WE ARE COMMARTS
Elizabeth Bornia is an active teacher with certifications in Elementary Education, Drama, and Middle Grades English. As an alumna of Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts (‘98) in communications arts, she successfully competed in speech and debate locally and nationally throughout high school. Elizabeth’s passion for teaching led her to becoming a 6th language arts teacher at Bak Middle School of the Arts from 2003-2008. She eventually came full circle when she accepted the position as the speech and debate teacher and coach at Bak until her departure in 2015.
In 2015, Elizabeth was named the inaugural Middle School Coach of the Year by the National Speech and Debate Association. She specializes in coaching speech and debate events, general public speaking, and creative writing, as well as communication arts audition preparation for magnet school programs. She has also conducted workshops for teachers and coaches on starting a middle school debate team.
CREATIVE WRITING INSTRUCTOR
Katie Salzman is a certified teacher, with a master’s degree in Elementary Education, from The College of New Jersey. She is also an alumni of Virginia Tech, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management. Katie started her career in marketing and advertising, before following her passion for education. Most recently, Katie was a fourth grade teacher at Morikami Park Elementary. Currently, Katie is a PhD student and a Graduate Research Assistant at Florida Atlantic University. She is also the 2018-2019 Presidential Fellowship recipient, for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Katie has been trained in Lucy Calkins Writing Workshop and specializes in writing and public speaking.
Michael Bole is a graduate of the Communication Arts program at Bak Middle School of the Arts and Dreyfoos School of the Arts. Most notably, Michael was the President of the Speech and Debate Team at Dreyfoos, a member of the USA National Debate Team, the co-organizer of Dreyfoos Arts Camp, the Design Editor of the Dreyfoos Yearbook, and a National Student of the Year Finalist. He has taught at the Communication Arts Academy for over 5 years. A current student at Emory University in Atlanta, Michael studies Marketing, coaches debate for the Atlanta Urban Debate League, and is involved in Entrepreneurship Initiatives on campus. He knows how important the skills he’s teaching this summer are in being successful and is excited to share his knowledge with the next generation of leaders and thinkers.
Radley Docekal aka Mama Radley is so happy to spend her summer with some new and familiar faces! She is a graduate of Bak Middle School of the Arts and Dreyfoos High School of the Arts with backgrounds in Theatre and Digital Media. She is currently a rising junior at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts majoring in Film and Television Production and minoring in Child and Adolescent Psychology. She has spent the past two summers with Communication Arts Academy and loves coming back to her roots and teaching children about the arts!
Brittany Smoliak joins Comm Arts Academy with passion and excitement to help grow and mold young performers. She has trained since a young age in all aspects of performing arts, and is ready to share her knowledge with Comm Arts Academy students. Following her High School graduation at Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Ms. Smoliak received her BFA in acting from New World of the Arts, and soon after received her teaching degree from Palm Beach Atlantic University. She learned at a very young age from watching her parents who were long term educators that teaching would be in her future. This year marks Ms. Smoliak’s 13th year teaching; she started at Bak Middle School of the Arts and continued her teaching career at Dreyfoos School of the Arts, and now has found her home at Oxbridge Academy where she is a lead acting teacher in their arts program. She is very thrilled to join the Comm Arts Academy family!
VISUAL ARTS INSTRUCTOR
Lyda Barrera served as an elementary school art educator for 27 years and has been preparing students for the Bak Middle School of the Arts and Dreyfoos High School of Arts auditions for over 15 years. Her experiences as an adjudicator have helped her understand the ins and outs of the audition process, greatly contributing to her high rate of success. She is looking forward to sharing her talent with the Communication Arts Academy families.
Kevin Ahern is a rising freshman at the University of Texas at Austin where he will be studying Communication and Leadership in the Moody School of Communication. Kevin is a recent graduate of A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts and a graduate of Bak Middle School of the Arts. During his time at Dreyfoos, Kevin was the president of the Speech and Debate Team. Kevin has seen forensics success on the local, state, and national level. Most notably, Kevin was named the 2019 National Speech and Debate Association National Champion in Duo Interpretation. Other significant accomplishments include championships at the FFL Varsity State Tournament, Patriot Games at George Mason University, the Florida Blue Key Invitational, The University of Texas at Austin’s Longhorn Classic, The Tradition at Cypress Bay, and the Nova Titan Invitational. Kevin has also seen final rounds at the Harvard National Forensics Tournament, the Barkley Forum for High School Students at Emory University, The Tournament of Champions, The Sunvitational, and the New York City Invitational hosted by the Bronx High School of Science. In 2020, Kevin won the Palm Beach Post Pathfinder Award for Forensics.
Outside of Speech and Debate, Kevin is a decorated graphic designer, photographer, writer, and photographer. He has won several Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards and has participated in the production of many student films. He was also the Design Editor of his school’s yearbook, The Marquee, and has his Adobe Industry Certification in InDesign. Kevin is more than excited to work with you at the Communications Arts Academy!