Meet Our Instructors

The instructors for Roeper Summer Programs Online are teachers at the Roeper School and as well as the dedicated professional teachers and actors/actresses from The Roeper Summer Stock Theatre.

Darren Anderegg

Is a music teacher at Roeper Lower School and has a degree in Music Education from Oakland University. Darren worked as a Music Theory Tutor, as well as Class Instructor for both high school students and college students during his time at Oakland. He is passionate about Music Theory and would love to pass on that passion to your student. 

Debbie Bejune

 2019 marks Debbie's eighth year at Roeper as a Stage II homeroom teacher. Debbie graduated from Lesley University with a BA in elementary education. She earned a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Oakland University. When not at school, she enjoys traveling, visiting the beach, hiking, and spending time with friends and family.

Ryan Blankenburg

Graduated from Roeper in 2019 and currently attends Rice University where she is majoring in vocal performance at the Shepherd School of Music and planning to receive a certificate in French Language and Intercultural Communication.  She has won numerous vocal competitions and scholarships around the country and enjoys teaching children the joys of music and language.

Amy Cova

Amy Cova is  Dance Faculty at The Roeper School. Cova has a MFA in Dance from U of M and also completed her 200RYT in the summer of 2019. Cova has been a faculty member/guest artist at numerous institutions, including University of Michigan, Manhattanville College, Eastern Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Oakland University, Wayne State University, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, DITA, Gibney Dance Center (NYC) and Dance New Amsterdam (NYC). Her choreography has been presented internationally in Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica and Italy.  

Abha Dearing

Abha is a Roeper Middle and Upper School Vocal Muisc Director. In addition to teaching school vocal music for 23 years, Abha has won a total of 6 Detroit Music Awards including Outstanding Classical Vocalist. With a Bachelors in Instrumental Music and a Master's in Voice Performance, Abha has performed extensively in solo and chamber recitals around the world as half of The Dearing Concert Duo ( with her husband Steven Dearing, Classical Guitarist. She is well-versed in several languages and numerous styles of music.

Steven Dearing

Guitarist Steven Dearing has over 30 years combined teaching experience of students young and older, including 23 years as Professor of Guitar at the College and University level. Husband of Roeper Upper/Middle School Vocal Director Abha Dearing, Steven is half of the world-traveled Dearing Concert Duo ( and recipient of several Detroit Music Awards. His students marvel at how quickly they learn the songs they love and can be independent over their own guitar playing with some solid basics.

Charissa Duncanson

Charissa Duncanson (kuhrih-suh  dung-kin-sen) has taught Kindergarten through 5th grade general music for six years and has been working with campers at Roeper Summer Stock Theatre since 2012. Born and raised in Michigan, Charissa began her musical journey in elementary school. Throughout her childhood Charissa participated in choirs, bands, and theatre within her community and schools.  She earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Education from Wayne State University and currently teaches at McDonald Elementary School in Dearborn.  As a professional, Charissa has performed and presented throughout the Metro Detroit Area ranging from state conferences to local PD workshops. Being an avid advocate for music education, Ms. Duncanson has served on multiple boards for music education associations. In her spare time  Charissa loves to craft, sew, and go on walks with her husband and dog, Maizey. 

Laura Evans

Graduated from Michigan State with bachelors in Elementary Education and International Studies. She has a Masters Degree in Early Elementary Education from Oakland University. Laura has been teaching since 2003. Prior to coming to Roeper, she worked at PACE as a second and third grade teacher and later as the Math Curriculum Coordinator and Elementary Curriculum Coach. Laura came to Roeper in 2012 and has worked in Stage IV as a Math, Homeroom and Humanities teacher. Laura is also the Elementary and Middle School Girls' Basketball coach. Laura has two kids of her own that are 8 and 12 years old. In Laura's free time she loves to spend time with her family,  travel, garden, run and watch sports.

Cynthia Harris

Cynthia has been teaching for over 20 years, working in public and independent schools across the country and with students ranging from kindergarten age to high school. She is in her fourth year of teaching Stage II (K/1st grade) at Roeper. Cynthia has four children, one of whom is a graduate of Roeper and two who currently attend the middle and upper schools. Cynthia draws from her many years of experience and supplemental professional development to create learning experiences that meet the needs of her students. When not in the classroom, you will find Cynthia involved in some sort of theatrical, musical or visual arts endeavor.

Ttari Helmer

Is the Technical Director for the Roeper Theatre Company.  She has been teaching theatre, technical theatre and directing shows for The Roeper School for the last 10 years.  Ttari received her Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Performance from Oakland University and will finish her Master’s Studies in Theatre Production and Design from Southern Oregon University this summer.  Ttari has four kids, two grandkids, three dogs, four cats, two lizards, two turtles and a snake.  Her favorite thing to do is spend time with kids creating theatrical art! 

Ellen Hoppe

Has been a Roeper teacher for 15 years; she has taught grades K-5, spending her last nine in fourth-fifth grade. She has a B.A. from Michigan State University and a M.A.T. from the University of Phoenix. 

Hasan Humadi

I teach upper school mathematics at The Roeper School including Algebra 2, College Algebra, PreCalculus, AP Stats and, Differential Equations. I am a civil engineer, graduated from the University of Technology in Baghdad-Iraq. I moved with my wife and two daughters to the US in 1996 and continued my graduate degree from Wayne State University in the art of Applied Mathematics. I started my journey of teaching math in many educational institutions; ranging from PreAlgebra to Differential Equations. I make learning very rich and enjoyable. My students feel the elevation of their math skills every day. I am happy to share with you my math skills to use them in your life and be successful.

Leo Humbach

Received his bachelor’s in vocal music education from Wayne State University. He has been a vocal director at the Roeper Summer Stock theater program for 10 years and teaching choir at Stevenson High School and Davis Junior High for nine years. He has more than 35 years of piano playing skills and 27 years of guitar.  

Dan Jacobs

Dan has taught science fiction and fantasy literature, forensics, debate and a myriad of other classes at The Roeper School for over 20 years. Dan graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in English, a minor in Social Sciences and certification in Secondary Education. He is the Head Coach for speech activities at Roeper, including Lincoln-Douglas Debate, High School Forensics and Middle School Forensics.

Susan Knight

Graduated from Michigan State with a BS and a specialization in Math. I have taught math at Roeper for 28 years. Math was always my favorite subject, but my passion is helping students understand and enjoy math.

Briana Lotan

She is an accomplished thespian and has been teaching for 8 years. She has performed and directed over 25 musicals and plays, written and performed original work, and studied with those on Broadway. Some of the roles Lotan has played are: Ilse in Spring Awakening, Snoopy in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown and Van’s Sister in Dog Sees God. Lotan’s students have been accepted into Interlochen Summer Intensives, AMDA, Blue Lake, Michigan State, Oakland University and many more. Her studio is built on helping students achieve their dreams and preparing them for those hard auditions for camps, college, or productions.

Dianne O’Connor

Has 30+ years experience as an early childhood/elementary and science teacher at The Roeper School. She also has taught pre-service teachers at UofM-Dearborn, Wayne State University and Oakland University. In addition, she has brought her love of science teaching to the Brilliant Detroit community.

Candace O'Leary

Local visual artist and educator passionate about working with youth in the community to help them grow as engaged learners. As an artist, Candace makes sculptures, textile art, photographs and pencil work most often, but also enjoys painting, paper cutting and graphic design. As an educator, Candace has worked in the Detroit area and in Seattle as a visual arts teacher for students from K-8. Additionally, Candace is a passion poet and writer and loves to write essays and poems inspired by life, history and the world at large. 

Sabrina Prevost

A native French speaker, Sabrina has been teaching French at the Roeper Lower School for 6 years. She is the mother of 2 bilingual kids. Outside of speaking French, she likes to play sports - especially soccer with her son and volleyball with her daughter.

Blake Pynnonen

Is a Team Teacher at The Roeper School. Certified as a Language Arts teacher for grades 6 – 8, Blake loves writing. His works have appeared in the Birmingham EccentricThe Good Men Project, LinkedIn, and The Movie Sleuth, where he also works as a film critic. 

Lesley Righetti

My name is Lesley Righetti, I teach 1st and 2nd grade at Charyl Stockwell Academy in Hartland and hold my Master’s in the Art of Teaching Elementary Education. This is my 6th year teaching this age group and I absolutely love it!  I am one of the Assistant Camp Directors at Roeper Summer Day Camp and have worked there for the past 16 years.

Amy Romano

Is a Roeper Alum who has returned to Roeper as a floating teacher. She received BSc specializing in Life Sciences from Queens University. She has taught 7th grade math, Pre-Algebra, Geometry and Algebra 2 while working at the Roeper school as a floating and long term substitute.  She is currently working on her Masters in Education at Banks Street College. 

Janet Szeto

Is a visual arts teacher at The Roeper Middle and Upper School. She has been teaching art for more than 15 years and loves working with students to help them develop their art skills and creative ideas.  Every year, she teaches Figure Study as a Spring elective for High School students.  Janet holds degrees in both Painting and Art Education.

Lindsey Tycholiz-McKiddy

Has taught K-12 General Music, Choir and Choreography for many years around the Detroit Area.  She has been part of the 
Roeper Summer Stock Theater for over 10 years and is excited to continue teaching in this summer program.  She has a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and is currently working on a Masters in Voice Pedagogy at Oakland University.  Professionally, she has performed at venues such as the Michigan Opera Theater, Florida Opera Company, Universal Studios and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  She also helps choreograph for the Miss Universe Organization and was crowned Miss Michigan USA 2009.  In her spare time she enjoys yoga, karaoke and hanging out with her family, husband Mike and her chihuahua, Miss Gracie Lou.  

Theresa Tobkin

Hello! My name is Theresa Tobkin. I have been known at Roeper Summer Camp as ‘Crafty Lady’ for the last 19 summers because I teach arts and crafts. I also hold my professional teacher certification (k-8 all subjects/ concentration in Math) for the Michigan Department of Education through Madonna University and Oakland University. I teach 3rd grade for Cornerstone Educational Group. I have two children of my own that attended Roeper where I substitute taught and completed the Parent Seed Program. I started teaching at Roeper Summer Day Camp when my children were young, but they grew up and I am still spending my summer days making crafts with children because I love it so much!

Scott Vartanian

Scott is a teacher at Roeper Lower School and has been teaching for 15 years and has a Master's degree from the University of Michigan. He is currently a homeroom teacher in Stage IV and teaches Stage IV math.  Outside of teaching, he enjoys spending time in 4H as he and his wife are the adult leaders of the Oakland County 4H livestock club and assisting as a baseball coach for his son.  

Bryan Wilson

Chess Camp is led by BRYAN WILSON, the three time state title winning head coach of The Roeper School chess team and award winning National Chess Championship coach at Cass Technical High School. Bryan privately trains top chess students throughout the community. Currently he trains five of the top 100 chess players in the nation.

Nick Yocum

Has been a teaching artist and professional actor in metro Detroit for nearly 10 years. He received a B.F.A. in acting from Wayne State University, studied abroad at the Moscow Art Theatre School (Stanislavski's world-renowned acting school) and completed his professional apprenticeship at Tipping Point Theatre in Northville Michigan. A member of the Actor's Equity Association, Nick has been seen on dozens of stages around Detroit including Performance Network, Tipping Point, The Ringwald, Open Book, Kickshaw Theatre, Pennyseats Theatre, and Theatre Nova, to name a few. He has taught at Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, but most importantly, has been working at the Roeper Summer Stock Theatre since 2008. He is always eager and excited to share his time with young artists that aspire to learn something great about acting and theatre.  

Jen Ziemann

Has been teaching Stage I (preschool) at Roeper for the past 8 years. She has 19 years experience in early childhood education. Jen has a passion for supporting students discoveries and learning about the world around them through hands-on explorations. 

Contact Us Year Round

Roeper Summer Programs
41190 Woodward Ave
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
p. 248.203.7370
f.  248.203.7310

Learn about The Roeper School.