Amber Dixon, Site Director, After-School Program Amber is from Houston TX and she has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Texas State University. Amber is currently in Graduate school for Professional Counseling at St Edwards University. She absolutely loves working with children since she had her first job as a preschool school teacher. Amber has experience at residential treatment centers working with children and adults with intellectual disabilities and/or psychological disorders. She loves the idea of using music, theatre, and dance to help children build confidence, self-esteem, and life skills. Amber is super excited to be a part of the wonderful organization, Joshua’s Stage.
Jen Mattson, Site Director, After-School Program Jen began her career on the stage at age 11. She’s a former student of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC, and lived and worked there for several years. She holds a Masters in Theatre from Washington University in St. Louis. She’s also a professional chef, and enjoys working with clients of all abilities to build life skills, confidence, and create self-esteem. Jen’s lovely daughter, Lucy, was diagnosed with ASD in 2003 and continues to be the joy of her life. Jen is passionate about the power of the arts to teach social skills, community, and improve self-worth. She is so proud and excited to join Joshua’s Stage and its fellowship of merry makers. We’ve got “Magic to Do”!
Kayla LaMartina, Site Director, After-School Program 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.
Catherine Conner, Instructor, After-School Program Hi, I’m Catherine Conner 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.
Two years ago, I became an aunt for the first time and I love playing with and reading to my 2 year-old nephew. My other brother recently had a baby boy so I now have two nephews – they both 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!
Gabbie Eltanal, Instructor, After-School Program Gabbie has a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences from Texas A&M University and has had the pleasure of working with children with special needs as an ABA therapist after undergrad. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in occupational therapy at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Gabbie grew up around the performing arts and enjoys dancing, singing, and participating in theater arts. She believes engaging in performing arts can offer lifelong learning and facilitate improvement in self-confidence, social emotional skills, and creativity for the kids. Gabbie is a proud team member of Joshua’s Stage and hopes to create a positive impact for the children.
Sara McMillan, Instructor, After-School Program Sara McMillan is an instructor for the Joshua’s Stage after-school program, where Sara encourages and motivates students to participate in creative activities, work together, and maintain a friendly attitude. Born in San Angelo, Texas, Sara graduated from Christoval High School and is a proud recipient of the Samuel French award. Sara has always loved performing and believes being involved in the performing arts can help a person develop useful strategies and tools that will help them build positive relationships and enrich their daily lives. Sara is excited and looks forward to providing the safe, welcoming environment needed to encourage your children to grow emotionally, intellectually, and socially.
Meg Hobgood, One-One-Aide, After-School Program Meg Hobgood is originally from Lubbock, Texas. Growing up in Texas she was involved in speech and debate, theatre, and choir. She then went on to Northwestern State University in Louisiana to earn a bachelor’s degree in performance and directing. Since returning to her home state Meg has continued to widen her theatrical experiences by teaching theatre education, stage management, and performance. The stage has become a home for her, and she believes it is a place for everyone to be themselves, or anyone else they dream to become. She is proud to now call Joshua’s Stage home!
Joshua Levy, 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) at the University of Texas, 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 Book of Creativity: 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.