Billy Alexander – Guitar Teacher
Billy Alexander plays lead guitar, sings, plays piano and organ, and is an up and coming Pop/Rock/Country songwriter. Billy began his music career at age 10 when he started taking guitar lessons. At 15, he studied classical guitar and music theory, and within a year he was playing professionally and teaching guitar out of a local music store. Billy’s passion for music led him to take music theory classes in high school and college while continuing to perform, tour and teach at the professional level.
After years of performing and touring on the east coast, Billy made the move to L.A. playing and recording around town with some great musicians and bands including The May Kings. Soon he met up with fellow east coasters Scot Sax (songwriter, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Joey McIntyre) and Mark Getten (RCA’s Wanderlust) to form FEEL.
FEEL landed a record deal with Nashville’s Curb Records in late 2002 and spawned two radio hits “Won’t Stand In Your Way” going to #18 on national radio charts and “Got Your Name On It” reaching #28 on Billboard Charts.
Billy continues to tour and record for other artists including a brief live stint with Sony/Columbia recording artist Anna Nalick and playing lead guitar/vocals for John Waite (The Babys, Bad English, Alison Krauss). In addition to lending his exceptional skills as a lead guitarist, he is establishing himself as a world class songwriter in the world of Pop and Contemporary Country music, earning one of Songwriter Universe Magazine’s Top 5 best songs of the month September 2006 and having songs cut in Nashville and around the country.
Billy currently lives in Lake Forest with his wife Doreen and their little Boston Terrier “Pepper”.
He enjoys the warmth and smiling faces of the children at Journey and the positive attitudes of all the staff and teachers at the school.
Indi Avila – Spanish Teacher
An innovative partnership with Spectrum Languages brings to our specialty programs — a very solid track record in Orange County. You can learn more from their website, www.spectrumlanguages.com. Spectrum Languages provides Spanish instruction to our children in engaging, age-appropriate, and rigorous ways. Specifically, their standout teacher with a successful track record, Ms. Indi Avila, is our teacher.
Indi grew up speaking Spanish in Miami, Florida. Her Cuban family was passionate about raising her to know her heritage, language, and traditions. She graduated with honors from Georgetown University with a degree in French. She then obtained her Master’s Degree in Education from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. Indi served for three years as Director of Studies and Training for a chain of Swiss language schools in Miami where she trained language teachers in conversational method, taught French, English, and Spanish lessons and developed innovative programs for children before moving to California where she now resides. Since 1998, Indi has been teaching languages to both children and adults. Her enthusiasm, creativity, love of languages, and high expectations makes it fun and easy for students to communicate effectively in their new language!
Diana Corbo – Journey Music Coordinator & Music Teacher
“Music isn’t just learning notes and playing them. You learn notes to play to the music of your soul.” ~K. Greenwood
Diana has a great deal of fun sharing her music, rhythm and performance skills with Journey students and works towards encouraging each child to unfold their own unique relationship with music and creative arts. She loves Journey’s dedication to weaving a myriad of arts into the curriculum and is continually inspired by the compassionate, deeply dedicated teachers and staff she works with.
Diana and her husband Michael have three Journey educated children, now ages 19, 17 & 13. As a founding parent of Journey School, Diana fondly remembers sharing music with the very first class of Journey school – now college age! Ten years later, while exhaling after completing USM’s masters program in Spiritual Psychology, she was called (literally & figuratively!) to share her joy of music with Journey once again.
Diana has 30 years of experience in the Performing Arts, in many genres of music. She received numerous awards during her years on stage, from her town in New England to San Francisco – culminating in her solo act at York Hotel’s prestigious Plush Room Cabaret. Over the years she garnered many favorable reviews, including two in the San Francisco Chronicle before her move to Orange County, but adds that none of these experiences compare to her delight in guiding Journey students into the fullness of their own musical talents.
Diana serves on the Board of the Southwest Community Center, a homeless, low income assistance Center in Santa Ana, learning a lot about Fundraising, and the power of compassionate community along the way. She sings (& waltzes!) monthly with the Seniors at Mt. of Olives Adult Daycare and in her spare time(?) Diana can be found walking on the beach, belly dancing (Raks Sharqi) and playing her doumbek (not all at the same time of course.)
Diana feels blessed to be a part of this school‘s journey ,seeing firsthand how the loving intentions from which it was conceived are now blossoming, infused with the wisdom, strength and stability that years of dedicated teachers, parents and staff – both present and past, bring.
Ray Kalbhenn – P.E./Game Teacher
Ray Kalbhenn joined Journey School as the P.E./Game Teacher in the 2011-2012 school year. It was the Waldorf teaching style that first drew Ray to Journey. Ray is a big believer in teaching the whole child and encouraging them to live an active and healthy life.
Ray did his undergraduate studies as well as his teaching credential at Cal State Long Beach. He has a single subject teaching credential in Physical Education and after working with students in an after school intervention program Ray was inspired to go back to school to receive his Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.
Prior to Journey, Ray worked as a P.E. teacher at Orangethorpe Elementary in Fullerton. He developed the physical education program from scratch and turned it into a model for the district. The Principal at Orangethorpe has said that “Ray is one of the most enthusiastic teachers that I have worked with during my seventeen years.” Ray is a very active teacher and doesn’t ask the kids to do anything that he won’t do. “If we are going to run the mile one day, I’ll run the mile with the kids. They need to see that I can do it, too.”
As a certified Instructor for the American Red Cross, Ray volunteers his time educating and certifying community members in CPR and other life saving techniques. During his free time you can find Ray surfing, working out or spending time with his wife and toddler son.
Janet A. Poth – Strings Program
Jan recently returned to Southern California after 16 years in New Jersey. Her teaching experiences have included both public and private schools and a large private studio. She has directed string orchestras, fiddle groups, large “play-ins” and even summer day camps. Jan has attended national and international conferences for string teachers and relishes the friends she has made.
She is an active member of the local and international Suzuki associations and the American String Teachers Association. Jan has benefited from her training with renowned teachers such as Barbara Barber, Rudy Huzucha, Edmond Sprunger, Susan Moinester, Camilla Wicks, and Daniel Lewis. This training and numerous opportunities to meet, observe, and work with many other master teachers have enriched her life and provided Jan with many stories.
Highlights include playing strolling violin in the New York Rainbow Room hours after a huge snowstorm, inventing and playing tangos with an international group of young teachers in rural Virginia, traveling with an orchestra through the cities of Mozart’s lifetime and playing in the oldest Cathedral in Vienna. Jan enjoys the individuality of her students and loves to learn of their successes both musically and personally.
Jan’s extended family includes 2 sons, their wives and three grandchildren. “Grandma days” are a priority. She is also an active member of her church where she directs a small string orchestra. As a member of the South Coast Symphony, Jan was able to arrange a field trip for the fourth grade class to hear their “Koncert for Kids”.
Born in LA and educated in Fullerton (FUHS ’64, CSUF English/Music ’68), Jan is settling into her “last” home and enjoying her busy life. She continues to learn from her peers, her mentors, and her students and looks forward to the growth of the string program at Journey School.
Holly Telford-Rioux – 8th Grade Theater Arts Teacher
“Ms. Holly or Mrs. Rioux” has been teaching Theater Arts to children K-8 for 9 years. She has a B.A. from SDSU in Liberal Studies/Elementary Education, is a candidate upon completion of her thesis to graduate with an M.A. in Management/Leadership from Webster University, and is currently a CSUF student earning her teaching credential. She joined Journey School in March 2012 through Capistrano Unified School District to assist the RSP team. After graduating college, she was able to realize her dream of studying theater arts as an inactive participant when she moved to Manhattan to watch and observe over 30 musical theater performances. To date, in addition to teaching theater arts, Holly is a judge for National Youth Arts, where she travels throughout Southern California judging student theater performances. Being in attendance at the large variety of theater performances to include ages K-12 helps bring a vast knowledge to her teaching style. Being a theater arts teacher is Holly’s dream as it is an avenue for her to teach children performance and stage presence skills. In addition, her style includes teaching public speaking skills, self-esteem, problem-solving, and community-building, as well as guiding students to learn, grow, and mature by stimulating group and individual creativity.