Amber Dixon, Site Director, Summer Programs 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.
Kayla LaMartina, Site Director, Summer Programs 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.
Kimber Hageman, Instructor, Summer Programs Hi, my name is Kimber Hageman and I am from Austin, TX. I grew up visiting my uncle Roy in group homes and the Denton State School until he passed away. I miss him a lot but I will always remember all of the smiles he brought to so many people and the workers that also brought him joy. I also have experience babysitting kids on the spectrum including my younger cousin, Ethan. I love working with kids and I did Speech and Debate all throughout high school (which is closer to theater than you might think). I have also played the piano for many years. Other than that I love traveling, television and film, and creative projects. I started volunteering for Joshua’s Stage last year and absolutely love it. I am so excited to be an instructor this summer and make more amazing memories! 🙂
Catherine Conner, Instructor, Summer Programs Hi, I’m Catherine and I’m excited Hi, I’m Catherine Conner and I’m excited to join the Joshua’s Stage team this summer! 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. Just two weeks ago my other brother 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 summer with the Joshua’s Stage team!
Emma Stiles, Instructor, Summer Programs Hello! My name is Emma Stiles and I am from Austin, TX. I have spent the past several years working and volunteering at a variety of organizations for children and teens with intellectual and physical disabilities. I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Special Education at Texas Tech University, and plan to either become a special needs teacher, or an applied behavioral analyst. I’m very excited to be a part of Joshua’s Stage again and can’t wait to reunite with such an amazing community this summer!
Gabbie Eltanal, Instructor, Summer Programs
Kendra Crowl, Instructor, Online Summer Programs
Donise Tran, Instructor, Summer Programs Hello! My name is Donise Tran and I’m from Wylie, TX (a suburb of Dallas!). I graduated from Wylie High School in 2018 and I am currently pursuing Neuroscience (BSA) and Linguistics (BA) degrees at UT Austin. Outside of school, I love to paint, watch movies, and read lots of books. I am a total music nerd and have been playing the saxophone, ukulele, and piano for over 10 years now. You might also catch me at UT football games in the Longhorn Band! I am a very enthusiastic believer in the fact that music and other forms of art help to enrich children’s lives and enhance their creativity. I’m so excited to join this organization and put my passions to good use!
Jen Mattson, Site Director, Fall Programs 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”!
Josh Kuehner, Operations Director Josh Durkin is the Operations Director for Joshua’s Stage. He was raised in Plano, Texas and moved to Austin in 2015. Josh grew up helping his mom and dad raise his two younger brothers. In middle school, he worked in the Partners P.E. Program, which gave him the love for working with special needs students. Josh loves teaching love, compassion, and empathy through music and constant praise. Josh is also an instructor for Joshua’s Stage programs including 9-weeks sessions, after-school programs, summer camps, and workshops. He is currently pursuing training as a Registered Behavior Technician. He has been with Joshua’s Stage since the summer of 2017.
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.