Biographies - Arts
GLEE CLUB (3-5)
Kimberly Pollini started singing Gospel at the age of 5. She has toured as a classical soloist in Europe and performed at the Majestic Theatre in Dallas, TX with legendary jazz vocalist and lyricist, Jon Hendricks, and the University of North Texas One O’Clock Jazz Band. Her recording & stage experience ranges from the country styling of Bruce Robison at the Austin City Limits Festival, South by Southwest (SXSW) with Alejandro Escovedo, the unique folk singing of Sara Hickman, to the classic soul of The Memphis Train Revue and the choral sound of The Women's Chorus of Dallas. With the latter group, she was featured as a soloist at the Meyerson Symphony Center with Maya Angelou & Mary Wilson (of The Supremes) benefiting The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. She is certified as both a choir director and elementary music teacher for all grades and levels and currently teaches multi-level music both privately and publicly for Meridian School. In addition, she performs locally and abroad with Caboose, a multi-faceted variety band based in Austin.
Aurora Zenfell is the founder and director of the New Leaf Orchestra, a class for beginning and intermediate adult learners based in Austin, TX, and the co-founder of the "Parent Orchestra" for adult beginners with the UT String Project. She also has 9 years of public school teaching experience in Texas and Florida. While teaching at Paredes Middle School in Austin ISD, her students received the highest rating at contest two years in a row -- two of only three total years the orchestra achieved that rating since the school opened -- as well as performed in the Dallas International Festival in 2012. Ms. Zenfell has performed professionally with the Tallahassee Symphony, Florida Lakes Symphony, and the Austin-based Arabic band, Layalina. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Florida State University and a Masters degree in Music and Human Learning from the University of Texas-Austin. Her goals are to provide a positive place for people to learn and connect with each other, and to introduce students to many styles of string playing, including learning to use music in real-life situations.
TRIPLE A MANAGER
Kathryn Patschke joined us as the Triple A Manager in May of 2018. She brings her expertise in child development and staff management. She came to us with a background as the Program Director of a physical development center with nearly 8 years of experience. She holds an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education and is currently pursuing her Bachelors in Youth and Community Studies with a focus in Special Populations at the University of Texas at Austin. What drew her to Meridian was the mission. She believes in the importance of helping students develop social and intellectual skills that will not only help them in their transition into adulthood and into the workforce, but more importantly help them develop relationships to enjoy a fulfilling life.
DIRECTOR OF STUDENT ENRICHMENT SERVICES
Monique L. Swain joined Meridian in August 2011 as the Triple A Enrichment Program Coordinator. Monique has a bachelor's degree in family and child sciences from the Florida State University and a master's in family and child studies from Texas State University. She comes to Meridian from the Austin Independent School District where she worked as the Teen Parent Program Coordinator. She is a State of Texas licensed child care director with many years of experience working with children and their families as a preschool teacher, school-age program assistant director, child development specialist, licensed child care director, event coordinator, director trainer, and preschool/school-age area director. She was drawn to Meridian because she enjoys building enriching children’s programs from the ground up. Specifically, the Triple A Program gives her the opportunity to share her personal hobbies and encourage students to express what sparks their interest.