Current Staff Members:

Julie Hunt

Managing Director
Julie Hunt began her journey with CYT North Idaho when her daughter wanted to audition for the first show, a tour group of A Christmas Carol. They only had one other boy audition and were worried whether they could actually make this first show a reality. She brought her two boys and CYTNI has been a staple in our community ever since. For two of her kids, the performing bug has never left. Julie was the bookkeeper from 2008 to 2013 and then again beginning in 2017. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting and is a retired CPA. She also is a Certified Biofeedback Specialist and helps people manage stress.

Jessica Belisle

Artistic Director
Jessica Belisle is ecstatic to be on staff at CYT North Idaho as the Artistic Director! Jessica is a CYT Spokane Alumna, her love for theater started when she was 8 years old and she saw her first CYT show (Sleeping Beauty)! Jessica studied History and Theater at Carroll College in Helena Montana and has been working with CYT since 2011 as a Production Intern, Intern Artistic Director, HYPE Advisor, Camp Director Teacher and Director! Jessica firmly believes that through theater arts education a student can develop greater self awareness, empathy, discipline, teamwork, focus, passion, joy and confidence! Her goal is to cultivate an environment where every class, every production, every interaction, allows each student passing through CYT’s doors to feel, included, uplifted and inspired. She hopes that the vibrant CYT culture will build each student’s skills and provide opportunities for those skills to be grown! Jessica thanks the CYT board for the opportunity to work with this remarkable program and she can’t wait to get to know each and every one of you!

Julie DuPuis

Class & Show Coordinator

Jinny Turnbull

Office Administrator/Registrar

Current Teachers:

Amee Peltekian

Amee grew up in a very musical, theatrical family. She is so excited to have found a home with CYT so she can share this joy with her 2 kids and with this incredible theatre community! You may have seen Amee as Maria in CCT's production of The Sound of Music. Before moving to the area, Amee owned and worked for character entertainment companies for four years and was a children's leader at BSF for 8 years. Amee studied acting, dance, voice, and childhood development in college and has passionately pursued opportunities to teach and grow in dance, acting, and vocal performance.

Emma Jillson

Emma Jillson is a CYT alumni and is currently working as a choreographer/dance instructor at Expressions School of Performing Arts where she teaches all styles of dance, as well as choreographs for Expressions competitive team. Over the years while dancing competitively since she was 10, she found a passion for theater as well. She has played Mrs. Cratchit in A Christmas Carol, Atina in The Little Mermaid, Dance Captain for Joseph and The Lightning Thief and also taught two sessions for CYT @ School. She is so grateful for the opportunities that CYT has given her and looks forward to helping others learn and grow at CYT just as she did.

Erin McSwain

She realized at a young age how important a story is told by the clothing a person wears. She majored in theater with an emphasis in costume design at Western Washington University and has been costuming shows for over 40 years. She learned to sew at the age of 9, and has been sewing ever since. She particularly loves doing historical costumes, and enjoys learning the cultural, and social history as well. She’s excited to teach a new generation of storytellers through costuming! Her strength is in cutting and construction. Some of her favorite shows that she’s designed and built are Les Miserables, Mary Poppins, Be More Chill, James and the Giant Peach, Bring It On, Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma! and Sunday In The Park With George for Aspire CDA. Erin is thrilled to be a part of the CYT family.

Heather Renz

Heather was a volunteer with CYT Spokane for 7 years and now, with CYT North Idaho for two years. Being involved with this program has truly brought joy and an appreciation for the art of musical theater. Heather played in orchestra throughout school and into college, but discovered singing was, and is, her true passion. She has enjoyed being a part of church worship teams, singing for local sporting events and chorale music in college. She has also enjoyed being a part of five CCT productions: The Music Man (twice), Seusical, Addams Family and The Sound of Music. Singing and music have been an integral part of Heather's life and she is deeply honored to share her love with others.

Jaelyn Young

Jaelyn is a recent graduate from CYT North Idaho. She has been a part of this program since she was 10 years old. CYT has always been a super important part of her life and she has made lifelong friends here! She is so excited to be able to introduce the new generation of CYT to the art of theatre. Jaelyn is currently a full time student at North Idaho College studying dental hygiene. She is so thankful for this opportunity and super excited to get started!

Jenny Keough

Jenny has been a teacher at CYT since 2020. She has been a backstage greenroom mom for many shows and was the director for Willy Wonka last winter. She has played the role of Queen Constantina in CCT’s production of Cinderella and Elsa, the Baroness in The Sound of Music. Jenny has loved theater from a very young age and took acting, singing and dance lessons throughout her childhood. She has performed off and on through the years on TV shows and movie sets and was cast as Cinderella and Ariel at Disneyland for 3 years. She loves being part of the CYT family and her goal as a teacher is to help students grow as performers and make sure they know how important and loved they are through the experience of theater.

Kynzie Washington

From age 10 to 18, Kynzie participated in camps, classes, and shows at CYT and loved every minute. Since graduating, she has been involved in many local productions, favorites including Hunchback of Notre Dame and Spongebob Squarepants the Musical. Kynzie has enjoyed teaching camps with CYT and putting on productions at Dalton Elementary. Outside of work and theatre, you can catch Kynzie in the kitchen cooking or trying out a new hobby. Theatre has taught her more than she ever thought it could, and she hopes to share her joy for the performing arts with all of her students.

Lora Pindel

I moved to the United States nearly two decades ago from Russia. Born and raised in a culturally rich region of Russia, I developed a passion for dance at an early age. During my childhood and teenage years, I was studying various dance forms, particularly focusing on international folklore dances for 10 years, following another 5 years of performing the Russian folk dances at the local theatre. Even though I did not pursue a professional career as a choreographer, I always wanted to pass on my knowledge and experience to someone who can learn and appreciate it. My goal is to inspire others to embrace the beauty of cultural heritage through the power of dance.

Paisley Siemens

Paisley Siemens is a CYT North Idaho alumni, her first show with CYT dating back to 2008. As well as being involved in CYT, Paisley is also a trained dancer and has taken classes in ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap and hip hop and has been teaching dance for the past ten years. Along with her dance training she also has an AA in Music from North Idaho College. Paisley has loved being involved over the years in many different aspects of CYT including being a summer camp counselor and choreographer , teaching dance classes and musical theatre classes, directing shows and choreographing for both CYT and CCT productions. Paisley is also a dance instructor at Northern Dance Academy. She is extremely excited to be teaching for CYT this session and to be able to be part of a new generation of CYT students as they experience the program.

Presley DuPuis

Presley DuPuis is a proud CYT graduate who flipped over to the grown-up side and hasn't looked back since North Idaho first staged production, Snow White, in 2008 (playing the Magic Mirror). He has gone from being the kid who would play the piano backstage that he wasn't allowed to touch, to a full-fledged accompanist. Over the past decade he has worn many different hats in various CYT leadership roles including teacher, music director, director, pit musician, HYPE adviser, and improv coach. Presley holds his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Eastern Washington University and serves as the resident music director for Aspire Community Theatre while also maintaining his own private music studio where he instructs in both voice and piano. He can always be found playing, teaching, and collaborating with local community theatres, schools, universities, and choirs.