2019 Faculty

Aremi Tapia

My name is Aremi Tapia and I am originally from Inglewood, California. I am also a Colby alumna, class of 2017. I majored in Global Studies and was an active club member of Students Organized for Black and Latinx Unity at Colby. I now work in admissions as an Assistant Director and work with community based organizations that work with students who are first-generation to college and students who are low-income. For the second section we will help students learn about the liberal art education and how the students can continue to pursue the arts while still gaining valuable experience in a liberal arts school

Jessica Tardy

Jess Tardy is an award-winning singer, writer, and creative director who specializes in songs, essays, and ad campaigns. Her music has been featured in films and TV shows including "MTV Road Rules", "In Plain Sight" and "Lucky Them." She's also provided casting direction for a wide range of video and radio spots as a senior creative consultant to brands including DraftKings Daily Fantasy Sports, CVS/Pharmacy, Fidelity Investments, and Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign. Jess is a graduate of Nokomis Regional High School and Harvard University.

Ed Arnold

Ed Arnold is a lifelong musician, graduate of Berklee College of Music, an educator, and a proud Eagle Scout. For 15 years he worked with Deafblind adolescents at the historic Perkins School for the Blind, in Watertown, MA. His original music scores have been featured in ad campaigns for brands including Pinnacle Golf, Country Bank, and School the World.

Beth Lambert

Beth Lambert is the Coordinator of Secondary Education and Integrated Instruction at the Maine Department of Education. Before stepping into this role, Beth served as the Visual and Performing Arts specialist for the State of Maine. Before coming to the Maine DOE, Beth was a theatre teacher for 10 years, teaching at the Hartford Academy of Performing Arts in Connecticut and throughout Maine. Beth has taught and performed all over the world including being a company member of the Arcola theatre in London’s fringe district and opening an institute for theatre for social change in Pune, India.

Bobby Keniston

Bobby Keniston is a playwright, actor and director living in Dover-Foxcroft. He has over thirty plays published for the youth, high school and community theater markets (one of his plays was even made into a movie!). He has acted and directed plays all over the state, and has taught theater to kids of all ages. He is very happy to be part of LCA for a second year!

Kaylee Pomelow

Kaylee Pomelow is a senior at Colby College, majoring in Theater and Dance with a double concentration in Directing and Playwriting. During the summer, Kaylee works as the stage manager of Lakewood Theater's Young Performer's Camp. Kaylee is very excited to be back at LCA this year!

Lisa Neal

Lisa Neal has been a classroom teacher in RSU19 for the last fifteen years having taught at Somerset Valley Middle School and Nokomis Regional High. Lisa holds her B.A. in Education from the University of Maine, as well as her Master's degree in Literacy from the University of New England. For 26 years she has been the director of Middle and High School Show Choruses in RSU 19 which are auditioned, award-winning vocal groups. Since 2012 Lisa has served as the director of the Theatre Arts program at Nokomis Regional High teaching academic classes that center around the performing arts including various levels of Acting, Comedy, Stagecraft, Playwriting, History of Musical Theatre, History of Sitcoms and Advanced Theatre Arts, as well as being the director of the after-school drama program that has involved more than a third of the student body in one capacity or another. Lisa has been active in Community Theatre for over thirty years working at Lakewood Theater in Madison, Maine. She has played roles such as Mamma Rose in Gypsy, Adalaide in Guys and Dolls and Reno Sweeny in Anything Goes. Lisa has also been fortunate enough to work at Waterville Opera House having the privilege to perform in two separate productions of Into the Woods (her favorite show ever!) playing the roles of The Baker's Wife and The Witch. She enjoys sharing the stage with her husband Dean who also performed in Into the Woods. In 2015, Dean and Lisa starred as Gomez and Morticia Addams in Watervilles's production of The Addams Family.

Dean Neal

Dean Neal has served as Director of Music at Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield, Maine since 1990. Currently he teaches the Concert Band, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Vocal Jazz 1,2 and 3, Pep Band, Classroom Guitar, and Popular Music in Society. Dean serves as the Visual and Performing Arts Department Head at M.C.I. where the V.P.A. program has grown in the past three decades from two faculty members to five full time teachers in instrumental music, vocal music/piano, theater, visual art, and ballet. M.C.I.'s and B.B.T,'s (Bossov Ballet Theater at M.C.I.) performing arts ensembles have received numerous local, state and regional honors over the past 30 years.
Dean has served as a guest conductor for Kennebec Valley Music Educators Association, MMEA District VI Honors Jr. Band, MMEA District II Honors Jazz Choir and the New Hampshire All State Jazz Choir. He has also adjudicated MMEA district jazz festivals and has been a clinician in Maine schools for instrumental and vocal jazz focusing on style and interpretation along with improvisation. Dean has been active in the Maine Music Educators Association having served on the executive board as the state's Jazz Activities V.P., Instrumental Jazz Chair, All State Honors Jazz Band Manager and All State Honors Jazz Choir Manager. He has held positions in the Kennebec Valley Music Educators Association as Sr. Band Manager, Jr. Band Manager, and is currently KVMEA President.
In addition, he has appeared at the Waterville Opera House stage as the voice of Audrey II in the Little Shop of Horrors; The Wolf and Prince Charming in Into The Woods; Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar; Bobby Kennedy in Jack; Gomez Addams in The Addams Family and most recently as The Baker in Into The Woods. Dean serves as worship/song leader at St. Albans Union Church coordinating music ministry, He earned his A.S. in Jazz and Contemporary Music from the University of Maine-August in 1987 and B.M.ed. from the University of Maine-Orono in 1989.

Jenine Olson

Jenine Olson: A lover of coffee, sweets, and books. She teaches English at Nokomis, and is the advisor for the Noko Cooking Club. She believes that you should do something creative every day! When your creativity is edible, that is just pure genius.

Johanna Sorenson

Johanna Sorensen is the Art teacher for grades 9-12 at Nokomis Regional High but also loves to create art on her own and with her two young sons! She graduated from Orono with a BA in Art Education and a love for all things art. Her favorite mediums are Oil Pastel, Watercolor painting, and Clay. She also enjoys illustrating children's books and being outdoors with her family and pets!

Gretchen Lane

Gretchen Lane is a believer of arts in education having grown up immersed in visual and performing arts. Gretchen has a Masters Degree in Elementary Education and a concentration in visual and performing arts. She is a 2nd grade teacher at George J. Mitchell School in Waterville working with children ages 5-8. She started performing at Lakewood Theater 20 years ago and has worked with Sandy River Players and The Waterville Opera House. Gretchen has done it all from performing arts like dance, music, theater, and visual arts like drawing, painting, sculpting, to design work like props, furniture making and sewing.

Leah Welch

An elementary education major trapped in a high school math teachers body. I have years of experience working with this age group and working/performing in the arts. Currently a geometry teacher at Maine Central Institute (MCI).

Diana Dearborn

Diana Dearborn developed a love for dance at a young age. She started dancing at the age of 3 at Mary Jane's School of Dance in Greene Maine. She studied tap, jazz, and ballet. During her teen years, Diana competed in tap dance with her peers in the Boston area. For two year's, Diana studied ballet with Nancy Dionne in Belgrade Maine. From 2008-2012 Diana taught hip hop to beginners at Rising Sun Dance studio in Winthrop Maine. In 2012, Diana and her daughter started taking various classes at Kennebec Dance Centre in Augusta Maine. Diana has taught tap class at Kennebec Dance Centre. Her workshops are amoung the most popular at LCA.

Darcy LaPrade

Darcey LaPrade is a 5th Grade Language Arts and Social Studies teacher at Sebasticook Valley Middle School. ​Drama has always been a passion for Darcey and she performed in both high school and in college. She has directed and co-directed shows at Newport Elementary School as part of the 21st Century Grant. Darcey is a 1991 graduate of Nokomis Regional High and earned a B.S. in Elementary Education with a Minor in Visual and Performing Arts from the University of Maine at Farmington in 1995. Darcey resides in Dixmont with her husband Victor and their two children, Charles and Abigail.

Gina Davis

Gina is contributing to the LCA K-3 Magic School Bus program.

Jen Massow

Jen is contributing to the LCA K-3 Magic School Bus program.

Jennifer McKenzie

Hi! My name is Jennifer McKenzie. Im a Realtor with Keller Williams, member of the Wayfair UK team, and a single mother to 4 beautiful souls I am blessed to call my children! I am an amateur photographer and enthusiast. I've always been drawn to the arts, since childhood. Unfortunately the opportunities weren't there for me to pursue these interests as a child. That is why I believe in the mission of LCA and realize how important it is to bring these opportunities to children here in Maine. Im excited to be helping out in any way I can!

Gretchen Gehrke

Gretchen Gehrke has been involved in many local volunteer efforts. Gretchen completed her studies in Economics and graduated from Colby College. Then she pursued additional education and training at Emory University and Yale University. She worked for nearly thirty years as Physician Assistant for Newport Family Practice, Newport, ME. She retired from her medical practice and invested time and effort in creating a youth sporting organization, MidMaine Lacrosse. This effort brings opportunity to many local youth and brought well over two hundred thousand dollars worth of investment, equipment and training to our local area.
Gretchen conceptualized the Lights Camera Action program in 2017. Along with many and especially Lisa Neal, Greg and Dawn Wiers, Cheri Neal and Mary Nadeau, LCA has evolved into a highly successful program which helps youth from across the State of Maine and also helps to fund the Nokomis Drama Program. No success is possible with out a team of participants, leaders and business supporters. Gretchen is so very thankful for all that have contributed in so many ways to help so many children.

Brandy Cloutier

Miss Brandy is a local dance studio owner. Balance Yoga and Dance Center is located in Palmyra ME. She teaches Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip hop and Yoga to ages 3-adult. Bringing joy to our community is the goal.

Nathan Roach

Nathan Roach: Mild-mannered ed tech, tutor and soccer coach by day, internationally recognized singer, actor and voice-over talent by night: Nathan has been a teaching artist for Penobscot Theatre Company's Shakespeare in the Schools program for over 5 years, teaching about the Bard and stage combat to students in middle and high schools across the state. He was fight choreographer for Nokomis Drama productions of "The Taming of the Shrew" and "The Servant of Two Masters", as well as Penobscot Theatre Dramatic Academy productions of "Romeo and Juliet" and "Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" and Ten Bucks Theatre's "Dracula".

Gary Dorman

Gary Dorman has been involved in theater since 1982 when he was a founding member of the Levi Stewart Theater in Corinna. He has been involved in all aspects of theater production from acting, set construction, house management, to directing. Since 2010 Gary has been the director of all of the Levi Stewart Productions. Gary also has performed for the last 10 years in over 20 productions at Lakewood Theater in Madison.

Elizabeth Harding

My name is Elizabeth harding I attended le cordon bleu in Boston graduated with high honors. I have since started a small at home business for baking and cakes as well as work with my local vocational school working with culinary arts students

Kathryn Miller

Kathryn Miller is a musician, singer, songwriter, piano teacher, who loves to spark creativity, learning, and a lifelong love of music in her students. She has four daughters who have caught the ​music bug and wants to see people of all ages discover music they love.

Paddy Aidan

Paddy Aidan is the Art teacher at Maine Central Institute. She is a professional artist in painting and puppetry. Paddy has worked in puppet theater in several states and various theaters and schools. She has worked as a Teaching Artist in the Education for the Arts program were among other classes, she taught puppetry workshops to build self awareness, positive impulse control, and team dynamics through collaboration in puppetry.
Come explore the transformative powers of suspended disbelief and learning through play.

Bobbie-Joe Gerry

Bobbie-Joe Gerry is a Wife and Mom of 4 favorite children. She is a creative woman who uses her talents in crafting and fiber work to benefit others. Her family, promoting Autism education, advocating for animals, and volunteering within the community are very important to her.

Betsy Dorman

Betsy Dorman is a retired teacher who now spends her days being creative through theater, music, and crafting. A charter member of the Levi Stewart Community Theater in Corinna, she has acted in over 30 plays since 1982. She enjoys being creative with paper and fabric and owns a huge collection of both. (Her family threatens to put her onto an episode of "Hoarders") Shes teaches adult classes weekly at her "studio" in Corinna and is thrilled to offer classes here at LCA.

Tiani Chanel Smith


Shawna Melanson

Shawna is an ACSM certified personal trainer and holds a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. Shawna loves sharing her passion and knowledge of fitness to help others reach their goals. She incorporates a multitude of training techniques, all of which create a challenging and fun environment.

Eric Rowell

I am a youth, middle school, and High school Coach. I coach a variety of sports that include, Lacrosse, football, basketball. I am a husband and father of two.

Shane Cloutier

Mr. Cloutier really likes hitting things. No, seriously; he went to college to learn how to hit things and make noises. Now he is teaching band at Somerset Valley Middle School, and loving every minute of it. He is always very excited to teach other people how to hit things, too!

Debbie Bubar

Debbie Bubar teaches 5th & 6th grades at Warsaw Middle School in Pittsfield. A lover of the arts, she likes to help out with Nokomis Show Chorus sets and costumes. She has always dreamed of singing and dancing on stage and screen but can do neither, so instead enjoys it all from back stage!

Kathy Dyer

I love to share art and ideas with kids& adults.....and I love to see them discover ordinary things around them in a new and different way . The ability to see from another perspective is an important part of living life with other people…..

Jennifer Snowman

Jennifer Snowman is a Madison school district music teacher who works with students in grades K-8. She plays the flute, sax, and enough piano to be dangerous. She graduated from Nokomis a few years ago and now lives in Canaan with her husband, 4 children, 2 cats, 21 chickens, and 1 naughty, but 'oh so cute' beagle.

Ashley Malmquist

2013 Nokomis High School Graduate - Fitness Coach at Newport Cultural Center - Nokomis Regional High School Varsity Cheerleading Coach.

Anne Dailey

Anne Dailey believes that handwork can save the world! Well, maybe not quite, but it certainly can help us to calm our minds and pull ourselves away from our screens. She has been knitting for the past 20 years. Her favorite knitting projects are those that she can force her 17 month old son, Otto, to wear. She is also an English teacher at Nokomis Regional High.

Hannah Armstrong

My name is Hannah Armstrong and I am a senior at Nokomis Regional High. I wish to become an elementary school teacher in the future.

Tia Welch


Mary Alice Gould

Mary Alice Gould received her degree in education from the University of Maine in Orono and was the education director and vice president for the major credit card company MBNA for over 12 years. Since then she has been the rec director for the towns of Etna and Dixmont, as well as the towns’ middle school girls’ coach for soccer and basketball. She has recently taken on the role of president of Mid-Maine Lacrosse, and has been the coach of the high school girls’ team for 2 years and the middle school boys’ team for 3 years. She is the co-owner of H2O Well Drilling in Dixmont, along with her husband, Trevor Gould. She is an active volunteer in any and all capacities, whether it be coaching K-12 sports; helping out in fundraising events; organizing, managing, and facilitating various athletic camps; sewing costumes and providing hair and makeup for various performances, or anything inbetween. She finds her inspiration and motivation from being the proud mother of both Mariah and Maxwell, and from her wonderful husband of 25 years.

Kristen Alberts

I am Kristen Alberts and I am the general music and chorus teacher at Somerset Valley Middle School/St. Albans Consolidated School. This is my first year in this district and third year teaching overall. I taught half-time at the Albert S. Hall School in Waterville before this year doing 4th and 5th grade general music and 5th grade chorus. Chorus is my absolute favorite thing to teach, and I cannot wait to work with the very special 4-6 graders here at LCA! I also am a pianist and will be accompanying the K-3 group!

Marilyn Buzzy

Ms. Marilyn Buzy Originally from western NewYork, Ms. Buzy received her bachelors degree from West Virginia University, and is a National Board Certified Teacher. She has been a music educator for 33 years teaching in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine. Marilyn is fortunate to have conducted Maine District Bands, Choruses and Jazz Bands as well as the KV Junior Band and Chorus several times. Ms Buzy has worked at the State, and District level in a variety of capacities, as well as managing the Junior and Senior KV groups and served as President of KVMEA. Six years ago she became MSAD #53’s Pre K-Grade 4 General Music Educator at Vickery and Manson Park Elementary Schools in Pittsfield Maine, joining the rest of her family in MSAD# 53. Ms. Buzy teaches Percussion at Colby College and as a percussionist has performed throughout New England with the New England Wind Ensemble in Manchester NH, the Metropolitan Wind Symphony in Boston, The Portland Ballet, and regularly for Farmington, Bates, Bowdoin and Colby College ensembles. She has played “in the pit” for area high school musical productions and for the Waterville Opera House's musical productions. Marilyn has been the drummer for the Edith Jones Project and serves as the Musical Director for Congregation Beth El in Bangor Maine. Ms Buzy is delighted to have been invited to conduct this years’s KV Junior Chorus and hopes the student’s enjoy her repertoire choices and have a memorable experience!

RaQuion Braxton

Braxton is a Sophomore at Colby College, and he is double majoring in Theatre with a musical theatre concentration and Government. Braxton is from Virginia Beach and is still getting used to freezing New England winters, and the general lack of sweet tea in the north. Outside of class, you can find Braxton singing, acting, tap dancing, reading, or binge watching the latest drama on Netflix! Braxton loves, acting and directing and any and everything else that even remotely has to do with Theatre.

Stephanie Salmi

Stephanie Salmi has been instructing children and adults in classical ballet since 2001. She has had extensive training at some of the country’s most elite schools of dance. Born in Miami, Florida she began her training with ballet Master, Ursino Del Valle. At only the age of seven she had the opportunity to audition and was cast in a semi-professional production of the ballet Dracula. The following year she was asked to be a part of the same production and Jr. Company. Later she was accepted to the Miami City Ballet School, the affiliated school of the Miami City Ballet professional company. At the age of fourteen she was accepted and continued her pre-professional training at the HARID Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida. There she studied modern dance, jazz, character/folk dance, and historic dance with a concentration in the Vagonava method of classical ballet. She studied under full scholarship at HARID for four years and graduated as the Valedictorian of her class in 2000. Stephanie attended various summer intensives throughout her training including the National Russian Ballet Seminar, the HARID Conservatory, North Carolina School of the Arts, The Hartford Ballet, and The Milwaukee Ballet School.
In 2001 she joined the Montgomery Ballet in Alabama and in 2002 the Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida. Before her relocation to Greenville, Maine in 2010, she danced as a principal in the 2009 production of The Nutcracker for Ballet Wichita in Kansas. In the spring of 2010 she was asked to choreograph and later became the dance coach and part of the cast for the Hutchinson Community College’s recreation of the Broadway show Chicago.
In addition to Stephanie’s dance training background and professional performance experience, she has been on staff or served as a guest instructor at various dance schools since 2001. These schools include The Dancexchange, The Montgomery Ballet School, Artistree, The Pointe School of Dance, Wichita School of Performing Arts (WSPA), Bethal College Academy of Performing Arts (BCAPA), and close to home at the Piscataquis Regional YMCA as their dance program instructor. She also had the pleasure of working with one of the talented students at the Greenville School’s 2012 Bugsy Malone production. While residing in Greenville, Maine, Stephanie started her own dance school, Greenville School of Classical Ballet which now is under a 501c3 as the Dance Division for Greenville School for the Arts, which she serves as Artistic Director. In her most recent endeavors of 2018, Stephanie was grateful to perform again as a Contributing Artist for The Robinson Ballet’s on tour productions of The Nutcracker in Machias, Caribou, and Bar Harbor, Maine. She finished her dance season with performances at the Collins Center with The Bangor Symphony Orchestra, for the Nutcracker with the Robinson Ballet. When Stephanie is not in the studio teaching or on the stage, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family and enjoys skiing the slopes of Big Squaw Mt. with her 12yr old daughter and love of her life, Kristalyn. Stephanie is excited to continue her love of teaching dance with the Boothbay Harbor Regional YMCA!

Diane Wheeler

Diane will bring her moved loved dog Grace to conduct the dog agility workshops. Grace is a 10 year old border collie. She was adopted when she was 9 weeks old from a rescue group, she came from Arkansas. She was very shy when she was young. Agility has helped her blossom! She has won numerous championships and also has her grand championship. She has also been to National events twice. Grace loves frisbee and playing ball, and enjoys playing with her French Bulldog sister and Border collie brother. But her favorite thing to do is jump in your lap and give hugs and kisses.

Thank you to all 2018 LCA Sponsors!

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Nokomis Lights Camera Action

291 Williams Road

Newport, Maine 04953

+1 207-368-4354 +1 207-368-4354



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