2020 Color Guard Staff

James Gabonay
James Gabonay is excited to be returning as Color Guard Coordinator/Designer. James has led many high schools as both an outdoor and winter color guard director and designer including Norwin High School (7 Time WGI Scholastic World Finalist) and Gateway High School (2014 Scholastic A WGI Finalist). He has also worked with the Cadets2 Drum and Bugle Corps (DCA) [Designer] as well as the Troopers [Technician]. His marching and performing experience includes Norwin High School, where he currently serves as the director and designer, and the Cavaliers (2012-14). He holds a degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Secondary Education- Social Studies.

Nikki Szymanski
Nikki is originally from Maumee, OH where she fell in love with colorguard in the fourth grade. After High School Nikki received a Bacholor;s degree in Middle Childhood Math and Science Education from Bowling Green State University. Nikki’s diverse marching experience includes The Glassmen (‘10-’11), The Academy (‘13), The Cadets (‘14-’16), and Juxtaposition Winterguard (‘13-’15).  As an instructor Nikki has taught numerous high school programs in Ohio as well as the Oregon Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps in ‘17 and ‘18. Currently residing in Columbus Ohio, Nikki is the Vice President of the Ohio Indoor Performance Association, a 6th grade Science teacher in Grove City, and Color Guard Director at Central Crossing High School. Nikki is thrilled to be back for her second summer with Spirit in 2020 and can not wait for another incredible season!

Susan Hanggi
Originally from Atlanta, GA, Susan Hanggi earned a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education, with a Minor in History, from Kennesaw State University. After moving to Denton, Texas in 2009, she earned her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of North Texas. As a performer, she competed at the highest levels of competition with Pride of Cincinnati, Santa Clara Vanguard, Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle corps and Phantom Regiment Winterguard.  As an instructor, Susan has worked with numerous high school programs such as Kell High School and Kennesaw Mountain High School, and many independent groups such as Phantom Regiment and Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps and their respective winterguards. She has also served as caption head for the Madison Scouts and Troopers Colorguard. She is an active member of the North Texas Colorguard Association, serving as President for the 2017 season. Outside of the pageantry world, Susan teaches PreAP World Geography for Keller ISD, and is the Director of Colorguard at Guyer High School.

Alex Bolender
Alex resides in San Diego, California, where he is attending the University of San Diego. He has marched with various drum corps and winter guards including The Academy, The Cavaliers, The Cadets, Vox Artium Winter Guard and Imbue Winter Guard. Currently, Alex works with Helix Charter High School and San Marcos High School, and has previously worked with various groups across San Diego County. Alex is looking forward to returning to Spirit for his second year!

Jose Morales
Jose Morales graduated with his bachelors degree in Middle Grades Education and Masters in Counseling for Georgia Southern University. Jose began is marching career as a percussionist, before picking up color guard as well. He has performed on the collegiate level with the Southern Pride Marching Band from Georgia Southern University, as well as on the DCI and WGI world. His performance experience includes Phantom Regiment, Carolina Crown, Aureus Independent, and Paramount World.  Currently, Jose is the choreographer and technician for the Metanoia Winter Guard (2019 Independent A Finalist), Georgia Southern University, May River HS, and Black Gold Winter Guard. He is also a visual and show design consultant for various high schools in Georgia and South Carolina. Jose resides in Savannah, GA, where he is the Color Guard Director at South Effingham HS and is excited to be joining the Spirit of Atlanta for a fourth season.

Elaine Fite
Elaine is excited to join the Spirit of Atlanta for the third year in 2020. She lives in the Seattle area and teaches several color guards in the state of Washington. Her marching experience includes Black Gold Winterguard and the Bluecoats.

Laurѐn Manriki
Laurèn Manriki grew up in Vista, California where she currently resides. She has a movement background consisting of Polynesian/Hula, ballet, jazz, and modern techniques, and is currently in school to obtain her dance degree. Laurèn began her color guard career in high school, going on to perform with San Diego based Vox Artium Independent Winterguard from 2014-2018. She’s taught multiple high school groups in the San Diego area, and is currently directing at both La Costa Canyon High School and Point Loma High School. Laurèn began working within DCI with the Oregon Crusaders for their 2018 season. She joined the Spirit of Atlanta staff last summer in 2019, and is looking forward to working with the organization again for the 2020 season.

Kirstin Shatzer
Kirstin is a native of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. She went to and began her color guard career at Mechanicsburg High School (2004-10). She moved Northeast Ohio in 2013. While in Ohio she attained her bachelor’s degree in Education and Graphic Design from Kent State University. In summer 2019 she returned to central PA.  Her teaching experience is unique and includes directing and designing for Norton HS (OH) 2013-18, Mechanicsburg HS (PA) 2010-13, Artistry IN BLUE 2017-18, Cap City Percussion 2018-19, O’Fallon Township HS (IL), Pioneer DBC 2016, The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps 2017-2019, and currently back to her roots as director and designer for Mechanicsburg HS.  Outside of high school, her marching experience includes Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps 2009-12, Matrix Visual Ensemble 2011-12, and ONYX 2015. Outside of teaching, Kirstin is a graphic artist for Field and Floor FX, and enjoys being outside hiking and running. She’s ecstatic to be joining the SoA team for 2020!!

Bobby Glass
Bobby Glass currently resides in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania and has enjoyed many years in the pageantry arts as a performer, instructor, and adjudicator. His marching career started in high school and continued afterwards with the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps from 2008-2012, Cadets2 2012, and then one winter each with Field of View (2009) and Black Watch (2011). Recently, Bobby served as one of the designers and head instructors for the Red Land/West Shore School District color guard programs for the last 10 years. He has also been involved with various other marching band and indoor color guard programs in the Pennsylvania and Maryland areas such as Norwin High School, Towson University, and AMP. He has been an adjudicator since 2015 and works with various circuits in the Northeast. Professionally Bobby holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Central Penn College and is currently a Project Manager and Designer for Field and Floor FX.

Dalton Stout
Dalton Stout began his DCI experience in 2015 with The Cavaliers. He then continued to perform in The Cavaliers Color Guard in 2016 and 2017. Originating from Nebraska, Dalton performed with O.N.E. Independent for their inaugural season in 2015 and then again in 2016. Before leaving NEbraska in 2018, he took the floor with Railmen Independent. After moving to Columbus, Ohio, Dalton performed with Juxtaposition Winter Guard for the 2019 WGI season. When he’s not doing color guard, Dalton is an elementary music teacher in Columbus City Schools.

Terry Hurley
Originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, Terry relocated to Flower Mound, Texas in August 2014, after aging out with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps. He has marched with indoor programs in Virginia and Texas, including CGT Dallas in 2016. Terry has worked with several groups in north Texas, including Marcus High School and The Colony High School. He now serves as the director of Keller High School in Keller, TX. Terry is also active in his local color guard community. He serves on the executive board of North Texas Colorguard Association as Treasurer, and is an active timing and penalties judge.

Adam Dalton
Dr. Adam Dalton is currently the Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at Marshall University where he oversees all aspects of a comprehensive band program. He conducts the premier wind band as well as teaching courses in music education and conduction at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Dr. Dalton is a native of Virginia where he attended James Madison University and earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. After graduating, he moved to Atlanta, GA where he taught high school at Milton High School, a large 5A program in Georgia. He then accepted a Graduate Teaching Assistantship at The University of Alabama where he received his Master of Arts in Music Education and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Instrumental Conducting. Dr. Dalton performed with The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps for three years earning two world championships and a gold medal in individual and ensemble. He also marched in various independent winter guards in the southeast, consistently making finals at Winter Guard International. His designing and teaching experience includes the 2008 World Champion Phantom Regiment, The Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps, and currently serves as a caption head for the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps. He is featured on the WGI video, Toss and served as a clinician and performer for the first everSpinfest Clinic, an annual educational event sponsored by WGI. Dr. Dalton maintains a busy schedule as a designer, consultant, and adjudicator for marching bands and indoor groups both nationally and internationally.

Scott Toosley
Scott has been involved in the color guard activity for over twenty years and has competed on the national level at Bands of America, Winter Guard International, and Drum Corps International. He currently designs for marching bands and winter guards all across the United States. Several of the programs that he has recently designed for include Harrison HS(GA), Broken Arrow HS(OK), and is currently the Director of Color Guard at William Mason HS(OH). He is very excited to be on the design team at Spirit!

Brandon Smith

Originally from Lexington, KY, Brandon has been an instructor in the performing arts for over 15 years. His passion for performance began with musical theater and dance, continuing to the pageantry arts. Brandon was a member of the Madison Scouts color guard from 2003-2006. Afterwards, he performed with the Pride of Cincinnati, Juxtaposition Winter Guard, and the inaugural cast of the Pride of Cincinnati Dance Ensemble. His stage performance experience includes ensemble and principal roles in Rent, HAIR, The Nutcracker Ballet, and Hairspray.

After graduating from Miami University, he served as a musical theater dance instructor for Kentucky Conservatory Theatre. While pursuing his M.A. in Arts Administration from the University of Akron, Brandon was the Director of Dance Education at the Olmsted Performing Arts Center and also taught classes in jazz, contemporary, and ballet.

Brandon has been a designer and choreographer for color guards in the Kentucky and Ohio region including Paul Laurence Dunbar HS, North Hardin HS, Central Crossing HS, and Phoenix Independent Winter Guard.

For six seasons (2015-2020), Brandon was a Designer and Movement Choreographer for Juxtaposition Winter Guard. He served as the Color Guard Caption Head and Designer for the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps from 2012-2017. Following those seasons, he was a Movement Designer and Choreographer for The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in 2018 and 2019.

Brandon is beginning his second year as a choreographer and designer for Cap City Percussion and Connexus Percussion. Brandon also serves as a Movement judge for the Mid East Performance Association (MEPA). He currently lives in Columbus, Ohio where he is an Undergraduate Admissions Advisor for Franklin University.