Mrs. Ley became Chief Executive Officer of Arkansas Arts Academy on July 1, 2014. She was previously the Executive Director of Communications and Community Partnerships for Bentonville Public Schools. Her experience also includes being the Special Projects Director in Colorado Springs School District 11, where she and her team flipped two failing schools into successful STEM schools. Mrs. Ley also has 28 years of experience teaching visual arts.
Dr. Johnson joined Arkansas Arts Academy following a seven-year tenure as Creative Director of Dream Fine Art in Fayetteville, producing and marketing Fine Visual Art by both local and regional artists. In addition to being author of the Cambridge Scholars-published study of the pedagogical methodologies of Arnold Schoenberg and Nadia Boulanger, Dr. Johnson is a professional visual artist and classically-trained composer. As an educator he brings years of experience creating curricula in performing arts.
Dr. Johnson received a Bachelors Degree in Composition from Baylor University, a Masters Degree in Composition from University of Arkansas Fayetteville, and Doctor of Philosophy in Composition from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, with a minor in Music Education. His university music composition instructors include Dr. Richard M. Willis, Milton Babbitt, Marlos Nobre, Lukas Foss, Dr. Robert Mueller, Stephen David Beck, and Dr. Dino’s Constantinedes.
Dr. Johnson also performed post-doctoral work in music education at University of Texas at Austin. While there, he joined the faculty of the ground-breaking UT String Project, a program providing weekly performance and musicianship lessons and classes to nearly three hundred students ages four through eighteen.
Aaron Jones is the Arts Integration Specialist at Arkansas Arts Academy and the education liaison with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
Before he began his position with us, he served as the Interpretation Manager at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
Aaron is an art educator. His experience ranges from teaching public schools at the K–12 level to being a university professor teaching studio, art history, and art education. In addition to his museum and arts education background, he’s also an artist working primarily in acrylics, watercolor, and ink.
Aaron has a Bachelor’s degree in studio with an emphasis in painting and certification in art education K–12 from Oklahoma Baptist University. Aaron additionally holds a master’s degree in art history from the University of Oklahoma.
Heather Wright was hired as the High School principal in September of 2017. Prior to that she taught Chemistry and Physics at Arkansas Arts Academy High School. She holds Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Masters of Arts in Teaching degrees from the University of Arkansas and an Educational Specialist degree in Secondary Administration from Arkansas State University.
In addition to her duties as principal, Heather also has two daughters that attend Arkansas Arts Academy elementary school and volunteers as a Girl Scout Troop Leader. In every spare moment she can find, she enjoys reading and exploring the great outdoors with her family.