Arts Program Staff
Ms. Carly Erina
Ms. Erina began teaching 9 years ago and has been a teacher at CKSS for the past 5 years. She has been a coach for the dance team, as well as for the cross country and track and field teams. She is also the teacher advisor for Arts Council, which is a student-centered group that focuses on promoting the arts at CKSS. When she was four, she began taking dance classes and then specialized in Latin, ballroom, hip hop, jazz, tap, contemporary, lyrical, and Cecchetti ballet. Her love of dance was then broadened as she became a member of a performing arts company in Windsor, Ontario. She has been a dance team captain multiple times and a dancer in professional musicals, such as Grease and Jesus Christ Superstar. Her passion for teaching was driven by dance as she became a dance instructor at the age of 16, teaching young children, teenagers, and adults. Ms. Erina attended the University of Windsor and graduated with an Honours in Bachelor of Human Kinetics.
Ms. Erina has enjoyed coaching the well-recognized and respected CKSS Dance Team. She supports student voices and creativity, which has helped the team become so successful. Ms. Erina has a passion for supporting students to become confident leaders and provides many opportunities for her students to feel safe and welcomed in the dance studio. She encourages dancers to engage in dance education, centered around many dance styles, and recently has become very interested in cultural and Latin origins of dance. Ms. Erina focuses on dance class being an open and fun learning environment that provides exciting ways to learn and be challenged, no matter the student's level of experience. She cannot wait to share her love of dance with you!
Ms. Melanie Randall
Melanie Randall has been teaching and coaching dance at the LKDSB for over 20 years. Her lifelong passion for dance began at the age of two, continued as she attended Canada's National Ballet School at age 9, and inspired her to earn teaching certification in Ballet with the Royal Academy of Dancing and National Dance with the British Association of Teachers of Dance. She has also studied and performed jazz, tap, Modern dance, choreographed and produced numerous musical theatre and dance productions. Randall started teaching dance professionally in grade 10, completed her Honours Bachelor of Arts in Dance at the University of Waterloo, her Bachelor of Education at the University of Windsor, and her Honours Specialist in Dance at York University.
Ms. Randall founded the CKSS Dance Program in 2001, the Dance Team in 2002 and she has been the head coach of the team ever since. Under her guidance, this student-led team has won dozens of awards including a provincial championship in 2007. Ms. Randall has a passion for helping students improve their technique as well as providing opportunities for student dancers to become confident, creative leaders through choreography and teaching. Most of all, Ms. Randall wants dance class to be a fun, enjoyable, and challenging experience for beginners, advanced dancers, and anyone in between who just loves to dance!
Ms. Lindsey Mihoren
Ms. Mihoren believes that art is one of the most powerful tools to bring people together. Throughout her four years as a teacher for the LKDSB, she has had the pleasure of watching students build community, confidence, and voice through their experiences with the arts. She completed her Honours Bachelor of Arts in English and History at the University of Toronto, where she developed a passion for writing poetry, short fiction, literary essays, and comedy sketches. She then continued her studies at the University of Toronto, completing her Master of Teaching with a focus on fostering self-efficacy in the secondary classroom.
She has previously taught junior and senior drama, where her students wrote, rehearsed, and performed bi-yearly variety shows. Ms. Mihoren currently teaches English at CKSS, where she uses her love of the arts to connect her courses across disciplines, encouraging students to adopt various mediums of expression and storytelling. She is a staff advisor for the National Theatre School Drama Festival at CKSS, and a part of the festival organizing committee.
Ms. Hillary Randall
Ms. Hillary Randall has been a drama teacher with the LKDSB for 20 years. Ms. H. Randall attended Chatham Kent Secondary School as a student, and she had the opportunity to participate in the SEARS Drama Festival as an actor and a student director. This experience, along with taking drama classes and acting in plays with Theatre Kent, inspired Ms. H. Randall to become a secondary school teacher. She wanted to share her passion for theatre with others and provide them with the same opportunities that she had in high school. So, after graduating from CKSS, Ms. Randall attended Brock University and studied English Language and Literature and Theatre Arts and then went to Teacher's College at the University of Windsor.
Ms. H. Randall has been a staff advisor for the former SEARS Drama Festival and has helped students achieve the highest level of recognition at the festival - earning a spot at the Ontario Showcase. The thing that brings Ms. H. Randall the most joy is seeing drama students grow and gain confidence through the dramatic arts and watching them build strong relationships with other students who share their passion.
Mrs. Karen St. Peter-Catton
Mrs. St. Peter-Catton has been a drama teacher and coach for more than twenty years with the LKDSB. Her passion for theatre began in elementary school and continued into high school when she attended the Stratford Festival and participated in the former SEARS Drama Festival. Mrs. St. Peter-Catton went on to study Drama in Education at the University of Windsor and completed her Drama Specialist while studying in Stratford, Ontario.
Mrs. St. Peter-Catton has been teacher advisor of the National Theatre Festival, formerly the SEARS Drama Festival, for more than fifteen years and has served multiple roles on the festival organizing committee. Under her leadership students have been recognized by adjudicators of the festival for their writing, direction, performance, and technical production.
Mrs. St. Peter-Catton founded the C.K.S.S. Improv Team in 2004 and has been the head coach since its inception. The team participates yearly in the Canadian Improv Games. The team has been very successful at the regional level and students have developed friendships with student improvisers across the country. Mrs. St. Peter-Catton also enjoys taking students to attend theatre productions locally as well as in Stratford, Toronto, New York, Chicago, and all places in between!
Mrs. St. Peter-Catton is a proud member of the arts department at C.K.S.S. and she loves watching students grow in the program as they develop confidence, teamwork, leadership, and lasting friendships.
Mrs. Allie Tope
Mrs. Tope is a staff advisor and organizer of the National Theater School Drama Festival. As a Sears Drama Festival alumna herself, she shares her love of drama and helps make theater accessible to all students. The National Theater School Drama Festival brings together drama enthusiasts from across Ontario to perform/participate in a one-act play locally, with the opportunity to progress to the regional and national levels. The festival offers opportunities for students to participate and explore playwriting, directing, acting, stage management, and sound and lighting design.
In addition to advising the NTS Drama Festival team, Mrs. Tope teaches French, French Immersion and Spanish at CKSS and has been teaching for the LKDSB for several years. Mrs. Tope believes that opportunities in languages and dramatic arts will lead students to build confidence, leadership, and creativity skills. Mrs. Tope infuses dramatic moments into her classroom whenever possible, and loves to share French and Spanish culture, music, art, and dramatic pieces with her students.
Mrs. Christine Baribeau
Ms. Baribeau has been working with young musicians in the LKDSB for over 20 years. More than 12 of these have been spent at CKSS where she has worked alongside outstanding teachers to create many opportunities in the performing arts. As someone who was drawn to music as early as she can remember, she took in all that her public-school experiences presented her: violin and vocal instruction beginning in kindergarten, elementary choir, playing clarinet and percussion in the school Concert Band, vocal masterclasses, private vocal training, vocal jazz, high school choir and musical theatre productions directed by New York trained directors. All of these opportunities drove her to dream of one day creating the same for her students.
Ms. Baribeau has directed the past 10 of CKSS' long tradition of musicals and during this time has taken the shows to the Capitol Theatre where the students could perform in a full-scale theatre that is complete with a pit orchestra. She is extremely proud of the explosion of the vocal program at the school which allows students in grades 9-12 the opportunity to discover all the benefits of vocal classes taught by a classically trained singer. Ms. Baribeau also directs the Concert Band and teaches the Instrumental Band, Guitar and Vocal classes. The choirs and bands at CKSS have received high honours in festivals within the last 10 years.
Ms. Baribeau regularly participates in community choirs and theatrical productions in both Windsor and the Chatham-Kent communities as a chorister, actress, soloist, and director. It is important for her to demonstrate to her students giving back and participation in the local music scene.
Ms. Baribeau studied at the University of Windsor for both her undergraduate and Bachelor of Education degrees. She continues to study voice privately as a student as she believes fully that there is never a time to stop learning.
Mrs. Veronika Redfern
Mrs. Redfern has been teaching Instrumental Music and Visual Art at CKSS since 2015. She began learning violin at the age of two, and piano at age 7. She learned the horn in high school and went on to study horn and music education at Wilfrid Laurier University. She still plays horn as a soloist and in a variety of ensembles, including the Chatham Concert Band, the Occasional Five Plus One Brass Sextet, the St. Andrew's Chamber Orchestra, and for musicals put on by Theatre Kent.
Through her role at CKSS, she directs the Junior Band and Jazz Band. Under her direction, the ensembles have received high ratings and awards in festivals in Chatham, Sarnia, and Windsor. She also is the Music Director for musicals at CKSS and conducts the Pit Orchestra for CKs shows.
Mrs. Karen Bourassa
Karen Bourassa began teaching Visual Arts in the LKDSB in 2005. Mrs. Bourassa (a former CKSS Hawk) studied Fine Arts (painting focus) and Sociology at the University of Windsor where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. As an active visual artist, Mrs. Bourassa identifies as a painter and ceramicist. Her work has been showcased in both solo and group gallery exhibitions.
As a visual arts teacher, Mrs. Bourassa strongly believes in fostering creative thinking skills. She believes taking risks is essential to growth and that learning is a lifelong journey.
Mrs. Leah Van
Leah Van Middelkoop has always had a love of reading fiction and curling up with a good book ever since she was a child and couldn't wait to nurture that love in students. Mrs. Van Middelkoop studied English Literature and History at the University of Guelph where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts. She then went on to pursue teacher's college at the University of Windsor. She has been a teacher with the LKDSB for 13.5 years and, along with teaching English, has had the pleasure of teaching Grade 9 Art as well, which has become a passion and hobby.
Mrs. Van Middelkoop enjoys the process of painting, clay, printmaking, and sketching, and enjoys fostering creativity in her students. Her Art room is always noisy with the hustle and bustle of various activities. She also loves bringing that artistic energy to the English classroom, where a lot of choice and freedom is offered for various assignments. Along with her wide range of subject abilities, she offers a warm and inviting environment for her students to show their understanding of the subject matter in a variety of ways that suits their own skills.
Arts courses are offered to all students at CKSS in grades 9 through 12 in all four disciplines:
Students have fun using the creative process to create and present dance compositions through the rehearsal of dance performance skills and the use of stagecraft to enhance performances. The critical analysis process asks students to reflect on what they learn about dance through their participation. Students evaluate their own work and the work of others, explore the art form of dance as an academic discipline by understanding how the human body moves, expand technical vocabulary, and explore dance history around the world. Students expand their awareness of the dance studio environment with respect to safety, ethics, and etiquette.
Dance students transform images, ideas, and feelings into movement sequences through innovative choreography and engagement in dance. Dance provides an understanding of world issues and exploration of a variety of cultures. Students use all of the elements of dance (body, space, time, energy, relationship) to create artistic dance pieces that explore themes and express ideas and moods. The art of dance should be shared, allowing students to experience the dynamic relationship between the rehearsal process and formal performance.
In the junior years, drama students are introduced to a variety of dramatic forms. Students have an opportunity to collaborate and create original works while developing their technique. Students will develop their understanding of how to stage a theatrical performance and have an opportunity to present their work in a public forum.
In the senior years, drama students refine their techniques in performance, stage production and playwriting. A greater emphasis focuses on challenging the students to interpret dramatic texts and use of dramatic forms, elements, techniques, and technology to present their ideas.
FRENCH IMMERSION DRAMA
Are you a French Immersion student looking to continue in the program in high school? You now have the chance to take Drama in French and earn your grade 9 arts credit! Students can choose to participate in all the fun of a drama class, and work on their French communication skills in this interactive class. This course counts as one of the 10 French Immersion credits needed to earn a French Immersion certificate when you graduate.
Students are introduced to instrumental music (woodwind, brass and percussion instruments) and create and perform music aimed at developing technique, sensitivity, and imagination. Emphasis is primarily on playing, development of sound, and performance with a junior band. Students will develop musical literacy skills by using the creative and critical analysis processes in composition, performance, and a range of reflective and analytical activities. They will develop an understanding of the conventions and elements of music and of safe practices related to music and will develop a variety of skills transferable to other areas of their life. No prior musical knowledge is required: We will meet you where you are and find a way to provide all students with a fulfilling and memorable experience.
Vocal music courses help students develop their voices as an instrument through an increased awareness of pitch, melody, harmony, beat, rhythm, tempo, dynamics and other expressive controls, and apply them to create and perform works related to their personal interests. Students also review, evaluate, reflect, and comment on their own and others' creative work. Students develop technique but also use music to communicate their aesthetic and personal values.
Performance technique and theory are explored through informal presentations and more formal performances. By experiencing, analysing, and commenting on the performances of others, students enhance their understanding of the value of other musicians and cultures.
The guitar course offered in Grade 11 emphasizes the appreciation, analysis and performance of various kinds of music. The course develops students' musical literacy through performance and the preparation and presentation of music productions. Students will perform works at a level consistent with previous experience. Independently and collaboratively, students will use current technology and the creative and critical analysis processes to plan, produce, present, and market musical productions. Students will respond to, reflect on, and analyze music from various genres and periods, and they will develop skills transferable to other aspects of their life and their careers.
Visual arts include studio work and art appreciation. Visual artists turn seeing into vision and translate reality into symbols and connections, helping students use their imagination and make creative choices to communicate their ideas, observations, emotions, and values. Students create works of art that integrate colour, form, line, shape, space, texture, and more. Students explore design principles and use them to arrange artistic elements to produce visual effects.
Students produce art works using various media, processes, traditional techniques and emerging technologies. By creating their own artistic work, students enhance their ability to respond to and interpret existing works. Students learn how art works construct and record the history, values, and beliefs of various societies and cultures. Visual arts students experience a wide range of artwork, including the rich heritage of Canadian art, which helps them to understand and appreciate the range and significance of artistic expression, locally, in Canada, and around the world.