Michael Knotts is from Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Michael has been teaching for a total of 23 years, 13 years at Lee High School and the other 10 elsewhere. He has taught at 8 different schools which are, Ed White Middle school, Johnson High School, Whitesburg Middle School, Walter Jackson Elementary School, Eastwood Elementary School, North Clinton Middle School, Flint Middle school and last but not least Lee High School. Before Michael became a teacher he was a police officer, a carpenter, a cook, and a manager at the unemployment office. In his spare time Michael enjoys playing music and riding my bike . "The thing I enjoy about teaching the most would have to be instilling the love music in my students. I love the students at Lee High School and I'm excited about the band and football team."
Nicole Hunkapillar began her dance training at Community Ballet School, in Huntsville, AL, at the age of twelve. During her high school years, Nicole competed in various regional dance competitions and won numerous awards. Upon graduating from high school, she received a scholarship to study dance at the University of Southern Mississippi from which she earned a Fine Arts degree in Dance. The director of the Huntsville City Schools’ Dance Magnet since 1993, Nicole also served as an instructor for Huntsville Ballet School from 1995 until 2011. She returns as an instructor for Huntsville Ballet in the fall of 2015. She was an instructor for the Universal Dance Association from 1993-1995 and has also served on the teaching staffs of River City Performing Arts in Decatur, AL, and The Dance Company in Madison, AL. A former member of Huntsville Ballet Company, Nicole has performed in numerous company productions. Among the roles she has danced are the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, the Diva in Shindig, and Black Magic Woman in Colors in Motion. She received Wings Award nominations for each of these performances. For her performance as the Lilac Fairy in the 2000 production of Sleeping Beauty, Nicole was honored with a Wings Award. Her performance as the Sugar Plum Fairy in the 2002 production of The Nutcracker also earned her a Wings Award. Additionally, Nicole has worked as choreographer for the Community Chorus productions of The Wizard of Oz, Annie, and The King and I. She received Wings Award nominations for these works. In 2005, Nicole’s jazz piece “Closure” was among the finalists in the Panoply Choreography Competition. Nicole is also very proud to be the choreographer for the Lee High School Performing Arts Musicals.
Dillon Lee is a graduate of the University of Alabama Huntsville with a degree in Secondary Education. After graduating, Mr. Lee spent time teaching history, government, and language arts before spending five years as Theatre Director at Cullman High School. He has also worked teaching AP history in Huntsville City and one year as a theatre director in Jefferson County at Pinson Valley High School. Mr. Lee has a long history of involvement in independent film, theatre, and production. He has consulted with independent filmmakers in North Alabama, Montgomery, Atlanta, and New Orleans. He also has experience organizing community events, concerts, and charity galas in the Cullman and Birmingham communities. In 2012, Mr. Lee served as director, producer, and screenwriter on the first feature length film produced by an Alabama high school theatre department. The film, Joan: Maiden, Martyr, Warrior, Witch, went on to win Best Student Film at the 2013 River City Film Festival. Also, in 2013, Mr. Lee began a collaborative TV broadcast program at Cullman High School. This collaboration led to state level awards in multimedia production and from ALFA Insurance for commercial production. Mr. Lee now employs these unique skills to the Media Arts program at Lee High School, creating a one-of-kind collaboration between broadcasting, digital content, cinematography, and all the performing arts.
Dave Willmarth has a Master's in Arts Education from the University of Montevallo and a Bachelor of Science in Art with a concentration in painting, photography, and an arts history minor. he has worked professionally as an independent artist in Birmingham, Alabama for many years. Dave's work has been collected by a number of private individuals and corporations. His work has also been included in exhibitions throughout the state and a two man exhibition in France with the artist Nall, who he apprenticed for in the summers of 1999 and 2000
Bryan Comer worked in theatrical lighting for 10 years before joining Lee High School. Bryan has also designed set and lights for many local theatre companies and high schools. He has a BFA in Theatre from Montevallo and an AA in Theatre from Gordon College. He spent 7 seasons at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, where he was Crew Chief for the Theatre for Young Audiences. Bryan was a Rental and Sales Project Manager for Theatrical Lighting Systems for close to a decade, where he designed lighting and rigging systems for schools (including the system at Lee High School), houses of worship, and clubs. In his younger days, Bryan understudied the Joker at the Batman Stunt Show at Six Flags over Georgia...cause, who doesn't like getting beat up by Batman 5 times a day in 100 degree heat?
Michelle Sisson, the creative writing magnet teacher, has been teaching at Lee High School since 2006, and has been the creative writing magnet teacher and English department chair since 2010. She graduated from Athens State University in 2006 with a BA in Language Arts Education. She absolutely loves her students and looks forward to meeting more and more students as the years pass.
Jessica Johnson began her teaching career December of 2011 at Huntsville High School. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Studio Art from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2009. In 2010 Jessica continued her education by earning a Master’s in Art Education from UAB. When she is not teaching, Jessica enjoys painting in her studio space at Lowe Mill. Fun fact: Jessica plays roller derby for Huntsville's flat track roller derby team, The Rocket City Roller Derby League. "I love art and anything that allows me to create something from nothing."
Vocal and Choral
Vineke Richardson moved to Huntsville in 2005 from Alexander City, AL to attend Alabama A&M University. She started teaching with Huntsville City Schools in 2014. Vineke taught elementary music at 11 different schools over the course of her first 5 years. Voice and choir are Vineke's passion, and she looks forward to working with and bringing that out of the students here at Lee. "I enjoy movies, playing pool, and spending time with friends and family. With that being said, I am very excited to join the FamiLee!"
Chris Carter graduated from Lee High School in 2002. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He was awarded a graduate assistant-ship, and the William E. Wilson educator award, through the Southeastern Theatre Convention to attend the University of Memphis, and earned his Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre with a specialty in Directing. Chris is a member of the Actors Equity Association, as well as a recommended actor combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors- holding certificates in unarmed, knife, rapier and dagger, broadsword, sword and shield, single sword, and small sword. Former acting credits include the National and International Tours of Warner Brother's "Scooby Doo, Live in Stagefright!" as well as northeast regional productions of "Phantom," "Oklahoma!" And "Chicago." Chris has been involved in public education for over a decade, and received his teaching certificate while working at Winter Park High School in Winter Park, Florida. Chris is excited to be home working at his Alma Mater, and looks forward to continuing the trend of excellence in the arts with the Creative and Performing Arts Magnet.