Executive Director / Production Director
Nina has worked in the fields of education and musical theatre for more than two decades. She is an experienced actress and director and holds a BA in Communication Studies and Special Education from San Jose State University. An active member of the special needs community, she has served on the executive board of the Autism Project PTA and AoS. She was awarded the 2012-2013 Changing the World Together award from the College of Social Sciences at San Jose State University and was the 2011 recipient of the Service Above Self award from the San Andreas Regional Center. Nina has served as stage /production manager for AoS for several seasons and has served in a variety of theatre support staff roles, such as costume designer, entertainment coordinator and stage manager. She has also served in key roles for other local special needs events, including Day in the Sky, Take Flight for Kids and Magic Makers. Her passion comes from being a caregiver of two children with autism. She is looking forward to another sensational season with the AoS family and is honored and excited to be a part of the amazing AoS team that brings creativity, talent and magic to the Angels each week.
Program Manager & Student Director
Pamela is passionate about working with children with special abilities. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Recreation Therapy from Cal State East Bay. She has taught swimming to children with special needs for more than eight years and manages the Special Abilities Learn to Swim Program at the Santa Clara Swim Club, which she also created. Her work with the Learn to Swim Program recently led her to the Paralympic Nationals with a visually impaired swimmer from her club. She also exercises her commitment to community as part of the local organizing committee, Valor Games Far West, which is an annual introductory level sporting competition for Veterans with disabilities. In her spare time she loves to salsa dance, cook, enjoy the outdoors with her dog, and explore new restaurants. She is thrilled to be able to spend time with the Angels this season.
VP of Programs, Shining Stars Manager/Producer
Farah is the oldest child of Deaf Adults (CODA) and has had to battle stereotypes and discrimination based on abilities her entire life. When learned about Angels on Stage, through her nephew, who is an Angel, she was overjoyed to see an organization taking Angels out of the boxes society tries to place them in, and “illuminating their abilities”. Farah joined AoS to volunteer her services as a special ed consultant and ASL sign language interpreter for the productions. Farah was recruited as a staff member for this season, and she is excited to jump in the role and get more involved with AoS. Farah holds a BS in Psychology from San Jose State University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude.
Gavin has a passion for helping individuals discover and reach their full potential. Currently Behavior Specialist with at California Community Opportunities teaching and working with more than 30 adults with disabilities and their staff in home, community, and day services settings. He previously worked with youth and children with special needs at Tucci Learning Solutions. He is a Music Docent with Music for Minors and trains music educators to work with individuals with differing abilities. In addition to extensive volunteer and advocacy work in the special needs sector, Gavin learns every day from family members with autism. He is an accomplished musician and teaches music to adults at the College of Adaptive Arts, as well as to individual students with differing abilities. Gavin has a BA in Psychology from UC Santa Cruz and completing his MA in Educational Psychology at West Virginia University. He is looking forward to applying his skills and talents with AoS, leading a team of Special Education Consultants and ILLUMINATING Abilities through direct work with the Angels and staff.
VP of Administration
Kim has been a buddy coach since Season 3. She has watched Angels blossom on stage and is always inspired to see new Angels experience the AoS magic, and loves working with the buddy coaches to help set the angels up for success. Currently, Kim works at De Anza College in the Educational Diagnostic Center, which serves students with learning disabilities and tutors students with a variety of disabilities including ADD, autism, Aspergers and learning disabilities. She loves to volunteer at Parents Helping Parents in San Jose and co-facilitates their Learning Disabilities and ADD Support and Information Group. Kim is looking forward to another awe-inspiring season.
VP of Logistics
Carol met with DeAnna Pursai as Angels on Stage was just a thought. Having no theater background the first year, assisting with props was a safe start. She has held a seat on the board in the past and now is affectionately known as the “Prop Mama”. Carol works at California Community Opportunities.
Leadership Council Program Manager
This is Danielle’s 6th season with AoS. She graduated from West Valley College with an AA in transfer in psychology, and is currently a psych major at San Jose State with a goal of becoming an awesome special ed teacher. Danielle has been working at an after school daycare with children grades K-8 for 6 years, as well as being a respite care worker for children with special needs on the side. In her free time, she loves to volunteer in the special day class at Dartmouth middle school, as it is her dream to teach there. Some of her passions include kids, nature, singing, dancing, acting, being crafty, songwriting, and making people laugh. Throughout high school, she was a member of the best buddies club, participated in musical theater, was very involved in her church youth group, and was a member of acoustic club her senior year.
VP of Communications
Jerri is a communications professional with experience in non-profit and for-profit environments. She is an independent marketing and strategic development consultant for Bay Area non-profit organizations. She is currently Program Manager at California Community Opportunities and serves on the Board of Directors at the AIM program and Arbor Bay School, two organizations serving children with differing abilities. She has enjoyed watching her own daughter grow and thrive in Angels on Stage and is honored to be part of the outstanding AoS team.
Ed Support Specialist & Assistant Director of Production
Becky is the Director of College Terrace Children’s Center a Palo Alto Community Child Care program. Becky holds an MA in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College, a BA in Child and Adolescent Development from San Jose State University and an AA in Early Childhood Education from Brigham Young University. Becky has been working with young children for over 25 years. She also has several years’ experience performing in community musical theatre productions, as well 28 years singing acapella 4-part harmony as a Sweet Adeline. She is thrilled to be part of the AoS team!
Meike Sillevis Smitt-Huizinga
Music Director, Ed Program Specialist,
& Rising Stars Program Manager
Meike is the owner of and teacher at Smiley Notes, offering Music Together classes in Willow Glen. She also teaches generalmusic in grades TK-2 at Booksin Elementary. Born and raised in the Netherlands, Meike holds a BA in Communications from the School for Economics and Management in Utrecht (The Netherlands), and an MA in Cultural Anthropology from SUNY Albany (NY). She started her working career in Direct Marketing. After her daughters were born she gave up her job for and “expat wife” adventure in Penang, Malaysia. In 2006 the family moved to San Jose, where Meike started volunteering for Music For Minors. She found her calling in making music with young children, and soon ventured into her roles at Booksin, as well as Smiley Notes. Meike’s passion for children with special needs comes from her niece, Feline, who has Down Syndrome. Meike loves to play, sing, and dance with Feline whenever she visits The Netherlands. She is very excited to now share her passion for music and play with the Angels!
Ed Program Specialist & Choreographer
Marcie is an Educational Associate at Lynhaven Elementary School and has worked in the field of education for 21 years. A mother of a high school student and 11-year old daughter with Down syndrome, she is a strong advocate of education and people with disabilities. For the past 10 years, Marcie has been a key leader and supporter of the Bay Area DS Buddy Walk. Additionally, she serves as a parent mentor for parents who deliver children that are diagnosed with Down syndrome and loves sharing her personal story of hope and happiness. Last season she was awarded the Angel Backstage Award for exceptional volunteer efforts and time given to Angels on Stage. Marcie is passionate about AoS and looks forward to spending time with the Angels, Buddies and Staff each week. For the past six years she has volunteered her time to help uphold the mission she believes in! Marcie has served as the AoS Booster Club co-president, a support instructor, and room monitor, and has worked side stage. Anyone who knows Marcie knows she loves music and dance. You can find her at Lynhaven school, non-profit dances, holiday parties, fundraisers and so much more, DJ’ing and dancing with children and their families. So it only seemed fitting she would share that gift with the Angels and embark on her new role as Choreographer and Education Specialist in Season 7. Marcie is honored to be a part of the AoS family and loves being a member of the staff who get to work with these amazing Angels each week.