default logo


Resident Instructors  Bios


JIM McCULLOCH: Jim is the current JPAC Education/Outreach Coordinator.  He has been working as a freelance artist for over 20 years. In that time has produced, directed, written and acted in over 40 productions. He graduated from UW-Whitewater with a B.F.A. in directing.  He is the co founder of RO Productions, an interactive theater company that specializes in murder mystery productions for public and corporate events. Jim has also taught creative dramatics classes and workshops for children throughout the region including: Stoughton Center for the Performing Arts, Studio 84, and Orfordville School District. For the past 7 years, Jim has been the Drama director for Whitewater High School where he has received 2 Tommy Awards for Outstanding Direction.  Jim lives in Whitewater with his wife, Karen, and their 3 children.


Nathan Burkart: Nathan Burkart holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Webster Conservatory in St. Louis (Notable Alumni: Jerry Mitchell and Norbert Leo Butz).  He was a professional actor in Los Angeles for the past eight years and is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA.  He has performed in professional equity houses both large and small across the Midwest.  While in Los Angeles, he started his own theatre company, won a Scenie Award for his direction of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”, and up-started an acting school in Hollywood whose students work consistently on TV Shows, Movies, and Commercials.

Edie 1 (2)EDIE BARAN: Edie has an extensive background in theatre as an instructor, actor, storyteller, director, and producer. She holds a degree in Theatre and Education from UW-Madison and has taught creative dramatics, acting, movement, scriptwriting, and storytelling to people of all ages and abilities in the Rock County and Madison area since 1990. Edie has most recently participated in the Artists as Educators Seminar, Anatomy of a Lesson: Designing Instruction developed by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. As a teaching artist for VSA WI, Edie has conducted residencies for Early Childhood and Head Start programs for over ten years. She has conducted various residencies and after-school enrichment programs in Janesville, Milton, Beloit, and Madison School Districts. She is currently teaching for UW-Extension Pre-College Options College for Kids and Saturday Enrichment programs. She presents annually at UW-Whitewater EC Conference, and has presented at Launching into Literacy, Head Start, WI Family Ties, and WECA conferences. Edie is the Founder and former Artistic and Education Director of SpotLight On Kids.


Vickie Neitzel Headshot

VICKIE NEITZEL: Vickie grew up in Janesville and graduated from Parker High School.  She attended college at the UW-Rock County Campus for two years and graduated from UW-Whitewater with a BA in Music, with emphasis in Music Theory and History.  Then it was on to UW-Madison where she began her Master’s Degree in Music Theory, but decided to change her major to Music Education. She received her certification in Vocal/General Music Education (K-12) from UW-Madison and also a Masters Degree in Vocal/General Music Education.  Vickie has 42 credits beyond her Master’s Degree in classes such as Music, Education, Theatre and Discipline.

After teaching Vocal/General Music to Grades K-5 for 23 years in the School District of Janesville, Vickie retired from teaching earlier than she had planned on. She taught at Lincoln Elementary School for all 23 years and also taught at many other Janesville Elementary Schools in conjunction with her position at Lincoln. Prior to coming to Janesville, Vickie taught in Kenosha for 4 years (K-6) and taught 8 years in the Burlington School District (K-5) and at Woods Elementary School (1-8) in Lake Geneva.  Vickie was the Kohl Special Area Teacher of the Year in the Janesville School District in 1993, and the Lincoln PTA Teacher of the year in 2004.

Vickie has played the accordion since she was 10 years old and was the first Music Major at UW-Whitewater who majored on the accordion.  This is Wisconsin remember!  She plays many other musical instruments and was also a dance instructor in her early years.

Vickie is married to Paul who was the Marshall Middle School Band Director in Janesville for 21 years. She was on the Education and Outreach Committee at JPAC, and was the first director of the JPAC Youth Choir.  She continues to do after school enrichment musicals at Lincoln School and has just started a new chapter of her career at Voigt Music, directing a children’s production choir called the Main Stage Revue.  She continues to spread her passion for music and drama to children in the area.

Susan Picking

SUASN PICKING: Susan is an award winning singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.  She grew up studying classical piano and cello. She returned to the study of music and pursued Songwriting and Vocal Performance at Long Beach City College Commercial Music Program.  Susan has released 3 CD’s and is releasing her 4th which is a children’s CD titled The School of Life. It is a message driven project teaching Tolerance, Diversity, and Kindness. She currently is an Artist in Residence and teaches this message through Mindfulness practices and her songs. She loves sharing the gift of music with children and inspiring them to co-create and emerge as performers.



SARAH HUDZIAK: Sarah Hudziak is a Board Certified Music Therapist with experience working with children, teens, and adults. She graduated from UW-Oshkosh with degrees in German and music and completed her music therapy licensure at Alverno College. Sarah currently works as the music therapist for the Wisconsin School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and for the School District of Janesville. She is also a member of the UW-Rock County Chamber Orchestra and the Madison Symphony Chorus. She plays guitar, ukulele, violin, keyboard, and many percussion instruments, but her favorite instrument will always be her voice!