Heather King has a B.A. in Elementary Education and an M.A. in English and has completed several Doctoral level courses in Educational Leadership. Heather is currently the Principal of Snow Pond Arts Academy. Heather held the position of Assistant Principal for RSU12 and has held several teaching roles including: Team Leader of Liberal Arts Online – Southern New Hampshire, English and Liberal Arts – Southern New Hampshire University and English – Kaplan University. Heather is a published author of Peace of Trash, published by AEG, and presents at writer’s conferences throughout the Northeast. Heather created Diversity Day for the RSU12 school system, and has a strong background in working with at-risk youth.

Principal / Interim Executive Director 

Heather King

Rachel graduated from Maine Maritime Academy with a bachelor’s degree in Nautical Science and an unlimited tonnage United States Coast Guard Third Mate’s License. While in the Merchant Marine, she attained her USCG First Class Pilot’s License for Great Lakes Waters. She has been teaching and working with high school students for twelve years and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Secondary Education. Rachel is enthusiastic about sharing her passion for understanding mathematics with the students of Maine Arts Academy.

Rachel lives in central Maine with her husband and children. She enjoys renovating, developing, and managing real estate. Nurturing a lifelong love for sports, she also officiates high school soccer and basketball. 

Asst. Principal / Math

Rachel Roberge

Chip DeFeo is a counselor for the Student Services Department. She comes to us with a long and fulfilling career in education. She has been a teacher and counselor on all educational levels, K-Adult, and retired with a heart full of students and a head full of experience. She is now sharing that love and experience three days a week with the wonderful students and staff at Maine Arts Academy and enjoying retirement the other four!

Guidance

Chip Defeo

Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Sonja Fraser now resides in Maine. She earned her BFA from the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. Her artwork spans from limited edition and one-of-a-kind jewelry to both small and large scale sculpture. During the 1990s, Fraser worked for Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, Mike Peters and owned a business creating sculptures as awards such as the Orange Bowl Trophy football award. In the early 2000s she opened Sonja Jewelry and has created one of a kind wearable sculpture for close to 20 years. In 2006, she began her teaching career and MeAA is the second school where she has had the pleasure of creating an art program from the ground up.

Visual Arts Director

Sonja Fraser

Holly Gannett lives in Central Maine with her family. She is thrilled to be the Dance Director at Maine Arts Academy since 2016 (their year of inception). Holly travels as a master teacher and competition judge and continually holds master classes across the country. She has judged & taught for Dancers Inc. Competitions & Conventions for the past 15 years. She has been teaching for over twenty five years at Kennebec Dance Centre in Augusta. She is a 1999 graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo with a B.F.A. in Dance. As a member of the Golden Key National Honors Society, she graduated with honors achieving Magna Cum Laude status. Holly has been a guest instructor at Colby College, a Dance Educator at the University of Maine at Augusta, & Thomas College Dance Director in addition to other schools in Maine, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, Indiana, and Wisconsin. She is a member of the National Dance Education Organization & the Maine Dance Teachers Club.

She is the former Fitness Program Supervisor of 12 years at the Eastside Wellness Center in Augusta for MaineGeneral Medical Center as a personal trainer and instructor of Zumba, Cardio Kickboxing, and Pilates. Holly began her dance training at Kennebec Dance Centre in Maine and with Andrei Bossov of the Kirov Ballet. Mr. Tom Ralabate was able to recruit Holly to UB (State University of New York at Buffalo) where she majored in dance. Holly was offered a job performing with Busch Gardens while attending college, which she declined in order to finish her schooling. Holly was employed at the Central Wisconsin School of Ballet where she was hired to expand and develop the professional ballet school’s jazz, tap, and musical theatre programs. While under contract in Wisconsin, she was also offered a job performing for Sesame Street Live on their European tour.

Holly’s Musical Theatre performance and choreography credits include the roles of: Dance Captain for the US premier of Fame Forever, Carmen Diaz in Fame, Ariel Moore in Footloose, Mersister in The Little Mermaid, Marge in Suds, June (Squish) in Chicago, Adelaide in Guys & Dolls, as well as dancing ensemble roles in Cabaret, Oklahoma, Little Shop of Horrors, West Side Story, Man of La Mancha, Working, and Mrs. Greer in Annie. Holly danced in a music video that was seen on MTV & VH-1 by artist Thomas John Veilleux called “A New Generation”. While in WI, Holly choreographed for The Carnival of the Animals which was narrated by actor Tony Randall.

Dance Director

Holly Gannett

Jeri Pitcher Jeri has a BFA in Acting and Directing, University of Bridgeport, , she toured throughout the United States with the East West Fusion Theater, a company dedicated to bringing Asian masters to the US to create fusion productions with American theater artists.

Jeri is a teaching artist, theater director, playwright, actor, and Adjunct Theater Professor at The University of Maine at Augusta where she created both the UMA Interactive Theater and CREATED EQUAL Theater Programs. As a teaching artist, Jeri can be found on the Teaching Artist roster for both the Maine Arts Commission and the Maine Alliance for Arts Education. Jeri has completed well over 100 theater residencies, creating original theater in Maine schools in her 25+ years of experience, from York to Caribou and Eastport to Bethel, ME.

Jeri worked as a company member at The Theater At Monmouth, an Equity repertory company, for 13 years and became TAM’s Associate Artistic Director. TAM directing favorites include: Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, The Compleat Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), The Tempest, The Grapes of Wrath, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Her play, Chasin’ Night Birds won the New England Playwright’s award and was produced in NYC at Muse of Fire’s Sirens Festival.

Director of Theatre

Jeri Pitcher

John Neal holds a bachelors degree in music education from The Ohio State University and a masters degree in conducting performance from the University of Connecticut.  A piano student from the age of eight, his teachers include Hildred Curtis Fowler, Natasha Chances, Rosemary Platt and Neal Larrabee. He continues a career in music education which began in 1978 and includes teaching positions at Van Buren District Secondary School, Edward Little High School in Auburn, the University of Southern Maine, Bates College, Oak Hill High School in Sabattus and his current position as Director of Music at Maine Arts Academy in Sidney, Maine.  Neal’s students have won numerous awards including First Place in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, DC with the ELHS Band in 1988, and a Carnegie Hall performance in New York City with the Oak Hill HS Voices of Color in 2003 among many others; several of his students have gone on to careers in music education and performance. Neal was recognized by the Maine Music Educators Association in 1994 as the Maine Music Educator of the Year, and by WCSH6 and the Maine Education Association as an “Inspiring Educator” in 2016.

Neal has performed as pianist and music director with the Lewiston-
Auburn Community Little Theater, the Monmouth Community Players and at numerous other local venues and high school productions since the 1980s. His first CD of original electronic music “Fox Island Afternoon” was released in 1997; his original electronic ballet “Vasalisa”, based upon the Russian legend of the same name, was released in 2008. Both CDs are available on iTunes and at www.cdbaby.com

Director of Music

John Neal

Rachel graduated from Maine Maritime Academy with a bachelor’s degree in Nautical Science and an unlimited tonnage United States Coast Guard Third Mate’s License. While in the Merchant Marine, she attained her USCG First Class Pilot’s License for Great Lakes Waters. She has been teaching and working with high school students for twelve years and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Secondary Education. Rachel is enthusiastic about sharing her passion for understanding mathematics with the students of Maine Arts Academy.

Rachel lives in central Maine with her husband and children. She enjoys renovating, developing, and managing real estate. Nurturing a lifelong love for sports, she also officiates high school soccer and basketball. 

Asst. Principle & Math

Rachel Roberge

Mr. Richardson received his Bachelor of Arts in English at Middle Tennessee State University, where he also minored in film studies and secondary education. He is currently working towards his Master of Arts in English online at Southern New Hampshire University. He taught 8th grade English and directed the middle school drama department for seven years in Tennessee. He is in his third year at Maine Arts Academy, and he teaches English 2 and 3, Introduction to Film Studies, Film Genre and Theory, and Film Production. Besides teaching, his other passions include his family (especially his two boys, Ezra and Owsley), his friends, travelling, most genres of music (especially The Grateful Dead and anything live), and film and video production.

English & Film Teacher

Jasen Richardson

Long a fixture on the NYC and European jazz/experimental scenes, RJ has performed and recorded with artists like George Garzone, Ben Street, Bill McHenry, Eric Revis, Hugo Rasmussen, Meshell N’degeocello, Larry Grenadier, Jorge Rossy, and Aaron Parks to name a few.

RJ’s education has been primarily through private instruction from masters like Ornette Coleman, Frank Wess, Masabumi Kikuchi, Juini Booth, Reggie Workman, Billy Hart, Steve Grover, Jeff Williams and Jeff Hirshfield.

He is best known for his work on albums like “Ben Entrada La Nit,” “Alive in Japan,” “Ronald’s Rhythm,” “RJ Miller Trio,” “Plainville,” If the Past Seems So Bright,” “Memories of Days Gone By,” “Intuition,” “Sinker,” “Wicca,” “Dreams in Apartments,” and “Horses.”

Percussion

RJ Miller

Sam Shain is a Thomas College graduate with a degree in Communication (English Concentration). A Hallowell native, he worked for the Capital Weekly newspaper for three years after college, and couldn’t be happier to have wandered in to teaching. He teaches Journalism, Creative Writing, and English 1 & 4 at Maine Arts Academy. 

English

Sam Shain

© 2019 by MAINE ARTS ACADEMY

Maine Arts Academy

11 Goldenrod Lane,

Sidney ME 04330

(207) 618- 8908

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