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Houghton Academy announces new talent on staff! Nicassio and Pennington join the team

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Meet the new Academic Dean and the new Music Program Coordinator

From Houghton Academy,

Dr. Nicholas Nicassio Appointed as Music Program Coordinator at Houghton Academy July 2024

We proudly announce Dr. Nicholas Nicassio’s appointment as our Music Program Coordinator.

Under the leadership of Dr. Toby A. Travis, Head of School, Houghton Academy continues its commitment to nurturing the arts. 

Dr. Nicassio has the following accomplishments:

  • Principal Conductor and Artistic Coordinator: His baton has graced the stages of Grammy-winning ensembles, including the National Children’s Chorus.
  • Director of the Brooklyn Conservatory Chorale
  • Playgroup Theater’s Music Director
  • Educator: secondary schools and college classrooms
  • Church Music Director
  • Assistant Conductor and Teaching Assistant: Rutgers University
  • Tenor Extraordinaire: The Los Angeles Master Chorale and the Los Angeles Opera Chorus
  • Film Composer: Original score for the feature film “When the Moon Was Twice as Big” 

Dr. Nicassio’s academic background: 

  • B.A. in English Literature: The University of California
  • Master of Music in Voice: Manhattan School of Music
  • Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting: Rutgers University

Dr. Travis shares, “Nick has a passion for blending his love of music with his love and commitment as a follower of Jesus Christ. With great anticipation, we watch to see what God accomplishes through Nick’s ministry at the Academy.”

Houghton Academy Welcomes Mrs. Karen Pennington as New Academic Dean July 2024

Houghton Academy is thrilled to introduce its newest addition to the leadership team: Mrs. Karen Pennington, our esteemed Academic Dean.

With a wealth of experience and a heart devoted to authentic Christian Education, Mrs. Pennington embodies the spirit of Houghton Academy’s mission to offer young people a college preparatory education within the framework of a Christian worldview, and prepare students to LIVE authentically, LEARN deeply, LEAD globally, and LOVE boldly for the glory of God.

Here are highlights of Mrs. Pennington’s remarkable journey:

  • Education Ministries: B.S. in Education Ministries from Houghton University
  • Christian Education: M.A. at Union Seminary
  • Theological Pursuits: Ever the lifelong learner, Mrs. Pennington is completing her M.Div. at Fuller Theological Seminary

Mrs. Pennington’s impact extends far beyond the classroom. Her two decades of experience resonate through various roles:

  • Senior Editor
  • Education Director
  • Resource Development Specialist
  • Child Development Specialist
  • Curriculum Maven
  • Community Advocate
  • Classroom Maestro

Mrs. Pennington is also a featured author, speaker, and podcast host. Learn more at, and stay tuned for more updates from Houghton Academy! 🎓

LIVE – LEARN – LEAD – LOVE at (585) 567-8115. Houghton Academy has open enrollment. Please contact us with any questions.

Small school care. Large school opportunities!

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