinda.flores@ocps.net

407-245-1780 ext. 5092294



Samantha Hudson


Dance


Samantha Hudson grew up dancing in Orlando, Florida and graduated from Boone High School. After graduation, she continued her education at Valencia Community college while majoring in their dance program. Following her education in Orlando, she then attended New World School of the Arts in Miami where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. While attending school, she had the privilege of performing pieces choreographed by Robert Battle from the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, David Parsons, Shapiro and Smith, Anna Sokolow, and Kyle Abraham. Samantha has also worked for dance companies such as DRIP, NAO Dance Collective, the Orlando Predators and Walt Disney World. She feels very lucky to be a teacher, here at Howard Middle School and is thrilled to continue sharing her passion and knowledge for the art form with her students.


Bachelor of Fine Arts:  Dance, New World School of the Arts

email:samantha.hudson@ocps.net

407-245-1780 ext. 5092308



Morgan Hairston


Dance


Originally from Stone Mountain Georgia, Morgan Hairston began her formal training at DeKalb School of the Arts and continued her training in Kennesaw State University under Reiko Kimura and Ivan Pulinkala where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a Modern Dance concentration. Upon relocating to Orlando, she has performed with Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World and Busch Gardens Tampa. Her most recent choreography was presented at the 2017 Dance Expose for Maxey Elementary School and was voted Best Elementary School title. This is her first year teaching for Orange County and is very happy to be a part of the Howard MS family!


Bachelor of Fine Arts: Dance, Kennesaw State University



Damon Wille


Band

Damon Wille joined Howard Middle School in February 2012. Hailing from Detroit, but raised in Florida, he holds a Bachelor of Music Education with a Minor in French from Stetson University. He studied saxophone with Daniel Jordan and James Bishop. While studying abroad in France, Damon was able to take lessons with Joël Versavaud at the Conservatoire de Marseille. A former Howard Teacher of the Year, he is also a member of the National Bandmasters Association, Florida Music Educators Association, Florida Bandmasters Association and the National Association for Music Education. He has performed locally with the Faith in Jazz Big Band, Maynard Ferguson Tribute Band, Central Florida Community Arts and Southern Winds.


Bachelors of  Music Education Music, Stetson University email:damon.wille@ocps.net
407-245-1780 ext.5092329



Oscar Vinson

Guitar


Oscar Vinson has been playing guitar since he was ten years old.  He’s been teaching guitar since he was sixteen. After multiple school related and professional tours, he graduated from Texas A & M Kingsville in 2003 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education K-12 specializing in Saxophone.  That same year, he was the recipient of a Downbeat Award as part of the TAMUK Jazz Band I. After six years of teaching band in Texas, Oscar returned to his original passion and was able to teach guitar in OCPS and has been here happily since.


Bachelors of Arts in Music Education, Texas A&M Kingsville 2003

email:oscar.vinson@ocps.net

407-245-1780, ext. 5092323