Our Teaching Artists

Anna Marie Allison

I am a Senior at Roger Williams University pursuing my degree in Elementary Education.  I plan to go on and receive my Masters degree in Special Education and eventually get certified to be a principal.  I have worked with STEAM not only in schools but also in summer camp.  Taking STEAM-related classes at RWU has given me the opportunity to expand my knowledge on the basics of engineering and coding.  I studied abroad in London with Eden Hilario, one of the other teaching artists.  Together we traveled around Europe and learned all about different cultures.  I am excited to begin working with all of your brilliant creative thinkers!

Taylor Bigliani

Taylor Bigliani is an education student at Roger Williams University.  She is pursuing a degree in math and her STEM certificate.  Taylor is a member of the Roger Williams Varsity Softball team.  She lives on Long Island and is an active volunteer in her community.  This past summer she volunteered at a STEAM camp and assisted in an Ozobot Coding Class.

Lisa Billeiter

Lisa is new to Rhode Island, having just transplanted here from Texas where she was born and has lived for the past 45 years. Lisa grew up overseas, graduated high school in New Jersey and went on to study Art at the University of Bridgeport and Photography at Parsons School of Design in New York City. After moving back to Texas, Lisa began her professional career and raised a family, always carrying a camera everywhere to record all of those important moments with friends and family. She has four grandchildren whom she loves spending time with and with whom she loves to create lots of arts and crafts. In 2015 Lisa left the corporate world after a long career in technology and sales to follow her true passion and start her own photography venture. A natural light, outdoor photographer, she spends most of her work time with families, capturing those precious life memories. Her specialty is maternity and newborn photography, and she finds real joy in working with children to capture their most real selves on the other side of her lens. Lisa is thrilled to be living in Rhode Island and happy to be a citizen of this fabulous community.

Claire Bowen

Claire BowenAfter graduating from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts with a BFA, Claire worked commercially for several years as an illustrator and assistant to restaurant and graphic designers. Later moving to Little Compton to raise a family, she freelanced and began painting again. For the last 15 years she has been exhibiting, selling, winning awards, and doing commissioned work throughout New England. These accomplishments have inspired her to share her creative talent and knowledge and “coach” or guide others in their desire to create. This has been accomplished through demonstrations, workshops, and as a substitute art teacher. She has held after-school enrichment classes for grade school children and  “coached” weekly art classes for adults. She has run summer-long programs for children consisting of basic two dimensional design, drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. “I find teaching others inspires my own work. My reward is catching a glimpse of the student’s face, adult or child when the “light bulb” has been lit or when I’ve been given an acknowledging smile.”

Meredith Brower

Meredith is an eco-artist and photographer and owner/operator of Firefly Mandalas and Meredith Brower Photography in Tiverton, RI.

She has extensive experience in the commercial printing, photography and design industry; and vast knowledge of Photoshop, Lightroom, In-design, and Illustrator.

Meredith’s work is inspired by the farm coast, local beaches and ever changing fauna at her farm in South Tiverton, RI, where she grew up and gratefully lives today with her mom, dog Blackjack and kitty Babushka. www.fireflymandalas.com

Elaine Carreiro

Elaine is an animator and interactive media specialist that graduated from Montserrat College of Art, currently living in Tiverton. Her background includes working to create assets, storyboards, concept art and animation using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe After Effects for major pharmacy training video. Elaine worked in Cake Mix Studios with the head of the animation department to create storyboards and small animations to produce commercials for Hasbro’s various brand products, such as Littlest Pet Shop. Her classes focus on drawing, imagination, and creative expression.

Gloria Crist

Photo Credit: Meredith Brower

Gloria Crist is the Founder/Artistic Director of the CORE Org. She holds a MA in Holistic Counseling and a CAGS in Creative and Expressive Arts. In addition, Gloria is a member in good standing of RIMHCA, ACA and IATP. She specializes in working with children and adolescents; designing and implementing creative-based programs that provide a creative, expressive, social-emotional foundation for young people to thrive. Her professional career spans 30 years of professional theater (proud AEA Member) from off Broadway, to opening for Don Rickles, to one-woman shows and regional tours. Her ongoing career in film and television (proud SAG/AFTRA member since 1987) includes everything from daytime dramas; to national commercials; feature award-winning films; and the Peabody award-winning Showtime series, Brotherhood, filmed here in Rhode Island. Gloria also writes about living, loving and loss through her blog: TraumaDramaMama. For more info: gloriacrist.com. Email: gcrist@thinkfeelcreate.org

Kara Discenza

Kara is a multi-disciplinary artist, Integrative Holistic Counselor, and Certified Yoga teacher. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, a Master’s Degree in Holistic Counseling, and a CAGS in Expressive & Creative Arts, and has studied Herbalism. She spent most of her career working at a magazine in NYC, and left the industry to pursue other passions. Her creative & artistic talents include photography, web design, movement, mixed media collaging, and natural fabric dyeing. She incorporates art into her counseling work with adults and adolescents, and also combines yoga & the artistic process. Kara believes that everyone is an artist, and that creativity is our birthright. She also believes that creative expression can be a powerful force in people’s lives, facilitating growth, change, and healing. Kara spends a lot of time outside where she finds that the natural world is her greatest teacher.

Skylar Ellison

Skylar is a Special Education teacher for the Portsmouth School Department.  He graduated from St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, New York where he majored in Child Study as well as Speech Communication.  He believes that mindfulness is an integral skill in building social relationships, empathy, and attention all while decreasing stress and anxiety.  He incorporates mindfulness strategies into his daily instruction and looks forward to teaching students the connection between their mind and body. 

Rachael Frodyma

Rachael Frodyma is a Rhode Island yoga teacher, studio owner and yoga teacher trainer who is known for her welcoming spirit, humor, and ability to empower her students through her message, “love grows love.” The R.I. native fell in love with the ancient practice of yoga through a running injury that changed her world! Today, Rachael shares her passion of yoga with all ages ranging from kids to advanced practitioners.

Teaching Philosophy – Teaching a Vinyasa style practice, breath and movement synchronized, with an emphasis on the subtle body, chakras, nadis, gunas, vayus, and koshas Rachael’s teaching style is elegant, inspiring and most importantly creates space for students to have time for self inquiry. Rachael’s classes embody a time to dig deep, tap into your inner strength to rediscover or re-spark your authentic self.

Rachael received her formal training from Patti Doyle and Liz Lindh of Innerlight Yoga Studio, Newport, R.I.. She has since furthered her training with Tiffany Cruikshank, Travis Eliot, Kathryn Budig, and Noah Maze all amazing international teachers who inspire and continue to ignite the spark within Rachael’s soul. Certified E-RY through Yoga Alliance.

With over a decade of experience in her field, Rachael serves her community through various non-profit programs such as The FLY Foundation, a non-profit organization for young adults battling cancer; the CORE program, a 501c providing professional after-school arts education and wellness in all formats throughout the east bay area as well as many local fundraiser throughout the community. Being such a big part of the R.I. community, Rachael’s studio, Nanaquaket Yoga Studio, received BEST OF R.I. in 2016 from Rhode Island Monthly Magazine. Rachael was also nominated Best Yoga Teacher by Mercury Magazine! This year, 2019, the studio received award from Top Rated Local for the best yoga studio in the state.

Rachael is an ambassador for Newport Yogis, Prana, TenTree, and Patagonia. All having a common thread of giving back to their communities as well as making an effort toward sustainable living.

Lawre Goodnow

Lawre began teaching art lessons in Little Compton as a college art major in the early 1980’s. Goodnow went on to receive a Masters of Arts in Teaching -Art Education K-12 from RISD. After several years of art education at summer art camps and at a private High School, she changed direction and worked in Early Childhood Education. Lawre’s aim has been to support personal expression with many different materials and create an educational space that promotes imagination and wonder with an aesthetic of everyday objects and the beauty of nature. Lawre works with fabric creating hand and machine stitched pieces and has recently started felting, creating useful handmade objects such as bowls, baskets and pillows.

Shelly Goudreau

Shelly Goudreau is a passionate educator in the state of Rhode Island. She’s been empowering kids to believe in themselves and reach goals for almost twenty years. She has a degree in Elementary & Special Education and a Masters of Education degree in Literacy. She loves to share mindset & mindfulness practices with her students, as she is a believer in its positive affect on overall academic success, focus, calm and increased confidence.

To further her expertise in this area, she’s attended a 2-day MOGA Mindset Teacher Training in July and completed her Kidding Around Yoga Certification with Live training in September 2019. In her free time, you will find her with her family. Most often, at an ice rink or soccer field with one of her three children.

Darlene Gormly

Darlene’s passion for early childhood education began when her only daughter was born 30 years ago! Since then, she has worked with young children and their families in childcare centers, elementary schools, and social service agencies. She has a B.A. in Early Childhood Education and holds several MA teaching licenses: PreK-2nd Grade; Visual Art (PreK-8th Grade); and ELL (English Language Learners – PreK-8th Grade). For the past six years, she has operated a home-based preschool program, Teacher’s Pet Pre-K, in Tiverton, RI for children aged three to five. Darlene has always enjoyed spending her days with young children — teaching, learning and growing together!

Christopher Grace

Chris is a Writer/Producer/Director who grew up in a suburb of Louisville, KY and spent most of his youth making small films with his siblings and neighbors and his adult life making, watching, acting in, and admiring movies. He now lives on a horse farm in New England with his partner and her two children. Movies still take up most of his time, in one fashion or another with his most recent projects revolving around PoundCake’s debut slate of properties.  Established in 2018, PoundCake is a digital creative studio that produces awesome entertainment content across digital platforms…yum!

Molly Harrington

Molly is a recent graduate of Salve Regina University who studied fine arts with a concentration in painting. She is passionate about sharing her gifts with children through the creative teaching process. This process helps to build a child’s self esteem, spark interest, and improve skills. Molly believes that art is an outlet that can bring joy and focus to life.

Working in childcare for over six years including being a camp counselor, after-school care giver and coordinator, and arts instructor for the local YMCA,  she has found the importance of the introduction to the arts at an early age. This creative process is vital for children of all backgrounds and skill sets to help build the life skills of patience, imagination, and pride in oneself. She believes children’s main occupation is play, and incorporates fun into every artistic quest. 

Eden Hilario

I’m 21 years old and a senior at Roger Williams University where I am working towards my degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology. When I graduate, I want to pursue a Master’s degree in either Literacy Education or Special Education. I have lived in Bristol, RI my entire life and have danced for over 12 years. I am passionate about arts being implemented in schools, because it is important for children to be able to express themselves in their own unique way. I believe that all students should have access to quality programs where they can engage in activities that they genuinely enjoy.

I have taken STEAM courses at RWU where I have worked with coding, robots, and offline activities. I have student taught at Rockwell School in Bristol, RI for the past two years where I was able to teach lessons involving STEAM myself. One lesson in particular that students loved was working with coding mice. I find that young students are so excited to work with technology of all kinds and STEAM allows them the opportunity to do so.

Last year, I had the opportunity to study abroad in London, UK for about three months. This experience was life changing, and I feel like I have learned so much about the world around me that will help me to incorporate all kinds of artistic activities into my teaching. When I am not teaching or working, you can find me writing, working out, doing DIY projects and spending time with friends and family.

Sue Kent

Sue KentSue Kent is a Freelance Illustrator, Product Designer, & Art Instructor based in Tiverton, RI. She holds a BA in Graphic Design with a concentration in Painting. Her professional experience includes Staff Artist positions at Paramount Greeting Cards, Hasbro Toys, School House Candy, and Fetco Home Decor. She has been teaching art to kids privately, as well as in after-school programs in Tiverton, Little Compton, & Westport, for the past 15 years – always encouraging creativity within the child! Sue is an avid runner and in her spare time you will find her running all over the town!

Jennifer Labonte

Jen LaBonte was born and raised in Newport, RI., where she has been a paraprofessional for just over ten years; first working in Middletown, and for the last eight years in both Little Compton and Tiverton. Jen is currently working for both Newport County Regional Special Education and Fort Barton Elementary School in kindergarten and first grade. Within the last few years Jen has begun to expand her hobby of painting into a small, online business, From Farmhouse to Fancy .  She has also provided painted materials for the THS Drama Club’s production of Little Shop of Horrors. Jen is looking forward to combining her love of working with children and her love of painting and creating.

Ashley Lessa

Ashley Lessa is a freelance writer residing in New Bedford, Massachusetts. She received her BA in Writing, Literature and Publishing from Emerson College in Boston. Her work has been featured in both local, print magazines and far-reaching online publications. When she’s not writing, Ashley works as the Congregational Life Coordinator at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Fairhaven. Ashley loves teaching young people about magazines, creative writing, and self-expression. She also loves strong coffee, used books, road trips, and spending time with her friends and family, her girlfriend Paige, and their dogs, Fiona, Dixie, and Oliver.

Camille Montano

Camille is a Providence-based mixed-media artist and educator. She graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Photography and a Masters of Arts in Teaching. Camille is passionate about community-centered arts education; she has designed and taught multiple digital art curricula for middle and high schools in Seattle, Philadelphia, and Providence. Her art explores our tangled connection with the natural world through the photographic process, drawing, sound, and community-collaborative projects. Camille has exhibited her work in the Pacific Northwest, North Carolina, and the Northeast; explore camillemontano.org for more.

Janet Nimiroski

I am a Designer and Illustrator settled in beautiful Tiverton, RI. Being surrounded by nature inspires my many floral designs that are cheerful and colorful creations.  I work mostly in watercolors, the earthy pigments glow and reflect the natural subjects that inspire me most. I also enjoy the flexibility that digital design offers. Photoshop helps me to create patterns that repeat with precision and care. I love to create fun and colorful designs for my Spoonflower shop under the designer name of BeeBumble. I began my career as a textile designer/stylist at a local fabric company, designing fabrics for Quilting and crafts. Most recently I can be found home with my three children, building my freelance work and happily creating in my studio.

Jennifer Sousa Ramirez

I grew up in Bristol, RI and received a degree in Applied Linguistics from UMASS Boston in 2001. Since then, I have taught ESL and bilingual Spanish education in Massachusetts, Illinois and currently Kickemuit Middle School. I have never felt happier working in my community teaching our children and helping families to enrich their children’s lives. Culture and language are my passion and I especially love the Spanish language and all that encompasses Latin American culture. I enjoy spending my time reading, walking my poodle and                                                                                          listening to world music.

Ashley Rutledge

Ashley is a senior at Roger Williams University where she is an Elementary Education major with a double minor in mathematics and psychology. She is also working towards getting her STEAM certification. This past semester she studied abroad in Ireland and got to travel throughout Europe. It was an amazing experience that really opened her eyes to all the different cultures and experiences that are out there. Ashley is actively involved at her local Elementary school, in Connecticut, where she is a paraprofessional substitute and a classroom volunteer. When Ashley is not in the school, she can be found spending time with her family. She also has a passion for photography, baking, traveling, dance (particularly Irish Dance), and animals.

Bethany St. Pierre

Bethany St. Pierre is a Pre-K through 12 certified art educator, and is the one elementary art teacher in Tiverton, RI, teaching at Fort Barton, Pocasset, and Ranger Schools. In January 2010, she received a Bachelor of Science degree from Rhode Island College in Art Education, with a concentration in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design, and a minor in Psychology. Bethany has taught in multiple Rhode Island school districts including Barrington, Central Falls, and Cumberland. She is particularly enthusiastic to return to her hometown of Tiverton, to now teach and share her passion for the arts. She strongly believes in introducing her students to as many tools, materials, and techniques to help support their creative process, while challenging them to solve artistic problems. Bethany was previously a dance teacher for 15 years, teaching in the styles of acro, ballet, hip hop, jazz, musical theater, and tap. Now she enjoys working as a teaching artist for CORE after school, teaching art and dance. During her free time, Bethany enjoys spending time on the water with her husband and working for her parents at Standish Boat Yard, Inc in Tiverton.

Liv Souza

Liv Souza is a recent graduate of Stonehill College in Easton, MA where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Studio Arts.  She plans on getting her Masters in Art Therapy and pursuing a career as an art therapist.  During her time at Stonehill, she mentored a group of middle schoolers from the Brockton area and created weekly art projects with them.  She believes that creativity, art, and imagination are essential in an individual’s life.  She enjoys photography and abstract painting as well as Asian cuisine and dogs.  She is looking forward to inspiring individuals to create art and be creative.

Samantha Travis

Hello! My name is Samantha Travis, but everyone can call me Sam. I am a sophomore at Bristol Community College majoring in Behavioral and Social Sciences. I plan to transfer to UMass Dartmouth to major in English and hope to become a high school English and drama teacher. I was in drama for 4 years at Tiverton High School with Gloria, and I absolutely love the theatre and fine arts! I am so excited to teach young students this beautiful art, and give them the same outlet that I was lucky enough to have because of Gloria. I also think it will be a great experience for when I become a teacher one day!

Maida Burns Vandale

Maida Burns Vandale graduated from the Maryland Institute of Art in 1998 with a B.F.A. in Sculpture.  After college Maida worked as a manager to an Art gallery and as a florist.  After a bit of traveling, she settled back in Tiverton, R.I. to raise her family.  Maida has been working on private commissions, exhibited work in local galleries and began teaching in the Tiverton schools eight years ago.

Amanda Vincenti

Amanda Vincenti is a senior Elementary Ed and Theatre student at Roger Williams University. She’s had teaching experience throughout the years in various capacities (such as Religious Ed, summer camp, and youth theatre), and she has been in love with theatre, music, and performance since she could plug a couple of notes together on her father’s accordion. In the coming years, she hopes to combine her passion for children’s education and theatre with a graduate degree in Theatre Ed and a career in bringing theatre to children of all abilities and backgrounds.

Elizabeth Woodhouse

Founded and serves as the Artistic Director of the Newport County Youth Chorus (RI). She has worked with community children’s and youth choirs for more than 13 years in Denver, Colorado, Columbus, OH, New Haven, CT and most recently in Brooklyn, NY with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. During her career, she has conducted ensembles of varying ages (5-70+) and abilities. Elizabeth has prepared ensembles for performances at Carnegie Hall and Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) as well as for a national PBS Kids Commercial.