Who’s Teaching?

Karen Nobel (Owner/Instructor)

Karen Nobel received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art from Georgian Court University in New Jersey and her Master of Education Degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Art Education from Florida Atlantic University.  With a dual-certification in art and elementary education, Karen has been with the School District of Palm Beach County for nine years as an elementary art teacher specializing in arts integration.  Karen was honored to be the opening art teacher at the nationally recognized, award-winning Pine Jog Elementary School where she returned once again in the fall of 2012 as the lead art educator.  Her art programs have earned her many teaching awards, including the 2010 Teacher of the Year for Pine Jog Elementary and the 2010 Elementary Art Educator of the Year for the Florida Art Education Association.  Karen is the proud owner of Kids Need More Art.

Patrick Finnegan (Instructor)

Patrick Finnegan holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design and currently teaches art at Poinciana Elementary School. Patrick has worked in after-school programs with the Norton Museum of Art and other local youth art centers. Having graduated from both the Middle School of the Arts of Palm Beach County (now BAK MSOA) and the Alexander W. Dreyfoos High School of the Arts, Patrick has lived in Florida all of his life and has become a part of the enriched local artistic culture. Patrick has experience teaching advanced artistic techniques and has great knowledge of many different media. His mission is to bring more art to communities and classrooms everywhere.

Kari Ratka (Instructor)

Kari Ratka holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree and a Master of Education Degree from the University of Buffalo. She has been living in Florida for four years and has been teaching art at Berkshire Elementary. Kari also serves as the school’s Arts Integration Coordinator, bringing art to the lives of over 1,200 students every day. Her teaching philosophy is simple: the arts have the power to transform kids’ lives. Kari’s lifelong dream, outside of teaching, is to write and illustrate children’s books.

Nicole Crane (Instructor)

Nicole Crane received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Photography from the Virginia Intermont College before continuing on to earn her Masters and PhD in Art Education from Florida State University. Nicole is a Florida and National Board Certified teacher in Art. She has over twelve years teaching experience in the K-12 public school system, with the last seven years being at Elbridge Gale Elementary in Palm Beach County. Her recent awards include the 2011 Elementary Art Educator of the Year for the Florida Art Education Association and a 2012 William T. Dwyer Award for Excellence in Education finalist. Nicole is a current Board Member of the Florida Art Education Association and Past President of the Palm Beach County Art Teachers Association.

Mylinh Chau (Instructor) 

Mylinh Chau received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from The Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore with a minor in Critical Theory and Cultural Studies.  She also studied at The Center for Art & Culture in Aix-en-Provence, France.  Mylinh was awarded the 2007 Jacques and Natasha Gelman Travel Fellowship, which provided her with the opportunity to travel for artistic research across Vietnam and Northern Japan.  She was a resident at The Millay Colony for the Arts in Austerlitz, New York and worked as a Teaching Artist at the Theatre Action Project in Austin, Texas.  Mylinh’s goal in teaching is to encourage students to become flexible, far-reaching artists, while enhancing their ability to find creative solutions to problems they may encounter throughout their lives.