Cherry Hill Recreation Instructor Spotlight

Cherry Hill Recreation has a variety of public parks and recreation facilities that offer numerous activities year-round. These general activities include: exercise, dance & music, art & creativity, hobbies & leisure, sports, science, and adult enrichment. Cherry Hill Recreation is happy to provide these wonderful programs through the help of talented seasonal and year-round instructors. Please take a moment to get to know some of our instructors and their classes!

BILL KOVNAT - Digital Photography

What class(es) do you currently instruct in Cherry Hill?

I instruct the adult digital photography course for the recreation department. Also, I am a teacher at CH East High School were I teach Advanced, Intermediate, and Intro. Photography classes.

How long have you been providing instruction in Cherry Hill and what’s your educational and/or your professional background?

I am a graduate of University of the Arts (BFA Graphic Design) and Kutztown University (BS Art Ed). I have been a photography teacher at Cherry Hill HS East for 28 years. For the last 30 years I have been a photography studio owner (Studio K Photography), also in Cherry Hill.

What will participants learn by completing your class(es)?

Students will learn the basics of their digital camera and how to use it creatively. They will also learn with a “hands on” instruction in class two by taking images using the different modes. The student will also get a basic background of what to do once they take the image by using Photoshop to edit and enhance the photo. The expectation is that each student will conquer their fear of the camera and begin to experience it’s potential.

What projects will participants work on and/or what skills will participants acquire?

Students will learn the different modes on the camera such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Once learned, these three elements will help them create well-exposed creative images.

There will also be a “hands on” class where each student will use their digital camera to practice the different aspects of the camera.

What do you enjoy the most about teaching your class(es)?

What’s there not to enjoy? Photography is an incredibly pleasurable opportunity for everyone. It gives me a pleasure to watch students fearlessly learn the creative aspects of photography.

What have your students/participants enjoyed most about you and your classes?

Most students seem to enjoy learning about the photographic process, from taking, enhancing, and printing the image.

Would you like to share an experience about a previous participant?

One student was an amazing cook. She loved to take photographs of her dishes in the most creative way using the skills she learned in class. Another was excited by “painting with light” during our hands on class and created same truly amazing images. Many of the students take the skills and create awesome family photos.

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Angela Andrews - Yoga

What class(es) do you currently instruct in Cherry Hill?

I am currently teaching Yoga, Stretch & Flow at 10:30am on Tuesday mornings at Croft Farm. 

How long have you been providing instruction in Cherry Hill and what’s your educational and/or your professional background?

I began teaching this Move and Flow class four years ago. I completed my 200 hour yoga teaching program from Lourdes Wellness Center in Collingswood. Since then I have also taught a Gentle Yoga class at the Collingswood Community Center, a Chair Yoga class for retired elementary school teachers and at the Haddon Township Afterschool Program for children.  

What will participants learn by completing your class(es)?

There is a core group of people who have been with me for most of the time that I've taught at Croft Farm. As a community, they have learned to maintain and improve their overall body strength, flexibility, and balance, as well as calm their mind through breathing exercises.  

What projects will participants work on and/or what skills will participants acquire?

Students will learn the different modes on the camera such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Once learned, these three elements will help them create well-exposed creative images.

There will also be a “hands on” class where each student will use their digital camera to practice the different aspects of the camera.

What do you enjoy the most about teaching your class(es)?

Each week I look forward to bringing something new that I've learned from the numerous classes I attend or the unique ideas that I read about from journals or articles. 

What have your students/participants enjoyed most about you and your classes?

Our classes always seem to provide a warm feeling when participants enter. I believe the students look forward to each new consistent pose that they learn over time. Giving clear instruction is one of my strong points and greatly appreciated by the students. The many repeat students come back each session because they say how good they feel after a yoga class. Whether you're coming to improve your flexibility or strengthen your bones, you're sure to find a friendly atmosphere and maybe a few friends!   

Would you like to share an experience about a previous participant?

A couple who attended a yoga class I substituted for, followed me over to Croft Farm and have been with me for a few years. Another woman whose family has moved cross country, commented that this class was the best thing to happen to her in NJ. 

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Valerie Amiss - Ballet

I grew up in Mullica Hill, New Jersey.  When I was 8 years old my mother placed me into ballet classes at a local studio.  I had so much energy and she wanted to find a way to have a hour a day to herself.  Little did she know it would become my passion and then an obsession to become a professional dancer.  I loved it and still do today.

As my love for ballet grew stronger, I tried to find schools that would advance me to the next level.  At 12 years old I begged my mom to take me to Philadelphia to audition for The School of Pennsylvania Ballet.  My mom worried how we would cross the bridge everyday and afford the tuition. But she never told me it was her worry.  I remember her thinking maybe she won't get into the school.  I was number 96 and many kids after me auditioned.  Well, I received my letter saying I was accepted and the rest is history.

When I was 16 years of age my parents divorced.  Again my mother struggled to find a way financially and physically to get me to Pennsylvania Ballet everyday.  I thought I would have to quit and move on, but the school gave me a full scholarship after I told them we couldn't afford to come anymore.  At 17 I was offered my contract to dance professionally with The Pennsylvania Ballet company.  I studied in many summer sessions but always wanted to come home to Pennsylvania Ballet.  It was a dream come true.

I danced for 15 years becoming a soloist and traveling to many countries in Europe to perform with the company.  I also fell in love with fellow soloist Edward Cieslak and have 2 beautiful children.  It's been 9 years since I retired from the stage but my love and passion for teaching children to become professional dancers remains stronger than ever.  I truly feel that it's my way of making people's lives more beautiful with this amazing art form.

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Scott Mooney - Volleyball

What class(es) do you currently instruct in Cherry Hill?

I instruct Youth Volleyball programs. 

How long have you been providing instruction in Cherry Hill and what’s your educational and/or your professional background?

I have been coaching the youth volleyball programs for over 10 years. I have also served as the Head Coach of the Girls Volleyball Team at Cherry Hill East since 2005. During that time, our team won a NJ State Championship and four conference championships. My coaching experience includes work with USA Volleyball High Performance Program and NIKE High Potential Camps. As a player, I was a 3-time state champion at Cherry Hill East and played college volleyball at PENN.

What will participants learn by completing your class(es)?

Our youth players will learn volleyball fundamentals and basic team strategy in an environment that promotes teamwork, learning and fun!

What do you enjoy the most about teaching your class(es)?

It's really rewarding to see the kids improve from week to week. Especially, when they are struggling with a concept or skill and it finally clicks for them.

What have your students/participants enjoyed most about you and your classes?

A lot of our players have went on to play high school volleyball and some of the players have even played in college. It's a great way to get better at volleyball and meet some friends along the way.

Would you like to share an experience about a previous participant?

One of our youngest players, started out as an 8-year old. She is 13 now and has went on to play in USA Volleyball's high performance program at the national level. Most of the girls she started with are still playing in our youth programs and on our club teams. It's been great to watch everyone improve every year.

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Klementina Budnik - Animation and Stopmotion Pro

What class(es) do you currently instruct in Cherry Hill?

Animation and Stopmotion Pro

How long have you been providing instruction in Cherry Hill and what’s your educational and/or your professional background?

I’ve been teaching in Cherry Hill since fall of 2016. I run an independent animation studio called KXB Studio in Philadelphia. I received my BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University.

What will participants learn by completing your class(es)?

Participants will learn how to make an animation short from idea conception to final product.

What projects will participants work on and/or what skills will participants acquire?

Participants will acquire cinematography, storytelling, and animation skills through short projects that span a variety of animation techniques.

What do you enjoy the most about teaching your class(es)?

I enjoy helping kids bring their ideas come to life. They get to make their favorite doodle character speak and move. They can give their action figures a personality and share it with family and friends. They see videos all around them and now they have a chance to make their own.

What have your students/participants enjoyed most about you and your classes?

The stop motion project is always the favorite activity. Kids get to make their own 3D character, create a set, and add sound effects. Students get to take home their character along with all of the animations they made in class.

Would you like to share an experience about a previous participant?

One student really liked Godzilla. Every week he made a new Godzilla animation using a different technique. One week, I encouraged students to bring materials from home. He brought in his Godzilla action figures with articulated limbs and jaws. Those were some of the best student animations I’ve ever seen in my classes.

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