Creative Avenues
Dance ~ Theatre ~ Art
An arts and education enrichment center


Staff Biographies:                                                                                                      


  Joy P. (Director, Owner, Teacher)

Joy has a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.S. in Accounting along with a minor in dance and an emphasis in Teacher Education.  She has been the owner and operator of Creative Avenues and Revolution Dance for 12 years and currently has her teaching license with the Colorado Department of Education with endorsements in Mathematics, Dance, and Early Childhood Education along with her large center Director’s License.  Joy has 23 years of experience teaching at Grand Junction High School and Colorado Mesa University as well as over 25 years of experience in dance and theater, including teaching, choreographing, and performing. She has been involved with various organizations including Mesa State Continuing Education, Performing Arts Conservatory.  Joy also currently serves as Executive Director of The Theatre Project and Theatre Project Stages program for youth theatre. She continues to dance and perform with organizations in the community and is a past board member of the Grand Junction Commission on Arts and Culture.


  Josh J.  (Teacher)

Josh is a Grand Junction native.  He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Colorado Mesa University and a Masters in the Art of Education from Marygrove College with an emphasis in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment.  Josh also has a passion for the performing arts especially music and theatre. He has performed in many shows around the valley including shows at the Cabaret Dinner Theater and the Grand Junction Theatre Project.  He has worked with children of all ages for over 15 years and has also written and directed shows for children to help grow their love for the performing arts.

  Merritt M.  (Teacher)

Merritt and her husband have three children so being an award-winning magician comes in handy.  She graduated with an Associate degree in Liberal Arts and a second Associate degree in Early Childhood Education.   One of her passions is creating developmentally appropriate lessons and activities.  Knowing that all children do not learn the same way, Merritt uses her free time to continue her education by attending conferences like Orton-Gillingham, Steve Spangler Science, and Love and Logic Institute as a way to introduce more hands-on learning.  She has wanted to be a teacher for as long as she can remember and is grateful that her dream has come true.




   Laura R. (Teacher)
Bio Coming Soon 

  Amanda S. (Teacher)
Bio Coming Soon 

  Sara A. (Teacher)
Sara has spent over 10 years in Early Childhood Education working at various centers throughout Colorado.  She received her CDA in 2016 and continues to take courses to further her education. She works hard to make sure all students feel loved and helps them feel a connection and sense of belonging in their school.  

  Dana S. (Teacher)
Dana has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Theater and has been teaching, directing, and performing for over 20 years.  She has worked with almost every theater in Grand Junction and loves bringing the stage to life for kids and letting them find their own avenue for expression.  Dana has her Early Childhood Teacher endorsements and completed her CDA coursework.  She is the Artistic Director for The Theatre Project and also currently a director/choreographer of the 360 Dance Theater Company as well as teaching hip hop, tap, and latin jazz for Revolution Dance.

  Janet N. (Assistant)
Janet brings over 30 years experience in literature as a former library circulation specialist and director as well as special work with students requiring individualize education plans.  She has worked with CMU, Mesa County libraries, Hospice and School District 51.  She loves kids and is thrilled to be able to help students learn to love reading and learning!

   Mikaela L. (Teacher)
Bio Coming Soon

  Alex J. (Assistant Teacher)
Bio Coming Soon

  Leandra M. (Assistant Teacher)
Bio Coming Soon

  Jessica L. (Guest Visual Arts Specialist)

Jessica  graduated from Colorado Mesa University with a Bachelor's Degree in both Art History and Studio Arts with a focus in sculpture. She brings a wealth of artistic background as well as an amazing passion for art and teaching others about it.  She has several years of experience working with kids and she loves getting to know each one of them and guiding them to develop their own passion for the arts.

  Audrey N. (Guest Visual Arts and Theatre Specialist)

Audrey received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College Chicago and has been a teacher of art most of her life.  She has taught and created art throughout the United States including Chicago, Wyoming, and Colorado and has experience in all art mediums along with illustration and website design and coding.  She has taught private and group painting classes for all ages as well as working for School District 51 with a variety of ages.  Audrey also has a background in theatre and theatrical productions focusing on set design, costume design, and even directing. She is a board member of The Theatre Project and currently the drama teacher at Grand Junction High School.  She is excited to be able to share her knowledge and love of the visual and performing arts with the students of Creative Avenues.


  Amy M.  (Guest Music Specialist)

Amy is a Grand Junction, Colorado native and began piano study at an early age and continued through college receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance from Colorado Mesa University.  Amy has been a soloist with the Mesa State College Symphony Orchestra, was a multiple winner of the Julie Amos Piano Scholarship Award, and spent time in Urbino, Italy to further her piano studies. She has been an accompanist for the Mesa State Chamber Choir, the Grand Valley Children's Choir, the Western Colorado Chorale, as well as for local schools, churches, and individuals. Mrs. Long-Markakis was invited to perform a two-piano concert with her brother in Colorado Springs and most recently has enjoyed performing with "Cool Jazz", an ensemble under the symphony umbrella. She has been certified at the Suzuki Institute of the Americas in Snowmass, CO and teaches private lessons although her most important focus currently is with her amazing husband and five wonderful children.





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