(Animation, Brookline Arts Center) Zoe is a freelance illustrator, writer and educator hailing from Central Illinois. She earned her MA in Art + Design Education from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2017, and her BA in Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies from Grinnell College in 2012. Zoe's artistic work emphasizes visual storytelling and narrative, with particular emphasis on comics, integrated graphic essays, pen-and-ink illustration and printmaking. As a teacher, Zoe has developed and taught courses in drawing, making comics, creative writing and memoir writing, and has assisted in workshops centered on film making and digital storytelling.
Coolidge Corner Yoga provides a nurturing space where the Brookline and surrounding communities can practice yoga. Their classes are truly designed for everyone, young and old, novice and seasoned. We are lucky to have them as part of the DASA community.
Elizabeth Heller, is a member of the Coolidge Corner Yoga Kids staff. She has completed a 200-hour teacher training with the New School of Yogic Arts and profound teachers of Laura Ahrens and Andrew Tanner. She has also completed a children's yoga teacher training with her generous, inspiring teacher, Dawn Keighley, through Kidasana Kids Yoga Teacher Training, and is a certified prenatal yoga teacher through Om Births with Bec Conant. Additionally, Elizabeth is the author/ co-author of eight books for and about children, and a contributing author of two parenting books. She has BA in English and an MS in Broadcast Journalism, created a children's sports and news program, and was a money reporter for a Boston Children's radio program. She completed eight years of Tae Kwon Do training and earned her second-degree black belt.Yoga (K-3)
(Video Game Design, Enpow Studios) Daniel Plouffe graduated from Huntington University in 2013 with a degree in Digital Arts-Animation as well as the 2016 graduate from Ball State University with a MFA degree in Visual Art-Animation. Daniel began teaching at the age of 14 when he would spend his summers working for the Boy Scouts of America at their summer camp in Kingston, New Hampshire. Teaching a wide variety of skills and age groups, he quickly learned that not all children learned the same way, and not all subjects can be taught in the same format. From swimming to fire building, to team sports and archery, every subject required different types of demonstration. For 7 years, Daniel's work at this camp and other summer camps would shape his desire to teach. Being the most artistic in his family prompted Daniel to pursue an education in art and his interest in computers focused that into the field of digital animation. His work at Huntington consisted of many different animating mediums, such as stop motion and traditional 2D as well as 3D, summarizing in his senior team project: Timeless. During his senior year, recruiters from Ball State University came to talk about the graduate program that was focused on producing work and also allowed graduates to teach animation at a higher level. At the time, in the middle of senior year, it seemed unappealing, but after graduation, Daniel applied and was accepted. The next 3 years at Ball State allowed Daniel to learn, not only about animation, but also about the subject of Education. The program was relatively new, and the Professors were very open with the graduates about the internal workings of the education. Several classes of Pedagogy as well as the ability to teach classes as a graduate assistant really opened the doors to teaching at a higher academic level. Upon graduation, Daniel began looking for opportunities to apply this teaching experience. Daniel taught for few months at a local high school before applying for a teaching outreach position at Enpow's summer programs. The summer camp provided Daniel with a very thorough look of the new talent box system of Empow and a healthy grasp of all the curriculum it contains. Now with a firm grasp on the Enpow curriculum, Daniel works as a Senior Outreach instructor and Media Producer at Empow Studios.
(Mathemagical Adventures) Ilya Bronshtein is a co-founder of Gentle Knowledge and holds an M.A. in mathematics and a B.A. in computing science from Brandeis University. As an undergraduate, he published mathematics research but has since devoted himself to mathematics and computer science education, He leads math and computer science circles in the Greater Boston area and develops educational software to help students discover mathematics while becoming technology consumers. As a child, Ilya attended Brookline public schools and was even a student at Driscoll for one day. www.gentleknowledge.com
(Minecraft) Pallavi Naravane, A.K.A. "CUBER". Pallavi is an electrical engineer, crafter and cuber. As an engineer she programmed microcontrollers and designed multi-layer boards for audio-video applications like 3D camera and NVH for automobiles. She is an avid crafter, having organized a Summer Craft Camp at a local art gallery. Pallavi has conducted cubing classes, where she teaches kids to solve shape-shifting puzzles broadly known as Rubik's cubes. She hopes to help kids discover their superpowers by going from learn-to-code to code-to-learn.
(Tae Kwon Do) Lisa Hanson is a second degree black belt and has been an instructor at Giorgio's School of Tae Kwon Do since 2006. Lisa is also a Tae Kwon Do instructor for Brookline Park and Rec department. She earned her Bachelors Degree in Education and taught Special Education and Early Childhood Education for many years. Lisa and her husband have four children, two of whom have practiced Tae Kwon Do. She is currently training to become a martial arts therapist.
(Broadway Kids) Maddie Hren has been singing and dancing for as long as she can remember. She found her love for performing in musicals early on, and has since been involved with over 20 shows, from elementary school up through college. Originally from North Carolina, she spent 15 years training in Scottish Highland Dance, Tap, Ballet, and jazz. She has been a member of the Performance Edge Show Choir since 2010, serving as head counselor for the middle school performers. Through Boston University, Maddie teaches dance classes through the Boys and Girls club at Winthrop Elementary, and recently choreographed the musical 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee with BU On Broadway.
(Group voice) Celeste Pellegrino is a recent graduate of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York with degrees in both Music Education and Vocal Performance. As an educator, Celeste comes fresh off of teaching at Brighton High School in Rochester, New York where she directed multiple choirs, musicals, and taught group voice lessons. Additionally she has worked at the Hochstein School of Music in their summer early childhood program and maintains an active private voice studio. Also with a love for performing, Celeste has played "The Lady in the Balcony" in Ned Rorem's Our Town, Soprano II in Hydrogen Jukebox by Philip Glass at Eastman and was most recently seen as My Fair Lady at the Rochester Association for the Performing Arts.
(Chess II & III) Tony has been working with children for over 30 years. A graduate of Brown University with additional studies at Berklee College of Music, Tony blends a personalized teaching style with a developmental approach designed to encourage creative thinking. Tony has been teaching chess both in after-school programs and privately since2012, and has taught chess at Driscoll School, Devotion School, and Fein Academy in Brookline. Tony focuses on each child's individuality and learning style, as well ascreating an atmosphere of fun and excitement, while encouraging group participation. In addition to teaching chess, Tony also developed and ran an innovative musicprogram at Suzan's School in Brookline for over 25 years, and has extensive experience teaching children from preschool ages up through grade school. Tony also teachesmusic at Salem State University, and is currently in his 11th year there. A professional jazz guitarist as well, Tony performs at venues throughout New England, and alsooffers private instruction both in chess and guitar.
(Wooden Structures and Contraption Engineering) Guna loves teaching and finds it very fulfilling working with young kids. The ultimate reward is watching their confidence and ability grow each and every time. Making learning fun for kids is the goal of this program. During her teaching, Guna has had numerous opportunities working with many special needs children and with great success. Guna has completed her Masters in Computer Science and has been teaching S.T.E.M., coaching chess for beginners and tutoring Math (K-6) in Brookline and Newton area.
Eric Hansen is a Film & TV student at Boston University and the Founder/CEO of BNSBC Media Ventures. His ventures owns SpecGraphixEDU, a small company that offers educational programs for kids ages 5 to 12. He has taught many after school classes in the Public Schools of Brookline for over six years. He has also worked at many programs offered by Brookline Adult and Community Education for over six years. His passion for teaching comes from his desire to help nurture kids in subjects that are ignored in the traditional public school curriculum. He feels that creative children are not getting the attention they deserve with the lack of classes teaching game design, coding, video production, graphic design, etc. This is a personal issue for Eric because his life was changed by an 8th grade Brookline teacher when he allowed Eric to create a video for his science project instead of a powerpoint. The attention he got from peers made him go from a lonely, invisible child to a school legend overnight. He feels all children deserve the opportunity to shine using the talents they were born with, regardless of what that talent is.