Janna Townsend  President


Janna Townsend is an educator with 40 years of experience. She taught children in the classroom, and instructed teachers on the strategies of teaching and learning by modeling them in a classroom setting. Always interested in teaching struggling learners, she began as an art teacher, using a blackboard and colored chalk as a major teaching tool. Janna became a specialist in ‘learning abilities’ and mediation, which helped her to build collaborative educational settings where general and special educational students are taught together. Building inclusive programs in NYC elementary and middle schools, she provided professional development training and taught college courses on collaborative team teaching, cooperative learning, behavior management and peer mediation.  Janna developed a Principal’s Academy, where school principals were required to learn key concepts of collaborative education and how to support its use prior to embracing the techniques within their schools. This action led the way to delivering direct support to northern district schools to create team teaching classrooms that strategically and effectively taught students with special needs alongside their general ed peers. 

Presently retired, Janna now lives in Maine where she and her family have been vacationing for over 30 years.  Here, she became involved in her community, offering her time and skills to numerous community efforts.  Janna tutors and directs programs for Literacy Volunteers –Waterville Area, where she sits as President of the Board of Directors.  With an eye on those with special needs, Janna also sits on the Maine Arts Advisory Board, and serves as Treasurer of Friends of Messalonskee, where she is committed to creating a LakeSmart community and fiddling in her garden.


Sherry Gilbert  Vice President


Sherry Gilbert is a graduate of the Northern Conservatory of Music with advance study at Hartt School of Music. She is certified by the Voice Care Network and studied Early Childhood Music Education with Dr. John Feierabend. She is a past member of the Maine Education Association (MEA), National Education Association (NEA), Music Educators National Conference, Maine Music Educators Association, and American Choral Directors Association. She taught K-12 vocal, general and instrumental music in the public schools for 38 years. She has taught in both New York and Maine with select groups performing internationally, for State music organizations, regional venues, and on local and national television. One of her select groups was the first a cappella group to open the Maine State Legislative Session. Many of her students have attended the Western Maine Music Festival, Kennebec Valley Music Festival, District IV Music Festival, All State Music Festival, and All Eastern Music Festival. Her leadership experience covers a number of other areas. She chaired the Maine Music Educators Association District IV for over 8 years; also for more than 12 years she was active in her local association in grievance arbitration and bargaining. She continued to serve her local association as president for 7 years. Under her leadership her association received the MEA’s John H. Marvin award for leadership, integrity, and tenacity and was recognized by NEA president, at the time, Reg Weaver.  


Sherry is active as a church organist and choir director and has served on the church Parish Council for 5 years. She is on the Oakland Budget & Advisory Committee and has been diligent for citizens in the local area by urging a more in-depth oversight for the RSU 18 school budget.


James Gemmell


Jim recently retired from his position as Vice President for Communications at The Opportunity Alliance (TOA), the 500 employee Community Action Agency for Cumberland County, Maine. His tenure at TOA included two non-profit merger/acquisitions, rebranding each time from the ground up, including website development and the launch of a full spectrum of marketing, fundraising, and promotional collateral. Prior to his time there, he served as Communications and Public Relations Director for the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, a statewide educational outreach and support program for children birth through high school. While in that position, Jim also served as chair of the Foundation for Maine's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children. Before moving to Maine in 2004, he worked as Public Relations Director for Holyoke Community College in Western Massachusetts. He holds a BA in Journalism from New York University and a MS in Communications and Information Management from Bay Path University.

Andrew Landry


Drew Landry is an attorney with a practice concentrated in utility and energy matters.  Drew is currently Deputy Public Advocate for the State of Maine which involves representing the interests of consumers in utility regulatory matters before the Maine Public Utilities Commission and in other forums in which the interests of Maine utility customers are affected.  Drew is a graduate of Syracuse University and the University of Maine School of Law.  In addition to his role on the Board, Drew serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Theater at Monmouth, the Hallowell Planning Board and as Chair of the Hallowell Comprehensive Plan Committee. 


Drew has previously served as President of the Penobscot County Bar Association, Chair of the Brewer Water District, and board member of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Bangor.  Drew’s daughter is currently studying Art Education and the University of Maine. Drew is a resident of Hallowell.

Timothy Rector


Tim is retired after 34 years working in Maine state government. While working for the state he served in several departments, most recently protecting Maine’s groundwater through the regulation of underground petroleum storage tanks. Tim serves on the Finance Committee at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Waterville, and is President and Treasurer of Reprise Chorale Ensemble. He is past President of the McGrath Pond/Salmon Lake Association and served as Clerk of Vestry at St. Mark's. Tim has a BS in Education from the University of Maine where he trained as an elementary school science teacher. An accomplished musician, Tim co-founded two small choral ensembles: The Occasional Chorale, based in Waterville, and more recently, Reprise Choral Ensemble, based in Augusta. He has performed in a variety of music theater organizations and sung in numerous choral ensembles throughout Maine, including Vox Nova Chamber Choir in Brunswick and the Oratorio Society at the University of Maine in Orono. Tim sang under the direction of the late Sir David Willcocks and performed at Trinity Wall Street and the Washington National Cathedral. He continues to sing at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Waterville, Colby Kennebec Choral Ensemble. Tim is an amateur artist and a staunch supporter of arts education in all its forms. He worked for many years in the picture framing business owned by his family in Camden. He is committed to the ideals put forth by the Maine Arts Academy and to the Academy's success as a charter school in central Maine.


Linda Warner


Linda Rockwell Warner is a Craft Yarn Council Certified Knitting Teacher and works part-time at the Yardgoods Center in Waterville, Maine. She is “Queen Bee” at Queen Bee Knits, designing and making custom knitwear. A jack of all trades, Linda’s primary career has been raising three children as a stay-at-home parent and community volunteer in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio. She served as President of Blue Ash Elementary PTA, Sycamore High School’s PTO, Theater Boosters, and Choir Boosters among others. She has been a mentor for nearly a decade. Linda was Development Director for the Health Improvement Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati where she designed an annual fund drive, published a healthy cookbook and hosted five nationally known speakers at their annual awards event including Christopher Reeve, Patty Duke, and Ben Vereen. 


Linda worked for Seminole County Public Schools in Florida as a Families in Transition Tutorial Coordinator and general support for homeless students under the Mckinney Vento Homeless Education Act, as a Language Support Tutor for special needs students, and as the school “nurse” at Woodlands Elementary School (Pre-K through 5th Grade.)


Linda holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wells College in Aurora, NY. She currently serves as the Vice President of Friends of Messalonskee. Linda lives in Belgrade with her husband and their trio of four-legger’s. 


Maine Arts Academy

11 Goldenrod Lane,

Sidney ME 04330

(207) 618- 8908

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