Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council

Get to know the Quaver DEI Committee, a group of employees committed to incorporating factors relating to diversity, inclusion, and equity in the fabric of QuaverEd.

Jennifer Barnes

Role At QuaverEd:
Curriculum Writer

Education:
Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Belmont University.

Fun Fact:
Jennifer loves horror movies and has read every Stephen King book in chronological order.

“The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.”

Stephen King

Experience Highlights:

  • Taught K-4 Music for 13 years at Lockeland Elementary in Nashville, TN
  • Served as a Peer Reviewer for MNPS’s Fine Arts Portfolio Evaluations
  • Mentored undergraduate music education students from Belmont University.
  • Honored as a CMA Music Teacher of Excellence in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Certifications:

  • Kodály Level II Certification
  • Orff Level II Certification

Session Highlights:

  • Cultural Competency in the Kodaly Classroom at the 2020 Texas Music Educators Association

Sharon Cho

Role at QuaverEd: 
Instructional Coach & Clinician
SEL Lead Trainer

Education:
BME, University of Illinois -Urbana/Champaign
M. ED – Lipscomb University

Fun Fact:
Doesn’t like chocolate!

Emotion is the genesis of learning.

Experience Highlights:

  • Music Teacher/ Behavior Specialist (Elementary)
  • AP Music Theory, AICE, AP Chem, Piano, General Music, Graduation Coach (High School)
  • Music Director: (6-12, Littlestone Academy)
  • Instructional Coach (K-12)
  • Professional Vocal Coach
  • Grammy Certificate: Background Vocalist

Certifications:

  • Instructional Coaching Degree & Certificate
  • K-12 Teaching License (IL & TN)
  • Orff Level I
  • Korean Global: Translator
  • AP Music Theory Certification

Session Highlights:

  • Cultural Competence
  • Music and SEL
  • Instructional Coaching

Toni Garza

Role at QuaverEd: 
Instructional Coach & Clinician

Education:
BM, Berklee College of Music
MBA, Southern New Hampshire University

Fun Fact:
Loves elephants! Toni has elephant decor all over her home and office!

As teachers, we often struggle with thinking that we are chained to our classrooms. I’ve heard phrases like ‘teaching is all I know how to do’ from the educators I work with. My response is always the same: ‘You’re a teacher. You can do anything!‘”

Experience Highlights:

  • Boston & Metro Nashville Public Schools Teacher
  • General Music (Pre-K-8th) Grade, Choir (6-8th Grade), General Education (4th Grade)
  • Disney Musicals in Schools Director
  • MNPS Side-by-Side Music Coach

Certifications:

  • Orff Level I 
  • Responsive Classroom
  • Project-Based Learning 101
  • Lipscomb’s Instructional Coaching and Tech Coaching Academies

Session Highlights:

  • Building a Middle School General Music Curriculum from Scratch
  • Cultural Competence in the Music Classroom
  • Getting to the Heart of Music: Using SEL in the Music Classroom

Otto Gross

Role at QuaverEd: 
Music Producer, Composer, Instructional Coach, and Clinician

Education:
B.A., Berklee College of Music
Cert., Belmont University
Cert., University of Las Vegas

Fun Fact:
My favorite show of all time is Columbo.

When my son says ‘Daddy… I love you.‘”

Experience Highlights:

  • Music Director
  • Orff Ensemble Composer
  • Public Speaker
  • International Touring Musician
  • NAACP ACT-SO Gold Medalist

Certifications:

  • Orff-Schulwerk Level III
  • World Drumming
  • Distinguished Scholar of the Arts

Session Highlights:

  • Improvisation
  • Active Music-Making
  • Culturally Relevant Music

Stephanie Haney

Role At QuaverEd:
SEL Curriculum Specialist

Education:
BSW, Western Illinois University
MASE, Belmont University

Fun Fact:
I’m a big musical theater fan.

“Relationships are the foundation of teaching and learning.  I love creating engaging lessons that spark thoughtful conversations and meaningful connections between teachers and students.”

Experience Highlights:

  • 10+ years of teaching experience with a background in Special Education and Gifted Education

Certifications:

  • E-Learning and Instructional Design 
  • K – 12 Special Education Teaching License 
  • Endorsement in Gifted Education

Session Highlights:

  • SEL
  • Special Education

Brandon Karstetter

Role At QuaverEd:
Director of Content

Education:
B.S., Murray State University

Fun Fact:
When I was eleven, I wanted to be a “scientist inventor” when I grew up.

 “A child spells love, T-I-M-E

Experience Highlights:

  • Script Supervisor on Episodes
  • Teacher Notes Guru
  • Proofing Lord of Content Department
  • Correlations Overseer
  • Spanish Pre-K Project Lead
  • MacGyver of Content Department

Certifications:

  • N/A

Session Highlights:

  • Pirate #11 in Stinky Pirates song
  • Audience Member #3 in various tracks of QuaverEd screens
  • Writer and Voice of Fun Folk Facts

Valerie Diaz Leroy

Role At QuaverEd:
Research and Pedagogy Specialist

Education:
Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Music, Boston College (1999)

Fun Fact:
Valerie has a certificate in Baking and Pastry from the Tampa Art Institute and used to teach cooking classes to her elementary students!

A careful and thoughtful study of music has provided me with remarkable opportunities to develop a deeper appreciation for humankind. Working with musicians, historians, and educators has encouraged me to explore the impact that music has on all our lives and has helped me expand and rethink diverse ways to create effective and valid curriculum and powerful pedagogical approaches that expand the knowledge and understanding of music.

Experience Highlights:

  • 13 years in the classroom
  • Taught K-4th grade Music
  • Taught Kindergarten Spanish

Certifications:

  • Kodály Certification
  • Conflict Transformation Certification

Session Highlights:

  • Folk Dancing
  • Banjo Picking!

Ashley Perry

Role at Quaver:
SEL Curriculum Specialist

Education:
Candidate for Doctorate of Education in Leadership and Professional Practice (2020), (Trevecca Nazarene University)
Master of Arts in Teaching, (Belmont University)
Bachelor of Arts in English  (University of Memphis)

Fun Fact:  
I have an identical twin sister and we were born on Valentine’s Day! 

“Our Deepest Fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

-Marianne Williamson

Experience Highlights:

  • Two years as a 6th Grade Middle School Reading Teacher
  • Three years as a Third Grade Reading/Social Studies Teacher
  • Two years as a Fourth Grade Reading/Social Studies Teacher

Certifications:

  • K-6 Teacher Licensure

Session Highlights:

  • SEL
  • Movement

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