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Summer 2023 SMARTS Staff

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ADMINISTRATION

 

Sherye Weisz (she/her) - Executive/Artistic Director:  Sherye has been involved in the arts and education for over thirty-five years. Growing up in Providence, RI, Sherye took classes at Rhode Island School of Design, was a company member of the nationally known Looking Glass Theatre Company, played flute in state-wide groups and continued her creative pursuits at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York; Emerson College, Boston; and University of Calgary, Alberta. Sherye has been executive/artistic director of SMARTS since 1988. She was on the faculty of Lesley University, Cambridge, MA in the Creative Arts in Learning graduate program for 15 years and was president & artistic director of The UnCommon Theatre Company, a local regional children’s theatre, for 18 years. Sherye is also an educational consultant, providing regional school districts with long and short-term in-service programs that address strategies to enhance student learning through STEAM, integrated arts curriculum and assessment design. She served on the Fine Arts Advisory Council to the MA Commissioner of Education for 6 years and was a member of the Massachusetts Alliance for Arts Education for many years and is currently on the board of Arts|Learning. Sherye’s greatest joys come from her husband Jim of 42 years, her 3 children and her 6 grandchildren.

 

 

Tori Augusta (she/her) - Program Director/Office Manager: Tori is a practicing artist and has worked with children for over 10 years. She has been with SMARTS since early 2016. She graduated from UMass Dartmouth in 2012 with a BFA in Design/Photography. Tori was born and raised in Mansfield, MA and is passionate about arts in our community. When Tori is not at SMARTS she spends her time with her partner and 6 year old son, and enjoys making art and going thrifting.



 

Alan Clavette (he/him) - Administrative Assistant:  Alan teaches music at Studley Elementary School in Attleboro. He earned his Bachelors in Music Education at the University of New Hampshire and his Masters of Arts in Teaching at Bridgewater State University. He is a native of North Attleboro, Massachusetts and attended the SMARTS Cabaret Program for several years.  Alan is a returning SMARTS veteran teacher after taking a break for some years and is super excited for this summer.



 

 

 

TEACHING ARTISTS

 

Pete Tarsi (he/him) – Drama Teacher: Pete holds a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing and Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master's Degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts. He has just published his sixth Young Adult, his third under a pen name along with his popular "Flipping the Scales" trilogy published under his own name. Pete has been teaching physics for twenty-five years at Attleboro High School, where he is also the after-school Drama Coach. During his time there, he has world premiered four of his own original plays. His one-act play "Tracks" has been published by the Dramatic Publishing Company of Woodstock, Illinois--one of the three largest play catalogs in the country--and ranked in the top ten most produced short plays by high schools in the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years. Pete has three awesome daughters, who all participated in the SMARTS Summer Institute.

 

 


 

Seth Antonitis (he/him)- Percussion Teacher: Seth has been assisting and teaching percussion at the SMARTS Summer Institute for 21 years. He began drumming 25 years ago, mastering several percussion instruments in the process. He is a longstanding member of the Rhythm Room under bandleader Rick Morin and is a freelance musician and private lesson teacher. Seth’s method of teaching centers on passing down knowledge in a fun, interesting, and energetic fashion. Seth earned his BA in Philosophy from The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

 

 

 

Claire Munley (she/her) - Visual Arts Teacher: Claire is a practicing artist and has been working with children and teens in the arts for over 9 years. Being her second year with SMARTS, she's excited to bring her passion for painting, drawing, printmaking, textile design, and other media to the program. Earning a BFA in Art Education from UMass Dartmouth in 2014, followed by an MAE in 2020, she's always trying to learn new things to bring to the table. She enjoys spending sunny afternoons in her at-home studio, painting or sewing, accompanied by her cats Mona Lisa and Moose. 

 

 

Natalie Young (She/her) - Expressions Teacher:  Natalie has been a special education teacher for 10 years and has a lifelong passion for visual arts processes like ceramics and fluid art. She mainly works with ceramics and has been practicing since high school, took classes as part of her Bachelors of Art program at Wheelock College and has since continued her own growth through practice and exploration of varying hand building and glazing techniques. Recently, through her own use of art as self expression, she has begun to explore how to help children communicate their feelings and regulate emotions through the use of art. She also holds a Masters Degree in Special Education and has been a preschool special education teacher ever since. She loves to integrate different art modalities into her classroom curriculum. When she’s not in the classroom she enjoys yoga, hiking, live music and creating art. 

Nicole C. Laliberté- Dance Teacher: Nicole C. Laliberté, artistic director of Freedom Dances, performed with Sidelong Dance Co., Boston Dance Co., EBA Dance Theatre, and Honolulu Dance Theatre, among others. Nicole has danced, taught, and choreographed in Rhode Island, Boston, New York, Hawaii, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, and St. Petersburg, Russia. Currently she is on the faculty at AS220 in Providence, as well as studios in RI and CT.  Nicole is a recipient of a RISCA Individual Project Grant in Choreography in support of her October 2022 production at The Stadium Theatre, La Survivance – An Evening Celebrating French Canadian Heritage. Her current project, a video archive of local French Canadians sharing stories from their youth, is sponsored by a mini grant from the RI Humanities Council. Nicole is excited to be joining the SMARTS Creative Team in  and looks forward to working with this talented group of arts educators and students.

Phylicia Deighan (she/her) - Preschool Program Teacher
Phylicia has been working with children for over 10 years! She originally went to college for Criminal Justice and quickly realized that was not the path for her
. She transferred to Fisher College and started her Early Childhood Education journey. She loves working with children- it  is her passion! Phylicia grew up in North Attleboro and moved to Attleboro a few years ago with her husband and two children. She currently is an Elementary SPED Paraprofessional in the public school system and she absolutely loves it! If Phylicia is not at work or home with her children, you can find her at the dance studio! She started at the same dance studio that her daughter currently attends when she was 3 years old. Music is also a huge part of her life- her husband plays drums in a band! Phylicia Ioves country music and spending summers out by a campfire with her family. She is super excited to join the SMARTS Creative Team!

GROUP LEADERS/ GROUP LEADER ASSISTANTS

 

 

 

Matthew Wright: Matthew Wright is a group leader for his third summer! Matthew participated in the summer program for many years as a young child and continues having fun and making every day at SMARTS a good day for everybody. He’s so excited to start again this year!!

Madison Durrick: Maddy, an Attleboro high school senior, worked at SMARTS last summer and is so excited to be back!. She loves drawing, painting, and crafts. She can’t wait to see everyone again! 

 

 

 

 

 

Greeshma Sasidharan: Greeshma Sasidharan is a Civil Engineer and a trained Classical Dancer. Greeshma is from India (Kerala) and has lived in MA for 1.5 years. She enjoys arts, crafts, music, dance and working with young children. Greeshma worked at the 2023 SMARTS Winter Institute where her young daughter also participated. She is super excited to meet everyone this summer !!

 

 

Zoe Govoni: Zoe is going to be a junior at Dighton Rehoboth Regional high School. She is in the early childhood education program at D/R. This is her first time as a SMARTS group leader. 
 

Caroline Wright: Caroline Wright is in 11th grade at Attleboro high school. In her free time she loves to bake, horseback ride, fish and draw! She is so excited for her first year as a SMARTS group leader!

Sherryssah Lafume (She,Her): Sherryssah Lafume is 16 years old.She is currently a student at Attleboro High School and art is her passion.  Art has been something she has been interested in and plans to major in art in college. Being a part of this program will allow her to spread her love for art with others. 

Raphaiah Joseph (He,Him)  Raphaiah Joseph is going to be a senior at Foxborough Regional Charter School this fall. Recently he has found a love for traveling when he went to Thailand with his school. He loves to make bracelets and tumble. He can't wait to meet all the staff and campers this summer!

 

Lizzy Kalish: (she/her) Lizzy Kalish is a Sophmore at Attleboro High School and this is her first year working with SMARTS! She loves all things music, plays multiple instruments, and sings. She also is very involved with Triboro Youth Theatre and Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. She is so excited for this summer!

 

 

 

 


Ruby Bates: (she/they) Ruby is an incoming sophomore at Attleboro High School! They been dancing for their whole life, and has done a total of 7 performing arts shows. Ruby has even won an acting excellence award!! Ruby takes cosmetology at AHS and hopes to become an actor, or a stage makeup-artist! Also, Ruby is working on writing a book. Ruby is so excited to join the SMARTS team and meet everyone!
 

 

Anne Luc: Anne is a sophomore at Attleboro High School. She loves working with children and has been a babysitter for her choir director’s children. Anne loves to sing and dance and is in her  school's chorus, her church choir and is a majorette dancer at  her school. Anne says, “I also love drawing even though I’m not so great.” She worked at the SMARTS Winter Institute this year in February and is so excited to be part of the group leader team this summer. 

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