Our instructors have over 100 years of combined
teaching experience. Their qualifications include
Missouri K-12 Art Education certification,
Master degrees in Special Education,
Art Education and higher education instruction.
I am an artist and an art teacher at Lafayette High School in the Rockwood School District. Art is my life long passion. I love to look at it; I love to create it and to teach it. I have been working with 2D and 3D design over 20 years and love to explore different ways of visual expression and experiment with various art media.
Leslie is a graduate of University of Notre Dame majoring in design and psychology. After working in graphic design, she returned to school to get her Masters Degree in Education at Aurora University. She has taught midldle school art and fourth grade, but most of her experience is in teaching 6th grade science in the Parkway School District. She is certified in K-12 Art and middle school Science, along with middle school Math, Social Studies and English. Her favorite quote is “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead- he eyes are closed.” Albert Einstein Leslie’s mission is to share this awe with her students.
In order to feel complete, to feel alive, and to be genuinely me, I have found that I must create. I originally became involved in ceramics because the class was a requirement for an Interior Design degree that I was pursuing at age 39 after my kids were raised. It didn’t take me long working with a variety of clay, glazes, and firing techniques before I knew I was addicted to the world of ceramics. Working with clay allows me to tap into the organic, natural part of our world, giving it form, color, and texture. Through the unity of these elements, my creations can speak a language all their own.
Working with clay gives me opportunity to show my appreciation of the natural world. Nature’s ability to manipulate its way through fabricated obstacles, to adapt to environmental changes, to transform into new species, to combine and become one with its surroundings, is inspiring. I am motivated to create works that honor the perseverance of life. My pieces are either thrown and altered or completely hand-built. By adding, subtracting, carving and altering, I am able to animate my imagination.
David presently teaches Project Lead the Wat (STEM) and Design and Build (Industrial Tech) for the Wentzville School District for the past six years. Prior to that, he taught K-12 Art for seven years. David has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Ceramics) and a Bachelor of Science in Education (K-12 Art) from Northwest Missouri State University. David also has a Masters in Educational Technology from the University of Central Missouri and four Project Lead the Way course Certifications from Missouri S & T.
Debbie Dirckx-Norris is a veteran of 32 years teaching art, having begun her career at the St. Louis Art Museum, and finished with Rockwood School District. Debbie believes that the mastery of skills can help artists express their ideas and visions, and enjoys sharing the creative process. She strives to create an environment of high expectations and low risk so that all students feel confident in their artistic endeavors.
Marilyn Palmer holds a Bachelors degree in Art Education and a Masters degree in Education. Her teaching career spans elementary, middle school and high school, all in Parkway School District. At the high school level, she has taught classes in Design, Drawing, Ceramics, Figure / Portrait and Digital Design. Marilyn strives to find the highest level of achievement possible for each of her students, and takes great pride in their accomplishments. Her students have attended many of the top art schools in the country, including Savannah School of Art and Design, Maryland Institute and College of Art, Kansas City Art Institute, and many more.
Tiffany is a 12-year veteran of art education, having taught elementary and specializing in middle school. She’s a firm believer that while art-making may come easier to some than others, the basics of drawing, painting and sculpting are all learned skills. It is a great privilege to help students gain confidence through discovery and development of their talents. Originally from Maine, Scraper is a graduate of Hofstra University (NY) who planted roots in St. Louis in 1998. She is an adoring wife, proud mama of two, and an avid sports fan.
Katie has been teaching special education for 11 years. She currently teaches essential skills in the Francis Howell School District and works with a variety of students with special needs. She enjoys helping adults and children with different abilities learn how to do various forms of art and reach their potential while encouraging them to go out of their comfort zone. She is a mom of one creative little girl and an avid animal lover.
Sarah has been teaching elementary art for 11 years and currently teaches in the Washington School District. She earned her undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and has a Master of Mental Health Practices in Schools from University of Missouri Columbia. Sarah enjoys all types of art forms and teaches private and group lessons, as well as directs art parties for both kids and adults. Sarah and her husband Brennan Bayless, a glass artist, live in Marthasville with their two young children.
Holly graduated from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, earning a bachelor’s degree in studio art with certification to teach K-12 art. Her experiences include working in a preschool, teaching Sunday School, and being a volunteer artist for 2nd Thursdays at the Foundry Arts Center in St. Charles, as well as teaching at Art Unleashed. Holly enjoys creating art using a variety of media, but is particularly drawn to watercolor. She currently teaches art to middle school students in the Francis Howell School District.
My name is Amanda and one of my favorite things to do in this crazy world is create something out of nothing. I graduated from Mizzou with a Bachelor’s degree in Art Education in 2013 and have been teaching middle school art ever since. When I heard that Art Unleashed was looking for artists, I couldn’t wait to jump on board. What a great opportunity to teach people a new skill and have a blast doing it! My main goal in class is to put you at ease, help you learn something new, and most importantly, guide you through a great experience. Can’t wait to see y’all in the studio!
Lauren earned her bachelor’s degree in Art Education from Southeast Missouri State University with certification to teach grades K-12. Lauren is a mixed media artist and painter who enjoys experimenting with design, color, and fabric. Art for Lauren has become a visual journal and a process of self-reflection. The result is an unintentional body of work, created almost by accident. Because Lauren’s intentions are never set in stone, people’s perception of her work is not either. In the fall Lauren will begin her first year as a full-time art teacher in the St. Louis Public School District. Lauren is elated about the opportunity to share her love for art with her students.