Our Staff

James Wright , Chief Executive Officer

James Wright joins A Step Beyond (ASB) in July 2020 as the new Chief Executive Officer.  Wright has more than a decade of resource development, marketing, and senior leadership experience with local and national nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining ASB, Wright served as CEO for the Classroom of the Future Foundation (CFF), a nonprofit that serves all 42 school districts in San Diego County and prepares students to be college and career ready. Prior to CFF, Wright was the Director of Development and Marketing for Feeding San Diego, one of the leading hunger-relief organizations in the County. Wright also served at the Federation of American Scientists, a national science policy think tank in Washington D.C. Wright holds a bachelor of arts degree from George Washington University and a master’s degree in nonprofit leadership and management from the University of San Diego. Wright lives in Vista, California, where he enjoys spending time with his wife, Samantha, and sons, Fox and Indiana.

Jennifer Oliver, Artistic Director/ Teaching Artist

Oliver holds a B.A. in dance from the University of California, Irvine, and an M.A. in Expressive Arts Therapy from the European Graduate School. Oliver has provided dance education and artful practices in public education and community arts settings across San Diego County for PreK-12 youth, college students, and adults for over 20 years. Prior to ASB, Oliver served as the Program Director and Interim Executive Director of The San Diego Dance Institute, the Education Director, Associate Director and Interim Executive Director for Young Audiences of San Diego (Arts for Learning, San Diego), and has served on various dance company boards.  She co-founded and directed the Arts Education Resource Organization (AERO) and the Teaching Artist Institute of San Diego, served on the statewide initiative, Teaching Artist Support Collaborative, served on the National Arts Education Council for Americans for the Arts, is a founding member of The San Diego Creative Youth Development Network and is certified as a Somatic Movement Practioner.

Araceli Huerta, MSW, Family Services Manager

Araceli Huerta is an Associate Clinical Social Worker, who holds a B.A. in Human Development and an MSW in Social Work from California State University San Marcos. Araceli has more than 7 years of experience working with under-served children, youth, and families.

 

 

Josue Cortes, MSW, Family Services Counselor

Josue is an associate clinical social worker for ASB providing mental health and wellness services for students and parents. Josue brings his experience of business, dance, and mental health to ASB. Josue received his Master of Social Work degree from the University of Southern California with a clinical focus in Adult Mental Health. 

 

 

Christine Zaccarelli-Taylor, Academic Manager

Christine Zaccarelli-Taylor received her B.A. in Psychology and teaching credential from the University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada, and special education credential from the University of California, Irvine. She has over 35 years teaching experience in Canada, South Africa, and California. For the past 27 years, she has taught in the Escondido Union School District.

 

Ivan Corona, Academics Program Manager, Middle – High School

Ivan is a native SoCal resident with a passion for helping people. With a BS in Business Management, Ivan quickly turned to the nonprofit sector to fulfill his need to leave a lasting impact on the world. This pursuit of service led him to an MA in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the University of San Diego. Ivan now has over 15 years in the San Diego nonprofit sector with experience in community organizing, social services, mental health advocacy, environmental justice, and program development and evaluation.

Karla Navarro, Dance Program Manager/ Teaching Artist

Karla Navarro received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from San Diego State University. She was born in San Diego, and raised in Tijuana, Mexico. Prior to joining A Step Beyond, Karla was involved in Harmonium Prime Time after school program, The SDSU Educational Opportunity Program, the Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee on Anti-Poverty Leadership Camp (Research Study), and the American Ballet Theatre and Movement Research Intensives in New York City.

Casey Flores, Teaching Artist

Casey received her B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies and a B.A. in Dance from the University of California Berkeley. Casey led and taught youth development programs for the EDD from 2009 – 2014 and currently teaches with local dance studios in San Diego. Casey founded the Emerging Artist Collaborative, dances professionally with various San Diego choreographers, and most recently choreographed for Shared Spaces at Performing Arts Workshop in Encinitas.

 

Nhu Nguyen, Teaching Artist

Nhu Nguyen began her professional dance career at eight in Vietnam. She worked with HBSO, Vietnam for roughly 7 years while pursuing her education at Vietnam’s National School of Dance and Choreography. Since her migration in 2012, she has been involved with transcenDance Youth Art Project, A Reason to Survive, and A Step Beyond. In 2017, Nhu Nguyen was named the Outstanding Graduate in Dance, completing her BFA in Dance and minor in Visual Art.

 

Roxanne Rojas, Teaching Artist

Roxanne Rojas de Blanco is a California-based dance-artist and teacher.  She is a Teaching Artist at Arts for Learning San Diego, an Affiliate of Young Audiences, a Dance Artist at Omo Aché Afro-Cuban Dance & Music Co., she studied Third World Development Studies at the University of California, San Diego, and Bilingual Elementary Education at San Diego State University.

 

Heather Glabe, Teaching Artist

Heather Glabe is a California-based dance-artist and teacher. She holds a BFA in  Dance and a BA in Communication from UCSB, and an MFA in Dance from  CSULB. Though Heather now resides in Encinitas, she danced within San  Francisco and LA communities before relocating to SD County in 2013. Heather has taught dance for such institutions as CSULB, CSUF, SDSU, UCSD,  American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensives in Orange County, and, most recently, A Step Beyond.

 

Allison Morrissey, Director of Development

Allison holds a BA in dance and drama from the University of California, Irvine, and is in her last year of the Master in Nonprofit Leadership and Management program at the University of San Diego. She has served on the programming committee of Rising Arts Leaders and is currently a Collette Murray Scholarship recipient with the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She has worked throughout Southern California both as a teaching artist/education professional and in development and fundraising for organizations such as the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Musical Theater.

 

 

Marjury Razo, Front Desk Coordinator

Marjury Razo oversees parent and student support on a daily basis.  Marjury is finishing up her studies in Criminal Justice at Palomar College.  She recently participated in the San Diego Sheriff’s Explorer program where she did ride-alongs with the SDPD and received firsthand experience in law enforcement.  In her spare time, she enjoys playing drums in her church’s worship band.

 

 

Ilana Quieroz, Teaching Artist

Originally from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, Ilana is currently teaching capoeira—an art form that combines music, dance, and acrobatics and music education at A Step Beyond. Having taught since 2000 at many schools and recreation centers in the San Diego area, Ilana brings a wealth of teaching experience to World Dance and Music and youth development.