Who We Are

Dr. Howard Thurman

"Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

Meet Our People

Executive Board Members


Cathi Mezzopera

Cathi has an Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education, and over 20 years' experience engaging preschool children in creative, multimedia art and traditional education. 

She is a published author and has written eight books. Cathi has sat on several boards; including educational strategic planning. She is married and is a mother of two children. Cathi believes that children are our future.

She has been a resident of Geauga County for over 45 years and an active volunteer within in the Geauga County community. Cathi is a 2013 Leadership Geauga graduate.


Cindy Metzung

Cindy received her Master of Social Work degree from Cleveland State University and Master of Education degree from Kent State University. She has worked in the Geauga County community for over 25 years in the non-profit and education fields.

Cindy is currently employed as a counselor for the Berkshire School District. Cindy has served as a volunteer for over 20 plus years and has been recognized as the Volunteer of the Year by United Way.

Cindy has a passion for philanthropy and values her relationships with family and friends. Cindy enjoys traveling, and spending time with her husband and their four children.


Mary Liggett

Mary has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from John Carroll University and has been a practicing Certified Public Accountant for over 30 years. She has experience as both a board member and treasurer.

She is married and is the mother of four young adults. Mary is passionate about the vital role non-profit organizations play in our communities, particularly those that minister to our children, teens, and young adults.

In her spare time, Mary enjoys visiting her children wherever they happen to be living at the moment, feeding the St. Mary Life Teen group, and baking cookies.


Kathleen Praetzel

Kathleen holds a Bachelor of Arts in English. She and her husband of thirty-plus years have six children and four grandchildren.

She has had much experience as a volunteer in support of her church; and her own, her husband’s and her children’s activities, sports, and school programs throughout the years.

Kathleen has enjoyed being a home educator and singing with her family, the Praetzel Family Singers. She writes for her church and its women’s ministry group, for which she serves as coordinator. Some of her favorite things are reading, thrift shopping, crochet, tea, and going on traveling adventures with her family.

Meet Our People

The Board

board member

Christine Kolonko

Christine has been a full time employee for the past eight years for the LH/UH Seidman Cancer Center as a Patient Navigator. She is married and has two beautiful children.

Christine is an active member of St. Mary's Parish in Chardon as a Eucharistic Minister, Lector, and has been a Core Team Member for the Life Teen. Christine enjoys reading Christian fiction books, traveling to the ocean, and antique shopping.

board member

Cheryl Kuonen

Chery has lived in Chesterland with her husband, Matt and two cats. She has an undergraduate degree in Art History with minors in Studio Art and Business Management along with a master's degree in Library Sciences.

She always joke that she's definitely not an artist, but understands how hard it is to create/make art. She has been a librarian for over 20 years and currently work as the Executive Director of Mentor Public Library.

She is passionate about helping people achieve their goals, whatever they may be. She is also a volunteer at the Cleveland Museum of Art for over 10 years. She is excited to be a part of the board because she believes art is so important to our community and to childhood development. 

It Could be you!

We Are Looking For Board Members!

If you have an interest in serving, please reach out to Cathi at 440-773-7536

Our Team

lead teacher

Cathi Mezzopera

Cathi has an Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education, and over 20 years' experience engaging preschool children in creative, multimedia art and traditional education, as well writing curriculum that aligns with Ohio State Standards. She is a published author of eight books.

graphic designer, office and teacher's assistant

Carrie Ann Huey

Carrie Ann holds a Bachelor of Arts in Commercial Art and has over 20 years experience working in desktop publishing. Carrie Ann recently collaborated with Cathi and designed and illustrated eight books which were published in 2021. Carrie Ann has schooling in Art Therapy including supervised clinical training with at risk children.

Lead and Assistant Teacher

Maribeth Smelko

Maribeth has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Art Therapy, and has worked in various school settings utilizing her skills for 10 years. She has experience with curriculum development and grant writing. Her favorite medium is clay, and she loves seeing what the kids create. They all get the same instructions, but their artwork is uniquely them!

Creativity On The Move