Team

Administration

Teresa Davis (she/her)

Owner & Founding Director

Teresa believes that everyone thrives in a world that promotes and supports creative thinking. She loves nothing more than helping others give voice to their unique perspectives through art. Teresa holds a BA in education and began her career as an elementary school teacher in Pasadena, California. Over the years she also worked as an children’s occupational therapy assistant in Amman, Jordan, taught classes for gifted students in Minnesota, and opened a preschool in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Since moving to Vermont 1999 she has been enthusiastically focused on gifting individuals of all ages with a life-long love of the arts. Teresa founded Davis Studio in 2003.

Lyndsy Blais (she/her)

Executive Director

Lyndsy is devoted to encouraging young children to learn through creative play, discovery and exploration. She believes play is as essential as the air we breathe. She has been a preschool teacher, ski instructor, adaptive sailing instructor, case manager for students with Autism,  Special Educator, Educational Consultant, as well as mom to four amazing girls! She holds a BS in both Psychology and Education from Muhlenberg College and a MEd. from the University of Vermont. Lyndsy founded and operated Wildflowers, a children’s maker-space prior to joining Davis Studio in 2020. Lyndsy thrives when sharing a sense of wonder, a creative spirit and out-of-the box thinking with her students. 

Sami Buckley (they/them/she/her)

Office & Operations Manager

Sami believes art and play are essential for lifelong learning! Sami is an artist, teacher, and office aficionado who leads with creative expression, empathy, and a growth mindset. They hold a BS in Art Education from the University of Vermont and have worked in both the art education and office administration realms for a variety of creative spaces – including startups, art classrooms, and museums. She lives in Burlington with her partner, Simon and three cats, Miko, Soba, and Salem. In their personal creative time, Sami loves creating botanical illustrations, tufting rugs, playing video games, and tending to their plants. 

Art Programs

Renée Compagna (she/her)

Youth Programs Director & Instructor

As a life-long lover of the arts, Renée has spent nearly two decades as an educator; with a focus on art-making and program development for youth and families. She believes that the arts and PLAY are essential to all and loves sharing those ideas with others. When not teaching or being the tech-guru for Davis Studio, Renée enjoys spending time with her son and her nieces. She is an accomplished photographer and loves travel, Star Wars and planning her next adventure. She just completed her second solo cross country road trip and has now accomplished her goal of visiting all the lower 48 states. Renée received her BA in History and Minor in French from Northern Vermont University-Johnson.

Katie Carleton (she/her)

Youth & Adult Art Instructor

Katie finds inspiration by being in nature and from working with children. She is a painter and illustrator who graduated from the New England School of Art and Design. She spent many years working in a public school as a literacy interventionist and would often go into the classrooms to story-tell on the whiteboards and bring art projects in for kids to do during indoor recess days. Katie lives in Charlotte with her husband, 2 cats, a bunny, a horse, and a snail. When she’s not teaching, you can find her happily creating art in her studio surrounded by a plethora of animals who cheer her on as she paints. KatherineCarletonArtStudio.com 

Amanda DeCarlo (she/her)

Youth Art Instructor & Creative Path Coordinator

Amanda absolutely enjoys teaching kids how to express themselves through their art work. She also loves watching kids grow and take pride in what they can achieve through art. Her specialties are painting, photography, and pottery, but truthfully she enjoys nearly anything creative. She is currently teaching high school art and also has a strong background in theatre. Amanda is excited to spread her love and passion for creativity with everyone! She grew up in Long Island, New York and came to Vermont to attend UVM in 2005. She has a bachelor’s degree in art education and has been happily teaching art ever since.

Eve Grasmeyer (she/her)

Youth Art Instructor & Explorer’s Coordinator

Eve supports students by creating experiences and environments that boost confidence in their own creative potential. Not only does she do this at Davis Studio in her many art classes, she also helps develop confidence as a private tutor in math, writing and study skills. Eve’s role models are Leonardo DaVinci and sculptor Dorothy Riester. Eve began her career as a Middle School English and Social Studies teacher after studying Elementary and Special Education at State University of New York, Geneseo. After college, she moved to Vermont for its nature, music and art. She continues to pursue her interests in education as well as in art and art history and enjoys collage as an outlet for her own artistic expression.

Cassandra Grigware (she/her)

Youth Art Instructor

Cassandra believes in arts education as a powerful medium for creating change. She values interaction with nature as an act of care and reflection. Growing up in the mountain-desert regions of Colorado instilled in her a passion for hiking, playing in water, and adventuring anywhere she can collect stones. She is earning her MFA in visual art at the Vermont College of Fine Arts while also working as a florist farmer. Throughout her studies she is considering a range of approaches for conveying her curiosity, experience, and relationship to global issues. Sharing her practice with others inspires her work as she strives to teach empathy, wonder with courage, and capture the essence of being human.

Madeleine Murray (she/her)

Youth Art Instructor

As an instructor, Madeleine emphasizes imagination, color, expressive line, and the power of following one’s joy during the making process. Madeleine grew up at a pottery studio in Bradford, Vermont, where she learned to love making things. Clay, visual art, and professional theater defined her childhood. In college, courses in  psychology, English, and studio art led her to classes in religious theory. Fascinated with how people make meaning, overcome adversity, and find inspiration, she earned her BA in Religious Studies from Connecticut College. Madeleine started selling paintings and illustrations in 2016 and now has collectors in Washington, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire. mmurrayart.com

Cat Vargas (he/him)

Youth Programs Instructor

Cat promotes health and well-being first and foremost in his education practice. He believes that the well-being of each individual student contributes to the success of the entire classroom. He encourages curiosity and empathy for one another to promote a compassionate present and future. Cat graduated from the University of Vermont in 2020 with a BA in studio art and a BS in art education. His goal as an educator is to provide an all inclusive classroom, teach students to advocate for themselves and others, and highlight voices and experiences that often go unaddressed in educational settings through an anti-racist framework.

Kat Lawlis (she/her)

Adult Programs Director & Instructor  – Drawing/Painting

As an artist and art instructor Kat is guided by creativity and compassion.  She is passionate about providing her students with opportunities to develop authenticity as well as technical skills in drawing and painting. Kat has a strong background in art education with over 12 years of experience in public schools, alternative and charter schools, as well as non-profits. Her recent artworks include large scale colorful acrylic paintings and mural installations as well as linoleum block printed patterns made to inspire joy and to empower others. Kat was raised in Charlotte, Vermont and received her BFA in Painting at Rhode Island School of Design and her Master of Arts in Teaching at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Find Kat’s art at www.lawlisstudios.com or on Instagram @lawlis_studios

Jackie Bishop (she/her)

Adult Art Instructor & Social Media Director

Jackie strives to create a learning environment that is comfortable and creative, where students will see themselves as artists, be inspired to follow through with their ideas and bring their artistic vision to life! A Burlington-based artist, Jackie works in fused glass and illustration, often combining the two. She received a BS in Multimedia and Graphic Design and a BS in Professional Writing from Champlain College. She has done professional work in marketing, design, and development over the years. She spends time creating from her studio space in Winooski, VT. You can find her selling her glasswork locally, under her company name ‘Melted Glass’, or online at www.jackiebishop.com. She also enjoys spending time outdoors: hiking, camping, snowboarding, and doing as much exploring as much as possible.

Micaela Wallace (she/her)

Adult Art Instructor – Fused Glass

Micaela loves working with students of all ages while sharing her passion for glass. She began her glass journey working with stained glass over fifteen years ago. Her love of glass inspired her to explore fused glass as well, which she has been enthusiastically doing now for several years. She has taken a number of advanced fused glass courses from a variety of places including the Studio at Corning Glass in Corning, NY. In the Spring of 2011, Micaela’s fused glass work was juried into the Vermont Handcrafters’ Association. Her work includes fused glass plates, platters, bowls, candle lights, sterling wire wrapped jewelry and stained glass sun catchers.

Education Programs

Mattie Hallett (she/her)

Preschool Director

Mattie encourages children to thrive through the exploration of nature, art, food, and self expression. She has spent the past four years as a full time infant/toddler specialist and teacher, while also attending and finishing grad school, running a bakery, performing in a band, and night nannying. If you can’t find Mattie in a classroom she is either in the woods, tending to her garden, on a stage, or in the kitchen (most likely accompanied by her 3 dogs). She was raised by two chefs, and a ceramic sculptor/professor at an international art colony where she learned the true importance of good food, the beautiful process of art, the necessity of diversity, and a love of community; all lessons she believes can be taught in a classroom. Mattie holds a B.A. in both Art History and Creative Writing, with focuses in film photography and playwriting, as well as a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education.

Marisa Faller (she/her)

Davis Community Preschool Teacher

Marisa explores life with a gleeful and curious attitude, thanks to her young students who consistently remind her of important things often forgotten about in adulthood. 
She is constantly doing something, whether it be singing and grooving, cooking and baking, exploring nature as well as worldly cuisines and communities, reading books that are oftentimes made into movies, and befriending animals to coo at them like babies. Marisa is a proud Vermont[st]er who received her BFA in Directing, Playwriting and Production from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Marisa is absolutely, positively over-the-moon to be at another school infused with the arts and is full of gratitude to the new pals at Davis for the chance to teach and grow here.

Chelsea Hendrickson (she/her)

Davis Community Preschool Teacher

Chelsea is an enthusiastic proponent of play-based learning that includes music, artistic expression, and scientific inquiry. She brings a fresh take on fun educational adventures as she seeks to explore the world through a child’s curious eyes and open heart. Chelsea focuses on building strong relationships by creating positive interactions between teachers, students, families, and members of our surrounding community. She creates a nurturing and inclusive environment to ensure diverse and equal opportunities for all learners. Chelsea’s skills have been honed through a variety of educational teaching experiences across the state of Vermont and also in Massachusetts and Florida. In her time away from work, she enjoys gardening with her cat, Loki along her side, and with the loving help of her partner, Chris.

Simon Mauck (he/him)

Davis Community Preschool Teacher

Simon believes that we are all lifelong learners and that an inquisitive mind and enthusiastic exploration can get any student ready to discover. Simon is an art teacher and early childhood educator, with a passion for all things creative. He encourages students to ask questions and to use art and play to find the answers! Simon enjoys drawing from life, painting, and most of all, making pottery on the wheel. He lives in Burlington with his partner Sami and their three cats, Soba, Miko, and Salem. 

Brendan Rooney (he/him/they/them)

Davis Community Preschool Teacher

Brendan is a lifelong learner, tinkerer, and “what-if” thinker, and he loves being able to foster that same sense of discovery and wonder in the children that he teaches. He is a strong believer in the power of play, and in the importance of treating each child’s unique creativity with the respect and attention that it deserves. In the five years that he has spent as an early childhood educator in Vermont, Oregon, and Connecticut, Brendan has grown to appreciate and advocate for the importance of a child-driven curriculum, and is excited to find rich pathways for learning in the many interests of the children at Davis School. Brendan has a B.A. in Anthropology from SUNY Purchase, and is always searching for new subjects to dive into. He loves to incorporate his own creative pursuits into his teaching – whether it’s music, sewing, crafting, gardening, or building, there’s always something new to explore!

Josie Slade (she/her)

Davis Community Preschool Teacher

Josie is a strong advocate for performing arts, play, and outdoor exploration in early learning. She believes that children thrive when they are offered the opportunity to be curious, creative, and collaborative. Josie has an extensive background teaching dance and movement in preschools, summer camps, and public schools. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Early Childhood Education at Champlain College, and also holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Theater and Dance with a Virginia PreK-12 License to teach Dance Arts. Outside of work, Josie enjoys singing, playing the ukulele, spending time with her family and friends. She is so excited to be a part of both the Community School and Preschool classrooms here at the Davis Studio! 

Sugar (Jenny) Sugar (she/her)

Davis Community Preschool Teacher

Sugar encourages children to ask a gazillion questions, try new things, get messy, and make mistakes because that is how they learn and grow. She focuses on designing opportunities for each child to explore, experiment, and create. Sugar holds an Elementary Education degree with a concentration in Art from UVM. Additionally, she has been a yoga instructor for over twenty years. She taught preschool for five years and was also a puppeteer with Puppets in Education. Sugar took a break from teaching to pursue writing and become a mother. She is thrilled to be back in the classroom. In addition to teaching, Sugar loves animals and spending time in nature. She plays guitar, draws, sews, and bakes. She loves to make meaningful connections with students and their families while sharing her many passions and excitement for life.

Elsa Levy (she/her)

Davis Community Elementary School, Primary 1 Instructor

Elsa believes in teaching to individual children’s strengths and encouraging their own inquiry to inspire learning. By using emergent curriculum inspired by Reggio Emilia and the arts, she cultivates a joyous environment for learning and sees children’s self -esteem and love of learning soar. She earned her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Champlain College after receiving her Child Development Associate degree, as well as a bachelor’s in Sociology and minor in studio art from UVM. In her free time she loves traveling, playing outside, creating art, and spending time with her husband and children.

Lisa Goetz (she/her)

Davis Community Elementary School, Primary 2 Instructor

Lisa has dedicated her life to making a difference in the lives of children. She wants to help children see the whole world as their classroom. She supports children’s curiosity by establishing a fun and creative classroom where children can be academically challenged and intrinsically motivated. She enjoys supporting her students to become engaged and confident life-long learners. Lisa previously taught first in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, and then in the Winooski and Burlington School Districts before coming to Davis Community School. Lisa loves running, biking and hiking because exercise is good for the mind, body and soul. She’s especially passionate about engaging students in the arts and theater to encourage children to express themselves in a unique and creative way.

Holly Raiche (she/her)

Davis Community Elementary School, Music Instructor

Holly Raiche believes music is a gift and that the gift of music is meant to be shared! Her goal is to cultivate a life-long love and appreciation for music by teaching children to artistically perform, create, and enjoy music.  Holly has been performing with opera, theatre, and ballet companies in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Vermont for over 10 years.  As a private music teacher with a  Bachelor of Music and Education degree, she is delighted to spark creativity and joy through music with all her students. In her free time, she enjoys spending time cooking, music-making, crafting, biking, and exploring the outdoors with her husband and two elementary-aged daughters.