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Thank a Teacher!!!

May 6th-10th, 2024 is Teacher Appreciation Week, and Future Hearts, Minds & Dreamers could not be more proud of our teaching artists!


Here are a few who we would like to shine a spotlight on:


Stephen Lydic- a professional writer, actor, and teacher (of those endeavors and more), currently living in West LA. Born in Austin, Texas, Stephen was pulled from the crowd to act in a Sword and the Stone parade at Disney World when he was 9, and hasn't been the same since. He grabbed a BFA in Performance from The University of Memphis, then hustled in Chicago as a stage actor for seven years. After to moving to LA, he found that writing was as strong a calling as performance. Stephen has been in over 100 staged productions, as well as national TV commercials and independent films. He currently has a half hour script for an animated series in development while finishing a writing certification at UCLA.


Teaching has long supported his creative pursuits, and he's happily worked in charter schools, public schools, and summer camps for over 17 years. He also writes and designs the current scripts and curriculum for Performing Arts Workshops.



Kristen Wright- Kristen has been teaching dance for 18 years. She grew up dancing in Arizona & got her dance degree at Scottsdale Community College. She danced with the jazz performing group while she was there & also performed with a local break dancing crew in Phoenix. Kristen specializes in jazz, lyrical hip-hop & break dancing. Kristen has coached high school dance teams & has sat on many judging panels throughout the years. She just recently moved back from SF where she was the hip hop instructor at a K-8 performing arts school. Kristen has a passion for teaching & it shows in her work. She truly loves what she does & wants every dancer to walk away from her class feeling challenged & wanting to learn more. 


Khalisah Hameed- Khalisah Hameed is a creative writer, spoken word artist, musician, podcast producer, and audio engineer with over 5 years of experience in each field. Hameed has her Bachelor's degree in Music Production with a minor in Creative Writing, and has been using her skills and talent to foster community and justice within arts education. Khalisah has self-published two of her own books of poetry as well as an anthology of written and visual art.



Bryanna Botham- Bryanna Botham is a genre-fluid fiction writer and award-winning poet. Her work has appeared in Adelaide Magazine and the The Dribble Drabble Review. She has been nominated for a 2024 Pushcart Prize and she was a finalist in the Women on Writing Summer Flash Fiction Competition in 2021 She is substitute teacher who works as a freelance editor and writer, in addition to serving as Co-Director of the Tucson Poetry Festival. She has been in the education field for 15 years.



Denise McKinley- Denise McKinley or “Coach Denise” is a creative movement instructor with an extensive foundation in cheer and dance. She specializes in movement for children ages 2-10. Her favorite part of teaching is seeing bright minds light up as they develop new skills. It’s her personal mission to continually create spaces for children to learn, express themselves, and get exposure to future opportunities.



Mars Knight- A National Geographic Certified Educator and NASA Aerospace Scholar, Mars brings a plethora of knowledge and experience to the classroom. Utilizing hands-on activities and exploratory-led learning, students will have fun and learn while they’re doing it.



Rachel Crowe- Rachel Crowe is a verbal Jill-of-all trades as a podcaster, writer and stand-up comedienne. Her award-winning show, "Barjory Buffet: The Cruise Detective" has garnered a loyal international audience and she's been featured on Peacock in the hour-long special "Hell". She's performed comedy in four nations, even opening for HBO's Gary Gulman at the Largo Theater in Los Angeles, and worked as a women's health journalist interviewing physicians for wide-ranging articles.


Thank-you to all the teachers out there, we couldn't do it without!!!

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