Principal Leadership Coaching

Developing principals’ capacity to use the arts strategically to fuel school transformation is essential to our work. Through one-on-one coaching and an annual Principal Retreat, veteran and first-year principals alike are supported in positioning themselves as effective advocates for equity, strong instructional leaders through the arts, and creative/collaborative problem-solvers.

Dr. Akida Kissane Long, Principal Leadership Coach
After 35 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District, serving as a teacher, curriculum specialist, central office administrator and principal, Dr. Long joined the Turnaround Arts: California team in 2017. Using her dissertation research as the basis for her work, Dr. Long established her own Leadership Coach Consulting practice. She is also Program Chair of Educational Leadership, Assistant Professor, La Fetra College of Education, University of La Verne. Dr. Long has three adult children and seven grandchildren.

Regional Coach Program

Turnaround Arts: California’s Regional Coach Program leverages local arts education resources and expertise across the state to provide weekly, ongoing support to Turnaround Arts: California partner schools. Regional Coaches support schools in their implementation of the Turnaround Arts program, building teacher leadership to transform school climate, culture, and engagement through the arts. The goals of the Regional Coach Program are to:

  • Amplify collective impact through strategic, arts-infused school reform
  • Build local, school capacity through professional development and in-person support
  • Develop a regional coach network to deepen practice and impact
  • Foster statewide exchange to refine a sustainable, public-private arts integration model

Collaborations: Teachers and Artists | Southern California

CoTA is a professional development program that tackles the possibilities of making the arts a lively, essential, and ongoing aspect of elementary school education. CoTA is based on the belief that integrating the visual and performing arts into other content areas promotes engagement, accessibility, and relevance for students.

Danielle Reo

From visual arts to finance, Danielle’s unique skill sets have been successfully integrated within San Diego’s nonprofit sector. Spanning over two decades of nonprofit management experience, Danielle’s approach to arts infused pedagogies promotes collaboration and inherently acknowledges the cultural diversity of its recipients. Notably, Danielle has previously served as the Associate Director of inSite97, a binational collaborative artistic venture of 27 nonprofit institutions in San Diego and Tijuana. Danielle has consulted with small businesses and nonprofit arts organizations in the areas of accounting, organization development, arts education programming, and marketing. Within her role as Program Director at CoTA, Danielle continues to foster positive relationships and provide memorable arts experiences to students, teacher leaders and principals alike.

Renee Weissenburger

Reneé draws on her passion for literature, photography and history to inform her teaching approach with CoTA and her creative investigation of memory, history, and the establishment of identity. Her work with CoTA asks students to examine their own ideologies using the mediums of writing, photography, assemblage and installation art, while remaining deeply concerned with expanding their sensitivity, perception and creative skills. Apart from her dedicated work with CoTA, Reneé currently teaches literature and creative writing at National University, photography and literature at UCSD Extension and literature at San Diego State University College of Extended Studies.

Create Humboldt | Northern California

Create Humboldt provides professional development to grade 3-5 teachers in eight rural elementary schools so that they can use innovative, research-based teaching methods to integrate and strengthen standards-based arts instruction across the curriculum through a program of intensive and ongoing professional development and cycles of in-class coaching of teacher participants.  This integration aims to improve student academic performance – including their skills in creating, performing and responding to the arts – and in doing so improve their thinking and reasoning skills which will prepare them to successfully meet the performance expectations of the Common Core State Standards.

Sarah E. Peters

Sarah Peters is a theatre-maker, administrator, and teacher. She serves as a Regional Coach for Turnaround Arts: CA and as Project Coordinator for the North Coast Arts Integration Project. Sarah has been an instructor at Humboldt State University and Dell’Arte International and has presented workshops for seven years with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Sarah has performed and directed at theatres including Dell’Arte, The Arcata Playhouse, Well Arts Institute (OR), Milagro Theatre (OR), Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program (Los Angeles), and Bond Street Theater (New York/India). She is a graduate of the Dell’Arte MFA program, and holds a BFA in acting from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Dionná Ndlovu

Dionná Ndlovu currently serves as Project Coordinator for The North Coast Arts Integration Project in Humboldt County, CA and Movement Instructor for No Wahala Body. She dedicates much of her time to volunteering for Black Humboldt, which she founded in 2018, and the NAACP. Ndlovu has worked with Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, Unchained Talent, Concepts by Cash Baltimore City, Dance and Bmore, The Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the former Emily P. Bissell Hospital of Delaware. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Instructional Design and Technology at Full Sail University. She has a B.A. in Theater Arts from Morgan State University and attended Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre.

P.S. ARTS| Los Angeles County

P.S. ARTS’ mission is to improve the lives of children by providing arts education to underserved public schools and communities. P.S. ARTS partners with schools to provide more than 25,000 students with year-long art education in dance, visual arts, music, and theater. Because being part of a nurturing and productive community is essential to children’s well being, P.S. ARTS also seeks to provide professional development for teaching artists and community engagement opportunities to children and families that encourage collaboration, strong community spirit, and a culture of giving back.

Rebecca Cardenas

Rebecca Cardenas joined P.S. ARTS in 2018 and currently serves as a Regional Coach for Turnaround Arts:CA and manages Teaching Artists for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. She has a background in non-profit youth programming, including managing and teaching after-school performing arts programs in Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles. She received her bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts and Social Justice with an emphasis in Dance and holds a master’s degree in Education, along with a multiple subject teaching credential.

Sunset Center| Central California

Located in Carmel, Sunset Cultural Center is a multifaceted arts center that serves the artistic needs of residents within Monterey County. We provide arts education and outreach across the community, make professional arts programming accessible, and we strive to be a source of pride and a valuable asset to the peninsula. Sunset Center presents an annual series that brings world-class acts and top tier productions from all genres into our theater. In addition to the programming that happens within the Sunset Center, we also provide nationally recognized arts and education training and instruction to teachers and students in low-income schools throughout Monterey County free of charge.

Elana KlineThompson

Elana Kline-Thompson serves as a Regional Coach for Turnaround Arts: CA through her role as Community Engagement Manager for Sunset Cultural Center, where she combines her passions for the performing arts, creative expression, and strengthening communities. Prior to joining SCC she served as Community Manager for Community Television of Santa Cruz County and The Satellite Santa Cruz Coworking Space. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, including the completion of a foreign exchange program at Torcuato Di Tella University in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Alberto Hurtado University in Santiago, Chile with a concentration in philosophies and politics around human rights and social justice.

Viviana Espinosa, Independent Consultant | Southern California

Viviana Espinosa

Viviana Espinosa is a Regional Coach for Turnaround Arts: California. She develops and facilitates professional development within the national network and collaborates with school leadership teams to strategically enact visions of utilizing the arts and arts integration as a vehicle towards equity, access, and deeper student learning.

Over the previous twelve years, Viviana has earned two masters degrees in education and a literacy specialist credential, while proudly serving at a public TK-8 school as a principal, vice-principal, and classroom teacher. Together with her dynamic school team, she lead her community to demonstrate and realize the power in pairing the arts with student activism as a form of praxis. 

She is a life long learner and critical pedagogist who believes in the pursuit of education as a liberatory experience for all children. As a second generation Latinx woman, Viviana believes that every child is entitled to an engaging, rigorous, relevant, and empowering educational experience. It is with this pursuit that she is driven to reimagine traditional schooling.

Liz Harvey, Independent Arts Integration Consultant | Bay Area

Liz Harvey

Liz Harvey is an interdisciplinary artist and arts educator, arts integration professional development leader, and Visual Thinking Strategies trainer. Liz has served as a teaching artist; a museum educator; college arts education faculty; urban arts education program manager; and an arts strategies teacher coach with a focus on equity in education. She served as the Curator of Education for the University Art Museum and arts education faculty at Cal State Long Beach; managed arts education programming for LACMA serving schools and the J. Paul Getty Museum, where she ran the Summer Family Art program; and spent three years as the Arts Integration Coach for East Oakland School of the Arts/Castlemont High School. She works in sculpture and performance, drawing on craft processes, particularly “women’s handiwork,” to address loss and imagined futures.