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Our Team

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Administration

Abigail Norman, Executive Director
• 617.553.4686

Abigail has directed the Eliot School since 2007. She brings to the school over 30 years experience in nonprofit administration, focused on community-based arts and media, including time as Program Coordinator at Forest Hills Educational Trust and, before that, Director of Somerville Community Access Television. She also makes drawings, pop-ups and other small objects as a form of social exchange.

Alison Croney Moses, Associate Director
[email protected] • 617.553.4689

Alison is an accomplished educator and woodworker, whose elegant sculptures and furniture combine lamination and coopering. In 2022, she received a US Artists Fellowship for her work making art and community. She has been most recently profiled in The Boston Globe, Yankee Magazine and American Craft. Her work is collected by the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and private collectors. She holds a Preliminary License to teach Visual Art to Grades 5–12. Alison was the Eliot School's Program Director for School & Community Partnerships for 8 years. Before that, as Education Director for Red Rabbit (New York City), she developed and led interactive cooking and gardening programs for teachers, parents and children. As Education & Outreach Coordinator for the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (Denver CO), she developed, managed and taught art programs for all ages. She has also been Wood Shop Assistant at Anderson Ranch Art Center (Snowmass Village CO), Catalyst Arts Fellow at Rhode Island School of Design and Fabrication Assistant for Situ Studio (New York City). When time allows, she also teaches woodworking and visual arts in our schoolhouse and through our School & Community Partnerships.

 

Development & Communications

Verónica Ramírez Martell, Communications

Verónica  is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and arts administrator fascinated by process improvement and focused on human connection. They are currently pursuing a Master’s in Library and Information at Simmons University to weave together their field experience with technical skills. Verónica served as Program Officer for Mass Cultural Council’s Community Initiative, supporting local cultural councils in Berkshire, Plymouth, and Worcester County through coaching, professional development, and capacity building. Prior to that, they worked as a Program Coordinator and taught within the Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts’ School and Community Partnership program, bringing art education to public schools and community centers within the Greater Boston area. During all this time, Verónica continues to teach both children and adults in a variety of topics and crafts with a passion for encouraging enjoyment, confidence, and experimentation in students. Throughout their work, Verónica champions creativity, documentation, and transparency as a method for community capacity-building.

 

Programs & Engagement

Dara Cheek, Director of Adult Programs & Engagement
• 617.553.1818

Dara joined the Eliot School in 2021 after many years as a Programming Director in elder health care and youth arts education settings. While working as a visual arts educator for adult learners, she founded Etsy Artists of Boston, providing professional development opportunities, arts markets, and workshops for a membership of 1,100+ artisan-entrepreneurs. A graduate of Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Dara's studies were in small metals and glass. In her own artwork, she now focuses on preserving nature in varied artistic mediums under the moniker "Hieropice."

Chanelle John, Director of Youth Engagement
[email protected]

Chanelle John is a healer, educator, and artist. After inheriting a love of the arts from her family, she knew she wanted to spend her life studying craft. In 2012 she discovered her passion for weaving after attending an intensive at the Penland School of Craft in Penland, North Carolina. In 2013 she graduated from Goddard College with a degree in Art History and Cultural Studies, where she explored the intersections of art, activism, and racial identity. After leaving Goddard she continued to hone her craft by taking classes across all fiber disciplines, at the Vermont Weaving School, Boston Center for Adult Education, and the Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts. Chanelle had the privilege of leading youth arts programming through a partnership with the Boston Public Library, and pivoted to youth wellness programming after earning her yoga teaching certification in 2014. Since then, she’s facilitated community wellness programming in her role as the Associate Dir. of Wellness at Trinity Boston Connects and via her business, Hive Soul Yoga. Additionally, providing mentorship to youth and young professionals is one of Chanelle's greatest passions. She ran numerous youth leadership programs at Trinity and founded the Yoga Diversity Initiative in 2014, to offer mentorship and scholarships to aspiring yoga teachers of color. She is also a member of the Stinging Nettles Brujx Healing Collective, a BIPOC-led community organizing initiative. When not teaching or organizing, Chanelle can be found running, making ancestrally inspired art, and tending to her many houseplants.

Ian Haines, Teaching Artist and Manager of Youth Engagement
[email protected] • 617.553.4687

Ian manages our youth programs, including our Summer Program for Children, and teaches in our schoolhouse and School and Community Partnerships Program. They were born and raised in Boston and are excited to be a teaching artist in the city that raised them. Ian has been working at the Eliot School in various capacities since 2018, prior to which they worked as an Arabic language translator in the Egyptology Department at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. They graduated from Earlham College in 2016. Their primary mediums are wood and fiber, and they have worked under artists/builders such as Barry Hazard and Mitch Ryerson.

 

Camila Bohan Insaurralde, Teaching Artist and Coordinator of Youth Engagement
[email protected] • 617.553.9096

Camila is an Interrelated Media artist. She earlier supported the Eliot School's Teen Bridge program through the Center for Art & Community Partnerships at Massachusetts College of Art & Design. Before that, she worked as an Arts Facilitator for Sociedad Latina's STEAM Team, as an organizer for the Public Education Network of Massachusetts, and in visitor services and community engagement at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. She holds a BFA in Painting and Studio for Interrelated Media (SIM) with honors from Massachusetts College of Art & Design.

 

Emma Green, Teaching Artist and Artist in Residence Coordinator
[email protected] • 617.553.4796

Emma Green coordinates our Artist in Residence program and teaches in our youth programs. She is also an artist whose practice incorporates clay, fiber arts, installation, and archival research. She has taught in ceramics studios and has also facilitated educational programs with incarcerated youth. She holds a BA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University and was chosen to be a resident at Yale’s Norfolk School of Art program in 2018. She has taught ceramics at Yale’s Trumbull Pottery Studio and Syracuse University’s Community Folk Art Center. 

 

Jennifer TurpinTeaching Artist and Manager of Professional Development
[email protected] • 617.553.1387

Jenn teaches at the Eliot Schoolhouse and through our Partnerships, in addition to coordinating training and support for teachers. She is also a fiber and mixed media artist, incorporating organic movement into her work. She brings to the Eliot School over 15 years of experience working with people with a wide variety of disabilities including people with dementia. She has always focused on creating positive experiences based on everyone's unique preferences and ensures that all are regarded with dignity and respect. She has overseen services and led activities for MAB Community Services, Brightview Senior Living, Boston Center for Independent Living, Walnut Street Center ,and elsewhere. She holds an AA in Psychology from Newbury College and a BA with a focus in Expressive Arts Therapy from Lesley University. In addition to her arts practice, Jennifer is a registered yoga teacher and a musician. She volunteers with Girls Rock Campaign Boston, BEATS/After School, and Ladies Rock Campaign.

 

Program Support

Merlo Philiossaint, Program Support Associate
• 617.524.3313

Merlo Philiossaint is a young professional artist living in Boston, MA who specializes in graphite, oil, acrylic, 3D modeling, animation and ink. He grew up watching cartoons such as Batman: Animated Series, reading comics like the Bone Series by Jeff Smith and visiting art museums. All three of these factors greatly influenced his love of art. Having been blessed to have friends from many different backgrounds his art borrows elements from various cultures. He strives to respectfully represent the cultures that have influenced him while putting a piece of his personality within each piece.

Merlo can be found spending time with his loved ones, working on his art and watching a movie screening. He also enjoys trying new foods.

 

Lillian Webster, Program Support Associate
[email protected] • 617.524.3313

Artist and metalsmith Lillian E. Webster first discovered her passion for silversmithing after taking a jewelry fabrication class at UCLA.  Her work relies heavily upon such intangibles as the imagination and memory, and takes deep inspiration from nature. As a maker, Lillian’s relationship with, and appreciation for, the natural world invariably finds its way into her work.  Shapes, forms, and subject matter may be translated directly; or, often, organic materials such as seedpods, seaweed, and butterfly wings are transformed through her making processes.  Her pieces have been exhibited nationally, from as close to home as the Brookline Arts Center, to clear across the country at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington.  Lillian is a passionate advocate for the Arts, Craft, and for hand-making processes.  She holds a BA in English and Spanish Languages and Literatures from Smith College, an MA in Spanish Literature from the University of Virginia, and an MFA in Jewelry/Metals from UMass Dartmouth. When not at her bench, she enjoys reading, writing, drawing, and spending time exploring nature.

 

Facilities

Jasmanie Gonzalez, Teaching Artist and Facilities Manager
[email protected]

Jazz was the Eliot School's Facilities Assistant for four years, helping to run the shop and the schoolhouse, before taking over as Interim Facilities Manager in 2021. He also teaches classes through our School & Community Partnership Program and in our schoolhouse. He started woodworking by making small furniture and continues to expand his skills. In his free time, he collaborates with other artists on murals and graffiti projects, including recently at Crimson Jam with Geo and Tak. His mural art can be found at the Egleston Square Peace Garden and elsewhere throughout Boston.

 

Ana Colón, Space Rentals & Events

Ana has always been been a multi-tasker in the arts, with a special focus on LatinX events. She worked for the Arts Dept. at Inquilinas Boricuas en Acción (IBA), coordinating events at the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts. Since then, she helped establish Cultural Agora, which coordinates LatinX events, manage upcoming artists, and provides spaces for artists in Boston. She also manages weddings at Arlington Street Church. Her passion is for coordinating events in different spaces where she can meet people and network all around Boston.

 

Administrative Support

Kate FinnBookkeeping

Kate is a partner at Green Oak Financial, with clients in non-profit arts, education, and other fields. 

 

 


In Memoriam: Charlie Sandler

Charlie worked at the Eliot School from 1966–2012 as Director, Instructor, and Superintendent, and remained on call for consultation until the end of his long life. Charlie was certified in Vocational Education and Industrial Arts and held a Master’s of Education. He taught and supervised teachers at Hubert H. Humphrey Occupational Resource Center, Fitchburg State College, UMass, Roxbury High School, Dorchester High School and elsewhere in addition to the Eliot School. Charlie stewarded the Eliot School through half a century, infusing it with his warm, inclusive approach to life and work. The Eliot School's wood shop bears his name, and friends are encouraged to contribute to the Charlie Sandler Scholarship Fund in his honor: DONATE TO THE CHARLIE SANDLER SCHOLARSHIP FUND.