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 Stewarts Creek Fine Arts Academy    

About

The Stewarts Creek Fine Arts Academy is a conservatory-style education within Stewarts Creek High School, offering students a focused study in the Arts while enjoying the benefits of a comprehensive high school.  The Stewarts Creek Fine Arts Academy will include

  • A process-based curriculum, focusing on collaboration and student leadership;

  • Specialized Fine Arts courses in addition to performance and studio-based classes;

  • Dual-Enrollment classes in the Fine Arts;

  • Weekly performance opportunities for Fine Arts students;

  • Monthly seminars on Fine Arts topics with distinguished faculty and guest artists;

  • Bi-annual field trips for Fine Arts students to visit professional artist performers;

 

As a part of the Fine Arts Academy, Stewarts Creek will offer the Arts Certificate, a four-year diploma program that offers the highest-achieving students guided opportunities for growth, such as

  • Monthly advisory sessions for Certificate applicants with Stewarts Creek Arts faculty;

  • Yearly performance evaluations;

  • An online Arts portfolio;

  • A senior Capstone Recital/Portfolio juried by Stewarts Creek faculty;

  • A gateway to post-secondary study via priority access to our Partner Colleges/Universities;

  • Increased scholarship opportunities;

  • A college-level Arts education in high school.

Faculty

Music

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Debbie Burton

Jazz Band I, Jazz Band II, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Colorguard, Percussion

burtond@rcschools.net

Debbie Burton joined the faculty at Stewarts Creek High School as band director in 2015. She shares the administrative and instructional responsibilities of the instrumental program which includes three concert bands, two jazz bands, percussion ensemble, and marching band. Prior to this position, she served in similar positions in the Metro Nashville Public Schools and Columbus, Georgia.

Ms. Burton served the Middle Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association as the organization’s 38th President. She previously served the Tennessee Music Education Association as the state band chair.

In 2007, she was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity and served as President of the Tennessee Eta Chapter from 2017-2019.

Ms. Burton earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Middle Tennessee State University and a Master of Music degree from Columbus State University.

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Michael Chester

Jazz Band I, Jazz Band II, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Colorguard, Percussion

chesterm@rcschools.net

Michael Chester joined the faculty of Stewarts Creek High School upon its opening in the fall of 2013. He works collaboratively in guiding all facets of the band program, sharing administrative and instructional responsibilities. Prior to this position, he served as a graduate teaching assistant in the School of Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to graduate work, Mr. Chester served as a band director for the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools.

Mr. Chester currently serves as Executive Director for the Tennessee Music Education Association. Previously he served the Tennessee Music Education Association as the managing editor of the Tennessee Musician, a quarterly journal for music educators in Tennessee. Mr. Chester also served the Middle Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association for two elected terms as a member of the executive board from 2009-2011 and then again from 2013-2015.  In 2011, he was inducted into Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity.

Mr. Chester earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Middle Tennessee State University and a Master of Music Degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Alexis Yatuzis-Derryberry

Guitar I, Guitar II, Songwriting I, Songwriting II, Beats Laboratory, Playlist, Percussion

derryberrya@rcschools.net

Ms. Derryberry joined the Stewarts Creek Arts Academy Faculty in 2021.  Ms. D has taught at Siegel Middle School, Lascassas Elementary and is  also an adjunct music education instructor at Middle Tennessee State University. Ms. D is the current President for the Tennessee Music Education Association.

Ms. D has been recognized as Team Teacher of the Year by TAMS, Siegel Middle and Lascassas Elementary Teacher of the Year, as well as Rutherford County Teacher of the Year for the middle school and elementary levels.

Ms. D is dually certified in K-12 vocal/general music and instrumental music. She received her Bachelors of Music and Masters of Arts from Middle Tennessee State University. She holds additional certifications in Orff-Schulwerk Level I and II, Feierabend First Steps in Music and Conversational Solfege, Songwriting and Production from Little Kids Rock, and Guitar Instruction from Teaching Guitar Workshop. Ms. D’s primary instrument is percussion. She has marched with Music City Mystique and The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. Ms. D was also awarded First Place in the Percussive Arts Society Collegiate Keyboard Solo competition.

Susan Kelly

Cantus Novus, Bel Canto, Chorale, Giovani Voci, Athena Treble Choir, Meistersingers, DE Ear Training

kellysu@rcschoos.net

Dr. Kelly joined the Stewarts Creek Choral Program in Fall of 2020.  Prior to that, Dr. Kelly served as an Assistant Professor of Music/Choral Director at Tennessee State University and taught public school in Pennsylvania.  She currently serves as an associate conductor for Vox Grata Women’s Choir and as a soprano section leader at Westminster Presbyterian Church.  Dr. Kelly also works as a guest conductor, having recently conducted the KY-ACDA All-State SATB Middle-School Choir, as well as choirs in Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia.  Currently, Dr. Kelly is also serving as the Vice President of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.

Delana Easley

Collaborative Piano

Delana Easley is in her fourth year as a member of the Fine Arts staff at Stewarts Creek High School, where she accompanies the choirs, instrumental studio recitals, and theatre workshops.

Prior to her employment at SCHS, Mrs. Easley served as Collaborative Pianist for the Department of Music at the University of Tennessee at Martin. During her highly successful, seventeen-year tenure, she accompanied the university choirs, coached and accompanied undergraduate vocal and instrumental students, and collaborated with faculty soloists, chamber ensembles, and guest artists in recital. Other rewarding engagements included volunteering with the Jackson (TN) Symphony Orchestra’s integrative medicine and outreach program, serving as musical director for productions by the University of Tennessee at Martin’s Vanguard Theater and the local community’s Masquerade Theater, and working as a church musician for over thirty years.

In demand as a collaborative pianist in the Middle Tennessee area, Mrs. Easley accompanies the Nashville Chamber Singers, Nashville Symphony Accelerando students, and the Tennessee All-State Choirs.

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Brian Russell

Cantus Novus, Bel Canto, Chorale, Giovani Voci, Athena Treble Choir, Meistersingers, DE Music Theory

russellb@rcschools.net

Dr. Russell founded the Stewarts Creek Choral Program when the school opened in 2013.  Prior to Stewarts Creek, Dr. Russell taught at Illinois Wesleyan University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and taught middle and high school vocal and instrumental music at five different schools in Rutherford and Sumner counties.

A native of Nashville, Dr. Russell received his undergraduate degree in music education from Middle Tennessee State University and his Masters and Doctorate degrees in conducting from the Eastman School of Music.  Dr. Russell is Director of Music at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Franklin, TN and is Executive Director of Murfreesboro's Ethos Youth Ensembles.  Dr. Russell is the State Adjudication Festival Coordinator for the Tennessee Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association and is All State Choral Chair for the Tennessee Music Educators Association.  He lives in Murfreesboro with his wife and three children, all of whom attend Stewarts Creek schools.

Theater

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Lindsey Duggin

Intro to Theater, Intermediate Acting, Advanced Acting/Directing, Theater Projects, Stagecraft, Film & TV

dugginl@rcschools.net

Lindsey Mapes Duggin has been a professional performer and arts educator in the Nashville theatre community and surrounding areas for over 6 years.  She graduated from MTSU in 2014 with a Bachelor's degree in theatre and a minor in vocal performance.  She is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction from MTSU.

 

As a performer, she has worked professionally with companies including the Cumberland County Playhouse (CCP), Nashville Repertory Theatre, and Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre. She has also worked in Nashville as a recording artist on demo tracks for MTI’s Broadway jr. collection. For three years she held the position of Director of Arts Education at the Arts Center of Cannon County in Woodbury, Tn. While she was there, she coordinated the “Young at Art” School show series, ran their Summer Youth Conservatory program, directed and produced performances, and wrote and defended grants on a state level. Directing, Performing, and Teaching theatre have always been her greatest passions. She believes deeply in the lessons that theatre can teach both on stage and off. 

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Donald Fann

Intro to Theater, Intermediate Acting, Advanced Acting/Directing, Theater Projects, Stagecraft, Film & TV

fannd@rcschools.net

Donald Fann founded the theater program at Stewarts Creek High School where he was selected as The Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts 2016 Teacher of the Year.  With over 25 years of teaching experience, he holds a B.F.A. in Theater from the University of Memphis, a M.Ed. from Middle Tennessee State University and has received training as a Teaching Artist from The Lincoln Center Institute, the Wolftrap Institute, Foxfire Teacher Training Program, as well as The Tennessee Arts Commission’s Peer Advisory Network. He served for 19 years as Executive Director of the Arts Center of Cannon County, where he founded the Grammy Award winning record label Spring Fed Records and where he founded the Summer Youth Conservatory Program that has become a model in the Mid-State. He received the 2013 Governor’s Award for the Arts in Arts Leadership for contributions to the state’s arts community. He is a former Chair of both Tennesseans for the Arts and for Humanities Tennessee and primary guest director at Cumberland County Playhouse.  His extensive theatrical background includes over 250 credits for directing, design, and performance from across the state.  Donald currently lives on his family farm outside of Woodbury with his wife, Cortilla and his three daughters, Chloe, Hattie and Corinne.

Visual Art

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Kimberly Riser

Art 1, Drawing and Painting, Art 3/4

riserk@rcschools.net

Ms. Riser has been part of the Stewarts Creek Art education Program sice 2016. Her roles at The Creek include National Art Society Sponsor and Senior Sponsor.  Prior to Stewarts Creek Ms. Riser designed and taught Art curriculum for K-12 students. Teaching for Lewis County High School for nine years.

 

Born in Ohio, Ms. Riser received her undergraduate degree in Art Education from Kent State University and her Masters degree in Administration and Supervision from Middle Tennessee State University in 2013.  Ms. Riser lives in Murfreesboro with her three children.

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Tucker Webb

Art 1, Ceramics, Sculpture

webbw@rcschools.net

Mr. Webb teaches Visual Art, Ceramics, and Sculpture in the Stewarts Creek Art Program. He has been a part of the Stewarts Creek Fine Arts faculty since 2018.  Prior to Stewarts Creek, Mr. Webb taught Visual Art at a high school in Nashville. 

Mr. Webb is a native of Nashville, and received his bachelor’s degree in Art Education with a minor in Secondary Education from Middle Tennessee State University. He lives in Murfreesboro with his wife and two children.