Past Presenters

See the list of notable presenters who have participated in past Project Connect conferences.
For more, see the list of speakers Asheville School has hosted as part of its ongoing Speaker Series.


Allan Gurganus

Allan Gurganus’s fiction has attracted both critical and popular attention since his days as a graduate student in his twenties at the University of Iowa MFA program.  John Cheever, his teacher and mentor there, submitted Gurganus’s story, “Minor Heroism,” to The New Yorker.  The 1974 publication was Gurganus’s debut.  Fiction by Allan Gurganus—short stories, novellas, and novels—has earned prizes and awards: PEN Syndicated Prizes for fiction, NEA grants, the Ingram Merrill Award, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters for Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction for White People, and the Lambda Literary Award for The Practical Heart.  Readers admire Gurganus’s gifts for storytelling, the range of his characters’ voices, the comic touch and the erotic subject matter that complicate his moral vision.

Watch Allan Gurganus's keynote at the Project Connect 2013 conference.

Tom Taylor

Riverdale Country School (Bronx, NY)

Tom Taylor grew up in Washington, DC and attended St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Potomac, MD.  He is a gradate of Oberlin College with a BA in Physics and Theater and earned his MA from the Klingenstein Program at Teachers College, Columbia University.  Tom has spent the last nine years at Riverdale Country School as a physics teacher, Financial Aid Director, and Dean of Students.  In the fall, Tom will join Breck School (Minneapolis, MN), as their Upper School Director.  

Tom enjoys running, cooking, and spending time with his wife, Sara, and his three year old son, Linus.

John Gregory

Asheville School (Asheville, NC)

John grew up in St. Louis, MO.  He played on back-to-back State Champion football teams at St. Louis Country Day School (now MICDS) and was captain of the Duke Rugby team.  He earned his BA in English from Duke University and his M. Ed. in Secondary English Education from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education.  He taught English in the public schools in Nashville, TN and worked as a stay-at-home dad and poet for four years in Boston, MA. He has run the New York City and Chicago marathons.  John has chaired the Humanities Department at Asheville School for the past ten years, and he has presented workshops on interdisciplinary teaching at TABS, the Hathaway-Brown Innovation Summit, NCAIS, and the Lovett School’s American Studies Institute.  He has taught American Studies, European Studies, and World Studies. 

John’s interests include reading, writing, country music, and playing with his four kids - Jack (Asheville School 2014), Stella (13), Vivian (10), and Willie (7).  He lives on Faculty Drive with his wife (Dr. Kate Gregory) and children.  

John is the Chair of the fully integrated Asheville School Humanities Department.

Will Yeiser

French Broad River Academy (Asheville, NC)

After finishing his master’s in education in school leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the spring of 2009, Will Yeiser returned to Asheville to launch the French Broad River Academy in August 2009.  

While at Harvard, Will studied nontraditional school models and developed the French Broad River Academy. Prior to graduate school, he taught Spanish at Asheville Middle School, KIPP: Asheville Youth Academy, and Warren County Middle School through the Teach for America program.

Before entering the public education sector, Will taught whitewater paddling skills at nearby Camp Mondamin for five summers. He also taught kayaking in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, launched a small whitewater adventure company that led extended paddling trips throughout the Northern Rockies and Northern California, taught at a Swiss kayak school, and also worked as a ski instructor for the Jackson Hole Mountain resort.

Will currently lives near downtown Asheville with his wife Kelly, two boys, Jack and Ayton, and his daughter Everleigh. He and his family are delighted to be back home in Asheville and the southeast as he transforms his dream of creating a river-based school into reality.

Blake Eldridge

Lawrenceville School (Lawrenceville, NJ)

Blake Eldridge has been working in private education for 12 years.  He is currently Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program at The Lawrenceville School, which offers over 40 Interdisciplinary and Service Learning courses, and he is also Director of The Lawrenceville School Camp, a separate non-profit which offers free of charge a rural camp experience for low-income urban youth.  He earned a BA in Philosophy from the University of Chicago and an MA in English from Middlebury's Breadloaf School of English.  He has twice presented at Hathaway Brown's Education Innovation Summit and has directed a number of Interdisciplinary conferences at Lawrenceville. He and his family live on campus, where he also coaches Varsity Soccer and Varsity Baseball.

Jamie Spragins

Gilman School (Baltimore MD)

Jamie Spragins has been teaching European Humanities in a laptop classroom for fifteen years now. Spragins says "I have made all the mistakes. But what works works. Kids learn best when all of their intelligences are stimulated and when they work together to grasp the zeitgeist of an age."  Spragins has been teaching at Gilman School in Baltimore, MD for the past 27 years. Before that he taught challenged teenagers for six years in the Adirondack Wilderness and in Baltimore's inner city. In addition to Spragins's Euro Civ course, he currently teaches American Literature, Russian Studies, and a course focusing on the novel for television, "The Wire".

Jamie Spragins is an alumnus of Williams College, class of '77 and Gilman School, class of '73.

Tom Heck

STEM Educator, Maker, Geek Dad (Asheville, NC)

Tom Heck is trained to teach the "T" and the "E" in STEM education and is a former high school teacher. Tom is a long-time teacher of leadership skills and has worked with over 10,000 elementary, middle and high school students in this arena. Tom volunteers regularly in area elementary, middle, high schools teaching the subjects he loves most (Technology, Engineering, and Leadership). He is a successful inventor and has licensed 15 products to various companies including some of the largest school supply companies in the country. Tom has authored several books and multimedia training programs and regularly teaches classes using distance learning technologies. Tom is currently working with Dr. Mark Sanders of Virginia Tech to conduct and distribute a series of video interviews of middle and high school STEM educators who are doing cutting edge work in "integrative STEM education".

Ed Maggart

Asheville School (Asheville, NC)

Ed began his professional career as a research assistant for Union Carbide at Oak Ridge National Laboratory studying the environmental effects of coal liquefaction. From there Ed decided to shift to education and was hired by Asheville School to teach Chemistry and assist then Director of Mountaineering, Pop Hollandsworth. Subsequently Ed became Director of Mountaineering at Asheville School. Ed is involved with experiential and outdoor education on a regional level.  He recently finished a term serving as Chair for the SE Regional Council for the Association for Experiential Education and he also serves on other outdoor education advisory boards and committees.  

After 33 years of dedicated service to Asheville School, Ed was selected to be Head of School at the College School in St. Louis and began work there July 1st, 2013. 

Ross Peters

The Westminster Schools (Atlanta, GA)

A native of Richmond, Virginia and a thirteen-year graduate of St. Christopher’s School, Ross went to The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee where in 1987 he earned his B.A. in English. Armed with a couple tennis rackets, a Riverside Shakespeare, and a full dose of surprise and gratitude that someone would give him a job, Ross began his teaching career at Providence Day School in Charlotte where he taught, over the course of nine years on the faculty, virtually every English class from grade seven to grade twelve, and he coached at different times tennis and lacrosse. During a year leave of absence from PDS, he received his Masters Degree in Language Education at the University of Georgia in 1995 where he also worked with the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. In 1998, Ross joined the faculty at Asheville School as English Department Chair, tennis coach, and Mountaineering Staff Member. During his ten-year tenure at AS, Ross became the first Humanities Chair, the first Faculty Honor Council Chair, the Dean of Faculty, and finally the Assistant Head for Academic Affairs. In 2007, Ross became the Upper School Director of Hawken School in Cleveland, Ohio. While continuing to teach one section of English, Ross helped lead the school toward significant cultural and strategic work, which included a landmark reimagining of the academic schedule, the opening of a new urban campus, and a strengthened student life program.

Julia Griffin

Hawken School (Cleveland, OH)

A New Hampshire native, Julia Griffin grew up in New York and New England, earning a B.A. from Harvard University in Political Theory and an M.A. in English Literature from Middlebury’s Bread Loaf School of English.  After college she moved to Ohio, where she has spent the past decade learning from her students and her colleagues at Hawken School. She has designed a number of Humanities, English and/or History courses for grades 9-12, including Dramatic Literature, American Studies and Gender Studies courses. Most recently she has been engaged in developing a 9th and 10th grade Humanities sequence at Hawken, where she currently serves as chair of the Humanities Department. When she’s not teaching, Julia’s likely to be experimenting with vegetarian cooking, practicing yoga, or traveling the world with her husband, the intrepid Dr. Jason Davis, and their five month old daughter Cordelia.

Dorothy Moulthrop

Hawken School (Cleveland, OH)

Dorothy Moulthrop has been the Director of Curriculum Design at Hawken School near Cleveland, Ohio, since 2010. In her current position, Dorothy prepares teachers to create and implement innovative curricula in Hawken's new intensive schedule, where students focus on a single course for three weeks at a time. Dorothy began her career teaching English Language Arts and English language learners at San Lorenzo High School in the Bay Area of Northern California. Eventually, she led both the English department and school-wide professional development. Before teaching in Hawken’s Humanities program, she taught English at Shaker Heights High School. A longtime advocate for raising the esteem of the profession, Dorothy has served on the board of the Teacher Salary Project since 2008. She received her B.A. in Comparative Literature and Italian from Northwestern University; her teaching credential from the University of California, Berkeley’s Multicultural Urban Secondary English program; and her M. Ed. from Ursuline College.  She lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio, with her husband Dan Moulthrop and their three children, Nico (7), Elisa (6), and Gabriel (4). When she’s not cooking for her extensive Italian American family, she can be found sweating, rather, breathing through, downward dog pose.

Chris Carter

St. Paul’s School (Concord, NH)

Chris began her teaching career at the Kildonan School, which is a small boarding school for boys, and, after four year, she moved to Foxcroft school which is a small boarding school for girls.  Chris has spent her entire adult life living in apartments attached to dorms and is raising two children who firmly believe that having 35 teenage girls living down the hall from their home is a perfectly normal existence.  Chris joined the faculty at St. Paul’s School as a member of the History department and was one of the founding members of the Humanities department with a starring role on a student t-shirt that read “stop the insanity… stop Humanities.”  Chris has taught every level of the Humanities curriculum at St. Paul’s School and served as the Humanities department chair for the past six years.  This year she is stepping down as head of the Humanities department and stepping up as head of her dorm.  Chris graduated from Amherst College with a Bachelor’s degree in history and earned her Master’s degree from Brown University.  

Sarah Wilson

Laurel School (Shaker Heights, OH)

Dean of Upper School at Laurel School in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Arriving to Asheville School from Teach for America in 2002, Sarah was on the first integrated team with Jim Gardner, and she contributed significantly to the program until her departure in 2011 when she left to earn her master’s degree at Klingenstein.

Trey Wilson

Laurel School (Shaker Heights, OH)

Dean of Learning Beyond the Classroom at Laurel School in Shaker Heights, Ohio.  Trey also directs Laurel School’s Passport and Protégé programs. Trey contributed significantly to Asheville’s integrated humanities program from 1999-2011. He left in 2011 to earn his master’s degree at Klingenstein.  At Asheville he also served as Faculty Chair of the Honor Council.

Ralph Sneeden

Phillips Exeter Academy (Exeter, NH)

Ralph was born in Los Angeles and grew up in New England and on Long Island.  He joined the Phillips Exeter Academy English faculty in 1995, having taught at other independent schools since 1983.  Besides his work as one of the founding instructors at the Exeter Humanities Institute at Exeter, Ralph teaches English, directs the George Bennett Writer-in-Residence Fellowship, and is Continuing Professional Development Coordinator (administering the review process for senior faculty). He lives in New Hampshire with his family and in the summer directs the Damariscotta Lake Writers’ Conference (for teachers) in Maine.  The title poem of his first book Evidence of the Journey (Harmon Blunt, 2007) received the Friends of Literature Prize from POETRY Magazine/Poetry Foundation. His work has appeared, or is about to, in The American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, POETRY, The Prague Review, The New Republic, Slate, Zócalo Public Square and other magazines. His degrees include a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts; M.A. Middlebury College; M.F.A. Warren Wilson College .  He has also been a Klingenstein Fellow at Columbia University, the Bergeron Writing Fellow at the American School in London and a fellow at the MacDowell Colony.

Amanda Swartzlander

Asheville Middle School (Asheville, NC)

Amanda Swartzlander grew up in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. She graduated from the Art Institute in Pittsburgh with a degree in music and film production. After moving to Asheville, North Carolina in 2001, Amanda began work with Asheville City Schools as a secretary at Issac Dickson Elementary, realizing that she was meant to teach, Amanda attended Mars Hill College Adult Access Program and received her BA in Middle Grades Education. Upon graduating from MHC, Amanda has worked at Asheville Middle School as an 8th grade Language Arts and Social Studies teacher. In May 2013, she graduated from Gardner-Webb University with her M.Ed. in Executive Leadership.

Laura Deisley

The Lovett School (Atlanta, GA)

Laura Deisley is Co-Founder of Reimagine:Ed and Director of Strategic Innovation at The Lovett School.  This unique role includes a dynamic range of responsibilities including educational visioning, strategic partnerships, innovative learning, global education, and the development of the school as a learning community.  She designed and now manages key research partnerships with The University of Virginia and Georgia Institute of Technology; facilitates national and regional teaching and learning cohorts; serves on the NAIS Task Force for 21st Century Learning and Technology; and works closely with SAIS on strategic endeavors.

Laura has worked at the intersection of business, education and technology for over 20 years. Her experiences range from large corporate business to educational media, professional development to parenting. Laura brings a unique voice and energy to conversations about learning and change. She is known for her strategic visioning, extensive networking, partnership building, and thoughtful approach to living and learning in a highly-connected, information-abundant culture.

Laura blogs at Architecture of Ideas

Bernadette May-Beaver

The Lovett School (Atlanta, GA)

Bernadette May-Beaver is History Department Chair at The Lovett School in Atlanta, GA. She earned her B.A. in political science from Emory University and her master's degrees in religion from Emory University and the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Bernadette teaches American Studies and Religion at The Lovett School and serves as co-director of Lovett's American Studies Institute, founded in 2004 and dedicated to promoting innovative and interdisciplinary teaching and learning. In keeping with her passion for interdisciplinary study, she will spend five weeks this summer studying Dante's Divine Comedy in Siena, Italy. Bernadette's husband, Mark, also teaches American Studies, and he and their two daughters will be joining Bernadette in Siena this summer.

Gordon Grant

Hall Fletcher Middle School (Asheville, NC)

A long-time resident of Asheville since 1992, Dr. Gordon Grant has been an educator in Western North Carolina for 36 years. Appointed Hall Fletcher’s principal in July, 2011, he began his career in outdoor education, and later as a 7th grade Language Arts teacher and administrator at the Asheville Middle School, serving as the 6th grade Assistant Principal.

It was at the Middle School that he launched a classroom initiative that involved integrating several curriculum strands into interdisciplinary units of study. One of these units focused on the French Broad River where his students studied, explored, mapped, rafted, took water samples, read about and wrote about this ancient river during the 1994-95 school year.

 In 1995, Gordon Grant was named the Asheville Middle School Teacher of the Year. He was also recognized by the Milken Foundation, one of five recipients from NC to be awarded the National Teachers’ Award. Throughout his professional career, Dr. Grant has received several other awards recognizing him for excellence.

 A seasoned administrator in the Asheville City Schools district, Dr. Grant was principal of Randolph Learning Center from 2005 until his arrival at Hall Fletcher. Well-regarded for his leadership and desire to engage students who have not experienced success in a mainstream school environment, he is a servant leader, energized by being engaged and of service to students and the Asheville community.

In addition to teaching and being an administrator in the District, Gordon Grant worked on the NC Standards and Accountability Project with a team who designed the new assessments and student rubics in the late ‘90’s. Committed to environmental education and stewardship, he also worked with NC Outward Bound’s Instructor Development Practicum that brought students to Outward Bound’s campus for “mini courses.”

 Dr. Grant received his BA in English and Education, Masters in Secondary English and Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Western Carolina University. He holds an Administrator’s and Superintendent’s License for North Carolina and is a National Board Certified Teacher. A gifted athlete, Grant was the 1990 Senior National Champion in the Decked C-2 Slalom, member of the 1977 and 1979 US Canoe Team, and a Bronze Medalist in C-2 Team Wildwater at the World Championships in Spittal, Austria in 1977.

Jim Gardner

Asheville School (Asheville, NC)

As his own solo “team,” Gardner teaches both the English and History sides of American Studies in Asheville School’s Humanities program. He has also taught Ancient Studies, and he is the faculty advisor of the student newspaper. Outside of school, Gardner writes and records original music with his band Jr. James & The Late Guitar, and he runs the independent label A-Tone Music. Gardner lives in Asheville with his wife Nancy, dog Fiona, and cat Lola.

Grace G. Campbell

University of North Carolina at Asheville

Grace G. Campbell has been a full-time faculty member in the UNC Asheville Humanities Program since 1998.  She teaches all four courses in UNC-A’s required Humanities core and serves as faculty Coordinator for the required Integrative Liberal Studies senior capstone course, LSSC 479: Cultivating Global Citizenship. Prior to this role she served for ten years as faculty Coordinator for the required Humanities senior capstone course and co-edited the course textbook, The Asheville Reader: The Individual in the Contemporary World (Copley, 2002, 2008). She will earn a PhD (2014) in Philosophy from University of Tennessee, and holds a Master of Liberal Arts (1998) from University of North Carolina, Asheville, and a Bachelor of Arts (1989) in Political Science from University of Colorado, Boulder. The recipient of UNCA’s Distinguished Teacher Award in the Humanities (2004-2005) and the University Distinguished Teacher Award (2009-2010), she holds the rank of Lecturer and regularly teaches in the Environmental Studies and Philosophy Departments. She has also taught in the Honors and the Women Studies Programs and gives annual large-group lectures on sustainability, global justice, human rights and feminist politics. She has designed and taught a variety of interdisciplinary special topics courses including such as Ethics Science and Technology, Environmental Humanities, and Environmental Crisis Communication. She has directed a North Carolina Teaching Fellows study abroad program in Cambridge, UK and is co-editor of the Appalachian College Association Journal of Undergraduate Research. Prior to her academic career, she worked in corporate environmental management consulting at Environmental Communication Associates, Inc. in Denver, Colorado designing and facilitating crisis communication workshops for major national industry associations. Grace and her husband live on a mini-farm and enjoy riding horses, running, hiking and organic gardening. 

Sally A. Wasileski

University of North Carolina Asheville

Sally Wasileski is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina Asheville. Originally from western Maryland, Sally received a bachelor’s in chemistry with honors from Juniata College (1998) and a doctorate in analytical chemistry at Purdue University (2003). After completing a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Virginia, Sally joined the faculty at UNC Asheville in 2005, teaching courses in analytical chemistry and quantitative chemistry and chemical instrumentation.  She designed an introductory science course for non-science majors called The Food of Chemistry and was selected as a SENCER Leadership Fellow in 2010 as part of a team of 6 UNC Asheville faculty who teach in a multidisciplinary cluster that integrates natural science, social science and health science disciplines into a common theme of courses about food, called "Food for Thought".  She recently won the Distinguished Teacher Award in the Natural Sciences (2012-2013).  Her main research focus is in computational catalysis where she and her undergraduate research students study the chemical processes to convert biorenewable fuels to hydrogen for alternative fuel applications.  She is happily married and the mother of a beautiful daughter.  In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, baking, cake decorating, hiking, and going on vacation.

Edward J. Katz

University of North Carolina at Asheville

Edward Katz is associate provost and dean of University Programs at UNC Asheville.  He currently serves as the Acting Director of the Master of Liberal Arts Program.  He earned his MA (1989) and PhD (1992) in English from the University of Rochester, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Washington (1986) and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Michigan State University (1980).  He holds the rank of Professor of Literature and Language, as well, having taught in the department for 11 years before assuming administrative positions in Academic Affairs, which he has held for over 10 years now.  He serves as a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement, where he assists universities and colleges on large-scale initiatives and general education reform. He is a faculty member at the SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities) Summer Institutes and serves as co-director of the SENCER Center of Innovation-South, hosted here at UNC Asheville.  Katz is the recipient of UNCA’s Distinguished Teacher Award for Untenured Faculty (1995), the Distinguished Teacher Award in the Humanities (1999-2000) and the University Distinguished Teacher Award (2003-2004).  In 2005, the Association of General and Liberal Studies awarded Katz the Jerry G. Gaff Faculty Award for contributions to teaching and leadership in liberal education.

Keith Krumpe

University of North Carolina at Asheville

Keith Krumpe is dean of natural sciences and professor of chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Keith received a bachelor’s in chemistry from Allegheny College (1985) and a doctorate in organic chemistry at Emory University (1991). After completing his postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh, he joined the faculty at UNC Asheville in 1992 where he served as chair of chemistry (2003-2009) before becoming dean. As a supervisor of undergraduate research, Keith's focus has been on the synthesis of biologically active molecules and the development of new synthetic methodologies. His involvement in undergraduate research has also included serving on the editorial staff of the Proceedings for the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) for 15 years and serving as the onsite editor for the proceedings at each annual NCUR during that period. Since becoming involved with SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities), Keith has expanded his scholarly focus to include teaching and learning; specifically, he is actively involved in developing SENCER-ized General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry courses for STEM majors, and in using SENCER to improve pre-medical education. Keith's work with SENCER has also included serving as a Summer Institute faculty member, as a senior associate, as a Leadership Fellow, and as a co-director of the SENCER Center of Innovation–South.

Varghese Alexander

Asheville School (Asheville, NC)

Varghese is a math teacher, and the Director of Academic Technology at Asheville School. He has taught math since 2003 in independent schools, and has found a renewed passion in curriculum design with the advent of the Quantitative Reasoning courses at Asheville School. After graduating from Dickinson College in 2003 with a B.S. in Mathematics, Varghese merged his tutoring and camp counseling backgrounds into a triple threat boarding school faculty member at St. George’s School in Newport, RI. In 2006, he took part in the Klingenstein Summer Institute, where he would meet Asheville School’s current Dean of Academics and future wife, Erin Connors, and began to realize the importance of a growth mindset and social justice in the classroom.

In 2011, he was admitted to the Klingenstein Leadership Academy, where he completed an M.A. in Private School Leadership over the course of two summers at Columbia University, Teachers College. Although he intended to move into administration with the degree, he realized that he could have almost, if not more, impact on the curriculum by helping to develop the Quantitative Reasoning courses as part of the Statistics track as a fulltime classroom teacher and an active member of the Professional Development Committee. In 2013, Varghese was hired as one of eleven lead teachers for the Klingenstein Summer Institute, a two week graduate school residency program for seventy young career teachers in independent schools from across the country and world.

Pete Bachmann

Flintridge Preparatory School (La Cañada Flintridge, CA)

Peter earned degrees from the University of California at Berkeley and at the University of Virginia. He has taught in independent schools for over forty years, and has served as Headmaster at Flintridge Preparatory School since 1991. He is the author of Standing on Shoulders.

Hannah Bonner

Hannah is an MA Film Studies student in the Department of Cinematic Arts at the University of Iowa. She received her B.A. in English and Creative Writing at UNC-Chapel Hill and taught Ancient Studies for four years at Asheville School. Hannah has published her poetry, essays, and book reviews in Asheville Poetry Review, VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts, The Freeman, and The North Carolina Literary Review, among others. Additionally, she has a chapter on Lena Dunham's TV show Girls forthcoming in the anthology It's HBO! Life After Legacy in 2017.

Katherine de Vos Devine

Katherine has served most recently as Executive Director of the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center. After completing a B.A. in Art History, also from Duke, she returned to her native New York City and worked as a paralegal at Cadwalader,Wickersham & Taft, assisting with incorporations, tax-exempt status, corporate governance, and strategic planning for over 100 public charities and private foundations. In that position, she worked with a diverse group of non-profit organizations including museums, arts centers, dance troupes, and theater companies, among others. She received her J.D. degree from Duke in 2010. Ms. Devine, is completing her Ph.D. in Art History at Duke University, and she has been active in research and curatorial projects at Duke’s Nasher Museum of Art.

Mark Hanf

Mark is an artist and educator who has been exploring the nexus of science and art his entire life. He received a B.A. in Visual Arts from Davidson College in 2000, with a special focus on Science, Religion, and Environmental Architecture. In 2006, he was a participant in the Design Science Lab in Asheville, a ten-day international think-tank sponsored by The Buckminster Fuller Institute and the United Nations that addressed global sustainability with an emphasis on energy, environmental, health, and educational issues. Since then he has worked with the Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) and a team of educators and multimedia artists to produce Aboard Spaceship Earth (ASE), a 21st Century Global Studies program that integrates Geography, Science, and Geometry. For the past 3 years he has served as director for ASE and has been designing the curriculum, as well as producing tools and materials. Mark has also produced a range of events in collaboration with the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center and The Education Committee of the BFI, sharing the work of Buckminster Fuller with "design scientists" of all ages.

Mike Hill

Asheville School (Asheville, NC) 

Mike has been the Math Department Chair at Asheville School since 2005. He currently teaches AP Statistics and AP Environmental Science, and has taught all levels of math from Algebra 2 to AP Calculus. After receiving a B.S. in Electrical Engineering at West Virginia Institute of Technology, Mike accepted a fellowship for graduate study at the Institute of Textile Technology (ITT) in Charlottesville, VA. He received his M.S. in Textile Technology in 1994, and was hired by ITT upon graduation. Mike completed his Ph.D. in Educational Research Methodology at the University of Virginia in 1999. In 2015, Mike completed an M.S. Natural Resources (Agroforestry Emphasis) at the University of Missouri. He has taught in a wide variety of settings, from the independent school classroom, to the manufacturing floor, to the playing fields, to the forests of Western North Carolina.

Matt and Christine Jones

Jones Pottery (Asheville, NC)

Matt began studying pottery at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. He continued his training in the form of traditional apprenticeships with seasoned potters in Connecticut and North Carolina. Christine studied Biology and French at Earlham and then pursued her master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin. Christine has been teaching science for over 20 years in various capacities, including positions with non-profits, with higher education, and with high schools. For the last two years, Christine has been teaching AP Environmental Science and Biology at Asheville School.

Matt and Christine Jones established Jones Pottery in January of 1998 when they purchased an old farmhouse on ten acres in Leicester's Big Sandy Mush valley. Matt shows his work primarily at their home, although his pieces are found in galleries and private collections across the country.

Jones Pottery

John Lawrence

Dr. Lawrence earned his undergraduate degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and then earned his M.D. from Duke University. He helped found Asheville Cardiology, where he worked for over thirty years. Dr. Lawrence helped design and teach an interdisciplinary Medical Humanities course at Asheville School, beginning in 2005, where he continues to teach one semester a year. Dr. Lawrence currently teaches and trains cardiologists in Kenya, where he lives with his wife, Dale, for a semester each year.

Kathy Leiner

Kathy received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography from Towson State University and is currently pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in Choreography and Visual Arts from Wilson College. She is the Director of Dance, Graham Theater Manager, and was recently appointed Chair of Fine Arts for Asheville School. Ms. Leiner has taught at the University of North Carolina, SUNY Stony Brook, as well as several other schools along the east coast. Her passion is to explore creative process, collaboration and to promote interdisciplinary work with all levels of movers.