Danielle Weaver

Danie has a sister with special needs. She also has been an advocate for this community her entire life. Danie is the Director for the School of Communications. She has a love for words, which led her to get her Bachelor's in English. Danie teaches Poetry, Reading and Writing, Reading Partners, Sign Language, Student Council, and Math and Science and is an associate professor in multiple studies.  In the classroom Danie encourages her students to reach as high as possible and that it’s okay to have a different opinion from the professor.  Danie refers to the School of Communications "as the little department that could" because we are small, but mighty. Outside of CAA Danie is happily married to Jeremiah. Some of her hobbies include Writing, Photography, Cooking, going to the movies, and traveling when she can.

Gavin Darby

GAVIN DARBY has been playing and writing music for over fifteen years. While the guitar is his primary instrument of choice, he is also learning to play the mandolin, banjo, and ukulele. He has recently begun creating electronic music, and is fascinated by the intersection of the acoustic and digital worlds.

Katie Zeisl

KATIE ZEISL is honored to be CAA’s Director of the School of Theatre & Special Events and to have the opportunity to wear many hats as a professor, campus event planner, site manager, and administrator.

Katie received her B.A. in Theatre Arts (Magna Cum Laude), with concentrations in acting and theater education, from San Jose State University, as well as a Certificate in Meeting and Event Planning from San Francisco State University’s College of Extended Learning.

Katie is a reader and actor for City Lights New Play Readers Series where she recently played Julia Waldren in The Last Iceberg. She performed in the 2015 and 2016 productions of Epic Immersive Theater’s Matthew Briar and the Age of Resurrection, playing multiple roles across three decades. She was the Preacher in From the Notebook of July 12, 1782, (SJReal of the former San Jose Rep); Jenny Tepperman, Panther, and Avatar in March (Dragon Theater); and Miranda in Guerilla Wanderers Films’ corporate commercial, Mission Impossible Virtual Instruments and is a bridesmaid in their upcoming short film, Shogun Wedding.

Katie was SJSU’s 2010 Kaucher Mitchell Fellow in Storytelling and Oral Interpretation. She now serves as a prelims judge at the biannual Kaucher Mitchell Mathis-Swanson storytelling and oral interpretation events.

Michael Dubinsky

Michael studied Photography at Ohio University. He is a published photographer and has worked in all aspects of the photography field. He enjoys sharing his skill sets with CAA students. CAA shows the true spirit of creativity.

Earl Rivard

The gift of song comes as naturally to Earl as breath. He was drawn to music early, beginning his formal vocal training with the Singing Boys of the San Francisco Bay at age 8. The intervening decades have been a powerful musical journey. He has excelled in musical styles including classical singing, musical theater, a cappella, folk-rock, and Latin American trova. In 2007, to embrace his full potential, he began to study voice with private teachers. Although he was substantially blinded by a drunk driver at the age of four months, his voice sees the passion in every song. The result is an artist who is nuanced, seasoned, and versatile. In his career, he has shared his musical gifts with innumerable audiences in many settings. Whether serenading an intimate gathering or filling a church with his powerful voice, the depth, skill, and passion of his performance never fails to captivate his audience.

Teena Marie Gaxiola


Bernard Smith

As choir accompanist I have the privilege of working with Professors Earl, Katie and Pam as well as all the talented members of the choir. And as a student at CAA, I enjoy my classes; reading partners, speaking with confidence, language arts and many others as well.  I also enjoy singing with Lyric Theater, playing trombone in jazz and classical ensembles, but most of all I enjoy playing the piano and singing at many venues around the San Jose area.  I am happy to be here today at our Annual Staff Showcase not only as an accompanist for the choir, but also as a student, to see the many talents of my CAA professors.

Laura Jones

LAURA JONES is one of CAA’s newest professors in the School of Dance.  She has been a community dance leader in the Changeling Dance Theatre Company as well as Friends of Children with Specials Needs. She brings years of professional dance experience, and CAA is so very proud to welcome her to the Mountain Movers Family.

Nicole Kim

NICOLE KIM is the Professor of the Speaking with Confidence class. She is an 11 year veteran of Toastmasters and has earned Distinguished Toastmaster certification. She has spent many years finding her voice and has a passion for helping others find theirs. At her daily gig, she works as a Senior Lead Producer at PayPal but her heart is forever with CAA. She lives in San Jose with her husband Stephen and four kids.

Sharon Lea

SHARON LEA grew up in Los Altos and graduated from Chico State University.  An English degree proved a wonderful founda-tion for her love of creative writing, poet-ry and self-expression on many levels.  Liv-ing in Silicon Valley, Sharon spent over 20 years working in high-tech, medical de-vice, sales and customer service.  She loves people and wanted to take a step out of high-tech and into what she calls a “heart-based” field.  With passion and grateful-ness, Sharon delights interacting with CAA students and their families, considering it a true blessing in her life.  In her free time, Sharon loves to sing, write poetry and play with her two kitties Lizzy and Emma.