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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Dan Tierney
DaySpring Staff

DIRECTORS &  DEPARTMENT HEADS

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Kaetlin Davis

Arts Division Director
Outreach Coordinator

Kaetlin Davis graduated Summa Cum Laude from Southeast Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and minor in Political Science. At SEMO she served as President of University Dancers United and Senior Senator for the Holland College of Arts and Media. Here she was awarded the President’s Spirit of Southeast award and Outstanding Senior for Conservatory of Theatre and Dance. After graduation, Kaetlin worked with COCAedu for a summer internship, and began teaching dance in Columbia, Illinois. Because of a passion for Arts Advocacy, she currently serves as a board member with Missouri Citizens for the Arts and has for two years. In this time, she has attended many advocacy events at the local, state and national levels to advocate on behalf of the Missouri Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts.

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Alicia Whitbeck

Academy Director

Alicia graduated from the Missouri University of Science & Technology with a B.A. in Biology and Psychology with an emphasis in Secondary Education. Alicia started teaching middle and high school science classes at DaySpring in 2014. She has taught Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Earth Science, Physical Science, Research Methods, and several other electives. Alicia has worked for DaySpring in the past as the Academy Assistant, Senior Capstone Advisor, and mentor to 1st year teachers. Alicia currently helps to coach a First Inspires LEGO robotics team and she teaches the DaySpring Friday Enrichment science classes. Alicia was formerly homeschooled and she attended a private, Christian school growing up, so she is familiar with the values that families coming to DaySpring with those backgrounds desire in education. She is passionate about hands-on, creative, and collaborative education and she is excited to work alongside the teachers to foster that at DaySpring! She is looking forward to getting to know the students and families involved in the Academy and helping the students on their educational journey.

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Anjuli Kroon

Dance Department Head

Anjuli Kroon began dancing as a child at Twin Cities School of Dance in Bloomington, IL. There she studied ballet, tap, and jazz with Janet Heyslip-Streenz. During her teen years, she danced and choreographed with Orchesis Intercity Dance Company, studying ballet, jazz, modern, improvisation, and Graham technique with Laurie Merriman and Kim Neal Nofsinger. After high school Anjuli traveled and studied dance all over the country, in cities including Raleigh, Anchorage, Seattle, and Phoenix. She has studied dance at Meredith College, Anchorage Classical Ballet, Cornish College of the Arts, Ballet Etudes, and Arizona State University. Some of the teachers and choreographers she worked with along her journey include Carol Finely, Peter DiMuro, Mary Lou Edwards, Michelangelo Canale, Mary Fitzgerald, Karen Schupp, Carly Conder, Gregory Nuber, Elizabeth Johnson, Cynthia Roses-Thema, and others. Anjuli graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance from Arizona State University. After college, she danced with H.Lab performance company, under the direction of Harper Piver, creating and performing collaborative modern dance works with integrated technology. Anjuli co-founded C3 Dance, a Phoenix based group providing dance education and experiences for youth, and partnering with Dance and the Child International. After moving to St. Louis, Anjuli danced and choreographed with Leverage Dance Theater, and has taught dance classes throughout the region. She is excited to join the Dayspring community!

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Liliana Merifield

Performing Arts Department Head

Liliana Merifield is a 2022 graduate from Lindenwood University and holds a BFA in Dance. Her experience includes over a decade of extensive training and direction from the wonderful faculty at DaySpring Arts and Education. She studied many styles of dance, musical theatre, voice, and acting while at DaySpring. Liliana has been on the dance and performing arts faculty at DaySpring for seven years and loves the community that is found here. From 2017-2018 Liliana completed a trainee program with Common Thread Contemporary Ballet where she learned and performed company repertoire. Currently, Liliana is a dance artist with Karlovsky and Company Dance, under the direction of Dawn Karlovsky and she is beginning her third season. Her other artistic endeavors include filmmaking where she had her short film "Upward and Over" featured at ACDA (American Collegiate Dance Association) conferences across the region in 2023. Liliana is currently serving as the Performing Arts Department Head and is very excited for this new role!


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Kristy Schmittling

Finance Director/HR

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Sukanya Mani

Fine Arts Department Head

Sukanya Mani is an interdisciplinary artist with a passion in science, gender studies and philosophy. She takes complex ideas from those fields, builds stories around them and presents them in a visual art form. While her brain enjoys reading and gathering information, her heart weaves them into visual stories which she then presents to the viewer. She is constantly learning- her process involves creating with intent, intellectual thought and placing context into her work. Her studio practice involves the art of cutting and sculpting paper. Creating these pieces is a meditative experience. In 2021, Mani was a TedX STL speaker and she spoke about her art making and journey. Mani has worked as a teaching artist and arts administrator with various arts organizations including the St. Louis Art Museum, COCA, Contemporary Museum and MO History museum. Her artwork is part of numerous collections like the CIty of Poplar Bluff, City of Ballwin, and Chesterfield, MO. Mani’s is the recipient of multiple grants from the Regional Arts Commision. Born in India, Mani lives and works in St. Louis.

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David Gregory

Music Department Head/ Voice Instructor

David Gregory is a creative and artist at heart. His creativity exists not only in his art but also in his leadership and programming. Gregory’s journey in music began through composition, which remains his favorite artistic outlet. In exploring composition, he was catapulted into the greater world of music through private lessons and worship leading. Gregory went on to pursue a bachelor's in music from Missouri Baptist University. Collegiately, Gregory studied with Dr. Sharla Bender, Dr. Jeffery Heyl, and Dr. Jason Mallory, to name a few. Highlights of his educational career include soloing for MBU’s Opera Theatre, Gospel Choir, and Chamber Singers, participating in the conferences MMEA and Write About Jesus, and starting a thriving club for songwriters, artists, and music producers. Since graduation, Gregory has taught private lessons and musical theatre classes at several local STL performing arts organizations while pursuing his artistic endeavors. To date, he has worked with New Moon Studios, Gateway Center For the Performing Arts, Stages STL, and DaySpring Arts and Education. Within the past year, Gregory has begun to step into the world of arts administration. Gregory is thankful and privileged to be serving as the department head for DaySpring’s rich and diverse music department. He plans to serve graciously, ethically, and excellently in every aspect!

STAFF

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Alle Head

Producer/Events Coordinator

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Emily Evans

Front Desk Coordinator

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Nikki Rooney

Front Desk Administrator

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LaDonna Wagner

Academy Coordinator

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Pam MacDonald

Front Desk Administrator

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