Community School: Teachers & Staff
Teresa Davis (she/her)
Owner & Founding Director, Davis Community Elementary School-Primary 3 Teacher
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.
Elsa Levy (she/her)
Davis Community Elementary School-Primary 1 Teacher
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.
Sugar (Jenny) Sugar (she/her)
Davis Community Elementary School-Primary 2 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.
Renée Compagna (she/her)
Technology Director & Community School Art Teacher
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 Vermont State University-Johnson.
Amanda DeCarlo (she/her)
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.
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.