At Gold Coast Arts, we are grateful to be surrounded by a team of wonderful and talented instructors, who are dedicated to teaching children of all ages, backgrounds and abilities in an encouraging and positive environment. We show our appreciation to our talented faculty by giving you the opportunity to see all their accomplishments and successful experiences, and for their contribution to the arts and education.

The Teacher Spotlight is chosen monthly by the Gold Coast Arts School for the Arts, to a teacher who embodies our mission of promoting & supporting the visual & performing arts through education, exhibition, performance & outreach.


Meet Robert Hoffman – Piano & Voice Teacher/Performer!

An award-winning composer and a graduate of Hunter College with a Master’s in Music Education, Robert has taught elementary choir at the Great Neck Public Schools for fifteen years and currently works as a music teacher for the NYC Public Schools. Robert’s CD, Believe, was produced by Grammy award winner Richard Oliver. He has created the music program for Gold Coast Arts Center, which includes: “Future Idol,” “Vocal Expression,” “Painless Piano,” as well as other classes. Robert is a skilled vocalist and private instructor, specializing in students with vocal challenges. He is affiliated with the National Association for Music Education (NAFME), New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) and the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Previously featured Teachers in the Spotlight

Jan/Feb 2024:  Meet JAN KUS – Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute & Piano Teacher/Performer!

Jan is both an educator and an active performer. He has shared the stage and recording studio with some of the world’s brightest jazz stars, including Chris Potter, Jimmy Heath, and David Binney. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced students alike have achieved soaring scores in NYSSMA under his guidance. Spanning from Latin Jazz to Pop, Flamenco, Hip Hop, Funk and more, Jan comfortably performs a wide array of musical styles on a steady basis.

Nov/Dec 2023:  Meet JENNIFER STATHES – Dance Teacher/Competition Coordinator!

Jennifer has been dancing since the age of 3 and hasn’t stopped since. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Queens College in dance with a minor in business and holds a master’s degree in elementary education. She is a full time elementary school teacher for the NYC DOE. She was a member of her high school and college dance teams and was captain of a rhythmics team in high school as well. She has taught jazz, tap, ballet and hip hop to children ages 2 through adult. In addition to dancing Jennifer also teaches Zumba fitness to children and adults. Jennifer is Gold Coast Arts Center’s Dance Team Coordinator.

October 2023:  Meet AMANDA MONTONI – FOA Director/Staff Writer

Previously a dance/theatre teacher here at GCAC, Amanda is the Director of our Festival of the Arts Dance Recital. She is an award-winning Director, Choreographer, and Actress. Montoni is a co-founder and board member of the Royal Star Theatre company in Queens, where you can catch her most recent Directorial work in their production of All Shook Up. She has choreographed and directed for over 10 years in Queens and Long Island, and is a published author. She will be reading her most recent work, Bella the Buck-Toothed Ballerina at our Art Explosion Family Fun Day on Oct 15th! She is ecstatic to have found Gold Coast Arts Center, a place where camaraderie, community, and creation blooms.

September 2023:  Meet DARYA GAUTHIER – Art/Theatre Teacher

As a Gold Coast Arts instructor since 2015, Darya teaches Art and Theatre. She currently works as a freelance artist creating paintings, graphic design projects, and murals for commission. She is a set designer for various theatrical productions on Long Island, and a member of a Brooklyn-based theatre company (GF&CO), where she assistant directs original performance works. Darya loves working with children and unlocking their creative potential through the arts!

August 2023:  Meet SHARON BERNSTEIN – Music Teacher/Cello

Ms. Bernstein has performed with many stars of Broadway, television and American musical icons including Kelli O’Hara, Tony Danza, and more. She has performed with several professional orchestras, including Nassau Pops, the South Shore Symphony Orchestra, and is a part of the Global Cello Project. She finds great joy in teaching cello to children of all ages. As a Great Neck resident and Mom of 3, Ms. Bernstein feels it is important to be able to teach to the students’ learning style and create a love for playing the cello.

Sharon is constantly working on her craft and performing. She has numerous events coming up soon. If you would like to see Sharon perform live, check out these links:

South Shore Symphony: http://www.sssymphony.org

Nassau Pops: https://npso.org/

Global Cello Project: https://globalcelloproject.com/