Administrative Staff

The Eastern Iowa Arts Academy has 1 full time and 6 part-time Administrative Staff members.  Please feel free to contact any of these staff members to answer your questions about the academy.


Executive Director - David W. Griffin

David Griffin is the founder of the Eastern Iowa Arts Academy and brings multiple years of experience in education and special event coordinating in arts initiatives. David received his Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Northern Iowa in 1991 with an emphasis in Piano Performance and K-12 Choral Music. He received his Masters Degree in Secondary Educational Administration from the University of Northern Iowa in 2002. He spent the first 5 years of his teaching career at Waverly Shell-Rock Jr. High School and is currently in his seventeenth year of teaching middle school choral music in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He currently teaches choral music at Harding Middle School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

David’s creative and innovative teaching style has earned him many awards and special recognitions in and around the state of Iowa, including; the Alternative Services Child Advocate Volunteer Award, the Golden Apple Award, "Teacher of the Day" award by the Iowa House of Representatives, "Teacher of the Week" in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, director of the 1996 Boys Opus Honor Choir, and has been featured in numerous newspaper articles and publications around Iowa.  He founded and directed the Cedar Rapids Young Artists Festival from 2000-2004, and, played a key role in the development and implementation of McKinley Middle School of the Arts in 1999. David is currently working on one of his biggest projects, "The Eastern Iowa Arts Academy".

TracyDevelopment Director:  Tracy McPartland

Tracy McPartland was raised in Cedar Rapids and is a charter member of the EIAA Board of Directors. After graduating from the University of Iowa with BA and MA degrees in Speech Pathology, Tracy worked as a school speech clinician in Kansas City from 1984-1989. Since returning to Cedar Rapids in 1989, Tracy has worked part-time as a speech-language pathologist in school and private practice settings. Tracy has been an active volunteer in school settings, serving as Treasurer and President of the Johnson School of the Arts PTA; secretary of the McKinley Middle School PTA; Vice-President and President of the Washington High School PTA; and Co-Chair of MoShow, Washington High School’s show choir invitational. Outside of volunteer activities in the schools, Tracy has also served two terms as President of the Board of Trustees at her church; as President of her local chapter of Questers International; on the Board of the Mercy Medical Center Auxiliary; and as Vice-President and President of Chorale Midwest.

Program Director: Suzanne Palmer

Suzanne has a passion for the arts that began at a young age with dance classes, and continued on through her adult life. She earned a BA in Dance from the University of Colorado in 1985. She has served on board of directors for many dance organizations: The Dance Collective Boulder, Colorado; The Dance Cooperative, Wilmington North Carolina; and the North Carolina Dance Alliance. Her career highlights include teaching yoga and dance at the HAH Montessori school; touring North Carolina as a dancer with the North Carolina Dance Festival; guest choreographer for the Brunswick Country Arts Day; lead artist for a three year residency project with Chuck Davis and the African American Dance Ensemble; city project manager and touring artist with Turning the Wheel Productions; and teaching at Dreams of Wilmington, an after school arts program similar to EIAA. She also owned a Great Harvest Bread Company franchise and studied and taught yoga for many years. She is happy to be working with EIAA, expanding arts experiences for area youth.


Finance Director:  Pam Kaufman (CPA)

Pamela Kaufman is a 1992 graduate of Mount Mercy College with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Accounting and Business Administration.  She earned her Certified Public Accountant certificate in 1995.  Prior to joining Eastern Iowa Arts Academy she worked in various positions as an auditor, staff accountant, personal financial manager and non-profit bookkeeper over her 20 year career.  Pamela has also spent numerous hours volunteering for several non-profit agencies and schools in the Cedar Rapids area.  She is a native of Cedar Rapids and currently resides in Henderson, Nevada with her husband, twin boys and daughter.




Music and Arts Studios Director: Heather Wagner 

Heather Wagner is orininally from Cedar Rapids where she attended Washington High School before studying journalism at the University of Missouri. Never having taken an art class before, she opted to try drawing as an elective her sophmore year. Little did she know that elective would soon change her life. She fell in love with studio arts and never looked back. Heather transferred to Iowa State where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art and Design in 1990. 

After college Heather worked several years in Houston and Salina, Kansas in advertising as an artist. She soon branched out on her own as a freelance artist and designer starting her own buisness, Paper Moon Originals.

In 2000 Heather moved back to Cedar Rapids and was a commissioner for seven years serving Cedar Rapids and the Visual Arts Commission. During that time she began paintin murals for several businesses in town including schools, churches and the Aferican American Museum. She has had a studio in the Cherry Building for over ten years where she runs her buisness Heather Wagner Designs. Heather joined EIAA last year and teaches classes to all ages such as figure drawing, printmaking and marbling. 


MichelleFischer Adult Fine Arts Director: Michelle Fischer


Michelle graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with her Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design and Architecture. After graduation Michelle worked with architects doing commercial interiors. Later, deciding to venture back into art with a Master of Arts from the University of Iowa, this time in Design, Sculpture and Printmaking.


From then on it was all about working in a studio producing her own work, following themes of ideas that help center her. Michelle enjoys working with foil, wax and oil paint because it allows her to play with transparency, shine, light and movement.