Summer 2021 SMARTS Staff
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 5 grandchildren.
Tori Augusta (she/her) - Executive Assistant/Program Coordinator: 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 four year old son who cannot wait to join in on the SMARTS fun!
Nichole Speciale (she/her) - Administrative Assistant: Nichole is a practicing visual artist working primarily in drawing. She is the illustrator behind Yellow Ochre Studio, which raises awareness for local farms in Southeastern, MA by painting gouache portraits of their produce. She graduated from Brandeis University with a BS in Studio Art and Art History and she did her graduate work at University of California, San Diego where she received her MFA in Visual Arts.
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.
Katie Antonitis (she/her)-Administrative Assistant-Drop off/Pick Up: Katie is new this year to SMARTS but has been involved with the program for almost 20 years as a supportive wife of a veteran teacher! Katie has been working with children for most of her life as either a babysitter, camp counselor, computer teacher and currently works as an Administrative Assistant at North Attleboro High School. She graduated from the UMASS Dartmouth in 2007 with a BS in Business Administration and a concentration in Marketing. Being a Mom is Katie's favorite role to date and she loves the quirky and fun adventures of parenthood! She is excited for her first "official" summer at SMARTS!!!
Pete Tarsi (he/him) – Creative Writing 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 19 years. He began drumming 20 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.
Juliette Casselman (she,her) - Visual Art Teacher: Juliette Casselman is an art educator, mom, artist, and nature lover. She has been teaching for almost 20 years, in schools,
after school settings, camps, and virtual learning experiences. Juliette loves to watercolor, but works in all forms of art from puppetry, sculpture, murals, and crafting. She has 3 crazy boys, a loud silly husband, 2 black cats that love tuna fish, and a lot of energy. Juliette is super excited to be working in person with SMARTS this year and can’t wait to meet all of the artistic campers in July.
Caitlyn Shepard (she, her) - Dance /Movement Teacher: At the age of two, Caitlyn started her dance education at Shannon O’Brien School of Dance. She continued to dance at this studio until she was nineteen years old, winning metals, trophies, and special awards both regionally and nationally. Caitlyn started assisting in dance classes and became the dance assistant for the SMARTS Summer Institute from 2006-2010. In 2010 Caitlyn choreographed her first dance for Shannon O’Brien School of Dance and won the “Young Choreographer” award at the prestigious American Dance Awards. Caitlyn attended Dean College Dance program, graduating in 2012. She began teaching dance and also entered the fitness industry teaching Zumba at several facilities from 2012-2018 where she found a passion for barre fitness as it incorporated ballet postures with pilates movements and stretching. Currently Caitlyn is a full time trainer at Barre & Soul and with her knowledge of movement and anatomy, has helped train the staff. Caitlyn is excited to bring her passion for movement to SMARTS this summer. She believes that movement is medicine and she is eager to share her passion with kids of all movement levels in the program! Let’s get moving!
GROUP LEADERS/ GROUP LEADER ASSISTANTS
Zoe Morgenweck (she/her): Zoe is an aspiring teacher and former SMARTS student. She loves to paint, draw, and do many other forms of art. Zoe was raised in Rehoboth, MA and attends Dighton-Rehoboth High school. She is a huge fan of Broadway, and loves working in the drama department. She has been in her high school marching band for three years. She can’t wait to share her experience and learn even more this summer!
Lilly Weisz-Nesshoever (she/her): Lilly is a former SMARTS student of 11 years, participating in the Multi-Arts and senior programs. She was raised in Narragansett, Rhode Island, and attends Narragansett High School. Lilly has done theater since early childhood and continues to participate in school and community theater programs. She is also involved with computer science and technology, is the captain of Narragansett High School's robotics team and the vice-president of her high school's Technology Association. Lilly is very passionate about the arts and hopes SMARTS will bring the same creative influence to others as it has to her.
Gabrielle Ready (she/they): Gabrielle was born and raised in Dighton MA and is a sophomore in high school at Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School. She is currently obtaining a certificate in Early Childhood Education and hopes to be a child psychologist after college. You can typically find them reading mystery novels, writing short stories, or making art in their free time.
Matthew Wright: My name is Matthew Wright, and for the past five years up until last summer I have gone to SMARTS camp. Every time it was an amazing experience and I am excited to return to that environment!
Finn Audette: Finneaus Audette is going into his sophomore year at Mt. Hope High School. He has been in chorus since 5th grade, children’s theater groups, Chance to Dance and is an arts appreciator. Finn is passionate about animals, specifically cats. He also loves to learn and help others. Finn is excited to be a part of the SMARTS summer program to help campers learn about the arts and meet new people.
Sean Brumble: Sean was born in Attleboro, MA and raised in Mansfield, MA where he currently lives. He is a rising senior and high honor student at Mansfield High School. Sean is a black belt in Karate and enjoys Krav Maga, Legos, Movies, Video Games, Photography, and Biking.
Desiree Harris (she/her): Desiree was born and raised in Attleboro but moved around a lot. She goes to Attleboro High School. She is about to be a sophomore. After high school she would like to become a plumber or electrician. Outside of school you can find her fishing, mudding or riding her skateboard.
Jay Bozzi (he/him)- Jay is an incoming senior at Attleboro High School and spent a few years in the smarts program. He has been very passionate about art, music, and writing his whole life and is an aspiring art teacher. While not at SMARTS Jay likes to draw and make music.