District 99 Fine Arts is pleased to welcome the following educators to the faculty of North and South High Schools!
Mr. Jerry Lowrey - Downers Grove South High School Fine Arts Department Chairperson
Mr. Jerry Lowrey joins the Administrative Team of South High School as Fine Arts Department Chairperson, and Music faculty member. Mr. Lowrey earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Roosevelt University and his Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership from Northeastern University. He also has many hours of coursework in Jazz Studies and Music Education.
Mr. Lowrey recently completed his 12th year as an educator, the past four years as Music Department Chairperson and Director of Bands at Hoffman Estates High School. Prior to his tenure at Hoffman Estates, Mr. Lowrey spent six years at LaGrange School District 105 in several roles including Band Director, Fine Arts Chairperson, and Assistant Principal. His first two years of teaching were in Elmwood Park District 401. Prior to transitioning into the field of education Mr. Lowrey developed an advanced digital recording studio and co-founded an independent record label. His musical experiences are vast and he has been involved with multi-cultural awareness activities and culture-building initiatives.
Mr. Lowrey has been lauded for his vision, his ability to connect with students, and his leadership skills. When describing Mr. Lowrey’s impact during his tenure at Hoffman Estates, his former Principal said, “He brought inclusiveness and excitement to a program that didn’t have any. He connected with kids and made the entire functioning of the program revolve around students.”
Ms. Laura Murphy - Downers Grove South High School Visual Art
Ms. Laura Murphy joins the faculty at Downers Grove South High School to teach Drawing and Painting in the Visual Arts Department. Ms. Murphy holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale with a concentration in Drawing (2018). In Earning the BFA, she studied various art media, ultimately completing her BFA Thesis “The Human Condition Expressed Through Body Language,” a series of life figure drawings, which was displayed at Exhibition in April of 2018.
Following her formal education, Ms. Murphy moved to North Carolina to work as a Youth and Development Director, doing community outreach, developing youth programs, and working directly with the schools in Randolph County, NC to aid students falling behind academically. Working with those students and that community inspired Ms. Murphy to pursue certification in Art Education.
Most recently, Ms. Murphy earned her PK-12 Visual Arts License, as well as her Master of Science in Art and Design Education degree from Northern Illinois University (2021). While she continues to love creating her own art, Ms. Murphy finds particular joy in teaching the creative process to others.
Mr. Andrew Snider - Downers Grove North High School Theatre
Mr. Andrew Snider joins the faculty of Downers Grove North High School to teach Acting, Theatre Design & Craft, Creative Writing, and lead the co-curricular Theatre program at DGN.
Mr. Snider hails from Georgia where he has been teaching in the northern suburbs of Atlanta. Mr. Snider holds a B.A. in Theater and Performance Studies from Kennesaw State University and a degree in English Education from the University of North Georgia. Since joining the theater community fifteen years ago, Mr. Snider has worked with SAG actress Karen Beyer, Dramatist Guild member and playwright Margaret Baldwin, and Emmy winner Sarah Clay Lindvall. Along with his work in Georgia, Mr. Snider completed a six-month college internship with Walt Disney World Entertainment. There he was an atmospheric performer as well as in shows and parades spanning all four of Disney’s theme parks and resorts in Orlando, Florida.
Mr. Snider has led multiple casts to the Georgia Junior Theater Festival, One-Act Competition and submissions to the Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards. All casts performed with excellent regards while receiving various accolades and honors. Some of his favorite productions to direct have included Beauty and the Beast, Steel Magnolias, A Year with Frog and Toad, and The Last Night of Ballyhoo. Some of his favorite roles include Ali Hakim in Oklahoma!, Bud Frump in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Eli in The Spitfire Grill. When not teaching or performing, Mr. Snider enjoys movies, reading, and spending time with his miniature poodle named Charlie.
Ms. Zall is a 2021 graduate from the Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University. She studied Music Education and Cello with Gregory Wood and was a former member and principal chair of the Syracuse University Symphony Orchestra. During her time at Syracuse, Ms. Zall enjoyed performing in different ensembles, including: pit orchestras, chamber groups, Baroque and Brazilian ensembles and steel bands. She also served as the assistant orchestra conductor for the Nottingham High School After School Orchestra (2018).