TRANSFORMING TEACHING & LEARNING
President & CEO
Robert L. Hamon
Bob Hamon has served as the Chief Executive Officer of CCE since 2011 when he transitioned from being a consultant for the organization to its full-time leader. Hamon uses his extensive background in management and strategy to work effectively with the community, Board of Directors and CCE staff, on finance, development and programming issues. In addition to overseeing the daily operations of CCE, Hamon works to devise long-range strategies to carry out its mission. Hamon has over 30 years of experience in executive positions in healthcare. He served as Senior VP of Group Purchasing Services for the largest health care purchasing group in the US until 2005 and remained as a consultant until 2007. He then opened his own consulting practice, RH Consulting, with a focus on strategic and operation performance.
Chief Operating Officer
Jerry Crank is responsible for overseeing CCE programming involving approximately 13,000 children and 40 Teaching Artists. He coordinates programming, evaluates performance and suggests strategies for improvement. Jerry joined CCE in 2012 and has grown the program, as well as improved its quality. Crank has a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Masters of Arts from Marshall University. He taught Pre-K through 8th grade for 7 years and is certified at the Maestro level by Kindermusik International. He joined the faculty of Marshall University, conducting classes in whole-child development.
Chief Academic Officer
Dr. Robert Southworth
Dr. Southworth is the Chief Academic Officer at the Center for Creative Education (CCE) and has a deep knowledge of educational policy, creative practice, rigorous research, and K-12 school reform. In addition, Dr. Southworth has used arts integration, authentic assessment and job-embedded professional development school reform strategies to improve teaching and learning. For example, peer-to-peer professional development can establish trust between teachers and teaching artists leading them to more readily exchange ideas about their teaching expertise. Dr. Southworth’s relationship with CCE started when he and his firm, The SchoolWorks Lab, Inc., were hired as CCE’s external evaluator (2016), and since 2019, he has been working full time with everyone to design, develop, and open The Foundations School in January of 2021. As CCE’s mission is to transform teaching and learning through creativity and the arts, Dr. Southworth has helped to prioritize the foundations of learning for this school through reading proficiency, arts integration, academic achievement, creative practice, and social emotional learning. Dr. Southworth has taught at Teachers College Columbia University, the Bank Street College of Education and Adelphi University. Dr. Southworth received degrees from Dartmouth College, Tufts University, Harvard University and his Ed.D. from Teachers College Columbia University.
Chief Financial Officer
John has served as the Director of Fiscal Operations since 2007. He manages the preparation and approval of the organization‘s budget, revenue and expenses, monthly financial reports, Accounts Receivables and Payables. He has prior experience in non-profit management where he developed and executed a variety of successful fundraising and development activities. Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, John has spent most of his professional career working with Hewlett Packard subsidiary, Electronic Data Systems. He holds Bachelor degrees in Business Administration as well as Health Services.
Arts Integration Curriculum Specialist
Emily Ankerson is a professional educator with expertise in curriculum writing and arts integration. She has a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, and extensive experience writing integrated curriculum at classroom, school-based, and district-wide levels. Additionally, she brings over 15 years experience as a classroom teacher in kindergarten through 6th grade and maintains current teaching certification through the Florida Department of Education. At CCE, Ms. Ankerson works on developing arts-integrated curriculum that aligns with local and national standards, and works closely with CCE’s Teaching Artists to help them develop engaging, meaningful content to help students reach learning goals through the Arts. She helps create and implement impactful professional development opportunities at CCE for educators and Teaching Artists, and other programming that brings the power of arts integration to the education community. Ms. Ankerson also manages CCE’s afterschool outreach program (CADRE).
Ronni Gerstel had been the site coordinator at Lantana Elementary, and also oversaw the LEAPs in Kindergarten at Barton Elementary. Ronni graduated Ithaca College with a degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology. However, in her senior year she focused on doing an Independent Study in Art Therapy, changing the course of her career path . Ronni is an original LEAP artist who has been involved in shaping the program since its pilot in 1995. With a focus on puppetry arts and classroom “museums”, she has received numerous awards for “Best Collaboration” over the years. Her LEAPs have been featured in the documentary “Project LEAP : Learning Out Loud” by NY filmmaker Emma Joan Morris, and in several stories by the Education Network, Palm Beach County School District’s television station. Outside of CCE, Ronni is the lead designer for the South Florida Day of the Dead processional for the past nine years. She also tours her original educational puppet production, Tales of Togetherness, which was commissioned by the Holocaust Studies Department of the Palm Beach School District, to teach First graders about tolerance.
Vivianne Hall began working at CCE in 2015 and continues supporting the organization, primarily through helping identify and engage current and potential donors and sponsors. In addition to fundraising, she helps coordinate special events and donor relations to ensure continued and future growth for CCE. She has a B.A. in communications from Washington State University which enabled her to work for more than two decades in electronic and print media, while at the same time, devoting time and energies to local nonprofits. She has a passion for helping at-risk populations, especially young children and their families.
Director of Research and Program Evaluation
Dr. Elizabeth Hallmark
As Director of Research and Evaluation, Dr. Hallmark is responsible for designing research and analyzing data that supports and strengthens CCE’s educational impact and cohesiveness. She brings more than 15 years of experience to CCE as an educator with a reputation for creating innovative curricula for students and adults. An expert writer, she is skilled at synthesizing divergent ideas into proposals and programming. She served four years as a board member of the Rochester City School District and helped rewrite the most recent arts standards as a member of New York State’s Arts Learning Standards Review Committee. She has a passion for improving educators’ collaborative skills with art professionals in the practice of high-quality arts integration. Over the last decade, she has taught research, writing, and arts integration at Nazareth College, Monroe Community College, and University of Rochester as an adjunct professor. Dr. Hallmark holds a Bachelor’s in English from Mount Holyoke College, a Master’s in Dance Movement Therapy from Antioch/New England, and a PhD in Education from the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education with a focus on Curriculum and Teaching.
Director of Grants Management and Research
Alex is responsible for researching grants and funding sources who are a match for the work of CCE. The research portion plays a large and important part of this role in identifying donors and foundations with the greatest capacity to give. Coordinating the collection of all required to complete an LOI, or a full grant proposal. Alex was previously a Program Director for almost three years at a local non-profit. He has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Computer Information Systems from the University of Texas at El Paso and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University in Santa Barbara, California.
Director of Schools
Dr. Kevin Kovacs
As Director of Schools at CCE, Kevin Kovacs is responsible for the oversight of our school programs which will include the Northwood Academy Afterschool Program, as well as our private, K-3 The Foundations School. Dr. Kevin Kovacs started his career in Boston, Massachusetts. From this beginning to joining CCE, his passion as an educator has been driven by the disciplines of music, visual, and performing arts to inform academic achievement. Dr. Kevin Kovacs has been an administrator in the Palm Beach County public schools for several years, including the past seven years as principal at an innovative K-8 public charter school. For the past ten years, he has been an adjunct professor at Palm Beach State College, teaching in the Education and Social Science departments. Dr. Kovacs holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Arts, a Masters’ degree in Education (with concentration in curriculum design and instructional methodologies) from UMASS, Boston, and a Doctorate Degree in Education with a focus on child and family studies, statistical analysis, and school administration.
Media Arts Instructor
Erick Marquez serves as a technology specialist for CCE. Erick Adrian Marquez is a published comic book artist, sculptor, and muralist, with a style that’s bold and unique. He is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute. His professional experience began with an internship at Warner Bros./DC Comics in New York City and has created for a wide array of clients, ranging from AT&T/Verizon to Conan O’Brien’s comic book biography. Aside from being a full time freelance artist, Erick teaches visual art and music, locally, in workshops and studios.
Director of Development Services
Jonathon manages the development services of the organization through community outreach, donor engagement, and grant initiatives. This also includes the organization's marketing and communications efforts with social and digital media. In 2012, prior to joining CCE, he became a gallery director and artist-in-residence at OSGS Gallery (Northwood Village, West Palm Beach, FL). Jonathon committed to the mission of CCE in 2015 and has served as the Gallery and Theater Manager, Marketing Manager, Director of In House Operations (events, facility usage and afterschool programming) and now as the Director of Development Services. With a resume that spans nearly 20 years in the design, art, and education fields, Jonathon brings those experiences and dedication to CCE. Jonathon holds a bachelor of science in environmental design and a master’s degree in landscape architecture from Auburn University.
Chad Pieratt is responsible in assisting with all financial functions, which include accounts payables, account receivables, financial reporting, payroll, budgeting, banking, and general ledger activity. He has over 8 years’ experience in accounting and financing within multiple industries including hospitality and medical, beginning his career in the United States Marine Corps as an Aviation Ordnanceman. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Finance from DeVry University with Cum Laude Honors and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Keller Graduate School of Management, as well as a Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification.
Nelson Pino serves as the coordinator of internal operations, while performing a wide range of administrative activities, and front desk security. As the CADRE program assistant he collects reports for Primetime and inputs data. He also coordinates necessary maintenance for the Center and organizes the volunteer program. Nelson is from Cali, Colombia in South America. He holds a degree as an Industrial Engineer from Universidad Autonoma of Occidente in Cali and a master of Total Quality Control and Management from Valley University.
Tracy Rosof-Petersen has been the site coordinator for CCE’s Arts for Literacy Program at Barton Elementary for first through third grades. She has worked with CCE as a Teaching Artist in curriculum-based in- and out-of-school programming more than two decades. Using clay as her medium, Tracy is an accomplished public artist who has created site specific architectural and sculptural tile murals throughout Palm Beach County. She is rooted in her community with many collaborative arts partnerships created with other artists, cooperative galleries and nonprofit organizations. Tracy continues to work from her home-based EarthArtists Clay studio, collaborating on public art projects and creating architectural and functional commissions.
Manager Of Technology Services And Instruction
Dwayne manages the technology and digital integration for CCE. Dwayne comes to CCE from the City of West Palm Beach Youth Empowerment Center where he developed and managed the Digital Literacy program that helped to reduce youth crime in the Northwood area by 25%. He teaches classes in Final Cut Pro, and the entire Adobe Creative Suite. Dwayne is also the Owner of Taylor Productions and the CEO of 3Tentertainment which keep him updated on the fast moving technological advances and industry trends. Dwayne holds a BFA in Film and Television from the University of Southern California (USC).