School of Fine Arts Faculty

Carolyn Ballou

Visual Arts
Interim School of Fine Arts Director                                            
Ballou head shotMA Case Western Reserve University
BFA Cleveland Institute of Art

Carolyn Ballou is the school’s Technology Coordinator and runs the dual platform Dell and iMac labs equipped for graphic arts, animation, video, and photography. Each year her digital photography students receive recognitions with Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mention awards from the Scholastics art and writing competition. Mrs. Ballou taught at the Cleveland School of the Arts and at the Beck Center for the Arts before beginning her career at Lake Ridge Academy.

S. Todd Christopher

Music   Christopher PIC
BME The Ohio State University  

Todd Christopher is the choral director for Lake Ridge Academy. He completed his undergraduate music education work at The Ohio State University followed by graduate work in vocal music performance at Northern Arizona University.  Most recently, Todd was the executive director of the Performing Arts Institute at Wyoming Seminary (Kingston, PA), where he had spent twelve summers as a faculty member. He has also taught choral music and theater Ashley Hall (Charleston, SC), and Wapakoneta H.S. (Wapakoneta, OH).  During his 18 years of teaching he’s been involved with numerous vocal ensembles, countless theater productions, and a competition show choir.

Edward Leonard

MM Kent State University School of Music
BM Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music.

Edward Leonard is the director the jazz studies program at Lake Ridge Academy and is an active performer, composer, and arranger. As part of the program, his students have worked with leading area musicians and competed at Walt Disney World. He received a Master of Music degree in piano performance from Kent State University and a Bachelor's Degree in Music Composition from Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music. He has music directed for community theater groups across Northeast Ohio. As a jazz pianist he has performed at Nighttown, the Brother's Lounge, The Star Restaurant, The New Orleans Showboat Club, Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland for its weekly concert series, the Kent State Jazz Combo, the Baldwin Wallace Jazz Ensemble, and the Baldwin Wallace Alumni Jazz Ensemble.

Charise Zablotsky

Music   charises bio 1
MM Cleveland State
BM Marywood University

Charise Zablotsky is the director of the Lake Ridge Academy strings program.  She has served as the associate principle violinist of the La Jolla Symphony Orchestra in La Jolla, CA.  Her experience includes working as a teaching artist for the Play-on-Philly El Sistema program in Philadelphia, PA.  She has also worked as the music director of the Satellite Strings Project program at Marywood University and attended three summers at the Golandsky Institute Symposium at Princeton University.

Kristy Rodriguez

Knectges head shotTheater
MA Ursuline College
BA Wittenberg University

Kristy Rodriguez has directed and choreographed over 20 productions throughout her career. Ms. Rodriguez was selected to present at the 2010 National Theater Educators’ Conference and was selected for the 2007 Music Theater International’s Broadway Teacher’s Institute. Most recently, her production of Janey Miller’s World Tour was selected to be performed at the Ohio State Thespians Conference.

Valerie Grossman

grossmanVisual Arts
BFA The Cleveland Institute of Art

Valerie Grossman teaches Ceramics and 3D Visual Art to grades 6-12. Her background is in ceramics and sculpture. In her artwork, she utilizes clay as well as mixed media. She has expert skill in hand building and throwing pottery on the wheel. Her artwork has been purchased for display in private collections including The Cleveland Institute of Art, The Mandel Foundation, and Convivium 33 Gallery.  In 2015, Valerie opened BRICK Ceramic and Design Studio, a community maker space and ceramics gallery.  She created BRICK to provide access to ceramics, house affordable studio space for artists, and create a clay community on the eastside of Cleveland.

Timothy CallaghanCallaghan T2

Visual Arts
MFA Kent State University
BFA Cleveland Institute of Art

Timothy Callaghan has taught art at Cuyahoga Community College, The University of Akron and has been a visiting artist and lecturer at The Cleveland Institute of Art, Oberlin College and Savannah College of Art and Design.  He is an accomplished painter whose workhas been exhibited in New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C.
and Cleveland.  He published his first book, One Painting a Day, in 2013.