is our Web Master
and Tech Guru
. He currently works in NYC as a Helpdesk Analyst for Citadel NY, an IT consulting firm. Born in Toronto, Ontario, and raised in Vermont, Sean made the trek to NYC in 2013. He has a B.A. in Theater and Drama,
an A.A. in Technical Theater
from Johnson State College and over five years of experience in the tech space. He is passionate about Improv
Theater and long distance running. The New England Institute is thrilled to have him on our team.
has been teaching for more than 20 years with equal amounts of time in Gifted and Talented and "regular" classrooms
. She has a Masters of Education in Teaching and Learning
from the University of Southern Maine and is also a graduate of its ETEP
program. A former journalist, Julia encourages her students to think critically, ask questions, and stay curious. She has a special interest in environmental education, which has led her to education courses on Hog Island in Maine and to the Peruvian Amazon as a Fund for Teachers fellow. Julia currently teaches grades 3-5 and consults to high school GT students in RSU 18. A lifelong learner, Julia learned to sail three years ago and spends most of her free time on her boat, or in some combination of birding and gardening, bicycling, skating, skiing, or walking.
Grace S. Jacobs
Grace S. Jacobs
has worked in the field of Gifted & Talented Education
in Maine for 16 years, as a classroom teacher, program facilitator and consultant. She has a special interest in the social and emotional needs of the gifted learner, as well as twice exceptionality. As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, she also carries a strong commitment to global education and service learning. Grace has served on the Maine Educators Gifted and Talented board and was nominated for the SENG honor roll in 2013. She completed her Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
at Keene State College and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Educational Leadership
from the University of New England. Currently, Grace is a Gifted Specialist with the Marshwood school district. She lives in Maine and loves the natural beauty of New England with the opportunity to enjoy hiking, kayaking and exploring.
Elena Perrello, EdD.
Elena Perrello, EdD.,
has been a practicing public School Counselor
for the past 28 years. Growing up in Rhode Island, she completed her undergraduate work at Boston College, and both her masters and doctoral work
at the University of Maine. She has taught for both the University of Maine and Husson University’s Counselor Education programs for the past 15 years.
She served on the American School Counselor board of directors as well as the board of directors for the United Way. She is a past president of the Maine School Counseling Association and was the Government Relations Chair for many years. Her passion has been serving elementary and middle school students. Elena is particularly interested in the role trauma plays in the development of the young child. She has taken many trauma courses
and presented professional development to staff and community members on the topic as well. She has delivered professional development trainings for teachers and school counselors on the topics of data, suicide prevention, bullying
, cutting, and positive interventions and supports
. Elena also serves as a Disaster Mental Health volunteer for the American Red Cross.
Recently retired in June, she spends winters in Florida and summers on the beautiful coast of Maine, where she has resided for the past 30 years.
is a Special Education teacher at Steven’s Brook Elementary School
in Bridgton, Maine. After earning her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maine at Farmington
and a certificate in UMF’s Ski Industries program in 1999, Tracie served as teacher and center director at a private preschool facility for ten years. Transitioning to elementary school, she began working with children with disabilities, completing her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from New England College in 2011
. Still passionate about skiing, Tracie has been a part of the Snowsports School and a staff trainer at Shawnee Peak since 1990, training instructors who teach young children and those with special needs. Tracie lives in Casco, and enjoys singing with the Portland Community Chorus and spending time outdoors with her family.
Lindsay Pinchbeck, M.Ed
., is the Director of Sweet Tree Arts and Founder of Sweetland School,
a Reggio-inspired, project-based
K-6 elementary school program in Hope, Maine.She has been teaching in the arts and alternative education settings for the past 20 years. Lindsay gained her Masters in Education through Lesley University's
Creative Arts and Learning program and received her undergraduate degree in Art and Music from Colby College. Creatively she works as a printmaker and photographer. Lindsay believes art can be shared by all ages and all abilities on many levels - we create as active participants, engage as observers and share experiences together enriching our lives and building empathy when we explore the world through the Arts. Lindsay is proud to be a member of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative
. She continues to share ideas locally and across the state of Maine around Creativity, Growth Mindset
and Listening and Responding through the Arts
is Executive Director
of the New England Institute for Teacher Education and teaches graduate level courses to educators across the state of Maine. She has served on the Core Leadership Team with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative
since 2010. Catherine has presented at the Maine Principals’ Association Conference
as well as nationally at the National Art Education Conventions.
Catherine is a former K-8 Principal and has taught visual art for 20 years in public schools. She has also attained her Assistant Superintendent certification. Catherine completed her Education Leadership studies at the University of Vermont
and received her Master of Arts from Vermont College of Norwich University
. For her thesis, entitled “Education and the Arts, Toward Creative Intelligences,” she researched the role of the arts in learning and has worked closely with classroom teachers, helping them to integrate the arts into their regular curricula. As Principal, Catherine helped to bring to her school district the Kennedy Center’s National Partnership
program. She assists school districts throughout Maine with differentiated instruction, arts integration, and gifted and talented programs. Catherine has been named the 2014 Advocate of the Year by the Maine Art Education Association
. In the fall of 2016, Catherine accepted a one-day per week position as Visual Art Teacher at Isle au Haut School.
teaches kindergarten at Raymond Elementary School. Prior to that, she taught third grade and first grade at Songo Locks Elementary in Naples, Maine. She received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a concentration in history from Saint Joseph’s College and a Master of Science in Literacy Education
from the University of Southern Maine. She has served on various committees such as Leadership and Literacy and currently enjoys hosting college student interns and student teachers. Aly is a devoted life-long learner. Her passion for educating and meeting the needs of our children shines through not only in her teaching, but also in her service at community events. She enjoys spending time with her husband and family, the outdoors and cozying up on the couch with her cats and a good book!
was born and raised in Maine by a musical family. He is a prolific composer, performer, and music educator
. His compositions encompass a variety genres and media including jazz, funk/fusion, vocal, chamber music, orchestral, electronic, and multi-media works. Jake currently is the music director at Falmouth High School
, in Falmouth, Maine. Additionally he held the position of music educator at Bonny Eagle HS
and Washington Academy,
Teaching Assistant of the Composition department at the University of Minnesota, and he has worked as an intern and as an independent contractor for the Maine Arts Commission. Jake has been interested in acquiring and changing his teaching and assessment practices to focus on standard based grading. He has had the opportunity to be part of the Arts Assessment Institute and Initiative
, and has taught a variety of workshops at the October 2011 Maine Arts Assessment Conference at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. He is continually inspired by other teachers around the state and the country who have found a verity of assessment practices that help students achieve practical goals that will help them progress, while not stifling their creativity. Jake holds degrees from the University of Maine at Augusta’s Jazz and Contemporary music program (B.A., Music, 2003), and the University of Minnesota (M.A., Composition 2005), where he studied with Dr. Judith Lang Zaimont. Beyond his profession Jake enjoys his time with his family, and all outdoor activities especially hiking and skiing.
holds a Masters in Technology Education
from Lesley University, a Bachelors in Music Education from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and holds a certificate in online instruction through the Carolina Online Teacher program (COLT) through LearnNC, a program of the UNC School of Education. She is currently an Instructional Technology Facilitator and Magnet School Coordinator for the Wake County Public School System in Raleigh, NC. She has been an educator in Maine, New Hampshire, NC and Texas for over 30 years. Mrs. Vinal was a member of the Maine Dept. of Education Learning Results Review Committee in 2007, which developed the Maine state standards in Visual and Performing Arts. She has presented sessions at multiple conferences on technology integration in the classroom, assessment techniques and in developing standards-based curricula. She has recently earned her Google Certified Trainer title.
is the New England Institute's Dean and is on the Core Faculty for education
and liberal arts
. Beyond teaching special education
and general education
courses, Stephen teaches interdisciplinary studies in the humanities
. Experienced as a public and private school teacher in special education, alternative education
, middle school, and behavior management
, he also taught for Job Corps in Grafton, Massachusetts, and in higher education in Pennsylvania, California, Michigan and New England. Awarded a B.A. in Education and Humanities at Vermont College of Norwich University in Montpelier, a M.Div. in Education and Humanities at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, California, Stephen is now at candidacy status for his D. Min. in Leadership Studies at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, New York.