Employee Directory

Administration and Staff

Photo of Leslie Allen Leslie Allen Food Service Manager
Photo of Kane Bourque Kane Bourque IT Manager
Photo of Renauda Brisco BS,RN,CNOR Renauda Brisco, BS,RN,CNOR Nurse
504-940-2804
Photo of Blake Coheley Blake Coheley Director of Admissions
(504) 940-2840

Blake started dancing at the age of three and has been in the studio ever since. He has toured internationally with “Tops in Blue,” and has toured nationally with “Oliver,” “West Side Story,” “Gypsy,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Bye-Bye Birdie,” and “Annie.” Blake has taught all over the world and his unique teaching styles, combined with his personality and strong varied techniques, keep him in constant demand on the road.…

Photo of Silas Cooper Silas Cooper President | CEO
(504) 940-2836

Silas is beginning his 16th year at NOCCA, now as NOCCA’s President | CEO and head of school,  and previously has served previously as a Drama Department Faculty Member, Chair of Drama and as Director of Arts.

Mr. Cooper has also served as the faculty representative on the NOCCA Board of Directors and as a member of NOCCA’s Equity Committee.…

Betty Coulon Procurement & Operations Manager
Photo of Yvette Cuccia Yvette Cuccia Administrative Coordinator

Yvette is very happy to be immersed on a daily basis in such a wonderful creative environment.  Born and raised in New Orleans, she has always been an avid lover, and participator, in the arts.  Her spare time is spent in nature and walking every dog in the neighborhood!

 

Photo of Danita Cummings Danita Cummings Payroll & Finance Specialist
(504) 940-2814
Photo of Mai Dao Mai Dao Administrative Coordinator
Photo of Lotte Delaney Lotte Delaney Chief Financial Officer
(504) 940-2826

Lotte has nearly 30 years of experience in public service and degrees in Accounting and Public Administration from the University of New Orleans.  Starting her career as an auditor with the US Army and the Orleans Parish School Board, Lotte transitioned to NOCCA in 2000 as the Comptroller.  Over her more than 20 years at NOCCA, Lotte has evolved to being the Chief Financial Officer and taken over the responsibilities for supervision of the Information Technology, Maintenance, Security, Library and Food Service departments, in addition to all the fiscal responsibilities.…

Photo of Brian Hammell Brian Hammell Director of Communications & Campus Activities | Custodian of Records
(504) 940-2854

Communicator EXTRAORDINAIRE! If you have not heard of NOCCA, Brian will tell you everything you ever needed to know…Middle School Programs, Workshop Series, Auditioning, who your state legislator is, Brian knows it all. In addition to communications, Brian coordinates all campus events and manages the daily calendar, not an easy task for a booming arts center. …

Photo of Ashley Handsom Ashley Handsom Front Desk Assistant
Photo of Matt Hassebrock Matt Hassebrock Librarian
(504) 940-2805
Photo of Maisha Joshua Maisha Joshua Human Resources Director
504-940-2818

Maisha Joshua is a native of New Orleans.  She is completing her 8th year at NOCCA as the Human Resources Director.  As a graduate of Loyola University of New Orleans, Maisha has a wide range of professional experience in supporting her family’s  business for several years, working in a non-profit agency as the finance director and working directly with children in community based settings in New Haven, Connecticut.  …

Photo of Kesha McKey Kesha McKey Director of the Arts

Kesha McKey is beginning her 18th year at NOCCA and has deep roots in NOCCA’s creative history, starting as an alum from the Dance Department, and later as a part of the Dance Faculty, the Dance Department Chair and currently as the Director of Arts. Kesha is a skilled performing artist, choreographer and educator born and raised in New Orleans and has served the New Orleans community as an art educator and culture bearer for over 25 years.…

Photo of Lara Naughton Lara Naughton College Counselor

Lara Naughton has taught students K-12 as well as adults. As a writer and documentarian, she assists individuals who wish to tell their own stories, and has led writing classes with people who have faced challenging circumstances, including homelessness, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, wrongful conviction, incarceration, and torture. She is a certified Compassion Cultivation Trainer through the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University, and founder of the Compassion Program at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, LA.…

Photo of Dr. Kit Nelson Dr. Kit Nelson Director of Academic Studio

Kit has been a part of the NOCCA team since 2012 and has served as an Integrated Sciences Faculty Member, Chair of Integrated Sciences and as Director of Academic Studio.  During that time she has helped to build and continues to support the Academic Studio program with a focused on ensuring that the Academic Studio is a visionary school for creative learners.  …

Photo of Quanitha Ruffins Quanitha Ruffins School Business Manager
Photo of Anna Schwab Anna Schwab Deputy Chief Financial Officer

Anna Schwab is a native of Baton Rouge and a longtime advocate for the arts. She currently serves as Deputy CFO at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts. Prior to starting at NOCCA Anna served as the Interim Executive Director at Of Moving Colors Productions and was the Director of Finance and Human Resources at the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge.…

Photo of Claudette Sislo Claudette Sislo Protocol Officer
Photo of Felicia J. Steward M.Ed. Felicia J. Steward, M.Ed. SPED Coordinator
Photo of Amy Tilling Amy Tilling 12th Grade Sciences, Coordinator of Assessment and Academic Advancement

Mrs. Amy Tilling moved to New Orleans in July of 2005 and despite being welcomed by Hurricane Katrina only a few weeks later, she is here to stay in New Orleans. Mrs. Tilling earned her Bachelors of Science in Secondary Mathematics Education from the State University of New York College at Cortland (2000) and has just earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington (2014).…

Photo of Leigh Traylor Leigh Traylor Front Office Student Services
Photo of Prinsey Walker Prinsey Walker Director of Community Engagement
Photo of Dana Wallace LPC, NCC Dana Wallace, LPC, NCC School Counselor

Originally from Baton Rouge, Dana Wallace is a proud resident of New Orleans. She received her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Loyola University New Orleans (2017), where she specialized in child and family counseling. She also completed a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Child and Family Studies (2014) from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

 

Academic Studio

Photo of Dr. Parvathy Anantnarayan Dr. Parvathy Anantnarayan Chair of Humanities, 12th Grade Humanities
Photo of Martin Authier Martin Authier 9th Grade Sciences

Mr. Marty Authier (Integrated Humanities) moved to New Orleans in 2001 to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from Tulane University (2005). He spent eight years at Southern Methodist University in Dallas completing a Masters Degree in Anthropology (2007), conducting archaeological research into early formative cultures in coastal Peru, teaching Honors anthropology seminars, and mentoring students in a residence hall.…

Photo of Dale Baxter Dale Baxter Physical Education
Photo of Dr. Katherine Brooks Dr. Katherine Brooks 10th Grade Sciences

Dr. Katherine Brooks (Integrated Sciences) earned her B.S. in Psychology with minors in Animal Science and Wildlife and Fisheries from Texas A & M University in College Station, Texas. While at Texas A & M she focused her studies on ethology (animal behavior) especially in domesticated animals. She then continued her education at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln to earn her Masters degree in Biological Psychology.…

Photo of Dr. Jean-Marc Duplantier Dr. Jean-Marc Duplantier 11th Grade Humanities

Dr. Jean-Marc Duplantier (Integrated Humanities) holds a bachelors degree in Comparative Literature (Colorado College, 1996), a PhD in French Studies (LSU, 2006), and a master’s degree in Library and Information Science (LSU, 2010). He was awarded Fulbright and Social Science Research Council grants to conduct dissertation research in Haiti. He has extensive experience teaching English at the high school level in the New Orleans area, and he continues to pursue research interests in the history and culture of Louisiana and the Caribbean.

Photo of Dr. Travis Haas Dr. Travis Haas 11th Grade Sciences

Dr. Travis Haas (Integrated Sciences) earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University in 2014. His dissertation research examined the evolutionary implications of dam construction on the fishes of the Southeastern United States. He holds a B.A. in Biology and Music (Piano) from Lawrence University (2007), where his piano studies culminated in an interdisciplinary lecture-recital entitled, “The influence of birdsong in the literature of the piano.” He also holds an M.S.…

Photo of Nicole Horne Nicole Horne French Instructor
Photo of Leni Ivanovsky Leni Ivanovsky 10th Grade Sciences
Photo of Adam Karlin Adam Karlin 9th Grade Humanities
Photo of Pauline Kibby Pauline Kibby 9-12th Grade Languages
Photo of Dr. Kate Kokontis Dr. Kate Kokontis 11th Grade Humanities
504-940-2847

Dr. Kate Kokontis (Integrated Humanities) is the Chair of Integrated Humanities and a Founding Faculty member of NOCCA’s Academic Studio. She earned her B.A. from Yale, a post-baccalaureate certificate in painting from the SACI College of Art and Design-Florence, and her Ph.D. in Performance Studies from U.C. Berkeley. Additionally at NOCCA, Kate co-chairs the Equity Committee and has been involved in many collaborative projects with her colleagues in other disciplines.…

Michael Lee Substitute Humanities
Photo of Byron Lilly Byron Lilly 12th Grade Humanities

Mr. Byron Lilly (History and Social Studies) moved to New Orleans in 2003, following a two-year commitment to the Peace Corps in Mali, West Africa.  He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA (2001) and a Master’s Degree in U.S. History from Tulane University (2009), where he is currently a interdisciplinary doctoral candidate.  …

Photo of Dr. Ted Marks Dr. Ted Marks 11th Grade Sciences
Photo of Dr. Kimberly Mighell Dr. Kimberly Mighell 9th Grade Sciences
Photo of Dr. Kit Nelson Dr. Kit Nelson Director of Academic Studio

Kit has been a part of the NOCCA team since 2012 and has served as an Integrated Sciences Faculty Member, Chair of Integrated Sciences and as Director of Academic Studio.  During that time she has helped to build and continues to support the Academic Studio program with a focused on ensuring that the Academic Studio is a visionary school for creative learners.  …

Photo of Felicia J. Steward M.Ed. Felicia J. Steward, M.Ed. SPED Coordinator
Photo of Amy Tilling Amy Tilling 12th Grade Sciences, Coordinator of Assessment and Academic Advancement

Mrs. Amy Tilling moved to New Orleans in July of 2005 and despite being welcomed by Hurricane Katrina only a few weeks later, she is here to stay in New Orleans. Mrs. Tilling earned her Bachelors of Science in Secondary Mathematics Education from the State University of New York College at Cortland (2000) and has just earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington (2014).…

Photo of Dr. Angela Watkins Dr. Angela Watkins 10th Grade Integrated Humanities

Dr. Angela Watkins is a Chicago native who earned a B.A. from DePaul University and a Master’s and Ph.D. in English (Literary Studies) from the University of Iowa. Her research background focuses on the African Diaspora and she has published several articles, encyclopedia entries, and book reviews on the Harlem Renaissance, the Afro-Caribbean, and the American South.…

Photo of Dr. Russell Wolfe Dr. Russell Wolfe 12th Grade Sciences

Dr. Russell Wolfe moved to New Orleans in 2007 from Nebraska, where he studied Physics, Biology, and Mathematics. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Tulane University for research focused on understanding how stem cells respond to the physical forces that occur during large-scale bioprocessing. While at Tulane, he also taught hands-on undergraduate engineering courses in robotics, electronic circuits, and medical device design, in addition to mentoring undergraduate students in research practices, public presentation, and professional career development.…

Photo of Raina Zelinski Raina Zelinski 9th Grade Humanities

Ms. Raina Zelinski is a life-long New Orleanian, transplanted from Northern Canada when she was but 5 years old. After studying political science at Tulane University, she received a BA in English from the University of New Orleans and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in English (2010) as well as a Master’s Degree in Teaching Secondary English (2015).…


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