AMY ALVAREZ, LCSW-BAS, MPH graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in Theatre Arts and Philosophy, and holds a Master of Social Work and a Master of Public Health, both from Tulane University. She also holds a post-graduate certificate in Forensic Social Work from Tulane and was a Harris Fellow in Infant Mental Health at the LSU School of Psychiatry. Amy is a member of Actors Equity Association, the professional stage actor’s union, and is a four time Big Easy Award winner for her work in musical theatre and cabaret. Amy has created four original cabaret shows with her musical partner, Jefferson Turner, which have been performed locally as well as in Baltimore and New York City.
Director of Student Services & Protocol OfficerAdministration & Staff
Blake started dancing at the age of three and has been in the studio ever since. He has toured internationally with “Tops in Blue,” and has toured nationally with “Oliver,” “West Side Story,” “Gypsy,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Bye-Bye Birdie,” and “Annie.” Blake has taught all over the world and his unique teaching styles, combined with his personality and strong varied techniques, keep him in constant demand on the road. He is an award winning director/choreographer of musical theatre, industrials, and national competition winners. He has had the opportunity to inspire many young dancers/singers/artists along the way.
He has directed and choreographed great shows like “Side Show,” “Working,” “Floyd Collins,” “Anything Goes,” “Godspell,” “Nunsense,” “The Fantastiks,” “Steelpier,” “Copacabana,” “A Chorus Line,” “Tommy,” “Singing in the Rain,” “Jane Eyre,” “Bat Boy,” and recently he was selected to create, direct and choreograph a new show at a brand new venue at The National World War II Museum, called “Let Freedom Swing.” His passion is dance and performing arts, but his love is animals. Blake now serves as the President of Dance Teachers United, a national dance teacher organization that serves dance teachers and educators throughout the country. He was awarded Dance Teacher of the Year in 1998. Blake was recently awarded the International Network of Schools for the Advancement of Arts Education, Teacher of the Year.
I have a B.S. in Accounting and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of New Orleans. If it concerns money, I am your first stop. As the Chief Financial Officer, I am responsible for budgeting, expending, accounting for and safeguarding all of our funds here at NOCCA. This includes purchasing, accounts payable and receivable, payroll, budgeting and strategic planning. In addition to my fiscal duties, I also manage the Information Technology Department. My greatest joy, working at NOCCA, is making a difference in the lives of young artists. To know that I have just a small role to play in their path to becoming successful artists is very rewarding. And being able to come to work each day in such a wonderfully nurturing environment is very gratifying.
Jennie Guidry began her time at NOCCA as the founding faculty member for math in the Academic Studio and taught math for three years while also serving as Assistant Chair in Sciences. She moved into Student Services this year to take on college advising and accountability as NOCCA prepares to graduate its first class of full-day students. Jennie brings to NOCCA a passion for mathematics education, curriculum development and alternative assessment methods, as well as experience in technology integration.
Director of Communications & Campus ActivitiesAdministration & Staff
Communicator EXTRAORDINAIRE! If you have not heard of NOCCA, Brian will tell you everything you ever needed to know…Middle School Programs, Workshop Series, Auditioning, who your state legislator is, Brian knows it all. In addition to communications, Brian coordinates all campus events and manages the daily calendar, not an easy task for a booming arts center. He has even been known to drive a van full of kids on a field trip when asked!
Deborah, is a certified Athletic Trainer licensed by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners. She holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, along with two Bachelor of Science degrees from USM.
Before coming to NOCCA in the summer of 2005 she was the Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer at the University of New Orleans where she had been since coming to New Orleans in 1988.
Garren McKelvey is the Systems Administrator. He has been in the IT industry for over a decade. He got his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and has several technical certifications including A+, Network+ and MCSE. When he’s not neck deep in networking equipment Garren spends his free time writing, cooking and playing a wide variety of games. He enjoys traveling the world with his wife, trying to take everything in.
Andre Perry is an education leader, author and advisor to people working to improve education in K-12 and postsecondary institutions. In 2013, Perry became the Founding Dean of Urban Education at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, MI where he launched Davenport’s new College of Urban Education and created its Master of Urban Education Program.
Perry has been a thought leader and practitioner in the New Orleans education landscape. Most notably he served as the CEO of the Capital One-University of New Orleans Charter Network, which was comprised of four charter schools in New Orleans. During that stint, Perry served on Mayor-Elect Mitch Landrieu’s transition team as the co-chair of the education taskforce. He also served on Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards’ transition team on the education committee.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Perry earned his Ph.D. in education policy and leadership from the University of Maryland College Park. His research and teaching interests are college access and retention, charter schools and immigrant educational rights. In 2011, UNO Press released his book, The Garden Path: The Miseducation of the City. Perry used non-fiction narrative to illustrate the real life tensions involved in post-Katrina education reform in New Orleans. Dr. Perry is a regular contributor for the Washington Post-PostEverthing section and The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit news organization focused on producing in-depth education journalism. Perry’s views, opinions and educational leadership have been featured on NBC, National Public Radio, Al Jazeera America, The New Republic and CNN.
Perry contributed to the CNN specials Race and Justice in America: Hidden Bias as well as Bullying: No Escape, both hosted by Anderson Cooper. He contributed to NBC’s Education Nation as a featured panelist. He has also been a guest on Roland Martin’s Washington Watch on TVOne, Jane Velez-Mitchell on HLN as well as numerous appearances on CBS, Fox and NBC affiliates.
For almost a decade, he penned a newspaper column in The Louisiana Weekly. The column provided political commentary on municipal governments and K-16 leadership in Louisiana. During the same period, Perry provided commentary for the NPR affiliate, WWNO 89.9-FM, during NPR’s “All Things Considered.”
Perry has spoken at numerous national events including: The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference, Essence Festival, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators and the National Urban League Annual Conference.
In 2008 he was selected as an Effective Leaders Fellow by Duke University’s Center for Leadership and Public Values. Fully immersed in the city’s recovery efforts, Perry served on the boards of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, WYES Public Television, WWNO-FM, and Young Audiences-Arts for Learning. His community-based efforts earned him accolades and acclaim. Andre Perry received the Kappa Alpha Psi Distinguished Citizen Award in 2011. He also received St. Charles Avenue Magazine’s 2008 Unsung Hero of the Year Award. New Orleans Magazine selected Dr. Perry as a “Person to Watch.” In 2009, Gambit Weekly named Perry to its “40 under 40”. In October of 2011, NBC Affiliate, WDSU Channel 6 aired the award winning documentary, “Close Ties: Tying on a New Tradition,” which features Dr. Perry and Wilbert “Chill” Wilson’s efforts to prevent criminal activity among at-risk youth. In 2012, Dr. Perry was named team lead for Orleans PLACE MATTERS, a national project of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.
Before transferring to NOCCA in 2000, I worked for Orleans Parish School Board. At NOCCA I am responsible for Payroll and Benefits for each employee. It is a pleasure to work at NOCCA and to return to the neighborhood I grew up in. I hope that I can make a difference here at NOCCA.
Kyle has a professional career that has focused on education and public service. After college, Kyle volunteered through City Year as a teacher’s aide at the James W. Hennigan School in Boston. Kyle then received and completed a public affairs fellowship through the Coro Foundation Midwestern Center in St. Louis, MO.
After graduate school, Kyle took a position with the Office of Budget and Management for the City of Chicago. In 2002 he was recruited to work for the School District of Philadelphia where he served as Deputy Chief Financial Officer. Kyle then returned to City Year to help lead new site development and the start of City Year Louisiana (where he fell in love with New Orleans), City Year Johannesburg, and City Year Los Angeles. In 2007, Kyle took a leadership role at the Recovery School District where he served as Chief Administrative Officer. While working at the RSD, Kyle visited and was inspired by NOCCA-the performing and visual arts high school for the State of Louisiana- where he now has the privilege to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer.
Kyle lives with his wife Michelle and son Waylon in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans. In his spare time enjoys being with his son and family above all else, but also enjoys the arts, sights, sounds, sports (especially his Saints season tickets), and food of New Orleans and Louisiana.
Kyle proudly serves on the New Orleans Public Belt Commission, GNO Inc. NextGen Council, City Year Louisiana Advisory Board, Artist Corps New Orleans Board, and New Orleans Regional Leadership (NORLI) Board. Kyle has a BA from St. Olaf College and a MPA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.