Mohammad Shahisaman • Dean of Instruction

Kisha Bashkiharatee • Dean of Students

Kisha moved to California from a small town in Louisiana to continue her education and follow her passion and help others. After attaining her degree, she worked in a variety of settings, including mental health clinics and urgent cares, foster family agencies, and shelters using both therapeutic techniques and the arts to bring wholeness to others. The opportunity to work at with The Young Americans has given Kisha the opportunity to continue combining mental wholeness with her love for the creative arts.

Thomas Schultheis • Dean of Admissions

Amy Ciceri • College Recruiter

Born and raised in the scenic Mojave Desert of SoCal, Amy spent her formative years surrounded by promising young talent — closely observing and drawing inspiration from the diverse students in both of her parent’s high school creative arts programs. Amy was in middle school when her lifelong affinity with The Young Americans began, when her mother’s choral music program at Apple Valley HS hosted the ‘test-run’ for the first YA Music Outreach tour.  In awe of the YA’s inclusive culture and range of talent, Amy was instantly hooked, and eventually auditioned for the group her senior year and traveled on her first New England Outreach Tour that fall, followed by joining the Boyne Highlands Theater cast the next summer…a  life-changing growth experience for any young and aspiring artist.

Amy has spent the past decade in public education as a high school performing arts teacher, facilitating innovative and individualized 21st century learning experiences designed to empower her students to self-actualize, increase their skills and creative vision, form meaningful human relationships, and develop contribution-minded perspective that cultivates action and purpose throughout their lives and greater communities.

Come full circle, it’s been amazing for Amy to witness her students’ transformation into reflective, energetic, empowered, humble, compassionate, and skilled performers — most who develop a deep love and appreciation for music, performing, the creative arts, and diversity.  Amy accredits much of this growth to the YA activities she exposed her students to over the years, giving them direct access to the same types of inspirational learning experiences she had when she was their age.  Amy’s known to tear-up often when she sees her former students performing as current YA cast members, positively transformed and experiencing their own artistic growth while surrounded by the immense talent and support of the YA organization.

Amy lives her life guided by a very simple, yet profound principle — believe in people.  She’s grateful to be a part of the YA team to continue making a meaningful impact on our youth and ever-evolving performing arts education.