Hi! We are the Friends of Elementary Arts, Inc.
We are the friends, neighbors, teachers and family of this community who believe arts education is a critical component in the total education of all children.
We represent a cross-section of expertise in the Arts, Arts Education, Law, Accounting, Business, Parenting, and much more.
If you see us out and about be sure to say "Hi!". We'd love to hear all your questions and thoughts on how we can enhance and expand cultural connections for all children!
Sandra Clifton | co-founder
Sandra Clifton retired from teaching in 2010. During her 40 years as an elementary teacher in Alachua County, she took her students on many field trips to docent led tours of the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art and to concerts at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. She saw firsthand how providing children with these unique artistic experiences influenced them in numerous positive ways.
sue johnson | co-founder
Sue Johnson is a retired art educator and a co-founder of Friends of Elementary Arts, Inc. Although she is no longer a Gainesville resident, she is still involved in this organization because she believes that the arts are a basic component to a well-rounded education. The arts are an important contributor to the social, emotional and intellectual development of all students.
Cheryl poe | president
Cheryl Poe is a retired music educator. She is an enthusiastic advocate for arts education for all children. In addition to volunteering with the Friends of Elementary Arts, Inc., she is an active member of several non-profit organizations including Foundation for the Promotion of Music, Florida Federation of Music Clubs, Sigma Alpha Iota Alumni, and the Rotary Club of Downtown Gainesville.
corinne keller | secretary
Corinne Keller is a retired language arts and reading teacher. She has been on the FEA Board for ten years, serving as its secretary. She believes that sharing Music and the Arts with children helps them blossom, creating a better world for all.
linda henderson | Visual artist liaison
Linda Henderson is a retired art teacher who loves to visit museums and thinks that everyone should get to see outstanding art. When she's at home, Linda enjoys making small fabric collages. As a member of the board, Linda has the pleasure of coordinating and organizing the artists who donate their time and creativity to the Musical Chairs Fundraiser.
Bonnie Bernau was a Florida public school K-9th grade art teacher, district leader, intern supervisor, and curriculum developer. She joined the staff of the Samuel P. Harn Museum as Director of Education in August 2001, following two years as Visiting Assistant Professor in UF’s Department of Art Education. During her 12-year tenure at the Harn Museum, Ms. Bernau was Principal Investigator for two National Endowment for the Arts grants: “Art for Life” and “PACE Center for Girls”, developed collection-based curriculum resource units, conducted Summer Teacher Institutes and mentored over 30 interns. Ms. Bernau was selected "Teacher of the Year" by her peers at Sealey Elementary in Tallahassee in 1986, was honored by the Florida Art Education Association as “Florida Museum Educator of the Year” in 2004 and was selected as “Florida Art Educator of the Year” in 2005.
Christine Brundige has been involved with art education her entire life, teaching studio art, art history and museum education to elementary age students through adults. She began her career in Colorado, teaching in the award-winning Jefferson County Public School System, continued in Florida and Mexico; earning her Master’s in Art Education from the University of Florida, and Master’s in Studio Art from the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende. Christine recently retired from teaching and now pursues her love of watercolor painting, but is still passionate about preserving Arts Education in the Public Schools.
Heather Bjorn is a local graphic designer and printmaker. She currently works at the Appleton Museum of Art in Ocala as the Graphic Design and Website Coordinator, is a member of Sweetwater Print Co-operative, and is Strategic Initiatives Chair for AIGA Gainesville. Heather has worked with the Friends of Elementary Arts, Inc. for years as a creative consultant, and is now a board member. Her two bright, creative daughters are her main inspiration for all things Elementary Arts (and beyond) in Gainesville.
Julie Waldman has dedicated her career to helping Florida's most vulnerable citizens - children, the elderly and the developmentally disabled. She is currently the Deputy Center Administrator at Tacachale, a developmental disabilities center, where she is responsible for the residential, vocational and leisure programming for 340 adults.
diana rollo | alachua county school board liaison
Diana Rollo is the Curriculum Specialist for Fine Arts for Alachua County Public Schools and has been a music educator in the county for almost 20 years. She is happy serve in this role and hopes to continue the growth of arts programs for all students in Alachua County Public Schools. Diana is also the proud mother of a trumpet-playing 13 year old son who attends Ft. Clarke Middle School.
Tatyana Mann | Digital Media Specialist
Tatyana Mann is a Gainesville native, and recent graduate from the University of Florida. With a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Digital Media, she enjoys working on the digital landscape of Friends of Elementary Arts, from web design to media outreach. As a strong advocate of connecting people to narratives in innovative ways, Ms. Mann hopes to increase the awareness of FEA and support curriculums that value creativity as much as function.
Thomas Hawkins | Legal Consultant
Thomas Hawkins is an alumnus of three Alachua County public schools: Littlewood, Westwood, and Eastside. At each, he had arts education that instilled his lifelong appreciation for creativity. Thomas is a Florida licensed attorney and resident of Gainesville.