Art for Special Needs Students
Helen Spaw, MPS has wide experience as a therapist, teacher, and art teacher for all ages and abilities. She holds a Masters in Art Therapy and Creativity from New York’s Pratt Institute, and her Bachelors in Psychology with an Art minor and focus in Art Therapy from the College of Santa Fe. She is inspired by witnessing growth and creativity through the process of art making. Helen is also the Special Needs Coordinator at St. Paul’s, and facilitates Healing Art Circles.
Cassie Pitman Gonzales has over 20 years experience teaching at St. Paul's School. She has a B.A. from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Tx. Cassie has two grown children: a visual artist in Virginia and an artist working for the anime movie company, Crunchyroll. She enjoys teaching children the techniques of a wide variety of artists, including illustrators of children's books.
Kendra Skipworth began studying classical ballet at the age of 5 and since then it has been an important part of her life. She started teaching in college and, while she never planned to become a ballet teacher, the love of working with the students and teaching them became the favorite part of her days. After graduating from the University of Houston, she worked as the registrar at Houston Ballet Academy but soon realized that she missed working with the students every day and is now teaching on a full-time basis. Kendra finds great joy in working with her students, and it is her passion to share her love for movement and dance with others.
Piano and Musikgarten
Ginger Anderson has taught piano lessons for over 40 years to students ages 4 to 74 years old. She has been a church musician most of her adult life, playing service, special events music, accompanying choirs and soloists, directing children’s choirs, and running summer arts programs. She served as music volunteer coordinator for Klein ISD and accompanied choirs and soloists in concerts, contests, and TMEA conventions. She was pianist and/or music director for high school, community theater, and professional theater productions. She has also had Musikgarten training.
Dr. Ellen Edwards is a certified Musikgarten instructor and has led classes for infants through younger elementary at St. Paul’s since 2007. Under her leadership, the Musikgarten program at St. Paul’s consistently achieves the Exemplary rating. Ellen also serves as the director of children’s ministry for St. Paul’s Church. Her lifelong enjoyment of music includes piano, flute and singing, and her whole family participates in a variety of musical endeavors. With a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, years of experience with children’s development and spiritual growth, and a lifelong passion for music, Musikgarten combines her interests and experience in a rewarding vocation.
Dr. Kingchi Au holds degrees in piano performance from the University of Houston Moores School of Music. She has established herself as a performer as well as an educator. Kingchi is an experienced music instructor. Her teaching background includes work at private institutes, community colleges and two universities. She has worked with students of all ages at different levels, and from diverse backgrounds. Kingchi is also active as a performer - both as recital soloist and collaborative pianist. Kingchi feels equally dedicated to the art of teaching and to the art of performance and she consistently strives to become better in both areas.
Sammy Cowan holds degrees from Baylor University and Rice University, and she currently serves as a part-time instructional specialist at Lamar High School. After retiring as a public school music teacher, she began teaching piano while caring for her grandchildren. She welcomes students of all ages and lessons include theory and music appreciation. Older beginners are especially encouraged to pursue their dream of playing piano in a supportive and nurturing environment.
Helen Spaw, coordinator of the Fine Arts Academy, discovered her enthusiasm for creating art when she was 2 years old. She now has wide experience as a therapist, teacher, and art teacher for all ages and abilities. She holds a Masters in Art Therapy and Creativity from New York’s Pratt Institute, and her Bachelors in Psychology with an Art minor and focus in Art Therapy from the College of Santa Fe. She enjoys facilitating young artists’ growing creativity and helping students discover their own enthusiasm for art.