Arts Faculty

Belle Struck '94, Fine Arts Department Chair, Visual Art
Arizona State University; Portland State University; Lesley University, BFA
Belle Struck, 1994 graduate of the Academy, was appointed in 2006 to teach visual art and media classes. She is our department chair. She is a working painter and printmaker, and has exhibited works in Boston, Europe, and the North Shore. She is currently working on her Masters in Art Education at Lesley University. In January 2011, one of her etchings was accepted into the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

To visit Belle's website, please click here

David Oxton, Photography
Boston University; Massachusetts College of Art; Rockport College, MFA
Appointed in 1992, David Oxton is a working commercial and fine art photographer. His images have appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Newsweek magazine. For the past several years, David has been working on a project in which he has taken over 500 portraits of strangers on the street. He also teaches at the Maine Photographic Workshops during the summer.

To visit David's website, please click here.

Paul Wann, Drama
University of Minnesota, BA; Tufts University, MA
Paul is a graduate of The University of Minnesota (BA in American Studies) and Tufts University (MA in English and Secondary Education.) A Sager-taught public speaker, he teaches all 9th graders in the Public Presentation Skills semester of Introduction to Fine Arts. With Danielle Kingsbury, he facilitates the PPS Symposium which is a weekly feature of the PPS course. He also directs two seasons of Afternoon Program: Drama. An actor, playwright and storyteller, he may be seen most summers performing in plays produced by Theatre-in-the-Open at Maudslay State Park in Newburyport. 

Geoff Brace, Visual Art; Drama
University of Wisconsin, BS; Lesley University, M.Ed.
Appointed in 1999, Geoff teaches courses in Film, Art, and directs one season of Afternoon Drama. He is also involved in a joint effort between youth groups of Lawrence, MA and The Governor's Academy, as they share in the joy of creative exploration.

Joe Repczynski, Technical Theater
University of New Hampshire, BA
Joe was appointed to the faculty of the Academy in 2002 after having worked as a professional stagehand in the entertainment industry for many years. He has worked on many national productions, such as Blue Man Group, and has served as Technical Director for North Shore Music Theatre's 'Summer Stages' programs. Joe also recently founded a photography company and has shot many weddings across the region, and even as far away as Scotland.

Currie Joya Huntington, Director of Choral Music
Connecticut College, BA in Music
Currie joined The Governor’s Academy in 2011 and was appointed to the teaching faculty in 2015 after four years in the Information Technology department. The director of the Academy Singers and The First, Currie also teaches courses in music theory, music history, and electronic music. In the IFA program, Currie uses a Kodály-based approach to teach musicianship to ninth grade students. He is the music director of the annual Broadway-style musical theater production in the winter afternoon program season. A frequent performer in Boston-area choirs, Currie currently sings with Coro Allegro and is the Assistant Conductor of the New England Classical Singers. He advises Spectrum and the student a cappella group, and coaches 3rds boys' lacrosse in the spring. A former dorm parent in Perkins and Moody, Currie now lives in Somerville, MA with his husband.

Monica Benton PalmerDean of Faculty & Drama

University of California, Santa Barbara, BA; Columbia University, MFA; University of Pennsylvannia, Ed.D.

Monica graduated with a BA in Dramatic Arts and Law & Society from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has a MFA in Theater from Columbia University, a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Teachers College Klingenstein Center for Independent Schools at Columbia University, and an Ed.D. in Educational and Organizational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. Before coming to Governor’s in 2017, Monica worked at Lake Forest Academy in Illinois where she served for six years as a dorm parent, theater director, and Director of the Fine and Performing Arts Department, and at the Madeira School in Virginia where she served as a teacher, dorm parent, department chair, enrollment manager for diversity outreach, and parent liaison to the parent’s association in the Head’s office. In addition to her role as Dean of Faculty at the Academy, she directs the fall play, teaches acting in the Introduction of Arts (IFA) course, and serves on the Administrator-on-Duty (AOD) team. Monica lives on campus with her husband and their three sons: one a member of the Academy's class of 2021.

Barbara Friend, Director of Instrumental Music
Ithaca College, BM in Music Education; New England Conservatory, MM in Instrumental Conducting

A native of Rowley, MA, Barbara joined the Academy in 2018 and is the parent of a 2016 Governor’s graduate. She received her undergraduate degree from Ithaca College in Music Education and Clarinet Performance and received her Masters in Instrumental Conducting from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. She has taught in a variety of school settings and brings over twenty years of teaching and conducting experience to the department. She is deeply committed to creating a compassionate, dynamic, and supportive learning environment. Barbara is the director of the Academy Orchestra, Jazz Band, and Jazz Combo and also teaches courses in music theory, music history, and guitar. She works with the pit orchestra for the musical and is involved with the afternoon community service program.

Shanna Fliegel, Ceramics
James Madison University, BFA in Studio Art; Southern Illinois University, MFA in Studio Art/Ceramics
Shanna Fliegel grew up in Northwest New Jersey. After graduating with a BFA in Studio Art from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia in 2001 she went on to complete ceramic residencies at the Cub Creek Foundation in Appomattox, Virginia and Greenwich House Pottery in New York City. Drawing and painting were Shanna’s first love and she continued to search for the perfect marriage of imagery and clay while fulfilling her MFA in Studio Art/Ceramics at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville from 2005-2008.

After graduate school Shanna worked as a resident artist, community outreach fellow, and instructor at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, New York. Here she enjoyed working with the local community, and taught as a resident artist at Brunswick Academy in Greenwich, Connecticut. In 2010 Shanna was accepted as a summer resident at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana, and soon thereafter accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Art/Ceramics at Montana State University in Billings, Montana from 2010-2014. In 2013, she was awarded the Winston and Helen Cox Fellowship Award for outstanding service, teaching, and scholarship.

Shanna most recently taught Ceramics at the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC while maintaining a studio practice at her home in New Bern, North Carolina. She successfully presented two curatorial projects in March during NCECA 2018 (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Shanna spent two weeks in Maine in 2018 working on a new body of work in August at the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts. She will be living in Ingham dorm with her husband, two boys, and dog Jersey.

Pamela Smith, Director of Dance
Mount Holyoke, BA in Dance
Pam Smith's training in classical ballet began at an early age and included work with the Joffrey Ballet and with members of the Royale and Pennsylvania Ballet companies. Her modern training includes Cunningham, Graham and Limon techniques and studies with artists from the companies of Paul Taylor, Viola Farber, Dan Wagoner, and Twyla Tharp. Her theater work includes James Lapine's OBIE Award winning "Photograph" and "Twelve Dreams". She has been a recipient of an individual artist grant from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts for productions involving her own dance company. She has been Director of Dance at three high schools for The Performing Arts in Connecticut, including a summer residency program for talented youth at Wesleyan University. She also was Director of the Children's School at Stanley Holden's Studio in Los Angeles. She has been an artist in residence at the University of Bridgeport and on the faculty at Albertus Magnus College and Bradford College. She has been a guest artist for Exit Dance Theater, Phillips Exeter, and Wheaton College. 

Fontaine Dollas Dubus, Dance
Bradford College, BA in Arts; The Art Institute of Boston, BA in Illustration
Fontaine has been trained in a multitude of dance techniques including jazz, ballet, modern, tap, hip-hop, contemporary, Latin, flamenco, and African. An Arts major at Bradford College, and Illustration major at The Art Institute of Boston, she started teaching dance as a student. She realized dance was her true passion and began teaching at The Dance Place of Newburyport in 1984, and at then Governor Dummer Academy from 1985 to 1994. She now owns and runs The Dance Place and returned to the Academy in 2007. In 1987 she co-founded the modern dance company, Exit Dance Theatre. She also directs a youth dance company, Joppa Dance Co. She continues to study and teach several styles of dance. Ms. Dubus also acts, directs and writes for theater. 

Adjunct Arts Faculty

Radmila Repczynski, Choral Accompanist; Piano Instruction
Radmila has accompanied choirs/soloists and taught piano studies at the Academy since her appointment in 2003. With both a BM (University of New Mexico) and a MM (New England Conservatory) in Piano Performance, Mrs. Repczynski has been an invaluable asset to our music program. Also an adjunct faculty member at Phillips Exeter for nearly 20 years, she lives in Newburyport with her husband and four children.

Bonnie Jean Wilbur, Drama Assistant; Costume Shop
Bonniejean is a graduate of Hampshire College. She is an actress, director, storyteller, teacher and costumer. She has costumed all the plays staged in the Bergmann Theater. In addition, she has overseen the design and growth of our costume/prop shop known affectionately as “The Underground Castle”. A much sought after theater director and teacher of improvisational acting, Bonniejean’s most recent project was directing “The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Abridged” produced at The Firehouse in Newburyport.

Julie Pike Edmond, Dance 
Julie uses her experience as a professional dancer, choreographer, and body worker to teach students how to move in concert with their natural abilities - simultaneously encouraging young dancers to push their creative boundaries while maintaining happy, healthy bodies. Julie began her academic pursuits in Dance Education and Performance at Columbia College in Chicago and completed her BFA at Bradford College. Julie runs an independent Shiatsu, Craniosacral, and Reiki practice in Newburyport, MA. She continuously dances and performs, runs her massage practice, and integrates different aspects of training into her teaching and movement style. She has taught Modern Dance, Choreography, Creative Movement, and Body Awareness classes throughout the Greater Boston area. She currently teaches at Ipswich Moving Company School of Dance, The Dance Place, and The Governor's Academy. Julie has had the pleasure of dancing with Brian Crabtree, Caitlin Corbett, Ego Art Inc, Exit Dance Theatre, Falling Flight Project, Nicola Hawkins, and Weber Dance. Julie currently performs with Exit Theatre and in her own group, the Turn Pike Project- an experimental contemporary dance company. Her works and collaboration projects were performed in New York, Boston, Newburyport, and Ipswich.

Susan Scheuer, Pilates Instructor
University of Wisconsin Madison, BS Physical Education; Northeastern University, MS Exercise Physiology
Susan worked in CardioPulmonary Rehab and Wellness for Pentucket Medical in Haverhill and Beverly Hospital for 10 years while teaching Pilates mat and equipment classes on the side. She now owns and runs Body Basics Pilates and Fitness Studio, LLC in Rowley since 2000.

She has taught Pilates and Yoga classes in the community at EBSCO, The Dance Place, Topsfield Karate Studio, and Rowley Council on Aging. Susan has given lectures on fitness, posture and lifestyle in the community.

She is certified as a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist thru ACSM, Pilates Mat and Equipment initially certified with Physical Mind Institute - 1999 and Pilates Method Alliance – 2007 and Polestar Pilates 2008. Susan started teaching at The Governor's Academy in 2010.

Music Instructors

Junko Fujiwara- Cello & Strings Coach
Cellist Junko Fujiwara is a jazz improviser and an active classical musician performing in varying venues throughout the East Coast and the Midwest. Her current performing groups include: Eric Hofbauer Quintet, BOLT: Adventurous Improvised Music, Mimi Rabson’s String Theory Trio, a semi-improvised/original composition trio, a recurring duo with pianist Steve Lantner, and the Evocation Trio based out of Milwaukee. She is also a member of the classical chamber group Kalliope Piano Trio.

Ms. Fujiwara holds cello faculty positions at Boston College (where she also coaches chamber groups and directs the cello ensemble), Masconomet Regional School in Topsfield, Ipswich Public Schools, and also maintains a studio of private students. Ms. Fujiwara has a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Junko Fujiwara can be heard on the Eric Hofbauer Quintet’s double CD set Prehistoric Jazz Vol. 1 Rite of Spring and Vol. 2 Quintet for the End of Time on the Creative Nation Music label (cnm026) (2014), BOLT’s Shuffle on Driff Records (2014), Joe Morris’s recording Camera (ESP 4063) (2010) Mimi Rabson’s Strings Theory (2012), and Evocation Trio’s Ghosts of the Sea on the label (2013). Please visit her website for more information.

Jared Holaday-Woodwind Specialist
A native of Newburyport, Massachusetts, Jared Holaday holds a B.M. in saxophone performance from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and a M.M. in Modern American Music from the Longy School of Music of Bard College.

An avid performer and multi-instrumentalist, he has been seen on stage with various musical groups throughout New England including: Lux, Groove Alliance, Introduction: The Chicago Experience, 10,000 Maniacs, and the Boston Civic Symphony. He also makes frequent appearances playing in local theater pit orchestras where his ability to play multiple instruments in any style keeps him in demand.

Jared currently teaches music at the Academy as well as the Community Music Center of Boston's Satellite Program at Boston Latin School.

Jack Sciuto-Guitar
Jack has been teaching guitar and electric bass at the Academy for over 25 years. He received his education at Berklee College of Music. Throughout his many years of teaching private lessons he has developed methods to provide fast and fun ways to learn and improve guitar playing. He also draws heavily on many years playing with Rock and Top 40 Bands throughout New England.

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