Cathy Isaacks is thrilled to be joining AISD as the administrator for the Center for Visual and Performing Arts. She brings passion for arts education as well as a variety of experience to serve in this role.
Cathy began her career teaching dance in the private studio setting. As a studio owner for 15 years, she taught all ages from 3 to adult. Cathy was very involved in the community; serving on the local Board for the Chamber of Commerce for several years. After selling her company, Cathy transitioned into teaching in the public school system. During her time in the classroom, she started and grew programs in dance and theatre in Fort Worth ISD and Red Oak ISD. Cathy has led professional development at TDEA as well as many local entities, and continues to be an active member of the arts community.
Prior to joining AISD, Cathy served as assistant principal as well as a district level fine arts administrator for Red Oak ISD. Through these roles she found a passion for creating positive campus culture, growing fine arts programs, and opening doors for students to reach their full potential. She believes in building relationships and finding creative ways to overcome obstacles. In addition to her role at the CVPA, Cathy will help to guide our curriculum committees in the writing and management of the district curriculum for the fine arts.
Cathy Isaacks holds a B.S. from Texas Christian University and a M.Ed. from the University of Texas in Arlington. Her daughter, Samantha is pursuing a degree in nursing from Texas Tech University.
Michael Bruno is a multifaceted visual artist, photographer and educational professional with over 20 years of extensive experience as a fine arts teacher with both junior and senior high school students. He attended the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts where he began a classical training in drawing, painting and ceramics. He went on to major in fine art and illustration at Texas A&M, Commerce and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Arlington. Michael received his Advanced Placement certification from TCU and recently obtained his IB diploma from the International Baccalaureate Organization. He is a practicing artist with an expertise in hands-on teaching in a variety of mediums which includes beginning and advanced levels of drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, photography and graphic design. His love of teaching is felt throughout the school community and within his classes. His students leave being not only college ready but having a greater cultural awareness and with a skill set that includes both the mastery of visual art techniques and a life-long love for the Arts.
Toni Worley came to the Arlington Independent School District 39 years ago to teach at Young Junior High and has been at Lamar High School since 1985. She has a music education and piano degree from the University of North Texas, graduate work from Texas Women’s University, and has been a choral music director for the past 46 years.
Mrs. Worley is a member of Texas Music Educators, Texas Choral Directors Association and American Choral Directors Association. She was awarded the second highest AWARE Foundation award, Who’s Who of American Teachers, Honorary Texas PTA Life Membership, and the Certificate of Merit for Outstanding American Teachers. In addition to accompanying Region V District and Region Concerts, she has also served as a Region V Vocal Division Officer.
Mrs. Worley and her husband, Charles (who is also a choral music director), have 4 children, all of whom graduated from Lamar High School and sang in her choir. Two children, Christi (Worley) Jones and Charlie, have gone on to pursue careers in the music industry.
Toni Worley believes her greatest joy is in inspiring her students to create music. Her choirs have performed in Austria, Germany, New York, California, Florida, Missouri, Colorado, Washington D. C., Texas Stadium, The Ballpark in Arlington, and Bass Hall, consistently earning Sweepstakes and superior ratings at UIL competitions and music festivals.
Joe Strohl helped originate the Musical instrument Repair program for Arlington ISD. He has been in repair for over 25 years. He gives clinics for band directors all over Texas. As a member of the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT) Joe has given local and national clinics for other repair technicians.
Joe is a certified Strabinger Flute Technician, Yamaha Warranty Repair technician, and Instructs and certifies technicians for Music and Arts. Joe studied music at the University of New Mexico before finishing his degree at University of North Texas. He enjoys cooking and spending time with his wife and 2 children.
Courtney Allyson Mills has over 20 years of freelance choreography and teaching experience in several facets of the performing arts. Ms. Mills holds an Associate in Arts from St. Petersburg College, a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Texas Woman’s University, and a Master of Arts in Performance Psychology from National University. She has also completed a specialization in Teaching Social Emotional Learning from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Courtney was the Director of Dance at James Bowie High School in Austin, Texas, facilitating Dance 1 through 4, musical theater dance, and the Silver Stars Drill Team. She then went on to teach at Smoky Hill High School in Aurora, Colorado. Ms. Mills taught dance, yoga, and AVID at Smoky Hill, as well as choreographing “Once Upon A Mattress”, directing and choreographing “Chicago”, sponsoring the Royalty Step Team, and creating the Smoky Hill Dance Collective.
In addition to teaching movement and dance-making in the public school sector, Ms Mills is the Visual Co-Captionhead of the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps in Rockford, Illinois and owns ColorguardEDU, a comprehensive virtual platform for educators within pageantry. She has been involved in the pageantry arts for over 25 years, marching/teaching at Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps and choreographing for programs that include the Santa Clara Vanguard, Madison Scouts, Crossmen, and The Troopers.
Ms. Mills’ accolades include:
- 2011 - Texas Woman’s University Dance Department Undergraduate of the Year
- 2015 - Austin ISD James Bowie High School Teacher of Promise
- 2018 - Smoky Hill High School Buffalo Spirit Award
In addition to her many projects, Ms. Mills continues to clinic, adjudicate, and present at varying education conferences. A seasoned traveler, Courtney loves the mountains, golf, and her animals, Olive and Betty. She is beyond excited to be a part of this revolutionary visual and performing arts program within Arlington ISD.