Faculty Bios

E. Ann Baldwin
Visual Arts
Fire DiskE. Ann Baldwin has been on the visual arts faculty since 2000 at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. In the past she has taught ceramics, printmaking, drawing and painting and art history. At present she teaches ceramics for all academic levels. Ms. Baldwin earned her BFA and K-12 certification as a visual arts specialist at Antioch College(Ohio), and her MALS in ceramics and art history at Wesleyan University(CT). She has exhibited her work regionally and nationally. E.Ann Baldwin has conducted/facilitated workshops in both ceramics and printmaking in New England in academic environments. And she has offered CEU's for teacher preparatory over the years. Ms. Baldwin exhibits her ceramics, drawings and prints widely and has had several one woman exhibitions. Her works of art are in permanent collections nationally to name a few: Kemper Insurance Headquarters, Chicago, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals CT, Martin Luther King homestead, Atlanta, Dr's Mike Hamilton and Myung Nam's international collection, Silver Springs,MD, Antioch College,Ohio, Shirley/Jones private international collection, Yellow Springs, Ohio, Hird-Rausch private international collection CA,NY,Washington DC, municipal collection Middletown, CT, Carolyn Danadio CCSU, CO, LK Drey Foundation private international collection, Durham, NC.  At present Ms. Baldwin is writing poetry to be published in the near future. For many years Ms. Baldwin has taught at Wesleyan Potters, Middletown, CT, Guilford Handcraft Center, Guilford, CT, Creative Arts Workshop New Haven ,CT and private home-schoolers throughout CT.


Greg Boucher
Theater Design Production/Music

Greg BoucherGreg Boucher is a graduate from the University of Massachusetts Lowell with a degree in Music and Sound Recording Technology. He has worked various live sound, and events/production as a freelance engineer. He worked at WWLP TV22 as a production assistant, video editor, sound engineer, and web author.  Presently, Greg works at the Academy supporting productions, theater events, IT support, and as an artist instructor. At the Academy, Greg has taught songwriting, recording production, and sound design and has served as the sound designer for its musicals and other stage productions. 

Gene Bozzi
Music Department  Head

Gene BozziGene Bozzi graduated from the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford with a Bachelor of Music and Music Education. Since 1971, he has served as the Principal Percussionist and later as the Principal Timpanist in the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. While in the orchestra, he has performed solos for Bartok Sonata for Piano and Percussion and Milhaud’s Concerto for Percussion.  He is the leader of the Hartford Symphony Jazz Quartet and the creator, artistic director, and drummer for the Hartford Symphony’s “Jazz and Strings” Ensemble. He has toured Russia with the Hendrik Merkens Jazz Quartet and is the founding member of “Samba Brasil.” He is a percussionist for the Bushnell Broadway Series, Goodspeed Opera House, and Shubert Theater.

As a teaching artists, Gene has taught at Central Connecticut State University, University of Connecticut, Wesleyan University, and Trinity College. Since 1985, he has been the chair of the Music Department at the CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts.

Missy Burmeister 

Missy Burmeister is in her eleventh year as a theater arts instructor with the Academy. A native of Texas, Missy ventured to the East Coast to work in the Education Department at Hartford Stage where she served as a lead teaching artist for in-school and residency programs, and worked as the department’s resident youth director. Since joining the Academy family, Missy has been given the opportunity to share her passion for directing and creating original physical theater with her students. Academy directing credits include: Rhinoceros, Tartuffe, Anna In the Tropics, Little Shop of Horrors; original works: Kinetic Impressions (2015 National Artist Teacher Fellowship project), YOUterus. This year, she will direct The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and create an original physical theater piece with the Movement Rep Ensemble. Missy received her BFA in Theatre and Television from Texas Christian University and her MA in Directing from Texas State University

Francine Gintoff
Visual Arts

Francine Gintoff has an MFA in painting from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a BFA from the Tyler School of Art, in Philadelphia. She is the recipient of a Surdna Individual Artist Grant, an Artist Grant from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts and an Artist Resource Trust Grant, Berkshire Taconic Foundation. She has exhibited in the northeast in both solo and group shows such as the Wadsworth Atheneum, Real Art Ways, Paul Mellon Arts Center, Pearl Street Gallery, Hartford, and the New Britain Museum of American Art. She is also in the Registry at the Drawing Center in NYC. Her latest show was at Arts Worcester, in Massachusetts.  She is Core Faculty in the Visual Arts Department at CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Half-day Program. This is her 20th year with the Arts Academy. 

Jeanne Giroir

Jeanne GiroirOriginally from Dallas, Texas, Jeanne Tears Giroir was a recipient of the Ford Foundation scholarship at the age of 12. She spent summers in New York City on scholarships at the School of American Ballet and Harkness Ballet.  At the age of 18, she became a member of the Harkness Ballet in New York, and the Harford Ballet a few years later.  During her 18 years as a professional dancer, she has performed principal roles in the Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Coppelia and Carmina Burana, along with repertory works by Michael Uthoff, George Balanchine, Peter Martins, Doris Humphrey and Antony Tudor.  
Presently, Ms. Giroir is a core Faculty Artist Instructor at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, a magnet arts high school.  She was the Chair of the Dance Dept for the Center for Creative Youth, a summer program for high school students at Wesleyan University.  She has taught at the Hartt School Community Division and the Hartford Conservatory, along with private studios in the state.  She is married to former dancer, Thomas Giroir, is the mother of two children and also has two adorable granddaughters.

Thomas Giroir

Thomas GiroirThomas attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas on a dance scholarship and received his BFA in Dance.He then joined the Hartford Ballet and danced there for nine years doing many principal roles including Romeo in Michael Uthoff's Romeo and Juliet, the Prince in Nutcracker and the title role in Tom Dula, as well as dancing in pieces by choreographers such as Antony Tudor, George Balanchine, Dennis Nahat, Lar Lubovitch, Anna Sokolow and Kurt Jooss. After retiring from dance, he pursued a career in photography, specializing in Dance Photography. He has worked with many dance companies and schools in the New England area, as well as being asked to photograph Mikhail Baryshnikov's one man show in 2004. He has also done work for corporations and educational institutions. In addition to his photography work, he teaches ballet in the Greater Hartford area at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, as well as several dance studios. He is married to his former dance partner, Jeanne Tears Giroir and they have two children, Christopher, a software engineer in California and Megan, a dance teacher in Bremerton Washington.

Brian Jennings
Theater Department Head

Brian JenningsBrian Jennings has served on the Theater Department faculty since 1996, and has been Head of the Department since 2017. He is a member of Hartbeat Ensemble, where he has directed multiple productions of Jimmy and Lorraine: A Musing and Ebeneeza: A Hartford Holiday Carol. As an actor, he originated the role of Det. Nick Carter in Flipside. He has been a member of the National Theater of the Deaf, working as a voicing actor on multiple national and international tours. He has played Oberon, Malvolio and Macbeth as part of Artfarm’s Shakespeare in the Grove, and performed at major regional theaters, Off Broadway, and on television. His adaptation, RAVE: The Bacchae of Euripides - Remixed was performed by Academy students at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. His original musical, The Resurrectionists was workshopped at Playhouse on Park last winter. He most recently directed a new production of Jimmy and Lorraine at the Pillsbury House Theater. At the Academy, he has directed numerous Main Stage and Black Box productions including: In the Heights, La Casa de Bernarda Alba, Ragtime and Violet Enlightens. He has co-directed Six Plays in Six Days for the past 11 years. He serves as Chair of the Musical Theater program at Wesleyan University’s Center for Creative Youth, and a member of the Actor Training faculty at the Hartt School. He is currently working with the Educational Theater Association on its Model Cornerstone Assessment project. He is a former Surdna Foundation Teaching Artist Fellow. He was named Arts Teacher of the Year by the Arts Schools Network in 2005 and the Academy’s Artist-Instructor of the Year in 2012. He has taught internationally in Cape Verde and South Africa. He holds a BA in Philosophy from Princeton University and an MFA in Acting from the National Theater Conservatory.

Alexa Melonopoulos Fleury
Dance Department Head

Alexa Melonopoulos Fleury began her dance training with Estelle Jones. She earned her BA in Dance from Hofstra University and holds an MA in Dance in Higher Education and Administration from New York University. She has had the opportunity to perform with choreographers Eleo Pomare, Remi Charlip, Rosalind Newman, Robin Becker, Stormy Brandenberger, Lance Westergard, Lili Weiss, John Mead and Ching Wen Yeh. Alexa has been affiliated with a number of groups including Washington Square Repertory Dance Company, Sonia Plumb Dance Company, Works /Laura Glenn Dance and Miss Porter’s School. She is currently the Dance Department Chair at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts in Hartford and member of the Judy Dworin Performance Project.

Natasha D. Miles
Visual Arts Department Head

Natasha MIlesNatasha D. Miles is an accomplished painter, printmaker and book designer. She studied Visual Arts at Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida and then graduated from the University of Hartford’s Art School earning a BFA in Painting and Printmaking.

Her multimedia works of art have been exhibited at local, national and world-renowned museums such as Galleria d’arte Nocchia in Cortona Italy, Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut and the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida. In addition to participating in gallery exhibitions, she has been an advocate, exhibitor, volunteer coordinator and Assistant to the Director for Open Studio Hartford since 2003.

She offers enriching arts educational hands-on workshops for children and adults of all ages by introducing innovative visual arts techniques learned from around the world, across multiple disciplines, media and techniques. Since 2002, Natasha has been an arts educator and mentor at CREC’s Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts in Hartford, Connecticut where she currently serves as Department Head for Visual Arts. 

Mike Nowicki

Mike NowickiMichael Nowicki is a theater artist, educator and stage director.  He holds a BFA in Acting from the Experimental Theatre Wing at the TISCH School of the Arts at New York University. In addition, he studied commedia at the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre in California with Carlo Mazzone-Clemente.  He has workshopped with a variety of groups ranging from Chicago's Second City Theatre to Anne Bogart's Saratoga International Theatre Institute. Mike’s  numerous professional credits include 5 mainstage productions and over 15 staged readings at Hartford Stage, where he worked directly with 2 Pulitzer Prize winning playwrights.  He is also an Artistic Associate at Capital Classics Theatre Company, home of the Greater Hartford Shakespeare Festival, where he has been performing and directing outdoor Shakespeare for the last 2 decades.

As an educator, he served on many Connecticut faculties including the University of Hartford, the School of the Hartford Ballet, Hartford Stage Company and the Hartford Conservatory, where he served as Dean of Musical Theater during his 8 year affiliation with the college.  He was also the Artistic Director of the Theater Program at Simsbury High School for 10 years. For the last 24 years, his teaching base has been the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, where he currently serves as Core Faculty in Theater for their high school and as Director of the Arts for their middle school.  He received the inaugural Artist/Instructor of the Year award from the school in 2003.

Mike's work has allowed him to travel the world, with stops including Iceland, Cape Verde and Russia, where he spent 3 weeks as a guest artist at the Diaghilev School of the Arts.  He frequently directs productions and leads technique workshops for high schools, colleges and professional theater companies across the country.  Mike was a National Artist Teacher Fellow in 2014, an award to support his continued training in Devised Theater and his passion for creating original, site-specific theatrical work. 

Christine Perry

Christine PerryChristine Perry graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Hartt School at the University of Hartford with a BFA in Dance Performance in the Spring of 2009. During this time she also had the privilege to train at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance on scholarship. She has danced with dancEnlight as a dancer and company teacher and with Judy Dworin Performance Projects. Christine Perry has taught in various schools around Connecticut including Limelite Dance Center, Eastern Connecticut Ballet, Premier Dance School, Miss Porter’s School and Yale. She is currently on faculty at Dance Express of Tolland. She is a co-artistic director and dancer with IMMIX dance project, a contemporary dance company centered around collaborating with local artists to create new and unique work.  Along with dance she is a professional stage and production manager and has done extensive technical theater work in locations including the Baryshinikov Arts Center in New York City, St. Joseph College, the Garde Arts Center, Charter Oak Cultural Center, Foxwoods and the Wadsworth Atheneum.  

Carrie Ricciardelli
Visual Arts

Carrie Ricciardelli WorkCarrie is a professional photographer and educator with over fifteen years in teaching. Her work has been exhibited in numerous show and her photography has been used in various publications. Her commercial work includes photography and graphic design for companies and dance groups including Bated Breath Theater Company and the Sonia Plumb Dance Company. Since 2004 Carrie has been a Visual Arts instructor for numerous CREC programs including the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, Academy of Aerospace and Engineering and the Medical Professions and Teacher Preparation Academy. Carrie is currently the Resident Teaching Artist at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. As a Resident Teaching Artist she teaches studio art programs for Pre K- 12 students, STEAM workshops and plans art activities for events like Evening for Educators, Second Saturdays and Art After Dark. In addition she has written curriculum for the Art and Writing program, a program that combines art and literacy.

Evan Seide
Theater Design and Production

Evan SeideEvan Seide is a New England based designer who practices in many disciplines, primarily film, commercial, editorial and live entertainment. Over his fifteen year career as an artist and designer, he has become known for varied and imaginative works in a variety of genres. He has experience as a production designer, artistic director, prop master, set designer, lighting designer, carpenter, and a variety of other roles. Recent projects include Production Design for "The National Hockey League”, "Fifa", " The Indie500" and “ The Puppy Bowl". Evan has also designed various sets for Annie Lebowitz, Steven Meisel, Vogue, Coach, Mercedes and Dior. While Evan has spent some time away from the stage, he also has experience working with several dance companies, comedians, orchestras and over 200 noted musicians, in a plethora of roles. Evan's mission at the Academy is to spread excitement for the arts, unify the community and e xpand creative power. 

Molly Shaughnessy Encarnacion
Visual Arts

Molly Shaunessy Molly Shaughnessy Encarnacion has been a Core Faculty Artist Instructor at the CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts since 2009. She has participated in Open Studio Hartford for the past 8 years and the annual Trashion Fashion Show at Hartford City Hall as both an Artist and as an Instructor for student submitted work. Her work has been featured in juried shows such as “Rough Around the Edges” at the Windsor Art Center, “Out of the Loop” and “Clothesline” for the West Hartford Art League, and was featured in the 2016 National Arts Program exhibition at Capital Community College. 

Rachel Sinay
Theater Design and Production Dept. Head

Rachel Sinay Rachel Sinay is the Department Chair of the Theater Design & Production Department. She has been on the faculty of the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts for the past eleven years. She was the props master for Goodspeed Musicals and Charge Scenic Artist at the Hartt School for many years. She also is a freelance scenic artist and properties artisan for Goodspeed Musicals, Loomis Chaffee High School, The National Theater of the Deaf, HartBeat Ensemble and Trinity College. Her previous theatrical jobs have included carpentry, stage management, dramaturgy, props and scenic art Off-Broadway, at The Public Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, and the Theatre For A New Audience as well as Broadway, and in many other regional theaters. She has also directed Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Journey To The West, and King of Hearts here at the Academy.

Article Featuring Rachel Sinay

Kim Stroud
Director of the Arts,

Kim StroudKim Stroud started at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts in 1993 and has also held positions of Dance Chair and Assistant Director. She has served as the General Director for the Center for Creative Youth at Wesleyan University as well. Ms. Stroud’s former positions include: Administrator for the Dance Programs for City Youth through the School of the Hartford Ballet, Dance Chair for the Center for Creative Youth and head of the Diversity Committee for the International NETWORK of Performing and Visual Arts Schools.
 Ms. Stroud has been on faculty at the Martha Graham School, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, SUNY Purchase and the University of Hartford.  She was a Principal Soloist with the Martha Graham Dance Company for eleven years.  
 She has danced with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, the road company of Your Arms Too Short to Box with God, the Universal Studios film production of The Wiz, and as a guest artist with Katherine Dunham and the Gemini Dance Company. Ms. Stroud has been a master teacher for such institutions as the University of California at Santa Barbara, University of Southern California at Los Angeles, Connecticut College, Eastern Connecticut State University, University of Hartford, South Carolina Governor’s School and the Duke Ellington School.
 Ms. Stroud received Teacher Recognition from The National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and from the Connecticut Dance Alliance. The National Dance Education Organization named Ms. Stroud Outstanding Dance Educator of the Year and she received the Teacher of the Year award from the International Arts Schools Network.  In 2012 she was named Outstanding Dance Educator by Dance Teacher Magazine.  Her most recent honors were receiving the William A. Yandow Educator Award, the Excellence in Education Award and the Arts Hero Award, from the State of Connecticut Department of Education and being named a member of the International Dance Council of UNESCO.

Debra Walsh

Debra WalshSince 1987, Debra Walsh has been at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts as a Core Artist /Instructor in the Theater, Musical Theater and Creative Writing Departments. 

Other organizations that she has taught for include: Hartbeat Ensemble, The Education Program at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, The Hartford Conservatory, Center for Creative Youth, Manchester Community College and Trinity College. She was a 2006 recipient of a Surdna Fellowship which allowed her to study Puppetry in France. In 2009, she was awarded the Artist /Instructor of the year at the Academy. 

Currently, As a performing Artist, she has worked with the Bated Breath Theatre in Hartford and New York, Hartford Stage, Capital Classics, Hartbeat Ensemble, Collective Consciousness and ArtFarm. She has received high critical acclaim for her work.

Of note and of particular importance to her: She became a member of the Hartbeat Ensemble in 2006. She has performed and taught with the Ensemble since 2003. 

She has a BFA Magna Cum Laude and an MA from the University of Connecticut.