CFA FACULTY AND STAFF 2016-2017
Specialty Center Director: Dr. Stephanie Poxon
Office Assistant: Donna Pippert
CFA Counselor: Erica Johnson
Production Assistant: Michael Jones
Theresa Niermeyer, Lead Dance Instructor (Levels I, II & IV)
Deedra Harris (Level III)
Musical Theatre Faculty
William (Billy) Dye, Lead Musical Theatre Instructor (Levels I, II & IV)
Morgan Day (Level III)
Tracy Moody (Dance)
Deedra Harris (Dance)
Kim Fox (MT Accompanist)
Todd Ritter, Lead Theatre Instructor (Level I, II & IV)
Emma Givens (Level III)
Brandon Carter (Theatre Movement)
Mariea Terrell (Theatre Movement)
Bridget Lundberg (Theatre Movement)
Visual Art Faculty
Mary Scurlock (Level II & IV)
Genevieve Dowdy (Level I & III)
CFA Faculty Headshots and Bios
Stephanie Poxon, Ph.D., Director
Dr. Stephanie Poxon has served as the Director of the Center for the Arts (CFA) at Henrico High School (HHS) since 2009. Prior to that, she was an instructor of AP Music Theory and CFA Musical Theatre as well as the pianist for HHS and CFA. Dr. Poxon also held the rank of Adjunct Professor on the music faculties of the University of Central Florida, Virginia Commonwealth University, Randolph-Macon College; and was a Senior Music Specialist in the Music Division at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., where she was detailed to the Office of the Librarian and Office of Educational Outreach for the 2005-2006 “Song of America” tour featuring renowned baritone Thomas Hampson. An expert in the field of twentieth-century American opera, she holds a Ph.D. in Musicology (with a minor in Music Theory) from the Catholic University of America, with a dissertation entitled “From Sketches to Stage: The Genesis of Samuel Barber’s Vanessa” (2005). She earned her Master of Music (emphasis in Musicology) from the University of Florida in 1998 and a Bachelor of Music Education (summa cum laude) from the University of Central Florida in 1995.
Dr. Poxon has served as the Book Review Editor for American Music (University of Illinois Press) as well as Program Annotator for the Richmond Philharmonic Orchestra, and has presented papers at conferences of the American Musicological Society, the College Music Society, the National Council for the Social Studies, the Society for American Archivists, the Society for American Music, and the Library of Congress Treasure Talks Series. She is a contributor to the Encyclopedia of the Blues (Routledge, 2005) and her work has been published in The Society for American Music Bulletin, The Library of Congress Information Bulletin, The Opera Journal, The Journal of Film Music, Social Education, the Song of America Website (www.songofamerica.net), and the Library of Congress Website (www.loc.gov). Dr. Poxon sings in the soprano section of the Richmond Symphony Chorus (since 2007) and is a pianist for many schools, organizations and theatre companies in the greater Richmond area, including Virginia Repertory Theatre’s annual RTCC Awards Ceremony.
Theresa Niermeyer, Lead Dance Teacher, Levels I, II & IV
Theresa Niermeyer, a native of Richmond, Virginia and an alumna of Henrico High School’s Center for the Arts, earned her BFA in Dance from The Ohio State University. In 2012, Ms. Niermeyer traveled to Burkina Faso, West Africa, with the Baker-Tarapaga Dance Project to dance in the Nomad Express Festival held in Ouagadougou. Inspired by her first trip to the African continent, Ms. Niermeyer has been awarded research grants to return three times to train, collaborate and teach with dancers in Burkina Faso, Zambia, and South Africa. She also created and taught a class about “Dance in Global Contexts” to students at Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center in Columbus, OH. In 2014, Ms. Niermeyer was awarded the Marian Wright Edelman Award for “passionate dedication to service and leadership” in the field of Education at Ohio State’s Annual Civic Engagement Banquet. Upon graduation she re-located to Cape Town, South Africa, where she collaborated and performed with local artists, and taught at Happy Feet Youth Project, a community-run Arts program for at-risk youth. Ms. Niermeyer returned to Center for the Arts in 2015 as the part-time dance teacher and was promoted to the Lead Dance Teacher in 2016. Ms. Niermeyer is thrilled to continue sharing her love of movement with the incredible students of this amazing CFA program.
Deedra Harris, Dance Teacher, Level III
Deedra Harris is a Richmond, Virginia native who began her dance career in the ninth grade when she was accepted to attend the Center for the Arts Dance program at Henrico High School under the direction of Ms. Fink. She went on to James Madison University to earn a B.A. in Theatre and Dance. While at James Madison University, Harris participated and performed at the American College Dance Association’s annual conferences, served as co-director for JMU’s Associate Dance Ensemble and attended the JMU London Contemporary Dance and Performance Intensive at the Laban Center. As a member of the Contemporary Dance Ensemble, Deedra has performed faculty pieces as well as works created by guest artists Xan Burley and Alex Springer. She is passionate about teaching dance and has taught Hip Hop and modern technique at a local studio during her time at JMU as well as student taught in Richmond and Newport News. Focusing her last years of college on dance education, Ms. Harris is licensed to teach dance in Virginia schools to grades preK-12. Deedra is a company member of KrasH!Dance Theatre and Studio 4, faculty member at Village Dance Studio and the part-time dance teacher at Henrico High School.
Billy Dye, Lead Musical Theatre Teacher, Levels I, II, and IV
Billy Dye earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Shenandoah Conservatory of Music (now Shenandoah University) and an MM from Virginia Commonwealth University. He served as Vocal Supervisor at Williamsburg VA’s Busch Gardens for numerous years. While there he coached, wrote and directed a variety of shows and vocal styles. Billy was the music coordinator for the National Red Cross Convention, which included conducting a 1,000-voice chorus and orchestra; the music advisor for former Governor Gilmore’s Inaugural Prayer Breakfast; and the guest conductor for the Richmond City All-Elementary School Choir. Not limited to Virginia, Billy’s artistic influence can be heard as far as Branson, Missouri. Billy’s varied background and experiences in the arts are said to make an unquestionable contribution to the growth and development of young, well-rounded performers and musicians. As a result of this contribution, while under his artistic direction, The Richmond Boys Choir was a recipient of the Theresa Pollack Award for Excellence in the Arts and a “Coming Up Taller” award granted by the National Endowment for the Arts as a noteworthy youth focused after-school program. Under Billy’s direction the ensemble proudly performed at the White House award ceremony.
Mr. Dye leads an active music, theatre, film and TV performance career; credits include a small role in the film The Contender, the PBS documentary Nat Turner…a Troublesome Property, a national Kmart commercial featuring gospel artist Cece Winan and numerous local plays, commercials, and radio voice-overs. His theatre performance credits include recent roles in Virginia Repertory Theatre’s award-winning productions of The Color Purple and Dreamgirls and AARTs productions of Crowns and Mahalia. Other performance credits include U of R’s production of Company as Paul, productions of Smokey Joes Café and Ain’t Misbehavin’, Schroeder in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Papa Ge in Once On This Island, Pish-Tush in The Mikado, Marshall in the world premiere of Four Part Harmony and Eubie Blake in Barksdale’s world premiere of Charles Strouse’s Bojangles. Other favorites include Balthazar in Romeo and Juliet, Marcellus in The Music Man, and Rev. Moore in VCU’s I Am a Man. Billy also maintains an active direction, choreography and musical direction schedule including work on professional productions of Blues in the Night, The Taffetas, Beehive and Dreamgirls.
He is presently on the faculty of SPARCs-Live Art, a groundbreaking inclusive arts education program for students with and without disabilities where he conducts the Singing Hands Choir, a singing and signing (ASL) vocal ensemble.
Morgan Day, Musical Theatre Teacher, Level III and Henrico High Choral Director
Morgan Day has been the Director of Choral Activities since fall of 2007 and teaches the Level III Musical Theatre class. Mr. Day was selected by Richmond Magazine’s 2017 “Best and Worst” edition as the Best Choral Director in Richmond, VA. In addition to teaching at Henrico High and the Center for the Arts, Mr. Day is a music director and mentor for CharaterWorks Theater and the Minister of Music at North Run Baptist Church. He and his wife hail from Missouri and have three grown children and one grandchild. His favorite quote is “Nothing will work unless you do.” – Mayo Angelou
Todd Ritter, Lead Theatre Teacher, Levels I, II & IV
Todd Ritter has been the Lead Theatre teacher for the Center for the Arts since 2000. He holds an MFA from the University of Minnesota and a BA from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Mr. Ritter is a two-time finalist for the Community Foundation’s R.E.B. Award for Teaching Excellence as well as the recipient of a 2010 University of Richmond School of Continuing Studies Partners in the Arts grant which facilitated a campus wide look at tolerance and funded a production of The Diary of Anne Frank. As the Henrico High School Lead Drama club sponsor, he is proud of his students’ many accomplishments, including becoming the Virginia Theatre Association’s State Champion in 2005 and 2008. Outside of school, Mr. Ritter frequently serves a director for CharacterWorks as well as for SPARC’s New Voices for the Theatre. Mr. Ritter is a proud husband and father of two incredible kids. He is a devoted Steelers fan who enjoys traveling, eating chocolate, drinking coffee and attempting to play golf.
Emma Givens, Theatre Teacher, Level III
Emma Givens received her BA from Bennington College in 2007, with a concentration in Theatre and Music Composition. It was there she developed her first one-woman cabaret (which she has since performed in Virginia and New York) and her love of new works. In 2008, she founded Meat and Bone Theatre Company, a Brooklyn based theatre company devoted to fostering new, inventive works by local playwrights while creating a home-base for New York actors to learn and grow. A few years later, she packed her bags and moved to Charlottesville, VA to perform such great roles as Helena, Rosalind, and Beatrice in The Hamner Theatre‘s Virginia Winery Shakespeare Tours. While in Virginia, she also directed undergraduate productions of The Memorandum and Six Characters In Search of an Author at PVCC. In 2017, she earned her MFA in Theatre Pedagogy with a concentration in dramaturgy and dramatic literature from Virginia Commonwealth University. During her time in Richmond, she has also continued championing new works through her work with Firehouse Theatre.
Mary Scurlock, Co-Lead Visual Arts Teacher, Levels II & IV
Mary Scurlock is a painter and mixed media artist who currently lives in Richmond, VA. She teaches in the Center for the Arts and the International Baccalaureate programs in Henrico County Public Schools. She was recipient of the Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowship, 2001, Secondary Art Teacher of the Year for the State of Virginia, 2006 and was a Semi-Finalist in the Bethesda Painting Award, 2010. She was a recipient of the 2012 Surdna Art Teachers Fellowship which allowed her to attend the artist and writers residency La Muse in Southern France. Her work is included in the public collections of the Federal Reserve Bank, B&B Printing, First Market Bank, Media One, Markel Corporation, and Capital One. 1996-2008 she served as an artist member on the board of the non-profit gallery 1708 and currently is active on the emeritus board. She has exhibited extensively in both group and solo shows in New York and Richmond.