M.A. Certificate in Arts Administration from UConn
M.A. in Drama Therapy from New York University
B.A. in Theatre with a concentration in Interactive Theatre and a minor in Psychology from McDaniel College
Mr. Cimino-Johnson received his Master of Arts from New York University in Drama Therapy and his Bachelors of Arts in Theatre Arts with a minor in Psychology from McDaniel College. Over the past seven years, Mr. Cimino-Johnson has utilized theatre as a vehicle for self-expression, while creating a safe space for a diverse group of students within the academic venue. Mr. Cimino-Johnson founded Rock Ridge Performing Arts at Rock Ridge High School. In one year, his program has grown from 70 students to 200+ involved in theatre in some capacity. Over 20 % of the school is engaged in the theatre program. Additionally, in 2015, his production of "Ernest and the Pale Moon" won the Virginia Theatre Association State Festival and became State Champions that will represent Virginia at the South Eastern Theatre Conference in 2016. In 2014, Mr. Cimino-Johnson was recognized for his work with his students and the community by becoming a finalist for the Shenandoah Teacher of the Year Loudoun County. Additionally, his students have been awarded Full Ride Scholarships to University of North Carolina and University of Maryland Baltimore County and partial scholarships to programs across the country totaling over $2 Million dollars.
During his tenure at Liberty High School he won three state championships, performed at the International Fringe Festival in Edinburgh Scotland, won over 75 awards including "Best Play" for "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe", "Best Play" for "A Christmas Carol" and Best Musical "Disney's Tarzan" . For the school year 2011 - 2012, Mr. Cimino was one of eight finalist for Carroll County Teacher of the year, and received an Outstanding Teacher Award from the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce.
While attending McDaniel College, Cimino was nominated for the Director's Award for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. As a result, his show "The Zoo Story" was chosen for the KCACTF Fringe Festival, as well as receiving awards for Costumes, Stage Management, Acting and Props. In 2009, he received 2nd Place in the "Director's Competition" at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. He has also served as an adjunct professor at McDaniel College and has directed at Carroll Community College. Mr. Cimino is the founder of Tree of Life Theatre Troupe's Educational Program and was Artistic Director and 1st Vice President. In 2008, Cimino founded "The Arts Coming Together In Carroll County" in order to unite theatre artists across the region to celebrate in all the performing arts. Within TACTICC, Inc. he has founded the impACT Program, an arts education program for children - adults who are interested in developing their skills and spirit as a performer, designer, and creator.
Currently, he serves as Rock Ridge Performing Art's Full Time Theatre Teacher.
M.A in Secondary English Education from The College of William and Mary
B.A. in English Literature from Lee University
Shenandoah Valley Writing Project Teacher Consultant through Shenandoah University
Miss Hess received a Master's of Education in Secondary English at The College of William and Mary and a Bachelors of Arts in English from Lee University. Her first teaching experience was at the Young Adults Project, an alternative program for high school students in Loudoun County, where she received recognition as one of “30 Under 30” young professionals by Loudoun Business Magazine for her work with at-risk youth. In addition to teaching English to grades 9-12, Miss Hess served in a variety of capacities including School Testing Coordinator, PBIS team member, and new teacher mentor. She joined the Rock Ridge staff as an English teacher when the school opened in 2014.
Miss Hess joined Rock Ridge Performing Arts for its inaugural season as a member of the audition panel for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. She continued her involvement with Rock Ridge as a choreographer and member of the directing team for Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid and as a member of the audition panel for the main stage productions.
In the fall of 2016 Miss Hess joined the Fine Arts department as a full-time theater teacher, teaching both acting and technical theater classes. She oversees the costume, hair, make-up, and props design teams.
Miss Hess first became interested in theater through her family’s involvement in community theater and her personal experience in dance performance. She began choreographing for musical theater in high school. Miss Hess continues to train in dance, specifically competition ballroom.