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

Arts Education Connection San Diego| Southern California

Arts Education Connection San Diego provides high-quality education programs that inspire students of all ages to reach their full potential through the arts. Our professional teaching artists come to your school or community venue to engage your students in learning an art form!

Deirdre Moore

Deirdre Moore is a passionate educator whose expertise is in integrating the arts with other core curriculum to create deeper, more rigorous and more engaging learning experiences for students of all ages. Deirdre’s interests, experiences and innate abilities align with both the performing arts and education so her entire life brought her to study both education and the arts earning her a B.S. in Special Education from the University of St. Joseph in Connecticut and led her to study the integration of the two for her M.Ed. at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. With nearly 30 years in the field of education, Deirdre has a wide range of experiences that help her to see the big picture while attending to the details and relating to all the players. From teaching early childhood music and movement to mentoring educators in arts integration, Deirdre has leveraged her wealth of acquired knowledge to guide her work as classroom teacher, teaching artist, writer, curriculum developer, program manager, instructional coach and professional development leader. She is thrilled to be working with Turnaround Arts:CA again to support schools striving to improve education through the power of the arts.

Creative Coaching for Arts & Equity

Creative Coaching for Arts & Equity’s mission is to support the growth of culturally responsive, arts-centered teaching and learning communities and structures that center students’ belonging, joy and growth. Our values are multiracial collaboration, racial and gender equity, creativity, relationships, joy, warmth, and culturally sustaining pedagogy.

Liz Harvey

Liz Harvey founded Creative Coaching for Arts & Equity in 2021. She is a visual artist, administrator, and teacher. During the past two decades, she has served as Regional Director for Visual Thinking Strategies, Curator of Education for the University Art Museum and arts education faculty at Cal State Long Beach; manager of arts education programs at LACMA and the J. Paul Getty Museum, where she ran the Summer Family Art program; and Arts Integration Coach for East Oakland School of the Arts/Castlemont High School. As a visual artist, Liz focuses on queer ecologies and textile-based explorations by making both objects and performance. For performance projects, she works with key collaborators in choreography, dance, science, and embroidery. Projects have been shown in California, New York and Italy, including Plan-d Gallery and the Los Angeles River, San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, the deYoung Museum, and Salesforce Park. Harvey is a founding member of Mending Collective, an artists’ collective that supports mending practices as a way to push back against consumption and waste in the garment industry. She holds an MFA in Sculpture from Cal State Long Beach.

Rachel-Anne Palacios

Rachel-Anne Palacios has made a name for herself in the Bay Area art world. A self-taught, multicultural artist, her pieces reflect the respect she has for culture, religion, traditional values, elders, and the cycle of life and death. Palacios grew up amongst Oakland’s cultural diversity in a household headed by her mother and grandmother who was a mentor, teacher, coach, and friend. In her search for healing, Palacios researched a variety of cultural beliefs about death after a good friend was killed in 1992. Dia de los Muertos helped her to find that healing path. And in 2004, 2005 and 2007 Palacios was selected to show work for the Oakland Museum’s annual Dia de los Muertos exhibition. In addition to her artwork, she has been a panelist for the Oakland Cultural Arts Funding Program in 2003 and 2004 and also provided administrative support for the City of Oakland’s Cultural Funding Program during their panel process from 2005-2009. She was an awardee of the program in 2017 and 18. Rachel was an active member of the Dia de los Muertos Committee at the Oakland Museum from 2004-2012 and was a Museum Educator at the Oakland Museum of CA from 2004-2016. She is now sharing her cultural arts education programming with Bella Vista, Cleveland Elementary and Rudsdale Newcomer Continuation School in Oakland and a number of city and county libraries throughout the Bay Area. Rachel-Anne is also a teaching artist in the fine arts department at the Crucible in Oakland and with Youth in Arts in Marin County. 

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

Danielle Reo, Program Director, CoTA (Collaborations: Teachers and Artists) (MBA Entrepreneurship and Management, San Diego State University, BA in Art History and Studio Art, University of California, Santa Cruz). From visual arts to finance, Danielle’s unique skill sets have been successfully integrated within San Diego’s nonprofit sector. Spanning over three 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 associate director of inSite97, a binational collaborative artistic venture of 27 nonprofit institutions in San Diego and Tijuana. She has consulted with small businesses and nonprofit arts organizations in accounting, organization development, arts education programming, and marketing. In addition to serving as CoTA’s Program Director, Danielle is Finance Director of Installation Gallery/inSite and a Certified Public Accountant with Lazarus Goldbarg & Associates LLP.

Renee Weissenburger

Reneé Weissenburger draws on her passion for literature, photography, and history to inform her work both in the studio and classroom. When teaching photography, literature, creative writing, and arts integration strategies at UCSD Extension, National University, and USD, she strives to expand students’ sensitivity, perception, critical thinking, and creative skills. For over twenty years, Reneé has served as lead artist for CoTA (Collaboration of Teachers and Artists), a not-for-profit professional development organization which provides in-depth arts-integration training for public school teachers. Her work with CoTA uses writing, photography, assemblage, and installation art to guide students and teachers to investigate literature, history, and science.  She enjoys collaborating with writers and, in the last few years, has designed and created photographic trailers for book releases.




Everyday Arts for Special Education | Los Angeles, CA

Everyday Arts produces collaborative and creative learning opportunities for students and families with diverse needs by providing engaging art-integration Professional Development for educators. Using the power of the arts to foster human connection, our research-based methodology combines social-emotional learning with arts and academic skills to support student growth.

Vanessa Ramirez

Vanessa Ramirez is a bilingual and bicultural teaching artist, social change activist, and special education advocate from Guatemala who is skilled in working with culturally diverse populations. She received her BA in Theatre Education with a Teaching License from UNC, Colorado. In the last 10 years, Vanessa has created and written inclusive curriculum, lead professional development workshops, integrated the arts in everyday curriculum with children with special needs through Everyday Arts for Special Education, implemented theatre for the oppressed workshops stateside and in Guatemala, developed bilingual programs for ELL, and taught theatre in Italy, Mexico and various in school and after school programs in NYC and Los Angeles. Vanessa is a true third culture child with a determination to transform lives through education, locally and abroad.

Noemy Hernandez

Bio forthcoming.

The Good Word Education Consulting

April Mosby

April is a Los Angeles, California native who attended local public and Catholic schools. She is a graduate of Immaculate Heart High School and received her Bachelors & Masters degrees from Loyola Marymount University in Education. She has been a classroom teacher and Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) in the Lennox School District since 1988, and is the founder and senior consultant of The Good Word Education Consulting Group ( As a veteran K-8 educator, she has held a variety of leadership positions, supervised many university student teachers, and held adjunct professor positions at Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology and University of Phoenix. She has had the honor of being recognized as Teacher of the Year in the Lennox School District, which led to being a L.A. County finalist. Not coincidentally, the year of this recognition was at the height of arts Integration at the school where there was a partnership with the L.A. Philharmonic and The Grammy Foundation. April is very active in her local church (Center of Hope, Inglewood) where she is a teacher in the children’s ministry and is a co-leader of a soon-to-be 501c4 social justice group, which promotes civic engagement. April and her husband of 30 years have two adult daughters and two twin granddaughters. They live in Los Angeles and enjoy traveling, especially to Caribbean islands.

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 is a Program Manager in the Classroom Studio and Educator Development departments at P.S.ARTS, where she works with teaching artists in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and serves as the Regional Coach for multiple schools across Los Angeles through the Turnaround Arts:California program. Rebecca received her Bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts and Social Justice with an emphasis in Dance from the University of San Francisco. She moved to Los Angeles in 2011 where she worked as a Program Coordinator in youth programs in Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles, including managing and teaching performing arts programs. Rebecca graduated from UCLA’s Teacher Education Program with a Graduate degree in Education, as well as her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and a Bilingual Authorization in Spanish. She taught fifth-grade math and science in East Los Angeles.

Jaime Reichner

Jaime Reichner, M.A. is a teaching artist, administrator, and arts integration specialist. She is the Senior Program Manager of Educator Development at P.S. ARTS where she coaches classroom teachers and provides support to arts faculty. A teaching artist since 2001, Jaime has facilitated workshops for dozens of non-profits, theatre companies, school districts, and universities including CalArts, Occidental College, and University of Rwanda. She has a masters in Applied Theatre Arts (USC) where she focused on the intersection of liberation arts and community engagement.

Independent Artists and Practitioners

Alex Karas

Alex is a career-long educator working in the fields of visual and media arts. He has served as a PreK-8 visual arts teacher in Chicago Public Schools, an Arts Education Consultant for Davis Publications, and Director of Arts Programs for LA Promise Fund. His work has included overseeing the Education Program for the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative and directing a U.S. Department of Education grant focused on media arts integration. He holds a B.S. in Art Education from the University of Dayton and a M.A. in Teaching and Learning from Roosevelt University.

Sandy Seufert

Sandy hails from Los Angeles and has over 20 years of experience in strategic planning, teaching artist training, curriculum development, program management, and professional development for both classroom teachers and teaching artists. She is happy to join Turnaround Arts: CA this year after having been part of the initial program start-up some years ago. She currently works as a District Coach with the Arts Ed Collective at the Department of Arts and Culture where she helps school districts create strategic plans for the arts. She has also done extensive work in arts integration with particular focus on Common Core Standards in Math and English Language Arts as well as the Next Generation Science Standards. Sandy has worked for a wide variety of arts education organizations including PS Arts, the Arts + STEM Collaborative, Turnaround Arts: California, The Armory Center for the Arts, The Music Center Performing Arts Center, Los Angeles Opera, Dramatic Results, the Da Camera Society and more. In addition, Sandy has served the field of arts education by serving on the several advisory councils and boards supporting the field of teaching artistry. Just prior to her work in arts administration, she worked as a teaching artist in a middle school with young cellists and violinists. In addition, she worked in special education with Los Angeles Unified School District for over ten years. Sandy also currently doubles as a professional cellist, specializing in classical and jazz, and as a fiddler playing Scandinavian folk music for local dances and festivals.