Blogs

Fine Arts Team Spotlight

Cynthia Collins

What is your role at TFA?

3D Visual Arts Instructor – because God created all things, it is easy to teach Art with Him as the focus. I strive to teach the visual arts in a way that brings glory to Him as the Master Artist, by equipping students to visually impact the community and the world with the foundational truth that He is our Creator.

Why do you choose to serve at TFA?

Teaching about God’s creation through the visual arts is a ministry, not a job. I try to connect with students in a way they feel safe to ask questions, by sharing my own challenges, both victories, and failures.

What is the greatest value of our Fine Arts programs at TFA?

All aspects of the Fine Arts are an expression of our internal state of being. God’s word teaches us to overcome the darkness and stay in the light. Our artistic expression must exhibit this wisdom to a world who needs to know Him.

What is your favorite memory at TFA in Fine Arts?

Painting the Windermere Mural…this year will be 3 times!

Fun fact about you

I started college as a Music Major and I sang with Barry Manilow. My husband and I are ballroom dancers.

Gabby Headley​​

What is your role at TFA?

Middle & Upper School Theatre Director! I teach all Middle & Upper School Theatre & Public Speaking classes, am the Troupe Director for our Thespian Troupes, & Direct the plays & musicals at TFA!

Why do you choose to serve at TFA?

I choose to serve at TFA because TFA students, faculty, & parents are some of the best people in the world! It is so fun to get to come to school every day & be surrounded by some of the most loving, encouraging people!

What is the greatest value of our Fine Arts programs at TFA?

The greatest value of the Theatre Department at TFA is that there are so many opportunities for students to plugin. There is class, Thespian Competitions, Student Directing, being involved in the cast, being involved in the crew, there are just so many different ways to be involved! You also learn some amazing life lessons while doing theatre-like teamwork, public speaking, problem-solving, & working towards a common goal with a group.

What is your favorite memory at TFA in Fine Arts?

My favorite memory is always watching the students perform their hearts out standing in the back of the audience. It is a feeling like none other seeing a show come together & the students doing what they love to honor & glorify Jesus!

Fun fact about you

I have a mini long-haired dachshund named Lulu & she is the absolute best!

Holly McWilliams

What is your role at TFA?

I am the Middle School and Upper School Choir teacher. I help teach students teamwork through singing music together. We learn to read music, notate music, and sing in many languages other than English.

Why do you choose to serve at TFA?

I love being able to use my gifts and talents to be able to honor and glorify the Lord. I could do this in a public school of course, but there is something special about being able to have meaningful relationships that INCLUDE Jesus with my students and what we do each day in class. Also, having colleagues who are believers really can shape a sour day and turn it into a wonderful day! The power of prayer is heavily encouraged in our walls and that is truly special.

What is the greatest value of our Fine Arts programs at TFA?

The greatest value that the Fine Arts Department offers to the student body, faculty, staff and community is showing the artistic side of our creator. God has many characteristics and one of those is creativity. We are able to demonstrate this through song, music, voices, visual arts and drama.

Fun fact about you

I love coffee and cry when I see Orca whales in person either at Sea World or in the wild.

Kim Moseler

What is your role at TFA?

I am the Middle and Upper School and AP Art Teacher. I teach Middle school art as well as high school art classes including AP 2D Design and Drawing.

Why do you choose to serve at TFA?

I attended and graduated from a private Christian school and when I decided to become an art teacher it was only fitting that I teach at a one. I started teaching art in 1997 and missed a few years to have my children before to coming to TFA in 2017. I was taking a break from teaching and realized that I really missed it. I looked at several schools, but God lead me to look at an opening at TFA. I had known about the school growing up in Orlando, and the school that I attended played TFA in sports. I saw that there was a rare opening for an art teacher and prayed about it. I didn’t know anyone at TFA, but every door seemed to be opening at the right time to be a part of this great school. I was excited for two of my kids to attend also. The reputation of TFA in the community was great and I was very excited to teach in such a great school, but I was also very excited for my kids to be able to attend. God worked out all the details and I came to TFA in 2017 and I have loved every minute!

What is the greatest value of our Fine Arts programs at TFA?

I believe that fine arts give students who may not fit into other programs (like sports or high academics) a chance to shine. Art is a form of expression that is unusual in that we are typically “silent” performers and not on a stage or on the field. Students who may not even be known in the school can be recognized and honored for their great talent and achievements. Many of our students have gone on to become fashion designers, architects, artists, interior designers, graphic designers and more. Not only doing great artwork but also being a light in a dark world. God is the ultimate Designer and what better way to honor his Creation than to use our talents to make beautiful artwork and lead others to Him.

What is your favorite memory at TFA in Fine Arts?

I have many great memories, but I love our events in the community. Some of my favorites are street painting events that we do a few times a year (pre-covid). Also the Windermere Christmas mural. Not only do we have a great time…it also gives us a chance to develop deeper relationships with our students and bring the light of TFA into the community.

Fun fact about you

A fun fact about me. I have never been athletic. I was on the softball team at my small Chrisitan high school because they just needed people. But that was the extent of my “athleticism.” Around 2007 I decided that I wanted to run a half marathon. I made the goal, trained, and went on to complete 5 half marathons between 2007 and 2010 (and had a baby in between those years). I decided to train for a full marathon in 2011 but fell down some stairs about a week before the race and wasn’t recovered enough to actually run it. It was disappointing because I had trained for 6 months. But I am proud to say that I have run 21 miles even if it was just for a training run. For a non-athletic person, it’s something I am happy that I did. And just to clarify, I wasn’t ever fast but I finished!

Debi Savage

What is your role at TFA?

My primary role is teaching KPrep-5th General Music/Theatre. In addition to my Lower School instructional responsibilities, I coordinate weekly chapels, direct three major productions (Grandparents Day program, the Christmas musical, and the Evening at the Arts musical), direct 3rd-5th grade choir, and serve as Royal Academy Director (after school extra-curricular enrichment classes).

Why do you choose to serve at TFA?

I believe I’ve been called to teach and share the gift of music with my students (including how music heals the soul, using it to worship God, and how it’s used in our everyday lives). I’m committed to helping raise Christian leaders. I believe I am called to help students develop their performing and worshiping gifts and talents as well as to expose them to varying types of music, styles, and composers. My four daughters graduated from TFA and I see the impact that the school has made in their lives and love being a part of that process that develops strong Christians who live out their faith.

What is the greatest value of our Fine Arts programs at TFA?

The Fine Arts program is an outlet for students who are gifted or have a passion for the Arts and who wish to pursue their creative desires.
Our program helps provide an understanding of and an appreciation for praise and worship and the role it plays in regard to spiritual formation.
Our Fine Arts programs are unique in that programs such as the Christmas musical and chapel services advance God’s kingdom and share the gospel in compelling manners.

What is your favorite memory at TFA in Fine Arts?

One year, in planning the Gala, Christian artist, Nicole C. Mullen, agreed to be our featured performer. Our Lower School choir was able to sing a song with her for the event. It was such a highlight and special treat for the students and a fun evening for the guests.

Fun fact about you

A good part of my childhood was spent in the Netherland Antilles as my parents were missionaries to St. Maartin and Anguilla.

Gordon Snyder

What is your role at TFA?

I serve as the Fine Arts Director and MS & US Band Director. As Fine Arts Director, I oversee programming for the overall Fine Arts while developing programming and long-term development. As the Band Director, I oversee all instrumental ensembles 6th-12th grade including the Chapel Band, MS Band, Varsity Band, Jazz Band, and other related instrumental ensembles.

Why do you choose to serve at TFA?

TFA allows people to develop their God-given talents and abilities. Because of this, students and teachers alike are inspired to see God in everything they do. With that said, I chose TFA because of this and the opportunity to continue to develop the Fine Arts programming and presence. It is incredible to get to do music every day.

What is the greatest value of our Fine Arts programs at TFA?

The greatest value is understanding that once involved in the Fine Arts are lifelong. In other words, the talents developed can be used in church, community groups, and other related arts opportunities. They will enrich your life in multiple ways and will be a source of enjoyment and stress relief

What is your favorite memory at TFA in Fine Arts?

So far, my favorite moment was the last song at A Night to Remember when all performers performed Remember Me to close the production. It was a sweet moment.

Fun fact about you

I did my first tour at age 15.

Atlee Swartz

What is your role at TFA?Atlee Swartz

Hi there! I am the Lower School Art Teacher here at TFA! I get to see every single student from k-4 through the fifth grade, and after five years, I think I know every single name.

Why do you choose to serve at TFA?

I am so blessed to be able to serve here with such an incredibly talented group of people who know and love Jesus! The students bring me such joy in and out of the classroom, and their beautiful art always brightens my day.

What is the greatest value of our Fine Arts programs at TFA?

I love the way TFA values each and every student as a precious gift from God. Their unique talents and abilities are discovered and fostered so lovingly to be used for His glory.

What is your favorite memory at TFA in Fine Arts?

My favorite memory here is always the end of the year Art Show and the joy the students have with their art being on display! I love bringing their creativity to life, especially when they think they are not artistic!

Fun fact about you

A fun fact about me is that I studied Art History in Paris and the south of France in college and did my internship at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC (yep, that was quite a long time ago but was awfully exciting!).

Casey Vaughn

What is your role at TFA?

I am Media Production Instructor, Yearbook Advisor, Dance Marathon Advisor, and Creative Marketing Manager.

Why do you choose to serve at TFA?

I love serving and working at TFA because I get to share my passion for media and content creation with students, developing lifelong skills they can carry with them far beyond the classroom–even if they do not pursue careers in media. And on top of that, I get to share my faith with them and how it is interwoven into not only my media career but the lessons they’re learning in class.

What is the greatest value of our Fine Arts programs at TFA?

It is the interdisciplinary opportunities they have to develop professional talents, promote their work, and grow as artists in so many ways. From filming on the sidelines of football games to creating content that is broadcast out to Central Florida and beyond, our students have a wealth of opportunities at their fingertips, not only in Media Production but in any area of Fine Arts they may interact with. Additionally, their other passions are supporting, engaging with Athletics, Academics and other experiences on campus.

What is your favorite memory at TFA in Fine Arts?

It’s hard to pick just one. For Yearbook specifically, it is always delivery day in May when they get to see the year’s worth of countless hours spent designing come to fruition when the yearbook is delivered. More recently it’s opportunities like Athletics Media Day when photo and video students get to experience a collegiate and professional level event that they are behind the camera for.

Fun fact about you

Behind my passion for yearbook and media, I used to work in broadcast news and worked on my high school and college yearbook staffs. Outside of media, I minored in French and would consider myself a Francophile–though my French has gotten rusty over the years.