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.
David Oxton, Photography
Boston University; Massachusetts College of Art; Rockport College, M.F.A.
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, B.A.; Tufts University, M.A.
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.
Irina Okula, Ceramics
Fontbonne College, B.A.; Southern Illinois University, M.F.A.
Irina came to the Academy in 1987, where she has taught ceramics and even coached the girls tennis teams. A well-known Potter from Ipswich, MA, Irina has traveled the world in pursuit of the art of ceramics for over 40 years. From Japanese teapots to Mayan ruins, from Chinese workshops to Native American wood firings, Irina has dedicated her life to learning about pottery, and teaching it to others.
Geoff Brace, Visual Art; Drama
University of Wisconsin, B.S.; Lesley College, 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, B.A.
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.
Bruce Denmead, Director of Instrumental Music
West Chester University of Pennsylvania; B.S. in Music Education
Appointed in 2014, Bruce is currently earning his Master’s degree in Music Education from Boston University. His early experience included teaching instrumental and choral music at three high schools in New Jersey as well as instructing at Jazz and Performing Arts camps. He was the instrumental music teacher at Emmaus High School in Emmaus, Pennsylvania for seven years and most recently directed symphonic, concert bands, and jazz ensembles at the Westborough Public Schools in Westborough, MA. In addition, he has experience in performances and community involvement with various bands, pit orchestras, and churches. Bruce directs the instrumental ensembles, teaches AP Music Theory, and coaches track and field.
Currie Joya Huntington, Director of Choral Music
Connecticut College, B.A. 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 first year 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 is currently a member of Coro Allegro and 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 off campus with his husband.
Pamela Smith, Director of Dance
Mount Holyoke, B.A. in Dance
Pam Smith's training in classical ballet began at an early age and included work with the Joffrey Ballet, Patrick Franz and Dorothy Buck. Her modern training includes Cunningham, Graham, Limon, 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 company. A dance major from Mount Holyoke with a background in architecture, 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 and Director of the the Children's School at Stanley Holden's Studio in L.A. 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 presently, Wheaton College. She has been at the Academy for 10 years.
Fontaine Dollas Dubus, Dance
Bradford College, B.A. in Arts; The Art Institute of Boston, B.A. 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. Upon graduation, Julie immersed herself in the Greater Boston dance community and has had the pleasure of performing with a long list of accomplished choreographers and companies over the past 15 years. Among them are Brian Crabtree, Caitlin Corbett Dance Company, EgoArt Inc, Exit Dance Theatre, Karen Murphy, Nicola Hawkins, and Weber Dance. Julie currently performs in her own group, the TurnPike Project - an experimental contemporary dance company. Julie has been an athlete throughout her life, which allows her to integrate different aspects of physical training into her teaching and movement style. She has taught Modern Dance, Choreography, and Stretch classes at Brookline Public, Ipswich Moving Company School of Dance, Green Street Studios, and The Dance Place. Julie also runs an independent Shiatsu, Craniosacral, and Reiki practice.
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 gardenofsilenceandsound.com(evo-gots1) (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.
Vianna Pilkington- Voice
Vianna Pilkington has been performing, teaching, and conducting music for the past 40 years throughout the United States and Canada. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in music and one in theater arts. Her Master’s degree is in sacred music specializing in conducting vocal performance, as well as teaching pedagogy. She has enjoyed teaching and conducting choirs as well as orchestras for schools, churches, and community groups. She has also had the opportunity to judge choir and vocal competitions, as well as run vocal workshops and seminars. Her choirs have received awards both nationally and internationally.
She has served as a church professional in five different churches in Canada and the United States. For the past 14 years she has been the vocal teacher at the Academy, helping students achieve their vocal goals and experience all forms of music genres. Many of her students have gone on to advanced degrees in vocal music.
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.