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Ashlee Watkins,
Floyd JAM Director

Having grown up in a musical family in New South Wales, Australia, Ashlee is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter whose powerfully unadorned vocals exhibit a refreshing directness of expression reminiscent of Maybelle Carter, Molly O’Day, and Hazel Dickens. She has been awarded a number of blue ribbons from fiddlers’ conventions around the Southeast for her folk singing and old-time banjo and guitar playing, and in 2022, she completed a Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship with Floyd County master musician Mac Traynham. Ashlee has an enthusiastic appreciation for many kinds of music that she loves sharing with others!


Andrew Small,
JAM Instructor

Currently serving as the Artist-In-Residence for the Crooked Road - Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, Andrew Small is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and composer who holds a master’s degree in music performance from Yale University. He has performed around the world with artists including Sierra Hull, Mandolin Orange, and the North Carolina Symphony, and he performs in the house band for the PBS television show Farm and Fun Time as a member of Bill and the Belles. Andrew’s original music has been featured on recordings, podcasts, and the PBS documentary film, Rock Castle Home, and he was awarded first prize in the bluegrass category at MerleFest’s 29th Annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. An avid performer and proponent of traditional music styles from the Blue Ridge region, Andrew’s old time string band The Alum Ridge Boys & Ashlee won first place at the 85th Annual Old Fiddlers' Convention in Galax, VA and he performs old time, bluegrass, and country music in the duo Ashlee Watkins & Andrew Small


Cassidy Shelor,
JAM Instructor

Cassidy grew up immersed in live music--ranging from rock, bluegrass, classical, and country. As a young violin player she was classically trained and soon felt the pull of old-time music when she was a student in the JAM program in Bryson City, NC. Playing Appalachian fiddle music quickly became an important ingredient in life for Cassidy--going to fiddler's conventions, learning regional tunes and building community with other musicians. Cassidy's experiences as a violin/fiddle teacher and her journey to old-time Appalachian music leave her very excited for the opportunity to be an instructor in the Floyd JAM program

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Chesley Mercado,
Little Ear Worms Instructor

Chesley Sigmon Mercado, Ed.D., MT-BC has many years experience sharing music with people both young and old. She was department chair and professor of music therapy at Georgia College & State University for the past 19 years. Her primary instruments are flute, fiddle, guitar and piano. She is passionate about sharing music with others and the friendships that form , the joy it brings, and the learning that takes place in a non-threatening fun environment. Chesley recently moved here with her dog Bella to be closer to her family who are long-time residents of Floyd County.


Elizabeth Linkous,
Blue Ridge Strings Instructor

Elizabeth has been involved with many music organizations in the area, including Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Blacksburg String Quartet and Ensemble, St. John's Music on the Corner, Piedmont Suzuki Ensemble, and CelloFest of Blacksburg. She was a big help in getting the Blue Ridge Strings program started at The June Bug Center, and has been a great asset to this community and students. She is also trained in the Suzuki Method.


Finn Sparger,
Acting Out! Instructor

Finn is a graduate of James Madison University with a degree in Theatre concentrating in Education, and a minor in Youth Justice. They have been teaching and directing in community theatre for the last 5 years. They are new to the Floyd area, and excited to be joining this wonderful community!

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Jordan Thompson,
Intermediate Ballet Instructor

Jordan Thompson began her training at Vostrikov’s Academy of Ballet in Winchester, VA from ages 3-17. She studied Vaganova classical ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, and modern. She has performed lead roles with VAB and Virginia Youth Ballet such as The Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Clara, Arabian Queen, Dew Drop, and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker among many other roles. She was able to share her love of dance as a teacher from 2016 to 2018 at TAP ETC! in Front Royal, VA, where she taught advanced ballet, pointe, and jazz. As an instructor, Jordan's teaching philosophy centers around fostering a nurturing and inclusive environment for all learners. Her studio welcomes students of all abilities and experiences, with a focus on cultivating a deep sense of joy and appreciation for the art of dance.

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Paul Tremblett,
Computer & Robotics Instructor

Paul has worked for 25 years in the telecommunications industry. He spent a couple of years writing software for the television advertising industry and then left there and worked for Vonage. After he and his wife moved to Floyd in 2007, he worked at the corporate research center at Virginia Tech for seven years, and then worked three more years from home for a company in Canada. He is the author of three books that have been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, French, and Spanish and that deal with computer programming and software development. He has written numerous articles for technical publications.


Resa Mattson,
Teen Theatre Instructor

Resa is our Programming Coordinator as well as the Improv/Playwriting, Musical Theatre, and Drama Society instructor. She has always had a soft spot for improv as it is her favorite part of theatre. She has been an assistant as well as an instructor for theatre for over 5 years. She enjoys playing the improv and theater games with the students, helping them use their wacky creativeness to create something they can enjoy. 


Theda Anderson,
Broadway for Kids Instructor

Theda McCutchan Anderson is a Floyd native who loves the performing arts!  She was active in theater and dance throughout high school and college and has participated in community theater off and on over the past two decades.  An avid fan of both Disney and classic Hollywood musicals, Theda hoped to encourage a similar love in her three children by enrolling them in classes at the JuneBug Center when they were young.  The whole family now takes classes and volunteers after school and during the summers.  Theda hopes to help the next group of Floyd youngsters discover an appreciation for theater by instructing the Broadway for Kids class.  Additionally, Theda enjoys reading, specialty coffee, planning trips (and then taking them!) and coaching the Floyd County High School Forensics (public speaking) team.

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