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Instructors’ Bios

KATYA ANDRIEVSKAIA

Katya has an extensive background in fine arts and design. She has lived in Vermont since 2005 and has a BA in Studio Art from the University of Vermont. Drawing, illustration, watercolor painting and crafts are her favorite hobbies. Katya grew up in Moscow, Russia, where she studied fine arts, oil painting and environmental design. A graphic designer by trade, she has over 8 years of professional experience. Her work can be seen at https://behance.net/_Katya_.

SAMANTHA BELLINGER

Samantha is a local artist. She is the museum educator at SUNY Plattsburgh where she regularly leads art classes for the community. She has her BA in Art and Art History and a Masters in Arts Administration. She is looking forward to adding to the arts opportunities in the Islands.

JOYCE BENVENUTO

Joyce is a local poet who has written two books of poetry. She is also a retired high school English teacher who taught literature and creative writing for 18 years. For the last three years she has given poetry readings at the North Hero library. Joyce received her degree from Michigan State University. She has three children and four grandchildren.

JOE COMEAU

Joe received his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Buffalo. He is Vice President of the Vermont Astronomical Society. Orchard Hill Observatory was built at his home in South Alburgh in 2003 and has been used for astrophotography, imaging classes and public viewing events since that time. As a professional scientist, he works for several large companies in Northern Vermont.

LINDA FORRER

Linda is a resident of Grand Isle and has 25 plus years experience presenting Myers Briggs Type Indicator workshops in Vermont and New York to diverse groups including teachers, students, health professionals, the military and also to individuals and couples.

CAROL FOURNIER

Carol enjoys the creative side of life as a writer, painter and harpist. Carol is the founder and director of the Silver Dove Institute (www.silverdoveinstitute.com) providing professional training for spiritual directors, spiritually oriented counselors and seekers since 1996 in Vermont and internationally. An author and retreat director, she has a private practice in South Burlington, VT. During her career in education and communication, she served as the producer and creative director for documentaries, national teleconferences and distant learning initiatives.

MAEVE KIM

Maeve Kim has been a birder for decades, starting out in her backyard and on family camping trips. About twenty years ago, she started going on birding trips and has now visited fourteen states, three Canadian provinces and one Caribbean country. She has spent thousands of hours walking alone in remote areas, soaking in the beauty of nature and ogling birds.

At home in Vermont, Maeve has led over two dozen bird walks through the Green Mountain Club and for local libraries. She has participated in citizen science projects such as the five-year Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas survey, loon counts, whip-poor-will surveys, two Vermont
“bioblitzes”, and grassland bird counts for Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge. She has also been a featured speaker at events held by Green Mountain Audubon, Rutland Audubon, Mad Birders Club and the Jericho Underhill Garden Society. Maeve has published several articles about birding, including features in the summer 2012 and spring 2015 issue of BirdWatching magazine.

Since fall 2013, Maeve has taught birding classes at local high school community access programs, libraries, people’s homes and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute on the UVM campus.

TANYA RETZ

Tanya is the owner of Mama’s Gardens, a garden maintenance, renovation and design company in North Hero. She started her business in 2014 and her company has grown to servicing over 40 clients and employing two people. While her business is fairly new, Tanya has been
working in the horticultural industry, from a young age. Growing up she worked in her father’s nursery business in Massachusetts. Tanya was part of the planning team for the very successful 2017 Vermont Flower Show and she is currently studying to take the Vermont Certified Horticulturist exam.

TONY PIETRICOLA

Tony Pietricola graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelor of Music Degree and a major in Music Education. He received his Masters of Music Degree in musical performance on the clarinet from Northern Illinois University and earned additional credits from Arizona State University, the Eastman School of Music, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Vermont and Southern New Hampshire University. In October of 2005 Tony received an award from the Flynn Theatre for the Performing Arts, read by Wynton Marsalis, recognizing him for his contributions to jazz education.

A regular saxophone and clarinet member of the Vermont Jazz Ensemble, he also has performed with the Vermont Symphony, Lyric Theatre Orchestra, Vermont Winds, Vermont Saxophone Ensemble, Jenni Johnson, St. Michael’s Summer Theatre, Bach Winds, Swinging Vermont Big Band, the Cape Cod Symphony and various small ensembles around the State of Vermont.

STEPHANIE SOULES

Stephanie is the Outreach Coordinator for Lake Champlain Access TV, where she teaches camps and workshops including video camera techniques, digital editing and stop motion animation. She has been with LCATV since 2010 and has a BA from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, where she majored in Journalism with a minor in Studio Art.

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