Wenden Sanders, Fine Arts Director
Mr. Wenden Sanders has served the students, families, community and HISD the last twelve years. He served as principal of Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School for 6 years and led the campus to achieve six TEA distinctions in the areas of mathematics, ELA/Reading, Science, closing the achievement gap, post-secondary readiness and student progress.
Mr. Sanders has been a public-school educator for 30 years with thirteen as a choral music teacher/fine arts department chair and seventeen as a campus/district administrator. As a music educator, he led his choirs to earn UIL sweepstakes, best of class and consistent superior awards. Over 350 students in his choral music programs were provided cultural arts travel experiences to New York, Italy, Germany, and France where they developed a deeper understanding and appreciation of music and art. He served as a Texas Music Adjudication Association judge, Texas Music Education Association region officer, fine arts department chair and member of the Texas Choral Directors Association, ASCD, NASSP, TASSP, HAMA and HASA.
Mr. Sanders earned a bachelor’s degree of Music in Music Education from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas and a master’s degree of education in educational administration from Prairie View A&M University.
Sanja Korman is the K–12 Dance Curriculum Specialist. As an enthusiastic arts-in-education advocate and nationally recognized K–12 dance educator, Mrs. Korman chose to join Houston ISD's Fine Arts Department to be able to share her knowledge and expertise with her curriculum specialist team members, dance teachers, and dance students within HISD's dance programs.
Mrs. Korman’s belief is that everyone has their own talents that require platforms to showcase them. She is collaborating with her team members to inspire imagination and provide avenues to express creativity. She believes in students’ self-expression through the arts, and she highly respects students’ artistic work.
Mrs. Korman has been an educator for 30 years in three different countries. Mrs. Korman spent 16 years as a dance instructor at Bellaire High School where she established a full fine arts dance program. She was the founder and artistic director of eMotion Dance Company, a nationally recognized school dance company, with a theatrical experience of dance technique, choreography, rehearsals, performance, and productions. The primary target of her teaching philosophy is promoting independent, global, and creative thinkers who will feel confident in themselves and who are willing to take risks, work cooperatively, and be original and innovative problem solvers. She currently serves as a curriculum writer, professional development specialist, mentor, and district administrator for dance.
Mrs. Korman earned her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Sarajevo in her native Bosnia & Herzegovina, Europe. When the war in her homeland escalated, she moved to Austria and spent six years teaching and coaching rhythmic gymnastics and dance. Mrs. Korman earned her master’s degree in education, curriculum and instruction, from Concordia University in Texas.
Mrs. Korman was recognized twice as a National K-12 Dance Teacher of the Year in 2008 by the National Dance Association and by the Dance Magazine publication. She is a proud member of many professional dance organizations where she served as an officer: National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), Texas Dance Educators Association (TDEA) and Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (TAHPERD). Mrs. Korman was appointed by TEA as a dance committee member of the Fine Arts TEKS Reviewing Committee in 2012-2013 and successfully created Texas dance standards.
Damian D. Price (General Music, Vocal Music and Piano)
Dr. Damian D. Price is the Music Curriculum Specialist for General Music, Vocal Music and Piano (K-12) for Houston Independent School District (HISD) Fine Arts Department. Damian is a product of HISD, attending John G. Osborne Elementary School, Ruby Sue Clifton Middle School and is a proud graduate of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA). He began his teaching career with the Aldine Independent School District and was the Music Instructor at the A. B. Anderson Academy prior to coming to HISD. While at Anderson Academy he initiated a music – core curriculum alignment standard and was the founder of the Gentlemen’s Club an initiative to reinforce positive behavior for the male students.
Dr. Price holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education from Texas Southern University (TSU), Houston, TX, Master of Arts Degree in Music and Worship and Doctor of Worship Studies Degree from Liberty University (LU), Lynchburg, VA. He has served as a Minister of Music and Arts for several years. He has passion for composing music and his children music, choral arrangements, anthems, hymns and spirituals compositions have been recorded by several artists and performed at national music conventions and conferences throughout the country. His music has also been published by GIA Publications and featured in Total Praise Hymnal by GIA and the Sunday School Publishing Board of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., the Lead Me, Guide Me Hymnal and the One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism Hymnal published by GIA Publications.
Jared Berry (he/him/his) is Houston ISD’s Fine Arts Curriculum Specialist for Theatre.
Mr. Berry holds a B.A. in Theatre Studies from Wright State University, an M.A. in Theatre Education from Emerson College, and Principal Certification from Lamar University.
Previous to his current position, Mr. Berry was the Magnet Coordinator at Pin Oak Middle School. Before moving to administration, Mr. Berry was the Director of Theatre at Pin Oak for eight years. Other teaching credits include serving as second-in-charge of Drama at Shenfield High School in Brentwood, Essex, England and at as asst. director of theatre at Lamar High School in Houston.
Mr. Berry is active in Texas’ U.I.L. One Act Play contest as a certified adjudicator and has served in various capacities with the Texas Educational Theatre Association. Organizational memberships include the Texas Theatre Administrators Conference (TTAC), Texas Music Administrators Conference (TMAC), and the Texas Educational Theatre Association (TxETA).
Chandel Bonner-Hancock (Secondary)
B.A., Art Education, University of Houston, 1999
M.Ed., Administration Specialization on Turnaround Schools, University of Houston, 2014
Chandel Bonner-Hancock is HISD's Secondary Visual Arts Curriculum Specialist. She has been an arts advocate and teacher in HISD for more than 25 years. She currently serves as a curriculum writer, professional development specialist, mentor, and district administrator to 240+ Visual Arts Teachers, serving 180,000 students in Houston ISD. Before her current position, she taught and held administrative positions at all levels of PK-12. She has written curriculum for IB, College Board AP, Project GRAD Fine Arts, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, AISD, and HISD Special Population Department. Integrating the Academic Core into the Enrichment Core is a passion while punctuating the curriculum with technological experiences for all students. She is a proud member of NAEA, TAEA, TAGT, MFAH L&I Committee; she is an MFAH Fellow and served on the Culture and Arts Board for the City of Bellaire. She and her husband are empty-nesters with a marketing-guru daughter, raising her Grand-pup, Daisy, and son attending Columbia University pursuing a degree in Biomedical Engineering.
She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Leadership in Higher Education at St. Edward's University, completion 2023.
Rickey Polidore (Elementary)
Rickey F. Polidore Jr., is the Elementary Visual Arts Curriculum Specialist. He is a product of HISD; attending Lovett ES, Lawson MS, and Madison HS. Prior to this assignment he served as the Fine Arts Department Chairperson and Visual Arts Instructor at Lovett Elementary Fine Arts Magnet School and has been an educator in the Houston Independent School District for over a decade. He began his career at Woodson K–8 School teaching Art and Science. After Woodson, Mr. Polidore worked at High School Ahead Academy where he created an arts-infused curriculum that was implemented campus wide and that used researched best practices derived from Arts Integration Instruction. His services include Educational Committee member and liaison for multiple arts entities in the city and has many years of experience working closely with their offices planning programs and working with teaching artists on a variety of community projects. Mr. Polidore has also worked with the Houston Community College, Summer Bridge STEAM Academy as director and instructor of bio-fuels and solar power design for the Minority Male Initiative. He is passionate about transforming the thoughts of traditional educational practitioners into those of artistic visionaries, beginning at the primary levels of the educational process.