ASN Staff

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Dr. R. Scott Allen is excited to join ASN as Managing Director after being a member since early 2009. Scott retired in August of 2021 after thirty years in public education, serving the last twelve and a half years as Principal of Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) in Houston, TX. He holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from Texas State University with an emphasis on directing. He earned his master's and doctorate in educational administration from Sam Houston State University. Before retiring from HSPVA, Scott was the principal at Mildred Jenkins Elementary School in Spring ISD and an assistant principal at Lakeland Elementary School in Humble ISD. His teaching experiences include theatre, speech, and English at the high school level. During his years of teaching, Scott spent two summers working in theatre in New York City. The highlight of this time was the opportunity to stage manage an off-Broadway production of August Strindberg's, The Pelican.

Of the honors he has received, Scott is most proud of the ASN Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton Emerging Leader Award (2011) and Jeffrey Lawrence Award (2018), being named the Texas H-E-B Excellence in Education State Secondary Principal of the Year (2013), the Sam Houston State University Distinguished Educator of the Year (2019), and the Texas Speech and Communication Association’s State Educator of the Year (2001).

Scott is an avid reader and enjoys traveling with his partner, also Scott. He first ran the Houston Marathon in 2008 and has completed nine more marathons since that first 26.2 mile race. Scott enjoys the variety present in Houston's arts community and continues to be active in the Texas UIL One Act Play Competition, serving as an adjudicator each spring. Charlie and Frankie, a golden retriever and miniature dachshund, provide the daily respite from Scott and Scott’s schedules.

 

CONFERENCE MANAGER

William "Bill" Kohut 

William M. Kohut was hired for the role of ASN Conference Manager in February of 2020 and is thrilled have the opportunity to serve ASN in this role. “Bill” was a public-school music teacher and administrator for 36 years in Colorado.   He retired as the Principal of the Denver School of the Arts after 10 years as Principal, in June 2019.  Bill served for 19 years as a school principal in the Denver Public Schools. Under his leadership The Denver School of the Arts was recognized as an Exemplary Arts School, and for 8 years under his leadership the Denver School of the Arts received a gold medal award from US News World Report as one of the top high schools in America.  Denver School of the Arts was also awarded the Colorado John Irwin Award for Educational Excellence through the Colorado Department of Education for 10 years under his leadership. Bill was awarded the Colorado Music Educators Association “Honored Administrator Award” in 2013, and the Colorado Thespian’s “Administrator of the Year” award in 2011. Mr. Kohut has presented at numerous local, state, and national conferences on his work in educational leadership.

Mr. Kohut served as the President of the Arts Schools Network Board of Directors from 2017-2019 and was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the Denver Public Schools Retired Employees Foundation. Mr. Kohut currently serves in the role of Executive Director of the Colorado Music Educators Association where his primary responsibility has been to manage their annual conference for the past 26 years.  He is also an active arts education/school leadership and management consultant.

Contact Bill:  [email protected]

  

MEMBERSHIP MANAGER

Laurie Barber has been working in arts education and arts administration for over 20 years.  She has worked for Aids Services Foundation, Segerstrom Center for the Arts and Orange County School of the Arts.  She currently works part-time for Arts Schools Network as the Membership Manager and part-time with preschoolers in the Specialized Academic Instruction program for Saddleback Valley Unified School District in Mission Viejo, CA.  Laurie is passionate about finding ways to increase access to arts education for all and is excited to connect with other arts leaders to grow the ASN community.  

Some fun facts about Laurie:

          • She is visual artist, and her preferred medium is clay.  It’s magical!  
          • She went to culinary school and can make a mean chocolate chip scone.
          • She loves a good spread sheet and color coding is her jam.
          • Her goal is to visit all the National parks.  13 down, 46 to go!
          • She rode her bike 556 miles from San Francisco to LA. She highly recommends an adventure like this for everyone!
          • She played basketball in high school, and it saved her.  Not to brag, but her team was league champs 4 years in a row.
          • She was taught the importance of craftsmanship at a young age. 
          • She is a recovering self-critic
          • She is an angry optimist
          • Her life’s calling is to find ways to increase access to the arts for everyone and she is always looking for co-conspirators