Larry Pugh, Drums

Larry is a recent graduate of UNC-Greensboro's school of music, where he studied under Dr. Kris Keeton, and Dr. Eric Willie. He marched with Wake Forest Independent in 2013 and also marched with Carolina Gold in 2013. Larry spends his time playing assorted hand drums, drum set, and Marimba. All while maintaining a full teaching schedule for indoor and outdoor marching arts

Rob Hibbitts, Visual Arts

Began with the Arts Academy in 2016
* Graduated East Tennessee State University with Bachelor of Fine Arts 1986, majoring in illustration and graphic arts
* Over 30 years’ experience
* Rob can be found roaming the mountain back roads, photographing 
old barns or relaxing  to music while painting or drawing
Accomplishments include working for clients such as:
-  Boston Bruins NHL Hockey Team
-  LA Lakers NBA basketball team
-  Sow True Seed Company in Asheville, NC

Pete Turnas, Guitar

Pete is a senior at Wheatmore High School. He plays saxophone in concert band. He is a songwriter and plays with his brothers in a local band. He’s been playing guitar for several years.

Cherie Johnson, Violin

Came on board with the Arts Academy when it opened in 2016.  
* From Parkersburg W
* began playing at age 7; private instruction at age 8.  
 *Played professionally while teaching in MD, FL, PA, and WV 
Her honors include: 
 - 1st chair in 180-piece high school orchestra (3 yrs. in a row)
 - All-state Opera pit orchestra (4 yrs.)
 - All-Student Orchestra violin tour of Europe at age 16.  
"This is my passion, to teach strings and see students blossom.”

Paige Hepler, Piano

Paige Hepler, Piano
it's her 4th semester with the Arts Academy
Paige is a Thomasville native.
*Graduating senior at Wheatmore High School in Trinity.
* Played piano for 10+ years; and also is proficient oboe
* She plans to pursue both music education or performance at Greensboro College in fall 2019.

We would like to thank our generous sponsors and you all for supporting our students and our program with your time, talents, and gifts. 

Arts Academy Board Members:


Brant Conner
Rev. Ben Devoid
Jessica Dreher
Sara Faulkner
Alicia Wilson
Rev. Lynda Hepler
Jim Hudson
Rick Jones




Arts ALIVE! Arts Academy

Katie Conant, Sewing

Katie and her husband moved to Thomasville 15 years ago from upstate NY.
* #1 hobby has always been sewing.  She attributes her sewing skills to her mother, 4-H leaders, and her high school Home Economics class.
Her accomplishments include: 
- Sewing much of her own as well as her children’s clothing, men’s leisure suits, 25 quilts, & worship banners for the Awaken service at Memorial; and
Teaching 2 adults to sew.
“The Art Academy has inspired me to teach basic sewing lessons to two very lovely young ladies…. They have been a real joy to work with.”