EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

NANCY BORTOSKY

Nancy Bortosky (previously Schaaf) received her formal education from Webster University, with a BM Ed. in Music Education and a Master of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy. Since 1992 she has worked as Director of DaySpring School of the Arts, having been a founder of the school. She continues to perform and teach piano & musical theater, having been on the piano faculty of the Masterworks Festival of the Performing Arts in Houghton, NY in 2000. In her involvement in the piano teaching community she has been Vice president of programming for SLAMTA for 4 years and is state treasurer of MMTA. She has been a founding member of the Maryland Hgts. Arts Commission, and has served as chairperson for 2 years. She lives in St. Louis with her 3 awesome children.

 

ADMINISTRATION

Kristy Schmittling

Finance Department

Kaetlin Lamberson

Arts Division Director | Outreach Coordinator

Nancy Pfister

Front Desk Administrator

Dana Degnan

Producer | Front Desk Coordinator

Julie Swaney

Organizational Communications Manager

Allen Moore

Building Manager

Katie Orr

Designer | Box Office Manager

Emma Pennycuick

Front Desk Administrator

Alle Head

Front Desk Administrator

DEPARTMENT HEADS

Shonda no background_edited_edited.jpg
Shonda Gray

Academy Director

Shonda holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s of Business Administration from Fontbonne University, and a Master’s of Liberal Arts from Washington University-St. Louis.
Shonda served as the Associate Head of School at Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls where she was the co-leader of St. Louis’s first all-girls public school. Her previous experience includes her work as St. Louis Missouri Career Pathways Regional Director with Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Over the course of her career, she has had the opportunity to work on various projects that covered multi-departments from legal, public affairs, student services, operations, marketing, and human resources.
She has over 20 years of experience in education as a mentor, teacher, administrator, and consultant. Several of those years were spent working in education innovation and career and technical education. Her work included developing partnerships, designing pathways, and enhancing education systems to support academic achievement for all students. Shonda has the ability to engage partners around shared values toward a common vision of making sure all students are “Success Ready”.

Shonda no background_edited_edited.jpg
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!

Shonda no background_edited_edited.jpg
Kaetlin Lamberson

Performing Arts Department Head

Kaetlin Lamberson 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.

Shonda no background_edited_edited.jpg
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.

Shonda no background_edited_edited.jpg
Betsey Karako

Music Department Head | Music Instructor

Elizabeth Karako is an active performer and teacher in the St. Louis area. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree with high honors from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, and a Master of Music in Violin Performance with an emphasis in Suzuki Pedagogy from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. During the summers of 2014-2018, she served as a Unit Director and Associate Staff Director at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan. Elizabeth currently plays with the Salem-St. Louis Chamber Orchestra and is registered through the Suzuki Association of the Americas for Volumes 1-10 of the Violin School.