Meet our Staff

Megan (House) Horst

Founder and Director

 

Megan graduated from Liberty University with a B.S. in Communications, specializing in print journalism, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary with a M.A. in Theological Studies. She has studied ballet since the age of six, and has been teaching ballet for 14 years. She started Ecclesia eight years ago, and has enjoyed watching the ministry grow. Aside from dance, Megan is a freelance writer for Lynchburg LivingLynchburg Business Magazine (LB), Central Virginia Family Guide, Central Virginia Bridal Guide, and is the managing editor of the Magnum Opus Magazine. Her passion is instilling in young dancers a love for glorifying the Lord through the arts. In her spare time, Megan enjoys painting, writing stories, and spending time with her family.

Kristen Cardinale

Assistant Director

 

Kristen graduated from Liberty University in 2010 with a B.A. in Theatre Performance. She began dancing at age 5 studying ballet, jazz, tap, modern, and pointe. She has trained with the Universal Ballet Academy, the American Ballet Theatre, and the Virginia School of the Arts, and performed in several ballets including The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. As an alumna, Kristen has been blessed with opportunities to choreograph for Liberty University Theatre productions and to perform as a dancer with the Alluvion Stage Company in Mary PoppinsThe Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast. Aside from dancing, Kristen enjoys listening to soundtracks and Irish/Celtic music, watching movies, baking, playing the piano, and fellowshipping with friends and family.

Ashley Gartner

Ballet Instructor 

Ashley graduated from the University of Tampa in 2017 with a BFA in Graphic Design. She has always loved the arts and began dancing at the age of four. Before deciding to attend college, she danced with the North Carolina State Ballet and the Brandon Ballet. Throughout college, she took many ballet and jazz classes and helped teach ballet at local summer intensives. However, it was when she danced in Christmas and Easter performances at her church that she realized dance could also be used to glorify God. Ashley is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to teach at Ecclesia and is excited to share her love of dance with her students.

Katherine Lawton

Ballet Instructor

 

Katherine has been involved in the art of dancing for sixteen years, and has studied with several different companies such as the Joffrey Ballet School in New York and was also accepted at their full-time trainee program. She is experienced in: ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, modern, contemporary, musical theater, acro, and Irish dancing. Katherine’s goal in the classroom is to help young aspiring ballerinas to appreciate the arts and obtain an atmosphere that encourages confidence and hard work. Currently, she is a student at Liberty University studying Digital Media Performance and Journalism. Katherine has plans of one day becoming a political news broadcaster.

Mary Cole

Ballet, Lyrical & Art Instructor 

 

Mary graduated in 2015 from Liberty University with a double major in Spanish and Psychology. She is currently working for Liberty as a graduate assistant while she pursues her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Mary grew up in Northern Virginia and began dancing at two years old and has since studied lyrical, modern, contemporary, jazz, interpretive, ballet, and worship dance. She has performed at the National Christmas Tree and in Times Square, in addition to using dance to express God’s glory and redemptive work on mission across the United States and in Central America. Mary is passionate about teaching and has served as director of a Christian dance company and of ballet, worship, and arts camps. She is grateful for the privilege of serving at Ecclesia and is honored to encourage her dance and art students in technique, creativity, confidence, and expression.

Anna Godsey

Ballet Instructor

 

Anna Godsey began her dancing journey at age seven, at a Christ-centered studio called Assemblé. Since then, she has had experience in ballet, jazz, hip hop, tap, choreography, lyrical, modern, and variations. Anna is now in her fourth year of teaching ballet at Ecclesia. Before she began teaching, Anna had the privilege of being an apprentice and assistant teacher. This year, she hopes that God will use her to instill a love in her students for the arts, and a desire to glorify Him with it. Aside from dancing, some of Anna’s other interests include singing, writing, spreading joy, and spending time with her friends.

Kayla Wade


Ballet & Tap Instructor 

 

Kayla is currently a Senior at Liberty University studying Interior Design. She has been dancing since she was three years old in various types of dance, including tap, jazz, ballet, clogging, contemporary, pointe, and lyrical. Kayla had the joy of competing at many competitions throughout her years of dancing, along with performing at Disney World. She has been teaching many types of dance for the past five years. Kayla loves to use her passion for dance to convey her love for the Lord and for others.

Jamilyn Ashbaugh

Ballet Instructor

 

Jamilyn Ashbaugh began her dance training at the age of 8. In the Atlanta, Georgia area, she studied under Ms. Susan Banks Beebe at Impact Dance of Atlanta, participated in student company, and completed her pre-professional training under Ms. Beebe with the national curriculum of the American Ballet Theatre at Atlanta Academy of Ballet and Dance. After attending a summer intensive at Light of the World Ballet in 2013, she returned in 2014 to study as a trainee with the company. During this time, Jamilyn danced locally with LWB, and spent 5 weeks serving with a local ministry in San Jose, Costa Rica, during her summer break. While in Costa Rica she greatly enjoyed the opportunity to perform and conduct a small ballet/worship workshop for local children. After graduating from the trainee program in 2016, Ms. Ashbaugh was promoted to apprentice. With LWB, she has traveled to Burma, Israel, Peru, Hungary, and Slovakia on tour to share Christ through dance and was on the teaching staff from 2016 to 2018. She is excited to now be a part of Ecclesia Arts teaching staff and is passionate about helping students find their identity in the Lord and express His beauty through their movement.

Shannon Whealton

Choir Director

 

Shannon graduated from Liberty University in 1999 earning a B. A. in Music Education with a vocal emphasis. After marrying, she directed choir at the middle and high school levels for four years before taking time off to raise her one daughter, Ruthie, who is now a dancer with Ecclesia. Her musical interests vary from classical to show tunes to early jazz. In addition to her passion for music, she is passionate about teaching the classical model of education to homeschool families. Aside from her musical and education pursuits, she enjoys learning new things, reading, knitting and crocheting, camping, and turkey hunting. Her family’s desire is to know God and to make Him known.

Joshua Superneau

Guitar Instructor

Joshua Superneau (pronounced Super-No) is an experienced musician with a great understanding in the art of guitar. His passion began when he played at an open mic night in Massachusetts at the age of fourteen and he has never stopped pursuing this passion of playing and teaching. At the age of nineteen years old, Joshua started attending Liberty University and is currently pursuing a degree in Music and Worship. He will be graduating in December 2018. Joshua currently teaches six private students and also composes and arranges his own music. He has been trained in classical guitar by Dr. Sean Beavers, the Associate Dean of Music and the Performing Arts at Liberty University. Joshua has also been privileged with the ability to take the second chair for the classical guitar ensemble at Liberty and was awarded a scholarship for this achievement. Joshua’s desire is to help people of all ages to experience the beauty and exciting aspects of guitar playing. Joshua’s desire has propelled him to teach guitar and help students remove the large obstacle of note reading and equip each student to become the best musician they can possibly be.

Tabitha Robinson

Art Instructor

Ever since she was a young girl, Tabitha has had a love for the arts. Whether she was dancing, drawing, or coming up with stories, the arts have always held a special place in her life. She has had experience with a variety of art forms including drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, dance, music, and photography; however, around the age of fourteen, Tabitha discovered her most loved medium for artistic expression was the camera. She has had the blessing of having work featured in galleries such as the Academy Center of the Arts, the Bower Center of the Arts, the Appalachian Arts Center, and the Joseph Miller Gallery. Additionally, she has had work featured in Photographer’s Forum’s books Best of College & High School 2018 and Best of Photography 2018. Tabitha graduated from Liberty University with a degree in Studio Art and is pursuing a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Pensacola Christian College. She is thankful for the opportunity to teach art at Ecclesia and to help develop in others a love for the arts while, most importantly, showing that the arts can be used for the glory of Jesus.

About the Owners

Michael began volunteering with Ecclesia shortly after he and Megan started dating. Playing the piano since the age of 9, he developed a passion for classical music and the arts. Throughout their engagement, Michael and Megan frequently enjoyed attending Orchestra concerts, and plays. They were married November 2016, and shortly after decided to move the ministry downtown Lynchburg and re-brand as Ecclesia School of the Arts, LLC. Moving downtown has given Ecclesia an opportunity to continue growing, and reaching the community with the arts.

Michael is also a Search Marketing Analyst

Ryan House

Outreach Coordinator

Ryan graduated from Liberty University with a B.S. in Religion, specializing in youth ministry. He is passionate about outreach and pointing people to Christ. In the past, Ryan has  worked in camping ministry and volunteered with church youth groups. He currently works full-time with Urban Mountain Adventures.

Ryan partners with ESA to scholarship kids in the community who would not normally have an opportunity to take classes and experience the arts.