Catherine Conner, Instructor Hi, I’m Catherine and I’m excited to be a member of the Joshua’s Stage team! I have been a volunteer at the Capital School After School program since 2018 and I love singing, creating stories and just being creative with kids. I was born and raised here in Austin – I’m a true Texas Longhorn fan! I played the flute in the band starting at Lamar Middle School, McCallum High School and finally at Blinn College in Brenham (yes, near the Blue Bell Creamery)! Fun fact: I got to be the band Director for my high school fight song during my graduation ceremony – it was a real honor! I also love to sing! I am a member of a choir called “We Are the Chorus” and have enjoyed performing in a number of musicals including Oklahoma, Cinderella and The King and I. I am an aunt to two nephews and one niece, they all live in Austin, so I feel very lucky to spend time with my family when I’m not working! I’ve learned a lot from Joshua and I look forward to a fun and creative after-school program with the Joshua’s Stage team!
Grant Giles, Instructor Grant is a native Austinite who has strived to find a combination of his love for acting and care for individuals with intellectual disabilities. He began his work in high school special education before becoming a job coach for adults with autism. Through his pursuit toward becoming a Registered Behavioral Technician, he found the importance of tailoring his instruction to the needs of each student. Being a career actor for over 10 years, Grant has experienced the therapeutic benefits of performance art first-hand, and applies this knowledge at Joshua’s Stage where he supports each student in building their self-confidence, and fostering a sense of community among peers.
Kayla LaMartina, Site Director Hi I’m Kayla. I went to Schreiner University in a small town named Kerrville, majoring in Behavioral Science and minoring in photography and business management. I have worked with all age groups, and enjoy them all, but find the most excitement in working with children! When I was younger, I babysat, and in college I worked at an emergency children center. After graduating, I worked with CPS until finding Joshua’s Stage. In my free time I enjoy crafting, gardening, and working with animals.
Mariana Rios, Site-Director and Instructor Mariana is from Eagle Pass and has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from The University of Texas at Austin. Mariana loves working for Joshua’s Stage because she gets to demonstrate her passion for kids with diverse abilities by helping them achieve their fullest potential through their creativity as well as help feel empowered and included. In her free time Mariana enjoys playing the guitar and singing and aspires to be able to incorporate music as a Speech-Language Pathologist in the future.
Alex Secord, Instructor Alex is currently a student at The University of Texas at Austin double majoring in Textiles and Apparel and Plan II. He’s had a passion for working with people with intellectual disabilities since his younger brother was born with a rare developmental disability. With his degrees, he plans on working to develop adaptive clothing for people who struggle with fine motor skills to empower everyone to wear clothes that make them feel happy, comfortable, and confident. In his free time, he enjoys creating art, reading novels, and trying new foods with friends and family.
Joshua Levy, Founder and Executive Director Growing up Joshua wrote stories, designed puppet shows and composed rap songs with his sister, directed plays, sang in musicals, worked on set design, and performed in plays. He started working with special needs children while in middle school and high school. Joshua has lived in Austin, Texas since 1998, and for eight years he taught special needs children at the elementary and high school levels, and he served as an assistant principal at an elementary school and at a high school. Following his career in public education Joshua was with Pearson in State Assessments for nine years including positions as a project manager, a test development manager, and a program manager. Joshua’s Stage is the product of Joshua’s combined experiences and passion for enriching the lives of individuals with special needs. In addition to overseeing and conducting programs for Joshua’s Stage, Joshua teaches informal classes for adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDDs) in the Joshua’s Stage Lifelong Learning with Friends program, and he is an assistant adjunct professor at Austin Community College. Joshua is the President of Joshua Levy Educational Consulting, LLC, and he is the proud author of The Creative Outlet Method: At-Home Activities for Children with Special Needs. Joshua has an undergraduate degree in Elementary and Special Education from the University of Nebraska, a Masters of Educational Administration from Texas State University, and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Dallas. Joshua is married to his wife Lori, and they have two beautiful children and two dogs.