Joining the board for the first time are Peter Castillo, Executive Principal, Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy in Denver, CO; Timothy Farson, Principal, San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts in San Diego, CA; John Lawler, Principal, ArTES Magnet in San Fernando, CA; Susan McCauley, Principal, DeKalb School of the Arts in Avondale Estates, GA; Melinda Ronayne, Director of Visual Arts, Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, MI; and Michael Wang, Principal, Chicago High School for the Arts in Chicago, IL.


Peter Castillo has been Principal of Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy (KCAA) in Denver, CO for eight years, and has watched the school grow from a small K-8 school to a successful K-12 school, rated ‘Green’ by the Denver School District and Colorado state standards. Under Castillo’s leadership, KCAA has been awarded the "New and Emerging School" award and has earned an Exemplary School designation from ASN. Previously, Castillo was Assistant Principal at the Denver School of the Arts for four years. Over the last twelve years, he has seen what arts-based education can do for students of all backgrounds, and he is excited to take his experience to the ASN board.


Timothy Farson is Principal at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts in San Diego, CA (SDSCPA), an arts-focused Title I public magnet school for artistically passionate students in grades 6-12. After studying Philosophy at New York University and Kent State University, Farson earned an M.A. in Philosophy and teaching credentials in English and Science from San Diego State University. He began his educational career as an English and Science teacher at SDSCPA in 2009. Farson inspires the SDSCPA community through the hope and promise of a transformational art and academic education and believes that "to engage the mind, we must engage the heart." He has been integral in shaping the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Strategic Arts Plan for San Diego Unified School District, promising equitable access to a high level, arts college preparatory curriculum throughout the district. Farson is pleased to join ASN's innovative thought partners, leaders, and professionals who believe in the importance of the arts and education in our society.


John Lawler, Principal and Founder of ArTES Magnet in San Fernando, CA, has had a lengthy career in the arts. He is an award-winning director and writer, with stage, opera, film, and television projects in New York, Los Angeles, London, Munich, and elsewhere. He was the founder of the award-winning Annex Theatre in Seattle; was a Guest Artist at Sundance, the Eugene O’Neill Center, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival; and received two writing awards at the Austin Film Festival. Working with the California Institute of the Arts and the Huntington Library, he co-founded the Arts Consortium, a non-profit organization tasked with facilitating deep partnerships between arts institutions and schools. In 2016, Lawler was named "Administrator of the Year for the Los Angeles Unified School District." ArTES has received a California Gold Ribbon School award and an ASN Exemplary School designation.


Susan McCauley, Principal of DeKalb School of the Arts (DSA) in Avondale Estates, GA, is in her 35th year in education. She was named one of Georgia's "100 High Performance Principals" by Governor Sonny Perdue in 2006, 2007, and 2008; honored by the DeKalb County School District School Counselor's Association as "Administrator of the Year" in 2010; and was named "Supervisor/Administrator of the Year" by the Georgia Arts Education Association in 2012. During her tenure, DSA has regularly appeared on all top national ranking lists of high schools and magnet programs and been recognized as an AP Access and Equity School, a Grammy Signature School, a Woodruff Arts Center Leader in Arts Education, and an ASN Exemplary School. McCauley has also been a cello instructor, group and solo/ensemble adjudicator, school orchestra director and clinician, and a founding member of the Southern Crescent Symphony Orchestra. She earned a Bachelor of Music Education from Wichita State University and her master's and specialist degrees in Leadership and Administration from Columbus State University in Columbus, GA.


Melinda Zacher Ronayne is Director of Visual Arts at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, MI. Ronayne, who joined the center in 2010, leads all aspects of visual arts education at the Academy and Camp. Previously, Ronayne taught at the Design and Architecture Senior High School in Miami and worked as an admission counselor and coordinator of scholarship programs at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Ronayne is a regular presenter at the state and national level on the topics of arts and health, service learning in the arts, and portfolio development. In addition to serving on the board of directors for ASN, Ronayne is on the board of trustees for the Great Lakes Children’s Museum. Working as an interdisciplinary visual artist, she received her Master of Arts in Art Education and Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art.


Michael Wang, Principal of Chicago High School for the Arts in Chicago, IL, has seen first-hand the disparities prevalent in Illinois public schools. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Northeastern Illinois University, Wang pursued a career in urban education through a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from DePaul University. Wang has been with ChiArts since 2010, serving in numerous roles including Biology Teacher, Freshman Academy Coordinator, and Assistant Principal for Operations and Management. In his current role of Principal, Wang focuses on fostering an inclusive school culture within ChiArts’ highly diverse student body, which includes approximately 50 percent, low-income students. He has restructured the school’s support services to ensure ChiArts scholar-artists access to comprehensive counseling in academics, emotional support, and post-secondary opportunities, and works to provide access to resources in the arts academics to move beyond diversity into equity in the arts community of Chicago.  


Leaving ASN's board after many years of exceptional service are Donn K. Harris, Executive Director for Creativity at San Francisco Unified School District in San Francisco, CA; Rory Pullens, Executive Director of the Arts, Los Angeles Unified School District in Los Angeles, CA; and Tom Sherry, Principal at 313 Creative in Detroit, MI.


William Kohut, ASN President said, “On behalf of the entire ASN board, I thank Rory, Donn, and Tom for their leadership. Each of these individuals is a recognized leader in arts education and a true advocate for the importance that the arts play in the education of our youth. Their service on the ASN board provided them an opportunity to present many creative and innovative ideas about leadership in the arts at a national level. They will be missed on the board, but we are confident that they will continue to share their expertise with the members of ASN.”


The 2018-2019 ASN Board of Directors


President: William Kohut, Principal, Denver School of the Arts, Denver, CO

1st Vice President: Scott Rudes, Ph.D., Principal, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Dallas, TX

2nd Vice President: Kyle Wedberg, President and CEO, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), New Orleans, LA

3rd Vice President: Diane Makas, Artistic Director, Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts, Huntington Beach, CA

Treasurer: Teren Shaffer, Executive Vice President, Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA), Santa Ana, CA 

Secretary: Valerie Morris, Dean, School of the Arts, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC 

Immediate Past President: Pamela Jordan, President and Head of School, Idyllwild Arts Academy and Summer Program, Idyllwild, CA


DIRECTORS (in addition to new members, above)

  • Douglas Ashcraft, D.M.A., Music Faculty, Idyllwild Arts Academy, Idyllwild, CA
  • Allison Ball, Arts Consultant, Miami, FL
  • Jackie Cornelius, Executive Director, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts Foundation, Jacksonville, FL
  • Denise Davis-Cotton, Ed.D., Founder, Detroit School of Arts, University Park, FL
  • Patricia Decker, Director of Recruitment, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts
  • Edward C. (Ted) Farraday, Vice President, Education Programs, Interlochen Center for the Arts
  • David A. Flatley, Arts Education Consultant, Evanston, IL
  • Sally Gaskill, Director, Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP), Indiana University School of Education, Bloomington, IN
  • Laurence D. Kaptain, DMA and FRSA, Dean, College of Arts & Media (CAM), Professor of Music, Entertainment and Industry Studies, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO
  • Andrew Laue, Associate Director, Fine Arts Admissions, Webster University, St. Louis, MO
  • Jonathan Lindsay, Vice President Enrollment Management, New Hampshire Institute of Art, Manchester, NH
  • Michael W. Meeks, Ed.D., Executive Director, Alabama School of Fine Arts, Birmingham, AL
  • Linda Nathan, Executive Director, Center for Artistry and Scholarship, Dorchester, MA

About Arts Schools Network

Arts Schools Network, a non-profit association founded in 1981, is dedicated to providing 

leaders in arts schools with quality resources, support, and networking opportunities. For more information, visit