• Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts
     2016-­‐2017 New Faculty Members

    We are pleased to welcome the newest additions to our BTWHSPVA faculty!



    Dr. Cedric Barrett, Assistant Principal

    Cedric Barrett is a native of Dallas, Texas and a product of the Dallas Independent School District. Dr. Barrett is a former band director and served as an administrator in Dallas ISD & Athens ISD. He most recently served as assistant principal at Alex W. Spence Middle School & TAG Academy.

    Cedric is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and Soul Rydaz Motorcycle Riding Club where he provides community service throughout the Dallas
    Metroplex. Recently, he participated in the Wynnewood Fellowship Church and Soul Rydaz toy drive and efforts in feeding the homeless.

    He is a musician who enjoys playing a variety of instruments and currently serves as the Minister of Music at Fresh Start Community Church. He and his family reside in Garland and in his spare time he enjoys sports and riding motorcycles. Cedric Barrett is very passionate about education and the academic achievement of all students. He is excited and looks forward to the 2016-­‐2017 school year.

    Fern Tresvan, Artistic Director

    Fern Tresvan, a professional dancer for 30 years, has been in dance education for over 40 years. With a BFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah (1974) and a MFA in Dance from Southern Methodist University (1983) along with a Lifetime Teaching Credential from the state of Texas, Ms.Tresvan has taught and performed extensively throughout the western United States.

    Fern began her teaching career as dance faculty at the University of Northern Colorado immediately upon graduation from the University of Utah and, along with Sandra Minton, strengthened that program for eight years. While pursuing her MFA at Southern Methodist University, she became a performing member of the Dancers' Unlimited Repertory Company and worked part-­‐time, then full time as a faculty member at Booker T. Washington High School of the Performing and Visual Arts.

    Ms. Tresvan's choreography has been seen on many university dance ensembles including Arizona State University, Southern Missouri State University, and Texas Women's University. Not only was her work seen on Dancers' Unlimited but also on the Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Along with her dance credits, Ms.Tresvan spent the first 20 years of her career as a freelance production stage manager and lighting designer for dance productions.

    For the last 23 years, Ms. Tresvan has been on the dance faculty at the Vancouver School of the Arts and Academics in Vancouver, Washington. Along with her colleague Jackie Sacks, she was instrumental in developing the state standards for secondary dance in the state.
    The Washington Association of Physical Education Recreation and Dance recognized her as the State's Dance Educator of the Year in 2013. Her long association with writers has turned her into a closet scribe herself and she will hopefully continue to indulge a recently discovered passion for acting.

    Whenever possible and even when encouraged not to do so, Ms. Tresvan advocates for the visual and performing arts for all students in all communities.

    Language and Literature

    Vanessa Flores-­‐Robinson, Spanish

    Vanessa Flores-­‐Robinson is a Spanish teacher who has taught at the middle and high school level. She has over seven years of experience spanning from Fair Park to Highland Park. Vanessa is a native speaker raised in California as a first-­‐generation American of Mexican parents. Her love and admiration for the language and culture has guided her career as a teacher. Vanessa’s teaching style excites curiosity and enriches students’ language acquisition.

    Vanessa received her B.A. in Spanish literature at the University of Oklahoma. After graduating, she moved to Dallas with her husband and their two children. When Vanessa is not teaching or creating new lessons she enjoys traveling with her family and rooting for their Sooners. Vanessa is also passionate about cooking and has expressed an interest in Culinary Arts.


    Lynn Bolton, Spanish and French

    Lynn Bolton comes to Booker T. from Hillcrest High School where she taught English as a Foreign Language and was LPAC Chair. She has taught French, Spanish and ESL in Dallas ISD and Richardson ISD (Lake Highlands High School, Lake Highlands Jr. High School). She also taught for several summers at Georgetown University. Wherever she has been, she has loved the teaching challenges and the personal and professional growth that comes from working with students of all ages as well as interacting with talented colleagues.

    Lynn is very excited about joining the Booker T family as a French/Spanish teacher. Teaching foreign language and culture, whether it’s French, Spanish, or English, has always been what she loves to do. In addition to French and Spanish, she studied German and Japanese for her own personal growth as an educator.
    Lynn recognizes how difficult foreign languages can be for too many students. Trying to help kids learn foreign language is a challenge she takes seriously, and sometimes that involves serious fun, too!

    Lynn is looking forward to meeting the BTW faculty and staff and is ready and eager for the new adventures which certainly await her at Booker T. She feels fortunate to have been selected to be a part of this campus and will be looking for ways to contribute to campus life right away!



    Ramiro Garcia, Biology

    Born in McAllen, a small town in south Texas, Mr. Garcia attended Memorial High School and had an avid interest in science. After graduation he attended the University of Texas at Austin and majored in biochemistry with a research project in nutritional chemistry. He lived in Austin, Texas for 12 years before moving to McAllen to become a teacher. For the past 11 years he has taught at Veterans Memorial high school in Mission, Texas. It was while working at VMHS that he obtained a masters from the University of Texas Pan Am. He has taught IPC, chemistry, physics as well as AP chemistry and AP physics. In addition to those classes he has coached several science competitions including UIL, Science Bowl, Science Olympiad, and Master Minds.

    During his off times Mr. Garcia enjoys a few hobbies. He has many aquariums and keeps cichlids, puffers and gobies. He enjoys reading a wide variety of things but typically likes science or science fiction genres. He is more of a Star Trek fan than Star Wars, likes to occasionally play Starcraft and is a huge comic book fan. He looks forward to a new chapter at Booker T. Washington and is eager to bring his experience and perspective in teaching biology.



    Zac Hammer, Dance Generalist

    Zac began his dance training at age ten. During his early training, he apprenticed with Ballet Oklahoma, under the direction of Bryan Pitts. In 2007, Zac graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in dance performance from Southern Methodist University, where his original choreography was produced as part of the mainstage season.

    He has been cast in numerous industrials, and is a nationally recognized teacher of ballet, modern, and jazz. From 2007 to 2010, Zac toured both abroad and domestically with Parsons Dance, and from 2010 to 2014, was a dancer in the New York City cast of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Other companies include the Nicholas Andre Dance Company, Amy Marshall Dance Company, dre.dance, and Alison Chase Performance.

    Upon returning to Dallas in 2014, he has worked as an adjunct professor of jazz dance at Southern Methodist University, managed and taught all styles at Preston Center Dance, and has been on faculty at the KD Conservatory. Choreographic works include the DIFFA Fashion Show, The Miss Texas Pageant, the Mary Kay Industrial, and numerous modern and jazz pieces for soloist and groups across the country. He is incredibly excited to join the faculty at BTWHPVA.



    William George, Director of Choral Activities

    William George is pleased to join the faculty of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts as the new Director of Choral Activities. William comes with many years of choral conducting experience at the middle and high school levels, as well as in the collegiate, semi-­‐professional, and liturgical arenas. He has studied with great conductors such as Dr. Richard Zielinski (University of Oklahoma), Dr. Carmen-­‐Helena Tellez (University of Notre Dame), Dr. Eric Stark (Butler University), and Dr. Gary Anderson (Transylvania University). His masterclass experience includes workshops with Dr. Tim Sharp (American Choral Directors Association), Dr. Craig Hella-­‐Johnson (Conspirare), Simon Carrington (The King's Singers), and Dale Warland (Dale Warland Singers).

    Striving to find connections between Classical-­‐era repertoire and modern music, William is known for innovative programming ideas and multimedia collaborations. He has served as pit conductor for several musical theatre productions, most recently a performance of the Tony award-­‐winning "Coram Boy" in partnership with the University of Oklahoma School of Musical Theatre. William has also prepared opera choruses, conducted new music by living composers, and performed internationally as both singer and conductor.

    In addition to being an accomplished choral conductor, William is a trained countertenor, having performed in Handel's "Messiah" (University of Notre Dame), Bach's "Magnificat in D Major" (St. Mark the Evangelist, Plano, Texas) and numerous early music groups.

    William is currently ABD in the Doctor of Musical Arts program in Choral Conducting at the University of Oklahoma, where he was the 2016 recipient of the Outstanding Choral Leadership Award from the School of Music. Previous degrees include a Master of Sacred Music degree from the University of Notre Dame, a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Butler University, and Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Transylvania University.


    Leonard Hayes, Director of Piano Studies

    Pianist Leonard Hayes, a native of Dallas, TX and a former student of Booker T. Washington HSPVA is proud to join the faculty as Director of Piano Studies. Recently, Leonard received 1st prize in the 2015 National Piano Competition sponsored by the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM). He received 1st prize in the 2009 and 2011 Debose National Piano Competitions (Baton Rouge, LA) and the 2011 Badger Collegiate Piano Competition, and received Honorable Mentions in both the 2013 Schubert Club Scholarship Competition (St. Paul, MN) and the 2010 Zelpha Wells National Piano Competition for Collegiate Artists (Tuscaloosa, AL).

    Leonard is a winner of the 2009 Neale Silva Young Artist Competition and a 3rd prize winner of the 2009 National NANM Piano Competition. As a scholar, Leonard was awarded the prestigious 2015 Links Scholarship and, as a part of that award, he rendered a concert in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music. The award, a cooperative effort between the Rochester, New York Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and the Eastman School of Music, recognizes and celebrates the extraordinary talent of an African-­‐American scholar musician.

    Leonard has performed in solo master classes for acclaimed pianists such as Richard Goode, Robert McDonald, Jon Kimura Parker, Nelita True, Jade Simmons, and Gilbert Kalish. In March 2011, Leonard was invited to perform in both solo and collaborative master classes at the Music Teacher’s National Association Convention, with Robert Weirich and the duo of Warren Jones and Denyce Graves. Leonard received a High School Diploma from the Interlochen Arts Academy. He holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Lawrence University with additional studies at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Recently, Leonard received a Master of Music Degree in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music where he studied under the guidance of Douglas Humpherys. His other teachers include Catherine Kautsky, T.J. Lymenstull, John Tatum, and Eva Flowers. Leonard’s previous faculty appointments include the Schenectady County Community College School of Music, Lawrence Academy of Music, and Appleton Music Academy.



    Travis Ross, Technical Theatre

    Travis Ross began his professional theatre career during the Summer of 2002 as an assistant stage manager for the Texas Shakespeare Festival. Since that time, he has served many theaters in the North Texas area as a stage manager, stage crew, carpenter, fly rail operator, rigger, electrician, and more. He holds a B.A. in Drama from Texas Woman’s University.

    The majority of his professional career has taken place at the Dallas Theater Center where for eight seasons he worked as the stage operations manager. In that position, he ran over forty shows, was featured on Good Morning Texas, and was awarded the Continuing Ed Grant to explore safety programs and improve overall safety backstage from Theatre Communications Group.

    Library / Media Specialist


    Natalia Ivenskaya, Librarian

    Prior to her appointment at BTWHSPVA, Ms. Ivenskaya was Library Operations Manager for the Farmers Branch Manske Library. During her five years' tenure there, she participated in the renovation and rejuvenation of nearly all aspects of the library, from facilities to library systems, from services to programs.

    Ms. Ivenskaya was previously the Library Media Specialist at Grand Prairie High School 9th Grade Center, and served several years in various school library roles for Grand Prairie ISD. Before beginning her professional career in libraries, and attaining a master's in Library Science, she taught Russian and French in GPISD and DISD.

    Ms. Ivenskaya was raised "behind the iron curtain", in the Russian Federation, where she received her first master's degree in Philology and Education. She immigrated to the United States in 1999. Outside of work, Natalia's personal interests include traveling, reading, music, jewelry making, and spending time with her family.

    Support Staff


    Tawanna Hawkins, Financial Clerk
    Tawanna Hawkins is very excited to join the Awesome Team at Booker T. Washington. She is a former student of Dallas ISD, and came back in 2004 to work at the high school that she graduated from. After graduating number 10 in her class from South Oak Cliff HS, she went to Tyler Junior College but couldn’t stand being away from home. Tawanna came back to Dallas and enrolled at DCCCD where she received her Associates Degree from Mountain View Community College. From there, she transferred to the University of North Texas where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree.

    Tawanna came to work at Dallas ISD as a long-­‐term substitute teacher and later transitioned into a teacher’s aide position. For seven years, she worked outside of education. Now that she is back and transitioning from an office manager position to a financial clerk position, she feels like she has finally found something that she will love. Tawanna is eager to make this move, and elated at the chance to meet and work with you the faculty and staff at Booker T. Washington HSPVA!