Founding Director & Secretary
Sarah received her Bachelors of Arts in Geography in 2005 from the University of Maine at Farmington. She spent several years working for the Maine and Connecticut Departments for Environmental Protection working to map and protect endangered species habitat throughout New England. Her mission during these years was to provide the proper tools and advocacy for preserving the rich biodiversity inherent in nature and empowering others to do the same. Partnering with the University of Connecticut, she taught undergrad students and fellow research partners mapping techniques for environmental conservation furthering her mission to bring an active voice to our environment's preservation. Likened to Socrate's philosophy of learning by way of questions, a Geographer asks, “Where?” and “Why?” And uses various technological tools to design ways to visualize research and find those answers. The elements of the STEAM integrative approach are inherently infused into this type of work. Though her career as a Conservation Geographer predates the acronym, it was the interplay of these five elements, now STEAM, that gave strength to her conservation efforts. It's an approach she has experienced professionally and enthusiastically advocates for.
Alongside "saving the earth" (or at least the tiny part within New England), she has worked as a professionally trained and certified ski instructor and race coach where she specialized in learn-to-ski/learn-to-race programs for 3 to 5 year olds. Empowering her young students to discover and develop the skills and athleticism to successfully and confidently ski, provided them also with an ability to interact with nature in a way they never had before, and to grow and share that interaction with their families. Time spent connecting with outdoor space is something Sarah holds dear to her heart. She believes deeply, as Emerson did, in the power and value of nature. And connecting to nature within community and family creates an experience ripe for learning and empowerment.
Most currently, her work has led her to teaching within an enrichment program for 2 and 3 year olds in the Boston, MA area. Her love of teaching and her journey into motherhood brought her here most naturally. The program is vested in art, music, play, and movement, all with undertones of the Reggio Emilia philosophy that she hopes to grow and strengthen.
Joining us here at Dream AcadeME, Sarah brings with her the compassionate voice of nature. She believes strongly in cultivating the confidence in her students to ask questions and openly hypothesize and search for the answers. She uses her peaceful, Reggio-inspired approach to instill a sense of wonder in our natural environment and honor each individual's sacred place within it. Coincidently, she wholeheartedly believes in the mission of Dream AcadeME, finding it directly aligned with her own. In her spare time, she enjoys ballet, yoga, mindfulness practice, photography, and all things out of doors.
Founding Director & Treasurer
As a father, James is a man who believes in the individual, while investing in the team building mentality to make positive changes in this life. Early childhood education is an important aspect in his life, and his sister, Traci, was and still continues to inspire James with how to improve every child’s education from the early stages to make sure they succeed in learning throughout their entire life. For this reason and many others, James supports and believes in the teaching foundation of STEAM that is embedded into Dream AcadeME.
In his career James worked with children and parents for over three years while producing creative video content for Maker Studios, a company owned by The Walt Disney Company. It takes a talented and creative collaborative effort to produce video entertainment. The team mentality was previously engrained into James’ mindset while serving in the Air Force as a Crew Chief. During his military service, he volunteered for the local Children’s Special Olympics in North Dakota. This positive experience sparked his ambition to always stay involved with the youth of this world. Working with a diverse group of parents and children gave him a better understanding of family dynamics and education.
James often observed and discussed computers and technology with his father, who was a talented computer guru during the huge technological boom in the 1970s-1990s. At home with the guidance of his mother, he used the VHS video camera to record family videos as young as seven-years-old. In high school James made short movies with his friends, and then after the Air Force James studied Cinema and Photography receiving his Bachelors of Arts Cum Laude at Southern Illinois University. His childhood experiences with film certainly guided his passions for higher education.
His deep connections with nature began when James was just a child. His mother and father always encouraged him and his sister to spend ample time outdoors to remain proactive and in touch with nature. This motivated James to ride his bike on trails throughout the forests of New Hampshire and he participated in Cub Scouts. Jump ahead 20 years, and James found himself working on a project hiking and digitally mapping over 330 miles of hiking trails at our beautiful National Parks. The pure energy he received during this endeavor solidified his bond with our beautiful planet.
Taking his knowledge from mapping trails using the world’s first 360°, full motion, high-resolution camera rig propelled him into producing and capturing 360/3D content with other various camera rigs. Now he finds himself in the forefront of creating amazing content for 360° and Virtual Reality (VR) headsets and players. James recently setup a developer kit for the brand new HTC Vive which he now uses to playback the 3D content he creates with his business partners. The applications for the technology and computer science James interacts with on a daily basis will benefit his guidance and leadership qualities as Founding Director and Treasurer of Dream AcadeME.
James’ final asset to Dream AcadeME is connected to his work as a Producer. James builds large budgets for multiple projects, which gives him strong confidence when working with any budget. Often, he hires crew to help create the video projects, so he is very resourceful when working with people towards a common goal. The team mentality that goes into producing coupled with James’ deep roots and connection with nature and technology parallels his contributions to Dream AcadeME’s mission and success.