Meet the Kids’ College Teaching Artists

Sheri Boydston has been making and teaching basket weaving for over 20 years to both children and adults. Her baskets have won Best of Show in crafts shows and have been featured in national magazines. She makes learning basketry simple to do.
Dave Buhrman is a retired farmer and longtime Greenbrier County resident with a passion for engaging with others and sharing the wonders of the universe. He often gives planetarium shows at The Greenbrier, Snowshoe, and local schools with Carnegie’s Starlab and Cosmodome. His special telescopes allow him to share both daytime and nighttime views of prominent celestial objects.

Bob DuCharme has taught ukulele at Carnegie Hall for the past five years. He is the leader of the Greenbrier River Optimistic Ukulele Players (GROUP) which meets every Tuesday at Carnegie Hall. Bob wants to thank members of the GROUP, who are providing the ukuleles and the volunteer teachers for this summer’s ukulele classes.

Sharon Ginsburg is a graduate of Cornell University. She has been a Kids’ College instructor and a Creative Classroom teacher for Carnegie Hall since 1996. She has taught origami classes in many places from West Virginia to St. Petersburg, Russia. She enjoys facilitating other’s creativity and the myriad of possibilities involved with manipulating paper and fiber art materials.

Jackie Gioia enjoys teaching kids how to cook and bake. She likes to experiment with new recipes and sample cuisine from different countries. She has taught Home Economics and Culinary Arts at Greenbrier East High School as well as cooking and baking classes for Kids’ College.

Birch Graves teaches language arts, music and social studies at the Greenbrier Episcopal School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Music from Guilford College in North Carolina. He is a professional saxophonist and he enjoys writing, arranging, and performing all genres of music.

Sarah Hann is the music teacher at White Sulphur Springs Elementary School. She earned her bachelor’s in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her master’s in Music Performance from Winthrop University in SC. She enjoys playing hand drums and mbira, as well as teaching various workshops throughout the area.

Shara Harel is an artist who grew up in Alderson and now divides her time between West Virginia and Mexico. She gathers inspiration and ideas from both places. Shara enjoys teaching art to kids because it is a constant learning process.  

Jason Johans has lived in Lewisburg for most of his life. He has participated in Kids’ College as a student, a volunteer, and now as a teacher. He takes knowledge from his years as an enrichment teacher and remixes it into fun, hands-on experiences for Kids’ College campers. 

Carli Mareneck is a member of the Trillium Arts Collective in Lewisburg. She has taught movement and dance to young folks for years.

Sean O'Connell is an artisan who recently relocated to Alderson from upstate New York. He has created work using all types of materials including wood, metal, natural fiber, and bone, but clay is his preferred expressive medium. Sean has always had a fascination with the art and artifacts of ancient cultures, and this is often reflected in his work.

Dennis Ott has played music most of his life. He continues to study traditional music and performs with reputable musicians from West Virginia and beyond. He founded The Ox in the Mud Studio, in Greenbrier County, where he teaches. He is also a registered instructor with the Monroe Arts Alliance in Monroe County, WV.

Dave Pontius teaches fourth grade at Mountain View Elementary school in Monroe County. He enjoys exploring and digging up treasures from the past.

Debbie Rapp learned how to knit, crochet, and weave as a young child. Her grandmother taught her. From there she went on to discover spinning, hand dyeing, and needle felting. She is always looking for new uses for the wool from her family farm. She makes wool wreaths, needle felted farm animals, yarn hair accessories, hand-woven rugs, chair pads, and bird nesting balls. She is a juried artisan at Tamarack—The Best of West Virginia and the Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center.

Faith Robinson has taught in various venues for many years. After volunteering at Kids’ College for three years, she became an instructor last year. She is excited about teaching children to make pillows and rugs.

Susie Smead grew up on Church Street in Lewisburg. She earned her degree in English Education from Marshall University, taught high school for three years in Winchester, VA, and returned to Greenbrier County in 1980. Since then she has been teaching English and reading in Greenbrier County schools. She retired in June 2016 and now spends her time working with fiber and learning new needle arts.

Caroline Smith is a teacher and artist who grew up in Lewisburg and now lives on an organic farm in Renick. Her favorite things include raising meat rabbits, gardening, homebirth midwifery, scuba diving, hiking, canoeing/kayaking, and traveling abroad. She loves almost any hands-on activity—whether it be construction, art, or growing things—it is hard to keep her hands clean!

Kathy Talley, a member of the West Virginia Basket Makers Association, has over 25 years of weaving experience. She has taught basket weaving classes at Carnegie Hall and the Huntington Museum of Art.

Meriwether Thompson, from Rockbridge Baths, Virginia, has been weaving for years. She has studied weaving with Laurie Duxbury of Charlottesville and Jason Collingwood of England. She enjoys weaving rugs, blankets, placemats, scarves, and anything with a beautiful pattern.

April Vincent grew up deep in the northern Maine woods without electricity or plumbing, and from a young age taught herself many handcrafts. She’s earned a B.A. in Art from Warren Wilson College and a master’s degree in Education from Western Carolina University. April has taught Special Education, Second and Third grade, and Elementary Art. She enjoys scheming up new creative endeavors.

Mike Vincent has served as a school counselor for the past decade. He enjoys incorporating creativity into his classroom guidance lessons. He currently works with tenth graders at Greenbrier East High School. His greatest joy is being a dad to Emma, 6, Nathaniel, 9, and Lukas, 20.

Elizabeth White is a competitive dancer from Preston County, WV. As a member of Sally Ann’s Dance Company, Elizabeth has participated in competitions for the past four years. In her free time, she enjoys walking and running with her Great Dane, Maggie.

Cassie Williams is a graduate of Concord University, where she earned her Bachelors degree in Education. She currently teaches Pre-K at the Greenbrier Episcopal School. Previously, she was the assistant manager for the Bakery on Court Street. Street. She is very passionate about both teaching and cooking and Kid's College enables her to incorporate both in to one class. She also enjoys spending time with her family and dogs, gardening, reading, writing, and taking adventures outdoors.