Meet Ms. Grace
Lori Grace is a new member of the NDALA staff. A recent retiree from LBUSD after 26 years, she has developed the talents of thousands of students at Jordan, Renaissance and Poly high schools to their career path in music. She attended California Institute of the Arts for a bachelor's degree in music and California State Dominguez Hills for her master’s degree in education with an emphasis on curriculum and instruction. She is also currently on staff at Calvary Baptist Church of Santa Monica as the minister of music and teaches voice, piano, bass and drums privately. She is the founder of Lori Grace Music and generated a non-profit organization called Future S.T.A.R.S. (Standing Tall Above The Rest Successfully) a scholarship for students entering their first year of college.
Her most recent accomplishment was singing a tribute to Aretha Franklin at the Disney Concert Hall with the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles last summer. She is the researcher and historian for Heritage Music Foundation, an organization that preserves the history of gospel music and is currently working on a table book called The Mugicians. She is a proud grandmother, enjoys golfing, exercise, extended stays at the beach and time with family and friends.
Music is to the soul what words are to the mind
Meet Mrs. Duronslet '98
An alum and the director of the Dance department for the past 15 years, Raynelle Duronslet is passionate about sharing her love for dance with her students. She understands the importance of creating balance between academic rigor and the need for self-expression, a balance she first learned as a Notre Dame student. With a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and her Masters in Dance Education from Cal State Long Beach, Ms. Duronslet brings a unique skill set to her position and has grown and developed the department into a sought out program among Catholic schools. She finds joy in the artistic process when creating choreography as well as planning the concert and all that it entails. Growing up in the entertainment industry, Ms. Duronslet made her first television appearance at the age of seven. She continued to book dancing roles in Disney movies, sitcoms, and television specials under the tutelage of Debbie Allen. After many years of training in ballet, jazz, modern, tap, hiphop, and cultural dance styles, she grew up to pursue dance professionally and worked with many musical artists such as Beyonce, Will Smith, Mary J. Blige, and Usher, to name a few. Although she loved the experience of touring internationally as a professional dancer, she finds teaching to be her biggest accomplishment. When Ms. Duronslet is away from the dance studio you can find her hanging out with her husband and their three four-legged children and running her photography studio and photo booth businesses.
Teacher, Dance Department
There is something so empowering about letting go and trusting yourself in movement. Its like unlocking a language that was kept deep in your soul. Connecting the mind and body and communicating in ways that words can not.
Meet Mrs. Duerr
Drama and communications teacher Kristin Duerr believes that as she prepares students for the stage, she's really nurturing maturity and readiness for college and beyond. Mrs. Duerr shares her passion for the creative process by directing Fine Arts Night and the spring musical, as well as collaborating on the Honor Code and Heritage Week. Her drama students will reap the benefits of Mrs. Duerr’s most recent professional development: Center Theatre Group (CTG) Virtual Arts Integration Symposium plus a 10-week workshop on improv games led by Aretha Sills, granddaughter of Viola Spolin, mother of Improvisational Theater. A girls-school graduate and 30-year veteran of both the stage and the classroom, Mrs. Duerr has earned acclaim for her 10+-year run in the play, "Late Night Catechism" nationwide. When off the stage, you'll find her hanging out with her daughter in San Francisco or watching her 2 sons surf, skateboard or just making her laugh!
Teacher, Drama and Communications
I help students find their voice through theatre. The classroom becomes a studio where students discover connections to their culture using the dramatic narrative.