Meet Our Instructors

Abi Mason; Ballet, Jazz

Abi has been involved at the FOA since 2004. She started ballet at the age of 5 and has since studied various forms of dance including ballet, jazz, tap, and lyrical. She has participated in several productions at the FOA as well. In addition to Clara in The Nutcracker Ballet and Alice in Alice in Wonderland the Ballet, she has also portrayed roles in musical productions such as Annie, Lès Miserables, Mary Poppins, Anything Goes, White Christmas, and Mamma Mia. She served as choreographer and Assistant Director for A Christmas Story (2018) and The Nutcracker Ballet (2019). She has also worked as a choreographer/teacher, costumer, and stage manager for the Young Artist Theatre summer camps over the past few years. 

Abi has taken and taught summer dance intensives at the FOA as well as attended master classes taught by instructors from Ballet Chicago and UO school of dance. As a graduate of the FOA T.A.P program, she enjoys sharing her knowledge and love of dance with others.  She is a licensed Cosmetologist and works as a hair stylist here in Jonesboro and current ASUN student. Abi loves the theatre atmosphere and hopes to one day be a hair and makeup artist for theatre.

Annie Clark-Roberts; Theatre

Annie Clark Roberts is a graduate of Arkansas State University, holding a B.A. in Theatre and a minor in Interdisciplinary Family Studies. She joined the FOA teaching staff in the summer of 2012.  Annie enjoys teaching students of all ages as part of the FOA’s educational programming, and also teaching for the L.E.A.P. outreach program for adults with special-needs. She has always been passionate about exploring beyond just the performance aspect of Drama, and how the process as a whole can grow an individual and/or group. She has made it her mission to “provide a safe and encouraging learning environment where students can express themselves creatively, improve self-confidence, learn skills that can apply to their daily lives, and gain a general appreciation for the arts and how they can impact the world around us.”

Amber Ferguson; Tap, Jazz

Amber Ferguson is a 2008 honors Graduate from ‪Arkansas State University‬ where she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Radiological Science in Diagnostic Medical Diagnostic Sonography.  She has been employed in the ultrasound field for over 10 years. She began her dancing career at the age of 4 at Christie McNeil dance studio.  She was trained and competed in many competitions over the years under the professional dance teachers Christie McNeil and Chali Jennings.  Past cometition performances include Walt Disney’s Epcot Center, winning national Show Stoppers in San Antonio TX as well as Applause Competition in Memphis, TN. She has also attended multiple dance camps and courses in order to enhance and perfect her dancing talents. Amber was on the first ever dance team squads for Nettleton Junior High School and Nettleton High School where she competed and won in regional and state competitions.  She was also a member of the Arkansas State University Red Wolf dance team in 2002.  She has always had a strong passion and will to dance and continue to be a part of the dancing profession even years after she was no longer a student herself.  In 2002 she started as a teacher at the Foundation of Arts.  Over the past 10 years, she has had her hand in the planning and choreography of numerous performances including recitals, ‪Footloose‬, and ‪The Sound of Music‬.  Some of her students recently had the opportunity to perform at Epicot. Amber has also been dance team technique teacher for over 5 years and is also currently teaching technique in Tap, Jazz, Hip hop, Pom, Kick line, and Lyrical.  She hopes to inspire her students with the same love for dance and challenge them to learn new skills!

Sarah Murray; Art

Destinee Harris-Bradley; Dance
Destinee is an undergraduate student at Arkansas State University obtaining Bachelor’s in General Studies. She native of Jonesboro and an alumni of Nettleton High School. While attending Nettleton, she was on the dance team for four years. She trained under the UALR Dance Program and Arkansas State University. Destinee has helped other dance companies/community centers locally with basic dance training and she served as leader of the dance ministry of Fullness of Joy Ministries for several years. She is also a
MixxedFIt Licensed Dance Instructor.

David Mason; Art

David Mason is a native of Northeast Arkansas. He has been drawing, painting, experimenting with photography, or dabbling with clay for most of his life. He graduated from Williams Baptist College with a degree in Art Education in 1998. He has been teaching students of all ages how to unleash their inner artists ever since. He’s been married to his lovely wife for almost as long as he’s been teaching and stays busy with three active boys.

elea-pulliamElea Allen; Musical Theatre, Tap, Ballet

Elea Pulliam has been involved with the Foundation of Arts since 2006, when she participated as a chorus member in her first production Pinocchio.  Among her favorite roles since then include Leslie in Bridge to Terabithia, Zaneeta in the Music Man, Dana in Camp Rock, Mayella in To Kill A Mockingbird, Shulie in Schoolhouse Rock, Live!, Jan in Grease, and Emily in Our Town.  She joined the FOA as a drama/musical theatre instructor in the fall of 2012 after graduating from the T.A.P. program for instructors at the FOA. She studied under Kristi Pulliam as a theatre teacher and director. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, and participating in community theatre productions.

Isabel Viala; Dance
In addition to teaching ballet at the FOA , Isabel has been dancing ballet at with us since the age of 8. She has taken numerous classes over the years including ballet, jazz, and pointe and, as a graduate of the FOA Teacher Assistant Program, she serves as one of our Arts Center Education leaders. She has also taken part in several FOA productions. Some of her favorites: The Nutcracker Ballet, Coppellia the Ballet, and Beauty and the Beast. Dancing is her biggest joy and passion. She feels so blessed and thankful to be able to teach and share her love of dance with others! 

 Jennifer Carty; Ballet

Jennifer has been involved at the Foundation of Arts for over 15 years. She started taking ballet classes when she was 6 and hasn’t been able to stop. She has been in countless FOA productions of The Nutcracker as well as numerous other ballets and plays at the Forum Theatre over the years. Jennifer is currently an ASU student majoring in education. Jennifer loves sharing her love and knowledge of dancing with others and is honored to teach ballet here at the FOA. 

Jessica Maddox; Lyrical, Ballet

Jessica has been teaching at the FOA since 2016 and has been dancing for most of her life.
She danced competitively for 10 years through Lana’s dance studio. She studied ballet under Marla Edwards, former headmistress at Ballet Arkansas. In 2017, she attended the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science annual conference. The conference included movement sessions, lectures, and interactive presentations focusing on the latest dance research covering alignment, injury prevention/rehabilitation, teaching methods, and cross-training. Jessica choreographed scenes in The Nutcracker and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. At the FOA, Jessica has performed lead roles in the Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty (Carabosse), Exodus (Zipporah), and Coppelia (Swanhilda). Don’t be surprised if you continue to see her on the stage. Jessica is a proud Red Wolf- she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science in 2015 and obtained her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Arkansas State University in 2019. Jessica is a licensed physical therapist practicing in the pediatric setting. She loves incorporating her knowledge of human movement into her ballet classes and using dance to make physical therapy treatments more effective and fun. Most of all, Jessica’s passion as a teacher is spreading the message that anyone, regardless of age, size, or ability, can be a dancer. 

Kristi Pulliam; Yoga

Kristi holds a BSE in Theatre with emphasis in Directing and M.A. in Communication and Theatre. She taught in the Paragould School District and at Arkansas State University and Crowley’s Ridge College for a total of 12 years. After teaching and directing at the FOA for eight years, Kristi joined the staff full time in 2008 as the Community Development Director, and then added to her role at The FOA, as the Artistic Director and eventually Executive Director.  She is a certified yoga instructor, internationally accredited Creative Voice and Success Coach, and  Executive Coach. . 

LeeAnn King; Ballet

LeeAnn King is a Jonesboro native and long time student, teacher, choreographer and director with The Foundation of Arts. Her early ballet training began under the instruction of Catherine Kyle and Dr. Elizabeth Sales. Her training continued under Heather Intres and Stacey Alley, studying ballet, pointe’ and jazz. LeeAnn’s training outside of Jonesboro includes two workshops with Ballet Magnificat! And a summer at the Cecchetti International Summer School in Hope, Michigan. She also studied under Daniel Duell of The New York City Ballet and Patricia Blair, during a two month intensive with Ballet Chicago.There she received and invitation to study in their pre-professional company, but returned to Jonesboro to continue teaching. LeeAnn is a graduate of the Teacher’s Assistant Program through the Foundation of Arts under the guidance of Heather Intres. She has been teaching at the FOA for 17 years, leading classes in ballet, pointe’, lyrical, choreography and pointe’. She has recently received her certification in Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) under the instruction of Marie Walton-Mahoh, the programs developer and lead instructor. Her performance credits include The Nutcraker Ballet, Rodeo, George Balanchine’s Serenade and many more original works by several U.S. choreographers. Director and choreographer credits include The Nutcracker Ballet, Mary Poppins, the Ballet, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, the Ballet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Ballet, Exodus, FAME, Hairspray and Coppelia.

Maranda Nichols; Musical Theatre Performance, Stepping Stones Tap


Cori Keller; Competitive Dance, Stepping Stones, Pre-Dance
.A Stuttgart native and recent graduate of Arkansas State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise Science, Cori has been a dancer for 19 years with experience in tap, jazz, lyrical, and ballet. She was a competitive tap dancer as a soloist and group competitor, and a Red Wolves Dancer for four years. She has trained at a variety of studios and conventions. Currently she’s a graduate student at A-State, fitness instructor at Zen Studio Fitness, and competitor in the Miss Arkansas Organization. She’s excited to be at the FOA and looks forward to a great year!


Cari Pulliam; Dance
Cari is no stranger to dance. She’s been participating in its many different forms for most of her life as either a student, teacher, or choreographer. Trained in tap/jazz, hip-hop, competitive dance, and ballet, she is a graduate of the FOA Teacher Assistant Program and holds certification in PBT, Yoga, and Pilates.



Penny Jo Pausch; Art

Penny Jo Pausch is a 2015 graduate of Arkansas State University where she earned her BFA with an emphasis in Studio Painting. She is an award winning artist with several of her works placed around the world. Pausch has an Etsy shop on line called PjCreates where she sells her artwork and other creations she makes in her home based studio. In her studio, she does custom artwork such as landscapes and people/pet portraits and also teaches private art students. She loves to take photos, write, garden, cook, sew and anything else creative she can find! Because she is a teacher at heart and desires to constantly experiment and learn new things, her art has great variety of subject matter and mediums. She has illustrated two children’s books for an author and has written and illustrated many short stories, poems, and a children’s book of her own. Her plans are to publish her children’s book in audio and written form in the near future when life slows down enough to yield some time.

Amy Faughn; Theatre
Amy Faughn graduated from Arkansas State University in May 2020 with her B.A. in Theatre and B.S. in Psychology. She became involved with the FOA in the summer of 2020 by teaching a “Movement for Actors” class during the summer camp for Descendants. She joined the FOA staff in the fall of 2020. Her previous roles at A-State include Clover in “Animal Farm”, Emily in “Soft Animals”, Annette in “God of Carnage”, and Sebastian in “The Tempest”. She also designed hair and makeup for “Godspell” during her time at A-state. Although she is trained in many aspects of theatre production, Amy is passionate about acting, directing, and theatre education. She is beyond excited to be involved with the FOA and create theatre with such an amazing group of artists! In her spare time, she enjoys drinking coffee, sewing, playing fetch with her puppy, and hanging out with her husband and bearded dragons. 

Oscar Quiroz; Vocals


Paydon Pradley; Theatre

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