Jonah Tolchin is a singer/songwriter, philosopher, and naturalist, currently living in Bar Harbor, ME.
Kayla Pollak is currently in 8th grade and considers herself a simple person who is always busy doing something. Whether it’s basketball, drama, or even writing her first novel book, she's always involved. She has chosen to try and do as much as possible with her life.
Molly Schlangen is the owner/director of Awakening Grace Yoga Studio and a 500-hour Certified Kripalu Yoga Instructor. She has worked as a Registered Nurse in the areas of Community Health, Sports Rehabilitation, School Health and Hospice care. She is currently on the nursing faculty at NHTI - and has a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology. Molly considers herself a student of life, attempting to learn the lessons of love in their many forms. Her personal mission (at the moment) is finding a balance of stillness, movement and meditation...connecting body, mind & spirit. Her interests include yoga, running, hiking, paddle boarding, & reading.
Rebecca Kopycinski is a multi-media artist. She spent her academic years at the University of Vermont, earning a degree in classical vocal performance. Since then she has been turning out avant garde loop music, performing under the moniker Nuda Veritas. Her current musical work-in-progress, Connie, explores the relationships we form with ourselves and others, presented as a mixed media theatre piece. While driving around the country this fall, Rebecca started work on People Like Us: Change, the first film in a series that asks people simple questions about not so simple experiences. Rebecca believes deeply in keeping creativity and imagination alive in our schools and our children. For the past seven years, she has served as the "Zookeeper" for the Vermont Symphony Orchestra's Musical Petting Zoo, a hands-on introduction to the instruments of the orchestra for the K-4 set. The talk she delivers today is another school program she is developing and hopes to bring to schools nationwide. In her spare time, Rebecca likes to cuddle with her one-eyed, half-eared warrior cat, Nyla, or her favorite little person in the world, Miss Beans.
Elaine Miskinis has been a high school English teacher for ten years. In addition to teaching, she has written articles for Education Leadership and American Careers Magazines as well as other magazines both online and in print. Her Wordpress blog, Elsterlore, is a place for her to explore her thoughts on teaching and on life in general. She presented at the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference and is excited to present here at TEDx.
As a professor in the English Department at NHTI, Concord’s Community College, Dan has been incorporating mindfulness, meditation, and emotional intelligence into his communication curriculum for over fifteen years. He was awarded NHTI’s 2008 Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence and has received training at the renowned Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn. His publications include the textbook, Communicating Mindfully: Mindfulness-Based Communication and Emotional Intelligence, which has helped hundreds of people achieve personal and professional success through an increased capacity to connect with themselves and others.
Ms. Nina Alberg is currently in her 13th year of teaching. She received a B.A. in Art History, Theology and Education from Regis College, and a Masters in Special Education through Lesley University. Ms. Alberg has been a member of the Museum of Fine Arts Education Advisory Board since 2008, is a former educator for the Boston Public Schools, and former Chairperson of the Westwood Chapter of SEPAC. She has worked with MGH's YouthCare/Aspire Program since 2007, most recently serving as Site Director for their Summer Camp program. She has also delivered numerous presentations to parents and educators on interweaving the fine arts into all academic content areas.Outside of school, Ms. Alberg spends her time with her sons, visiting museums, painting, illustrating, and singing professionally with the New World Chorale for the Boston Ballet. She enjoys teaching Art, Music, Theater, Social Pragmatics and Applied Sociology at the Tremont School in Weston, MA.
Andrew Fersch is a teacher and a writer.
Jessica Drench is Education Director at 826 Boston, a writing and tutoring center located in Roxbury. Founded by the author Dave Eggers, 826 Boston is one of eight nationwide urban chapters dedicated to inspiring students ages 6-18 to write. A certified English and Special Education teacher, Jessica has over 12 years of experience working in public schools and has taught grades 5-12 in Boston and New York City, as well as led urban gardening and sustainability education initiatives nationwide. Jessica has a B.A. in English from Brown University and an M.A. in Teaching English from Columbia Teachers College. In her spare time, she enjoys reading on the porch, cooking up a storm, and watching things grow.
Austin Pratt is a singer, actor, and writer who performs under the moniker Mockingbird.
Ella McGrail has always loved stories and books and completed her first chapter book at thirteen. She has recently finished a second novel that she is in the process of publishing with the help of a new teen writing only publishing company, Alright, I'm Wrong Press. Ella currently attends Portsmouth High School and can usually be found with her face stuck in a book.