Ms. Gardner received a degree in musical theater from Northwestern University and a professional certificate in drama from the British American Drama Academy. After college, she worked professionally for several years, including a national tour of Evita. Teaching voice for over 25 years, her students perform in spring and winter recitals, as well as in National Association of Teachers of Singing competitions.
Ms. Gardner’s production of youth theatre of exceptional quality has earned state and regional recognition. In 2006, she was awarded California's Heroes in Education Award, and in 2016, she was profiled in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Ms. Gardner is a soloist, cantor, and soprano section leader at St. Patrick Church in Carlsbad, and she received her Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA in 2017. Ms. Gardner also teaches a musical theater summer class sponsored by the Carlsbad Educational Foundation.
Ms. Gardner produces and directs musicals for Coyote Cavern Productions, a non-profit youth theatre company funded solely through private donations and ticket sales. The spring 2023 production was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Ms. Gardner has produced and directed musicals to raise funds for St. Patrick Catholic Church. The summer 2019 production was Oklahoma!, the beloved musical set on a farm in Oklahoma Territory, just after the turn of the 20th century.