Instructors

DMR Adventures

The focus of DMR Adventures is the development of artists through education and performance opportunities in acting, dance and voice. Classes and programs are led by both local and visiting guest artists who are experts their fields. It is common to see one of our regular visiting Broadway artists working and laughing with students, or to hear our young students discussing professional jobs and audition experiences. Even though we support and encourage professional opportunities and growth, DMR Adventures is also a wonderful place for beginners or those wanting to dust off their old skills and passions. DMR has regularly been recognized at the Junior Theatre Festival (the world's largest musical theatre festival for students) with multiple awards for Excellence in Acting and Excellence in Ensemble Work. Artistic Director, Melissa Charles, is a proud recipient of the 2017 Freddie G Fellowship - this fellowship honors 8 outstanding teachers throughout the world.

Megan Bailey

Megan Bailey is a classically trained musician and music teacher, with a degree in biochemistry. While these two fields seem to be at opposite ends of the educational spectrum, Megan feels that they are more related than not. In the science world, she worked in Research and Development for the advancement of testing supplies for people with diabetes. During her time in Denton, TX, she taught rocketry, kitchen chemistry, and remedial math for the county's summer school program. After dabbling in the science world, Megan switched gears to explore her first love - music. She has taught violin, piano, ensembles, and various music classes for over 20 years - the last ten in the Charlottesville area. In addition to teaching at CHEC and private music lessons, she currently runs her own bookkeeping business and teaches full-time for PVCC's Kids College program. Megan has recently jumped, head first, into the homeschooling world with her two children - one of whom has special needs. Homeschooling has allowed her to feed her many passions: music, science, and math, to name a few!

Janet Beals

Janet Beals Orejudos is a process artist, teacher, and facilitator. She has taught in summer camp, year round programs, and Adaptive Recreation with C'ville Parks & Rec, offering 3-14 year olds classes in Beginning and Youth Sculpture, Collage, Home School Art, Paint Like Picasso, and Open Studio. Janet comes from Chicago's Open Studio Project, offering process art and social emotional skills through art to disadvantaged and other diverse populations. Process art, unlike traditional art, focuses on the experience of artmaking rather than the final product. Therefore, there is no "bad art," just a piece with a story or a message. Although classes may have a theme (Dinosaurs, Self Portraits, Dia de los Muertos, Martin Luther King), each child is free to express it in her own way. We honor each child's artistic vision. Classes use unusual materials and techniques when possible, and aim for creativity, learning, and self determination. Janet is open to students with special needs and communication disorders, and children outside the age parameters of the class.

Louisa Cahan

I have been a teacher for most of my adult life, primarily with young children, but have some experience with all ages. Art has been a hobby for me since childhood, and when I retired from full time work, I chose to spend my retirement years learning and teaching Art. During the years when I taught preschool and the early elementary grades, I always included as much Art as I could wherever I could. I do see the teaching of Art as my calling, and the thrust of my life is to get better and better at it. Most recently, I taught Art for Charlottesville Parks and Recreation, until the pandemic caused us to stop our classes. Now my new “classroom” is Zoom!

Amy Eachus

Amy Eachus is a former public school teacher who took a different path and now homeschools her three children. She loves learning beside them. She’s passionate about nature, art, and children’s literature. She also enjoys gardening, watching science documentaries, and crocheting. She feels her primary role as a teacher is to assist her students in making their own discoveries. As Socrates said, “I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.”

Monica Farrell

I have been a teacher since I was around 14 years old when I was hired to teach horseback riding at a local riding school. In High School I taught Spanish speaking kids English with the Big Sister program. As an adult I taught Comparative Literature as a TA in Grad School at UCLA and then in the Freshman Writing Program at The American University in Cairo for years. I've tutored high school and home schooled kids in various subjects and helped them prepared for GCSE exams (high school exams in the UK). I have a Master's Degree in Comparative Literature (ABD) and currently teach yoga and mindfulness in Charlottesville in addition to teaching Yoga Teachers in my annual retreats around the world.

Carolyn Fay

Carolyn Fay is a freelance writer, an independent teacher, and a former homeschooling mother. Her articles and stories for children have appeared in Highlights, Muse, Dig, Calliope, and Boys' Quest. When she isn't writing or researching, she serves as a tutor and writing coach for kids. She enjoys working with reluctant writers, aspiring authors, and everyone in between. She also teaches French! A former professor, Carolyn taught French language and literature for 16 years at the university level, where the students never wanted to leave their seats, and would've rather died than sing "Frère Jacques" in class. These days Carolyn's French classes for homeschoolers involve singing, dancing, B-grade acting, ridiculous costuming, cute puppets, and horrible ventriloquism. As a writer and a teacher, she strives to cultivate curiosity and creativity in children.

Will Goss

Will Goss is from a very small town called Clarksdale, Mississippi – also known as “Home of the Blues.” Will studied English literature at the University of Georgia, but it wasn’t all Dickens and Shakespeare…he was also in a lot of bands. His favorite one was called Plume, and it’s still alive today. After graduating from Georgia, Will moved to Chicago to study filmmaking at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. What a city! The school took his love for the cinema to the next level, and his interest in filmmaking and film history has only grown since then. After 3 years of teaching film in Jackson, Mississippi, and 2 years of teaching English in Russia, Will is now in Charlottesville, VA!

Heather Hayes

I'm a mom of two boys, a dog and a cat. I love to garden, teach, story tell and go to the movies. I have been nannying, organic gardening and teaching for 14 years. My passion since I was about 4 years old, has been comedy. I've been performing for 7 years in Charlottesville with the improv troupe The Bent Theatre. I have also taught improv workshops and youth improv 101 classes. When I get the courage, I also perform a bit of stand-up. I love to make others laugh, perform and discover stories through improvisation.

Wes Iseli

Wes Iseli has been a full time Magician & Illusionist performing all over the country since 1996. He currently performs over 400 shows a year and has performed at resorts, theaters, private shows, company parties, family shows & has even performed for MGM Grand Casino and resort as well as the British Embassy. He worked as a magic consultant and animal trainer on The Carbonaro Effect on TRU tv. He has been teaching magic since 2003 at resorts and schools when his schedule allows.

Shelley Marshall

Hi, I'm Shelley. I have one daughter who has been home schooling all along. We became part of the CHEC community in 2019. At home school, I teach according to my daughter's attention span. I strive to choose a variety of subjects and spend time on those in which she is most interested. When I was younger, I won my very first job, newspaper deliverer, at age 13. I was continuously employed thereafter (until becoming a stay-at-home mom). I mostly worked as an administrative assistant and performed tasks such as bookkeeping, database management, and retail. I have worked at a movie theater, a blacksmith's shop, a garden center, the SPCA, a vet clinic, and as a massage therapist. I have a strong work ethic and I pride myself in a job well done. I expect my students to apply themselves too. I am a graduate of Berea College with a degree in Philosophy (the love of learning). I went back to school and earned a Massage Therapy license in 2010. I used to teach adults at the Virginia School of Massage where I had to organize my lessons and teach all the relevant information in an allotted time. This experience has been useful to me a home school teacher. Between 2017-2019, I was heavily involved in the Religious Education Committee at Charlottesville Friends Meeting (Quakers). I have spent many hours teaching children in Sunday School. I selected and presented lessons for the children and even chose and directed the Christmas Pageant in 2019. These experiences have helped me understand what kids enjoy and how a classroom of children behaves. For fun, I enjoy baking, crafting, reading, playing games, swimming, walking, visiting animals of all types, and hanging out with our two cats (always with my kiddo by my side). I enjoy watching kids grow-up and seeing them succeed. I still love learning and hope that my excitement will be passed on to those I teach.

Liam Norris

Liam is a LEGO educator and YouTuber. He loves using LEGO to engage students in real-world concepts. He has taught a variety of in-person and online classes. See his work on YouTube at Brixter Productions: https://youtube.com/brixterproductions

Jacob Pugh

I am Jake Pugh and I will be sharing a lifetime's worth of passion and over 25 years of experience in keeping reptiles through my uniquely interactive class. I grew up in northern Virginia and am just barely old enough to have missed out on the internet during my elementary school years, thereby limiting my exposure to the reptiles I longed to learn about. As a result I have remained insatiable in my pursuit of knowledge and experience with the cold-blooded, which has taken me from avid collector to breeder, and now a forever-home rescuer. I have even had the opportunity to work directly for one of the original pioneers of the herpetological hobby, and can boast that any ball python you have seen for sale in Petco or Petsmart over the past year came from the breeding season that I played a majority hand in while at Ophiological Services.

Jennifer Schmid

Jennifer Schmid (also known frequently as Jen) is a school based Speech-Language Pathologist in Central, VA. She specializes in Reading Intervention. She earned her Master's of Education in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Virginia. Her experiences include working with children and adults across the lifespan to improve language and cognitive skills. She has formal training in the Lindamood Bell Phoneme Sequencing Program (LiPS)™️ and Lindamood Bell's Visualizing and Verbalizing™ Program. Lindamood Bell often takes an approach that is highly regimented and applies it to all children. Jen adapts the approach to meet make it widely accessible to students differing learning needs. Jen is also a Yoga and Mindfulness Instructor. Her mission is to help students experience the benefits of mindful learning: improved attention, empowered engagement, and appropriate responsiveness to the changing learning environments around us. https://www.mindfulllearners.com

T Williams

I have been teaching and coaching children and families through Westcity Soccer in the Cville area for the past 10 years. As a former Division 1 College Coach and former 2 Sport College athlete, I provide students with insight and training into what it takes to compete at the highest level. I implement a personalized coaching and training approach with each student. I follow a curriculum for teaching technique, tactics, fitness and mental aspects of team sports with emphasis on American football and soccer. I support each player in the moment, aiding in their complete development over time. I provide a teaching and learning environment where each student can succeed.