Visual & Performing Arts Academy Faculty
Stephen Ross - Vocal Music
Mr. Stephen Ross is the Director of Vocal Music, the Fine Arts Department Co-Chairperson, and the Visual & Performing Arts Academy Coordinator at Skyline High School, where he has taught since 2003. At Skyline, Mr. Ross directs five choirs and teaches Music Technology.
Mr. Ross received his Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Colorado in 2003 where he also founded the a cappella group BufferZone. At CU, he was a finalist in the Anderson Scholarship Voice Competition in 2000 and 2001, and won the award in 2002. He directed the Adams County 14 Choral Festival mixed choir in 2006 and the Northern Colorado Honor Choir Men’s Choir in 2009, and was an adjudicator for the CHSAA Show Choir and Jazz Choir Festival, in 2007. In the spring of 2008, Mr. Ross won the Outstanding Teacher Award for Skyline High School.
Outside of teaching, Mr. Ross also performs regularly with the Boulder based vocal band Face (www.facevocalband.com). Since joining Face, the group has released four CDs, and won many awards including Rocky Mountain Harmony Sweepstakes Champions and National Harmony Sweepstakes runners-up in 2005 and 2007, Best Band in Boulder by the Boulder Weekly and Best Band that Plays the ‘Burbs by the Yellow Scene in 2009, and appeared on the first season of NBC’s “The Sing Off” in December of 2009. Face has performed all over the country including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Fort Worth, Dallas, Detroit, Laramie, Minneapolis, and headlining performances in Las Vegas, but plays mostly in the Denver/Boulder area. Mr. Ross’s contemporary a cappella vocal arrangements are performed throughout the state by high school and college vocal ensembles.
In his spare time, Mr. Ross enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters.
Stephanie Texera - Band
Mrs. Stephanie Texera received a Bachelor of Music Education degree (summa cum laude) from Florida State University and a Master of Music degree in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Colorado at Boulder. During her tenure at CU, she was active in the new music community conducting several premieres for the Pendulum New Music Concert series and CU Wind Ensemble. In the Fall of 2009, she had the honor of conducting “Night Music I” for the “George Crumb at 80 Celebratory Festival” under the guidance of the composer.
Ms. Texera has taught orchestra and band in Colorado and Florida for 13 years. Believing that travel is an extension of the classroom, her ensembles have performed in California, Tennessee, Hawaii, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. This is Ms. Texera’s first year as the Director of Instrumental Music at Skyline High School and second year as the conductor of the Front Range Youth Symphony. She is highly sought after as a guest clinician and conductor throughout Colorado.
In her spare time, Ms. Texera enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband John, traveling, gardening, and doing yoga.
Amy Riddoch - Drama & Dance
Mrs. Amy Riddoch received her Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication and Musical Theatre along with her teaching certificate in Secondary Education from the University of Northern Colorado. Amy has coached, directed and choreographed numerous dance teams, plays, and musicals in different high schools around the state including: Greeley West, Estes Park, University, Windsor, Dakota Ridge, Littleton and Skyline High School. She has directed and choreographed such musicals as Once Upon A Mattress, The Wizard of Oz, The Music Man, Bye-Bye Birdie, Pippin, Hello Dolly, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Guys and Dolls, and Starmites. Straight plays under her direction include: The Butler Did It, Our Town, Rumors, Rest Assured, Improvisational Troupe: Without Warning, and Children’s Theatre: Magical Theatre.
In addition to her experience as a high school educator in English, Dance and Theatre, Amy has over 20 years of experience in the fitness industry as an A.C.E. certified group fitness instructor in various athletic clubs within Colorado including Work Out West, Greeley; Lakewood Athletic Club, Lakewood; Bally Total Fitness instructor and performance team Denver, Littleton, and Lakewood, and the Longmont YMCA. In 2001 Amy won the National Aerobic Championship Fitness Instructor Challenge and was invited to attend the 2001 NAC Boot Camp in South Beach, Florida where she trained with champion fitness instructors and competitors from around the world. Amy Riddoch is living the dream as she teaches a diverse population of students through Dance, Acting and Musical Theatre, helping them discover their true potential and future success here at Skyline High School and beyond.
Chris Huang - Orchestra
Mr. Christian Huang is a versatile musician and teacher. Based in Fort Collins, he has performed with orchestras, chamber groups, and bands across Colorado in a wide variety of venues on viola, piano, guitar, and percussion. He also has worked with ensembles in other capacities, such as music arranger and sound editor.
A passionate teacher, Christian has spearheaded many projects to further educational causes in his position as State President of the National Association for Music Educators. He also actively cultivates his own private studio and never stops in his pursuit of the best for each individual student.
Tony Crank - Stage Technology/Guitar
Mr. Tony Crank is a licensed music educator who has training on the guitar, piano, tuba, trombone, and voice. In addition, Tony is an audio engineer and producer at Airshow Studios in Boulder, where he freelance produces audio projects.
In addition to teaching Stage Technology and Guitar, Tony has also taught Music Technology.
Wendy Nurton - Choir Piano Accompanist
Wendy Nurton is the Choral Accompanist at Skyline High School in Longmont, Colorado. Along with playing piano for the five choirs and voice class at Skyline, she teaches private lessons in Loveland, Colorado.
Mrs. Nurton has been playing piano for over 25 years and received her BA in Music from Colorado State University with an emphasis in vocal performance. She began accompanying in junior high and continued to accompany choirs throughout high school and college. She has studied with Sara McDaniels in Colorado Springs, CO and Robert Moeling in Lindsborg, KS at Bethany College. Mrs. Nurton has had the privilege of playing for the Bethany College choirs in Lindsborg, Kansas as well as for University Singers at CSU. St. Vrain School District performances include Once Upon A Mattress and Annie at Frederick High School, SVVSD Honor Choir, Aida, Tommy and HONK! at Skyline High School. In her free time, Mrs. Nurton enjoys making music and playing board and video games with her husband, daughter and son.
Jennifer McLees - Visual Art
Mrs. Jennifer McLees co-chairs the Visual Arts Department, Fine Arts Department and Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Skyline High School, where she has taught since 1998. In her time at Skyline, she has served as the primary 3-dimensional art teacher, the primary and secondary art club sponsor, the primary National Arts Honor Society sponsor, co-founder of Skyline’s LINK program and founder of the AP Studio Art program. She has also facilitated visual arts field trips to Europe, Santa Fe and various venues in the Denver Metro area. Her current visual arts classes include 3D Design at the beginning and advanced placement level, as well as various levels of Ceramics and Sculpture.
Ms. McLees moved from Norfolk, Virginia in the fall of 1990 to pursue her studies in psychology at the University of Colorado in Boulder. After her freshman year, she traveled for one year with the national youth service organization called Up With People. She then returned to CU and decided to add to her studies both Visual Arts and Arts Education. She graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a Bachelor of Arts in both Fine Art and Psychology, as well as certification to teach k-12 Art in the spring of 1996. Much later, she continued her studies in Visual Arts and Art Education at the University of Northern Colorado and graduated with her MA in the spring of 2010. Her thesis, titled “Igniting the Creative Process: A Contemporary Approach through Play, Personal Narrative and Universal Themes” was published in the fall of 2010.
Outside of teaching, Ms. McLees continues her practice as a professional artist and hopes some day when her daughter is older to display her artwork more regularly and have her ceramic sculpture displayed on the national level in “Ceramics Monthly” magazine.
Traci Gauthier - Visual Art
Traci Gauthier /gō-tē-ā/ has extensively explored the arts since 1993. Her success in the arts took her to the University of California at Santa Barbara. In 2002, she completed a BA in Studio Art with duel emphasis in 2D Design/Photography and Paper Chemistry. In 2005, Gauthier moved to Colorado to pursue a degree in education. Immediately after acquiring her license, she became an art instructor at Skyline High School's Visual & Performing Arts Academy in Longmont, CO. Gauthier teaches digital photography and video production to the 9th-12th grades. She also oversees a student group focused on art, education, and the community, fondly titled, The Delinquent Rabbits Society.
Gauthier is dedicated to sustaining the arts in public education and motivating the next generation to inspire, empower, and excite their communities via their visual manifestations.
Her work is direct reflection of her devotion to education and an interpretation of the institutions that we have created. The spaces that we inhabit, the façades which we wear, are part of the inescapable paradigms of our society that are ever present in Gauthier's photography.
Check out her work at LepusIratus.com
Sara Fadenrecht - Visual Art
Ms. Sara Fadenrecht is a Skyline graduate, (class of 1993), and has been teaching at Skyline since 2001. Throughout her tenure, she has taught Drawing, 3D Cultural Art, Jewelry, Computer Graphics, Crafts, Explorations, Yearbook, 2D Design, and AP Studio Art.
In addition to her art courses, Sara has coached track, basketball and cross country, including Skyline's 2004 State Championship basketball team.
She attended the University of Denver on a basketball scholarship where she earned a BA in Graphic Design, and was inducted into the DU Athletics Hall of Fame in October of 2010. Sara earned a Masters degree in Education from Lesley University in 2005.
Her passions outside of school lie with my 6 horses, 2 donkeys, 2 dogs and 2 cats. She loves to create art and dabble in many different mediums, from photography to woodworking, glasswork to sewing, drawing to metalsmithing (jewelry).
"I love what I do and I'm a Falcon through and through!!!"
Justin Warren - Visual Art
Mr. Justin Warren grew up in Longmont, and graduated from Longmont High School (his wife of 7 years is a Skyline grad). He enjoys snowboarding, and rollerblading (yes, I still rollerblade! I do tricks!)
He enjoys playing around on the computer with Adobe software. In addition, he likes to draw and make sculptures, and during his student teaching, he fell in love with jewelry.
Mrs. Hope Nazzaro is the Design teacher at Skyline High School. She has taught here since 2008. Mrs. Nazzaro introduced the Design classes in the St. Vrain School District in 2010. She started and helped develop the district standards and curriculum. At Skyline, Mrs. Nazzaro also teachers Family and Consumer Sciences classes which includes Parenting, Living On Your Own, Relationships, and Health.
Mrs. Nazzaro received her Bachelor of Family and Consumer Sciences from Colorado State University in 2004. She has taught at Roosevelt High School in Johnstown, CO and at Frederick High School in Frederick, CO. She found her home at Skyline and enjoys being at such a great and advanced school.
Outside teaching, Mrs. Nazzaro loves spending her time incorporating design into her life. She enjoys creating new ideas and designing her own house. She also is happy to create new costumes for her son while also staying in tune with today’s top fashion trends.