13 episodes

I’m Stacey Tirro, a high school performing arts teacher for over 25 years. In that time, I’ve taught a lot of amazing people. Now that so many of my students are adults, they teach me how, through the lessons in my classroom, they have been changed for the better.

Changed for the Better: the power of arts in education Stacey Tirro

    • Arts

I’m Stacey Tirro, a high school performing arts teacher for over 25 years. In that time, I’ve taught a lot of amazing people. Now that so many of my students are adults, they teach me how, through the lessons in my classroom, they have been changed for the better.

    Episode 12: Tom Dheere

    Episode 12: Tom Dheere

    Special college edition! For this episode, I reconnected with Tom Dheere, a fellow Montclair State alum (class of 1993!). 

    We chatted about our college experience as acting majors, his prolific career as a voiceover professional (aka The VO Strategist), and how taking care of your mental health is paramount to any measure of success. For Tom, it was a bumpy road, but he candidly shares his story with me on Changed for the Better.

    Read the blog about Tom on my website!

    Music: "Hey" Bensound

    • 59 min
    Episode 11: Hilary Becker-Jarusinsky

    Episode 11: Hilary Becker-Jarusinsky

    Growing a leader requires an infusion of trust in a young person and giving them the support it takes to help them trust themselves. Becoming a leader requires taking that trust and further developing it yourself. 

    This week's discussion with Hilary Becker-Jarusinsky shows how leadership is fostered in a vibrant arts-in-education community. We talk about being an introverted extrovert, rising to the occasion, and recognizing that the plans you make can (and do) change.

    Music: "Hey" Bensound

    Read the blog at staceytirro.com

    • 37 min
    Episode TEN: Tendrina Alexandre

    Episode TEN: Tendrina Alexandre

    Episode TEN of Changed for the Better features budding fashionista and influencer Tendrina Alexandre, a superstar person from a superstar family. The eldest sister of the bunch, she broke ground for her younger brothers to join the Thespian family at Spring Valley High School. Once an over-eager people pleaser, she talks about how she developed her self-confidence in the safe space of the studio and learned how to be less reliant on other people's perceptions. Now more comfortable with saying "no," she makes choices based on her own needs and wants.

    She also knows that part of the process of life is about showing up, taking up space, doing the work, and always looking at the bigger picture in order to evolve and grow as an adult. Tune in to hear her gregarious charm and insightful musings!

    Follow Tendrina on Instagram and Tiktok @tenontrend.

    Music: "Hey" Bensound

    Read the blog post about Tendrina

    • 46 min
    Episode 9: Kayla Tavares

    Episode 9: Kayla Tavares

    Hopefully, there are people in your life who, when you think about them, spark a sensation of pure joy, love, and light. While I have many people who fit in that category, Kayla Tavares is at the top of the list. 

    Once upon a time, Kayla has aspirations to become a speech pathologist. However, after finishing her college degree, she realized that she had other passions that better fit her needs. 

    In this episode, we talk about how she has learned to manage the anxiety that became a thorn in her side in college, and how she now shares her wellness insights as a yoga instructor. On this path, she is able to fully express her authentic self and live the life she really wants.

    Music: "Hey" Bensound

    Read the blog about Kayla's episode

    • 51 min
    Episode 8: Brianna Knight

    Episode 8: Brianna Knight

    There's a lot to say about this budding superstar. I knew her as a teenager - smart, observant, swimming in talent. She melted the paint off of the auditorium walls and now she is releasing simmering Neo-Soul singles to the world. Someday soon, everybody will have the name Brianna Knight on their lips.

    In Episode 8, Brianna talks about her decision to dedicate herself to her artistry, how she brings her world into focus, and having the courage to take up her space in the music industry. She is using her platform both to entertain and educate, sharing her talent and her knowledge with the world.

    You can follow Brianna @poetdreaming on Instagram and TikTok. Listen to her latest soulful singles "Bad Decisions" and "So Deep." Show her some love. You'll be glad you did.

    Read the blog about Brianna.

    Music: "Hey" Bensound

    • 59 min
    Episode 7: Kristen Santos-Latrenta

    Episode 7: Kristen Santos-Latrenta

    From dance diva to marketing tech maven, Kristen Santos-Latrenta's confidence, talent and eternal optimism has always served her well; success has been par for the course from an early age. 

    In episode 7 of Changed for the Better, Kristen talks to me about how she learned in the high school dance studio to check her ego at the door and allow herself to be more vulnerable in order to understand more about herself and the world around her. Part of that lesson in vulnerability has been to acknowledge her more uncomfortable feelings so she can have a more authentic, connected life experience. Tune in to hear her story!

    Music: "Hey" Bensound

    Watch the video on YouTube

    Read the blog post about Kristen

    • 1 hr 1 min

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