Isabel Rocha’s passion is painting, throwing on the wheel, and teaching students that art is more than just coloring inside the lines. It is the culmination of all that revolves around life. For students to be truly educated, they must be given the opportunity to connect their own ideas and imagination with the knowledge they are being presented. It is Ms. Rocha’s aspiration to inspire and share her love of art with every student and to teach them to analyze, critique, and inquire about the world around them.
Ms. Rocha earned her Bachelors in Visual Arts Education from Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana. She has taught art for twelve years in elementary, middle school, and high school. She looks forward to working with her elementary and middle school art students at Texas Art Conservatory.
Sheyna Ferraro is an active member of the arts community as a teacher, organization leader, and a former professional dancer. High quality, accessible arts training is Ms. Ferraro’s passion. A graduate from Leadership Fort Worth's Leading Edge program, she serves as a board member for FurtherDance Fort Worth and Expanco and co-founded the Fort Worth Dance Forum. Ms. Ferraro joined the Texas Center for Arts + Academics family in 2003 as a member of the FWAFA dance faculty where she continues to teach and direct their Academy Dance Company. In 2015, Ms. Ferraro was named the Director of the Texas Art Conservatory and has taken on the role of Director for TCAA’s newest program, the Texas Art Conservatory.
She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet along with a Secondary Teaching Certification in Dance from Texas Christian University. Even before graduating from TCU, Ms. Ferraro started teaching at local dance studios and choreographing for middle and high school dance programs. She enjoyed performing with both Contemporary Ballet Dallas and Contemporary Dance Fort Worth before retiring from performing to focus on teaching. A life-long learner, Ms. Ferraro was the recipient of the Bates Dance Festival Teacher Fellowship Scholarship in 2012 and in the summer of 2014, she had the opportunity to travel to Bali, Indonesia to study traditional Balinese style dance. Ms. Ferraro encourages young artists to be life-long learners as she influences them through her dance classes and her organizational involvements.
Patricia Thomson, Ph.D., is the Interim President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Texas Center for Arts + Academics (TCAA). Dr. Thomson has a wealth of nonprofit experience including executive leadership roles with multiple organizations in North Texas and New York. Her formal education focused on environmental toxicology, but she sought deeper fulfillment in her work. When Dr. Thomson decided to pursue a role as executive director of a small environmental education organization, she fell in love with nonprofit work. Dr. Thomson brings strategic insight and fundraising knowledge to our organization with the goal of helping us achieve success and fulfill our missions.
Prior to joining TCAA, Dr. Thomson was Executive Director of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of North Texas and Oklahoma for seven years. She also served in executive roles with the American Red Cross Chisholm Trail Chapter, Girl Scouts-Circle T Council in Fort Worth, Girl Scouts of Dutchess County in Poughkeepsie, NY., along with the United Way of Columbia & Greene Counties in Hudson, NY.
Dr. Thomson's fundraising responsibilities have ranged from the implementation and growth of philanthropic programs, spearheading special events, grant writing, campaign oversight, donor relations, and more. She has helped build dozens of director's boards, lead the development and implementation of strategic plans, and worked to increase staff & volunteer retention.