Meet the

Faculty & Staff

@Shoe Town




Emily Lawrence-Boulger, AA, B.F.A., B.I.A.,
M.Ed., Ed.D candidate
Art Center Director
Art Instructor

Emily grew up in Haverhill Massachusetts. She then moved to New York City, studied fine arts at Fashion Institute of Technology and received her associates in arts, attended School of Visual Arts and received a bachelor of fine arts minoring in art therapy and art history. Emily then attended Endicott College for a master in education in moderate disabilities, shortly after went to UMASS Lowell and earned a degree in behavior intervention in autism and special education. She also earned a masters degree of education in visual arts and learning at Endicott College in 2011. Emily is working towards a doctorate degree in Education. Emily is considered a practitioner and currently researches art assessment and assessing core curricula with visual arts. She regularly speaks at various international conferences on these topics.

Emily has worked as special educator, a behavior specialist and a program coordinator for about 14 years.  Since then she has been working primarily as an art educator. Her philosophy involves using a muti-sensory approach based on Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences Theory and Applied Behavioral Analysis in her instruction.  In 2009 she was recognized for her teaching and was awarded "2008 Special Education Art Educator of the Year" by the National Arts and Education Association.  

Emily has works hard to get all her students involved in art and created a variety of multi disciplinary curricula based on the National and Massachusetts frameworks. The Massachusetts Department of Education awarded her the “Promising Practices Grant” featuring her curricula on their website as an example. She has organized many art exhibits and collaboration pieces for the students and communities she serves. Connecting the Community Through the Arts is a collaborative mural now displayed in the downtown area of her home city Haverhill that involved over 600 participants, and is actively participating in current Haverhill public arts projects.



Art Faculty and Staff

Rebecca Iyore, B.F.A., M.Ed.
Photography Instructor

Rebecca Iyore teaches photography at Lawrence High School's 9th Grade Academy.  A veteran teacher, she's committed to connecting art and literacy.  She has a BFA in Photography from the Massachusetts College of Art, and a MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley University. Rebecca has designed after school and community programs through the Lawrence Public Schools, Peace First in Boston, and at various sites in Haverhill.  Check out to see what she and her students are up to.

Paul Murray BFA, M.Ed.
Ceramic Instructor

 Paul Murray graduated from Umass Dartmouth in 2012 with a BFA in Ceramics and Wood Furniture. Paul took classes in wheel throwing and handbuilding, as well as clay and glaze formulation and kiln building. His interest in science and nature led to experimenting with types of surface treatments and glazes and also prospecting materials and locating local clay deposits. After graduating, he worked as a studio assistant for a year at Purple Sage Pottery in Merrimac, Ma. He continues to make work out of his garage studio and also teaches Elementary Art at Pentucket Lake Elementary in Haverhill, Ma.

Linda Lawrence M.Ed.
Art Instructor

Linda Lawrence has been teaching for forty years. She received an undergraduate degree in education from Gordon College, then went on to earn several Masters Degrees in Education from University of Massachusetts. She worked for Haverhill Public Schools for over 35years. She also teaches piano and is a professional organist. Linda has experience working with all levels of students of all ages. She is trilingual and enjoys visiting and touring other countries to learn about different cultures.

Colby Patrie
Expressive Arts Coordinator/ Art Instructor

Colby Patrie grew up in the Haverhill area and currently resides here. Many of his past experiences shaped him into being the artist he is now, such as having a younger brother diagnosed with autism and struggle he had in school. Colby found that he was able to cope with his struggles by expressing himself through art.

Currently Colby studies art and is now pursuing a degree in clinical therapy with a focus in expressive arts. Colby is a practicing artist that excels many forms of art such as drawing, painting, and sculpture. Colby is also a Public Speaker and advocate for Greater Boston PFLAG.  He expresses this advocacy through his drawings and paintings and hopes to inspire the world with his art.

Colby is a great person to work with, he does his best to work with each student as an individual to help them find their voice through art. He excels in working with individuals with disabilities as he grew up and is now the guardian for his younger brother with severe autism.

Olivia Burns
Teacher Assistant

Olivia Burns has been involved her at Shoe Town Arts since 2016. Originally she started as a peer mentor then because a part time assistant in the Fall of 2017. Olivia had much talent in the arts, she is also motivated, creative and patient. Olive enjoys working 1:1 with students and the process of getting to know each child individually then creating different art projects based on their interested and mediums of choice. 

Support Staff

Therapy Dog/ Emotional Support Animal

Buddy originally came from a home in Virginia. His previous owners abused him to the point of blindness. After he was taken away, Emily Boulger and her husband adopted him and he was trained as a certified emotional support animal. 


Buddy is the sweetest and gentlest dog you will ever meet. He loves coming to the art center and particularly enjoys greeting people as the get off the elevator. If he approaches you it is just because he relays on his sense of smell in order to greet people.

 Therapy Dog/ Emotional Support Animal

Chewy was found in Florida while Emily was visiting her friend during February vacation last year. Although his family was very loving they were not able to care for him, Although Chewy is very young he has already started his training to become an Emotional Support Animal. 


You will see Chewy in the studio either following one of the staff around or on someone's lap. He loves being pet and will sometimes give kisses. He is shy at first but once he gets to know you he is your friend for life. 

Shoe Town Art Center

200 Merrimack Street

2nd Floor

Haverhill, MA 01832


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