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Instructors

Interested in becoming an instructor on the Smithsonian Summer Camp team - in person or online?

Send your resume and cover letter to SummerCamp@si.edu

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Celine Anderson

Celine Anderson is an art educator from Roanoke, Virginia. Her undergraduate major at Swarthmore College was Anthropology, and she is currently in the Master's in Art Education program at VCU.

Jessica Andrews

Jessica Andrews is a Baltimore-based artist and educator with a passion for arts integration and studio-based learning. She has taught at the Smithsonian Summer Camp since 2015, at after-school programs and in schools in Baltimore City, and in the Maryland Science Center DIY space. When not teaching art, Jessica can be found knitting, hiking, or swing dancing around the DMV.

Ella Appleyard

Ella is a Primary Education & Teaching Studies student from a small coastal town in the UK. Ella has completed her first year of university, and she is very eager and excited to begin!

Zachary Arlt

Zach Arlt is an educator and library worker from the Jersey Shore. He loves to teach about and explore science and history, especially the places and spaces where the two subjects overlap. When not teaching, you can find him hunting for his next favorite book, baking, or playing with his dog. Zach is currently working towards a Masters in School Librarianship at Rutgers University.

Catherine Aselford

Catherine has taught drama classes and arts camps for Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince George’s Counties and for the D.C. Department of Recreation. From 2000 to 2007, Catherine ran It’s Elementary Summer Theatre Camp. She has taught afterschool or Saturday classes at the Kennedy Center Programs for Children and Youth, Washington International School, and the JCC of Greater Washington. Between theatre jobs, Catherine serves as an assistant classroom teacher (and occasional substitute) in several Northern Virginia school districts

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Phoebe Dillard

Phoebe is a middle school Theatre Arts Teacher and Director at Whitman Middle School in Fairfax County Public Schools. Phoebe received her BFA in Theatre Education from UNC at Greensboro, taught and directed for five years at Enloe Performing Arts High School, one year at Ballou Senior High School in Southeast, D.C. and this is her second year at Whitman MS. She is excited to endeavor upon her first year with the Smithsonian Summer Camps and is grateful for the opportunity!

Lucy Dirksen

Lucy Dirksen is a DC native illustrator, jewelry designer, and art teacher for Kindergarten-8th grade at St. Mary’s Landover Hills, MD. Her current watercolor project is a children’s book: Patches and the Baby Bunny, by Cathy D. Knepper, Ph.D. Her website is www.lfdstudios.com.

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Renana Fox

Renana Fox is a local theatre director as well as a drama teacher for DCPS. She has lived and worked in DC for over a decade and loves exploring and connecting with its variety of theatres and arts organizations, especially those that involve children. She has also been a yoga instructor for over 6 years and currently teaches at the rock climbing gym Movement.

Sophie Francis

Sophie is a Primary Education & Teaching Studies student from a small coastal town in the UK. She is passionate about space and Greek mythology and loves being creative!

Brooke Friday

Brooke Friday recently received her BA at American University where she studied Education and Theater. She has designed and taught camps in Rhode Island for 2 summers. Brooke is passionate about sharing her love for Museums and learning with her students and looks forward to returning to her third year at the Smithsonian Camps.

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Que Gaskins

Que Gaskins is a master educator of the arts who loves to create 3-D functional, sometimes wearable, sculptures. She is a Visual Arts Chair at a local high school and a returning camp instructor.

Al Gaspar

Al Gaspar uses his carpentry and diorama-making skills in shop classes, adult education, and at Smithsonian camps. He encourages all ages to participate in his classes with the use of miniature settings, history, literature, and humor. Since 2001 he continues to teach and build miniature battlefields for the Soldiers and Dioramas camps.

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Sara Hashem Liles

Sara Liles is a English and theatre teacher at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, MD. She has been working with Smithsonian camps for a number of years. Her favorite part about working at the Smithsonian is having access to so many enriching experiences in our nation’s capital!

Tyler Herman

Tyler Herman (he/him) is an actor, brother, writer, husband, troublemaker, father, and clown hailing from the land now called Silver Spring. He has taught at Folger Theatre, Signature Theatre, Round House THeatre, Imagination Stage, Adventure Theatre-MTC, and at various high schools in the area. Tyler is also the new Drama Director at Walt Whitman High School. A lover of board games and alternative rock music, Tyler is excited to explore and have fun at Smithsonian this summer. He had the immense logistical and financial privileges of studying theatre at Cornell University (BA) and Brown University (MFA) and now lives in Chevy Chase with his wife Sarah and new daughter Mira.

Margaret Huey

Margaret Huey is an illustrator, comic artist, and recent graduate from the Maryland Institute College of Art, specializing in work using ink, gouache, and digital mediums. She loves bringing global narratives into the classroom with comics and creative applications! Currently, Margaret is also organizing Malulee's Kitchen, an illustrated cookbook and series of cooking lessons all about Asian-American food in the Baltimore-DC Area. She loves teaching at Smithsonian Summer Camps and can't wait to get started with this year's camps!

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Dustin Jones

Dustin Jones is a 7th grade US History II teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia. He received his BA in History and his Masters in Education from the University of Virginia and continues to be a huge UVA sports fan. When not working, Dustin enjoys playing and watching sports, playing video games, and spending quality time with his wife and their two cats.

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Oscar Keyes

Oscar Keyes is a doctoral student at Virginia Commonwealth University in Art Education, who looks at the historical use of the camera in education. Currently, he teaches courses at VCU on photography, time-based arts, and technology in the arts classroom. During the summers, he works with young makers at film camps and digital arts workshops across the southeast.

Tatum Kirk

Tatum Kirk is an educator from Montgomery county who specializes in Early Childhood education. She believes there is no better way to learn than through experience and exploration. She is an arts and crafts expertise who is excited to begin her first year with the Smithsonian.

Taliesin Knol

Taliesin has been working in the Smithsonian Summer Camp diorama classes for more than 10 years, covering topics from pre-history to WWII and almost everything in between. During the school year, Taliesin teaches more diorama and history classes at Compass Homeschool Enrichment in Oakton, Virginia.

Drew Kopas

Originally from Cleveland, Drew Kopas is a professional actor who has performed throughout the District/Maryland/Virginia area. You may have seen onstage at Shakespeare Theatre Company, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Theatre J, Constellation Theatre, Mosaic Theater, Faction of Fools, Olney Theatre Center, Keegan Theatre, Everyman Theatre, Capital Fringe Festival, or Clown Cabaret. He holds an MFA in Acting from Western Illinois University and teaches empathy & physical exam maneuvers to medical students at George Washington University.

Julie Kouril

Julie Kouril is a middle school US History teacher at Glasgow Middle School (Fairfax County Public Schools). Julie received her Masters in Teaching and her Bachelors in History from the University of Virginia. A true museum nerd, she has worked and volunteered with children's programs at several parks and museums including the National Law Enforcement Museum, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Sandy Spring Museum, the University of Virginia's Fralin Museum of Art, Virginia Discovery Museum, and Colvin Run Mill (Fairfax County Park Authority).

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Luke Meeken

Luke Meeken has been teaching digital art and video game camps with the Smithsonian Associates since 2012. He used to be a high school digital and studio arts teacher in Hanover County, VA, and recently completed his PhD in art education at Penn State, where his research focused on teaching sensitive and thoughtful crafting of digital places.

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Tori Nevens

Tori Nevens is a middle school social studies teacher in the DC Public School System. Prior to that she taught American Government and Modern World History in Long Beach, California. She received her BA in History from California State University, Fullerton and a Secondary Education in Social Studies degree from California State University, Long Beach. Additionally, she is a candidate for an MA in American History at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania and is a research assistant for a book that is currently being written about politics and being in service to the community. Her love of learning has her excited about teaching at Smithsonian Summer Camps.

Molly Norrbom

Molly is a 6th grade English teacher at DHMS in Arlington, VA. Besides teaching, she loves to read, travel, drink tea, and play Ultimate frisbee. She is psyched to be returning for another year at the Smithsonian!

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Nicole Siegel

Nicole Siegel just completed her fourth year as a fourth grade teacher at Capitol Hill Day School. She also tutors students in DC and has worked at other camps in the area. When she is not teaching, Nicole enjoys reading, attending musical theater performances, and spending time with her dog, Chip. This is Nicole's first year working with Smithsonian Summer Camp and she is excited to get started!

Betty Simmons

Betty Simmons has been a working photographer and educator of photography for over 30 years, with experience in all forms of analog and digital photography. She has a special love for alternative and historical photography techniques, including infa-red. She has been a Smithsonian Associate instructor since 2005.

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Harmony Tahy

Harmony Tahy is a 7th grade U.S. History teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools and is a member of the local 4H. She loves teaching middle schoolers and baking. In fact, Harmony has been a successful repeat competitor in her home state for the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest.

Danni Torres

Danni Torres is a high school special education teacher. She has been teaching for 10 years and loves working with students. Danni's hobbies include photography and building lego sets!