Natomas Charter Alum Takes Stage As Teacher

THE NATOMAS BUZZ @natomasbuzz

What better way to thank a school which taught you so much as a student than to come back as a full-time faculty member?

Natomas Charter School alumnus Kelly Cullity did just that when she joined the staff this past fall to teach voice to a new generation of students.

“We try to instill a balance of arts and academics in our students and she embodies both these traits,” school Executive Director Dr. Ting Sun said. “She really understands the culture of the school and reinforces that with the current students.”


Starting in 7th grade, Cullity took vocal class all six years she attended Natomas Charter School. During her junior year she discovered acting.

“It was a very unique experience going to a smaller school and getting to work with teachers who are really invested in their students and who want them to do well,” she said.

After Cullity graduated from the Performing and Fine Arts Academy in 2003, she starred as Sophie in the musical stage production Mama Mia in Las Vegas. After a successful year on stage Cullity returned to Sacramento to serve as the managing director for the Artistic Differences Theatre Company from 2008 to 2010 where she handled all the business and financial decisions and mentored others.

One year later, Cullity went on to found Asclepius Productions in Sacramento, which produces one-night concerts of Broadway musicals and donates the profits to the American Cancer Society.

This fall, Cullity to teach Senior Project, Vocal Workshop and the NCS Vocal Ensemble at Natomas Charter. (Asclepius Productions is on hiatus while she adjusts to her job at the charter school.)


“I believe everyone can sing, so I don’t believe students when they say they’re tone deaf and therefore can’t sing,” Cullity said. “I want to help (students) find their voice because I care about them as students, as people, and as artists.”

Even though her focus at Natomas Charter is teaching voice, Cullity’s ambitions are broader. She is currently working towards a teaching credential in history, with a focus on United States history.

A credential is not required to be a voice instructor at the charter school, but Cullity said her former teacher Jeff Pollard – now her colleague at Natomas Charter – inspired her to pursue a teaching credential at the Rex and Margaret Fortune School of Education.

“I had Kelly as a student for my first year teaching at Natomas Charter and it was exciting to hear she would be coming back,” said Pollard. “I’m very proud of her and I know she’s going to do a lot of good. She exemplifies exactly what we’re trying to create here and I feel it’s a testament to the success of our program.”

Cullity’s students said they appreciate her artistic background and what it brings to the classroom.

“I’ve been in the vocal department for three years and I used to not like musical theater,” said junior Tony Richards, 16, “but I’ve been able to develop an appreciation for it because she showed me how much skill and technique that style of music requires.”

Senior Robin Reyes, 17, explained Cullity teaches breathing technique and has students do breathing and vocal warm ups before class.

“She gives me hope that I can make it in the real world,” said senior Lyndsee Bell, 17. “I’m a total musical theater buff and it’s what I want to study when I go to college, so since she’s a pro, she is able to give me a lot of insight.”

Whether it be 2003 or 2012, not much has changed since Cullity was a student. Nearly a decade after she graduated, Natomas Charter School continues to prepare their students academically and artistically – with her help.

“Kids traveled from all over to go to Charter,” said Cullity of her own school days. “We wanted to come here because we were passionate about our art and wanted to be surrounded by people with that same passion.”

Natomas Charter School PFAA’s Vocal Ensemble rehearsing “Forget You.” 


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