LPIE Art Instructors

Meet the LPIE Art Instructors

Felix Chan:  Felix joined LPIE as a new Art Instructor in 2015.  He teaches 3rd grade at Springhill Elementary and Lafayette Elementary. Felix is an industrial designer who earned his degree at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. He worked for many years as a model maker, illustrator and toy designer for various studios and manufacturers in New York and Los Angeles before settling in Lafayette with his wife Janet and two daughters Tessa and Kira. When not teaching, lending a hand at Janet's optometry practice or doing house repairs, he enjoys beachcombing, tidepooling and anything related to Star Wars.

Sally Dunne:  Sally joined LPIE as a new Art Instructor in 2016.  She teaches 2nd grade. Sally studied Fine Art. Then went on to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion & Textile Design where she developed a broad range of design skills across print, mixed media & woven textiles. Working as part of a creative team she designed sets and made props for Nickelodeon TV in London. Sally also worked for Designers Guild a leading U.K. Interior design firm implementing latest color and style trends as design and display coordinator. While raising three children Sally set up and ran a successful home day care where art and nurture were part of the daily routine.

Susan Fuller: Susan is a 2nd grade Art Instructor at Burton Valley and Lafayette Elementary Schools. She has a Bachelor's degree in education from Carnegie-Mellon and has done extensive graduate work in Child Development at the University of Pittsburgh. She received her Master of Arts in Fine Arts from California State University in Los Angeles. She is a sculptor who exhibits locally and nationally and a published poet. She believes that art is a true form of self expression and she finds the art of second graders to be very rich in imagination, reflecting their lives and vision of the world. To quote one of her students: "Art, yes!"


Andrea Futter: New to LPIE in 2017-18. She will be teaching K at Laf Elementary & HV. 
Andrea worked as a Designer and Producer of Children’s software and Interactive Toys for more than 15 years. Her work includes titles for Disney, Dreamworks, Lucas (Starwars), LeapFrog and Pixar.  She has an undergraduate degree in Studio Art from Wesleyan University and an MFA in Design from CalArts but learns the most from the kids she teaches. She lives in Lafayette with her husband and two school-age children.


Valyrie Gillum: 

Hello! Looking forward to meet you. I've been enjoying teaching artists of all ages since 2013.

I've been with the Art Room for two years and Lafayette Partners in Education for six.

I am currently the LPIE teacher for the 5th grade classes at Lafayette Elementary and 4th grade at Springhill.

I have also been the LPIE teacher for Burton Valley 1st Grade and for Kindergarten at BV,

Happy Valley and Springhill.

Making art:

joyful and challenging

meditative and healing

I can't live without it. It's great to be able to share that passion with your kids.

Check out some of my artwork:




I am also a freelance technical Illustrator for C&T Publishing,

occasional Logo designer and private art instructor.

I have two awesome artist kids who inspire me.

I love, love, love rock-climbing AND animals AND nonsense.


BFA in Sculpture

Rhode Island School of Design 1996

Berkeley Psychic Institute 2001

Certified Surface & Pattern Designer

CA School of Professional Fabric Design 2005


Suzette Hackett: New to LPIE in 2017-18. She will be teaching K at Laf Elementary & HV. 
Her background includes a few years working for an educational technology company in addition to teaching 2nd grade in Oakland Unified for 11 years.  Suzette grew up in Orinda and raised her 2 children there as well; both her son and daughter graduated from Del Rey Elementary, OIS and Miramonte and are recent college graduates.  She currently lives in Moraga and is thrilled to be teaching art to the kindergartners at Lafayette Elementary and Happy Valley Elementary.

Tim Hancock: Tim Hancock is a 3rd grade Art Instructor at Burton Valley and teaches Special Day Classes at Springhill. Tim is an artist based in the Bay Area, California creating illustrations, paintings, children's books, and poetry inspired by the natural and imaginative worlds.  Tim studied illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, graduating with a BFA, and has been working as a successful freelance illustrator, painter, and art educator with command of a wide range of styles, mediums, and techniques, truly loving the creative process and driven to inspire others.  Tim has made his living as a teaching artist for over a decade working in several public schools, community programs, and has been recognized for his work with high-risk teens.  Tim is a provincial artist heavily influenced by the California landscape and exhibits his work locally and is continually inspired by the rich and vibrant diversity of the Bay Area, which is reflected in his paintings, illustrations, and cartoons.


Kirsten Jensen-Horne:   Kirsten has always loved art. She had drawings, paintings, jewelry and quilts shown in juried local and national exhibitions beginning in junior high school.  After graduating from Campolindo HS, she studied Art and Sociology at UC Davis and has a masters in Public Administration from George Washington University in WDC.  Though those subject areas may seem disparate, the creative problem solving skills Kirsten uses in her art help her find new and creative solutions to social science problems. 

Currently a mom to two girls at BVE, she loves sharing with children how art can express and elicit feelings, movement, change and growth. 

Linda Kenney: Linda teaches fifth grade art at Springhill Elementary.  With a BAS degree in Graphic Design from Expression College in Emeryville, and a BS in Advertising from Syracuse University, Linda has been involved in commercial art for a while.  Her true love is being around kids.  She developed and implemented the school-wide art curriculum at Sequoia Elementary in Pleasant Hill, which is run completely by parent volunteers.  She has taught after-school art appreciation classes for the last four years at St. Perpetua School here in Lafayette.  She also enjoys being a fifth grade instructional aide at St. Perpetua School.  Linda says, "My soul is filled with incredible joy when I teach art, since it combines my love of art with a child's enthusiasm.  Nothing can be better!" Linda joined LPIE as a new Art Instructor in 2015.  

Julie Lyverse: Julie is a fourth grade LPIE Art Instructor, as well as a Stanley LPIE 6th Grade Art and LPIE Foreign Language Cultural Art Instructor. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development and has worked extensively with children. Her art training includes classes at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, France and Traditional Arts School in Sendai, Japan. Julie previously served as director and instructor for an art appreciation program at Beechwood Elementary School in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky.

Joy Martin: Joy joined LPIE as an art Instructor in 2015.  She teaches 1st grade at Happy Valley and TK at Happy Valley & Burton Valley. Joy Martin always dreamed of being an artist or a teacher as a child, and she is thrilled to be both with Lafayette Partners in Education.  She enjoys introducing art concepts and artists to children in a developmentally appropriate way. When not teaching LPIE Art, Joy teaches preschool in Walnut Creek.  She has two sons in Lafayette schools who always look forward to LPIE art days

Tanya Parmelee: Tanya will be joining LPIE as an Art Instructor in the 2018-19 school year.  She will be teaching 3rd grade at Lafayette Elementary & Springhill. 

This East Bay native loves working with youth especially in the areas of the arts, leadership development and sports. Not surprisingly, her high school cheer flyer daughter and elementary school soccer/rugby player son are also very skilled artists. Tanya firmly believes, art is one of the few subjects where a student can simply immerse in the process; additionally, she believes art exploration and creative expression are important for the development of a young person into a thoughtful, aware adult that can think outside the box.


Tanya recognizes learning experiences can make or break a student’s attitude towards a subject or activity. Her numerous years in coaching, teaching and leadership development have helped her to build the combination of thick skin and compassion needed to quickly redirect a child’s frustration into a positive, engaging and meaningful moment! And of course, to recognize when a child needs that extra push.


In the community, Tanya can be found tackling Membership and High School Troop program development for Lafayette Girl Scouts, plus serving on Drama and Boosters boards at her teen’s high school. Professionally, Tanya has spent over two decades in advertising creative and brand development and is still attached to a bicoastal agency as Brand Development Director. A pocket of time is always reserved for local nonprofits.


Tanya holds a cooperative BFA from University of San Francisco + Academy of Art where she was the last cohort required to be able to work all media by hand while adapting to the cutting edge new-to-world technology flooding the professional industry at the time. She also holds a dual MBA in marketing and management, but thinks brand development and art art a lot more fun.

Corey Pigeon:  Corey teaches First Grade Art at Lafayette Elementary School.  She comes to us with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Fine Art from Gonzaga University. Corey is passionate about teaching children the creative process of moving ideas and observations from inside their hearts and minds, to outside of themselves.  She fosters this process by teaching them they are all artists and there is no wrong in art. Corey adores spending time with her husband Will and their three children Blake, Brady and Campbell.

Kathy Sobel: Kathy is currently the Art Program Chair for LPIE. She teaches art to Lafayette Elementary 3rd graders, and Happy Valley 3rd, 4th & 5th graders. She worked as a professional illustrator and graphic designer for many years in Chicago and Los Angeles before moving to the San Francisco area with her husband and three children. Most of her work has been centered on children - from her illustrations for educational publishers to her work with schools and day camps.


Katie Stein: New to LPIE in 2017-18. She will be teaching K at SH & BV. Katie Stein is a Burton mom of 3, and experienced educator of young children .  Prior to parenthood, Katie taught elementary school for 10 years, both in Massachusetts and in Oregon.  As a 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade teacher, Katie passionately incorporated art into all aspects of her classroom.  A New Hampshire native, Katie loves being in nature – hiking, camping, and spending time near the ocean.  She also greatly enjoys coaching youth basketball, which she has done for the past 5 years through LMYA.  Teaching and inspiring children – whether it be in art, basketball, writing, riding a bike, or anything else – is one of the great sources of joy in her life.  She is so happy to be a part of the kindergarten LPIE art team!

Joan Toney:  Joan teaches 6th grade art at Stanley.  She is a parent of Lafayette school children and has held many volunteer positions at Bay Area non-profits.



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Meet our LPIE Art Instructors

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