Mr. Gubitz is a lifelong educator who infuses his love of music into his work with young people. Since 2011, he has served as principal of ReNEW Cultural Arts Academy in New Orleans, leading the Pre-K through 4th grade academy. Under his leadership, the school has undergone a dramatic turnaround from what was once the lowest-performing school in the entire state of Louisiana. A graduate of Indiana University, Ron found his way to New Orleans after working in education in St. Louis. He taught high school English, founded an AP program, and the first high school chapter of Hip Hop Congress, which uses hip hop as an educational medium to promote youth voice and expression. He then recruited and coached hundreds of teachers across the St. Louis region.
After serving as Principal at ReNEW Cultural Arts Academy – one of the original 8 pilot schools selected for the Turnaround Arts program – for 5 years, Mr. Gubitz will be taking the role of Principal Coach with Turnaround Arts for the upcoming school year. He has spoken extensively at various education conferences and events, including the 2014 White House Turnaround Arts Talent Show, hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama.
Laura Smyth, Ph.D., has over two decades experience in the arts and education field as a teacher, researcher, and program associate, beginning as a third-grade teacher in Houston, TX and including three years as Senior Associate for Communications and Partnerships at the Arts Education Partnership. She also helped design the nation's first master's degree in arts management with a focus on community and youth development at Columbia College Chicago and worked and studied with Dr. Shirley Brice Heath, with whom she co-wrote the resource guide ArtShow: Youth and Community Development. Laura is interested in the intersection of in-school and out-of-school time, partnership between community and youth organizations, Title I and education equity, and making research and policy information accessible to a general audience. She is currently the program director for the California Alliance for Arts Education's Title I Initiative.
Caroline King is the Title 1 Program Director for San Diego Unified. She is an expert school leader who has worked exclusively in Title I schools, most recently as the Principal of Zambrano Fine Arts Academy. Based on her great success at Zambrano, Ms. King was selected to lead the San Diego Learning Through the Arts Initiative, leading 22 schools over two years in a $3 million Title I district-wide pilot program.
Verneé R. Green is the Director of Partnerships & Initiatives for AUSL, a nonprofit school management organization in Chicago, serving 17,000 students across 31 public schools. In this capacity, she oversees school cluster initiatives and social emotional partnerships for elementary and high schools. Ms. Green serves as the Local Program Director for Turnaround Arts: Chicago, a program strategically integrating arts education and instruction in four AUSL turnaround schools on the west side of Chicago. She has over 20 years experience working in K-12 education, higher education and nonprofit organizations. Ms. Green holds a Bachelor’s degree in sociology from Illinois Wesleyan University and a Master’s Degree from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. At the University of Chicago, she was a recipient of the McCormick-Tribune Fellowship in Urban and Community Leadership. Ms. Green speaks extensively at various education conferences and events, including the 2016 White House Turnaround Arts Talent Show, hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama.