ONLINE PROFESSIONAL LEARNING LESSON Cathy Hess Wright and Liza Cardinal Simpler

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Cathy Wright

Cathy Wright, retired – Montgomery Public Schools Office of Curriculum and Instruction, serves as a teaching artist and comprehensive arts education facilitator for the Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts (AIEA). She developed and implemented the program in Dance for the very first magnet school in Montgomery (CCPAC – now housed at Booker T. Washington Magnet High School), and she led Montgomery Public School’s K-12 Arts Integration Initiative prior to her retirement. She also founded AIEA’s Dance Institute. She is the 1992 American Teacher Awards Performing Arts Honoree/Dance, a 1995 National Endowment for the Arts Artist-in-Education Fellowship recipient, and she served on two Alabama Course of Study/Arts Education committees for the Alabama State Department of Education. She co-authored (with Randy Foster) the Alabama State Department of Education’s ACCESS Distance Learning Arts Survey course online, and she currently serves as an arts facilitator/evaluator for AIEA’s ACES (Arts Connections Enhance Student Success) program at Vaughn Road Elementary School in Montgomery.

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Liza Cardinal Simpler

A native of Montgomery, AL, Liza Cardinal Simpler trained at the Alabama Dance Theatre from the age of three and was a company member from 2001-2008. She studied dance at the University of South Carolina and was a member of the USC Dance Company. She also worked as an adjudicator and student dance teacher in the Richland County School system in Columbia, South Carolina. She interned with Ballet Hispanico in New York City and the American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina before earning her degree in Dance Education. After graduating, Liza worked for the New Orleans Ballet Association as a teaching artist. In the summer of 2014 she returned to Montgomery and continues to work as a Dance Educator in the Montgomery Public School system with the Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts.  


GRADE 4 ELA and Dance Standards


Lesson videos

Among the Ruins Choreography–Sara Sanford






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Sara Sanford watching while Vaughn Road students perform
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Cathy, Liza, Sanford and ADT representatives talk with Vaughn Road students after lesson

This project has been made possible by a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, South Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.