Faculty and Staff



Director, Art Faculty, Founder

Emily grew up in Haverhill Massachusetts attended Haverhill public schools K-12 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 art minored in art therapy and art history. Emily then attended Endicott College for a master in education in moderate disabilities, 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. Emily then went on to earn a doctorate degree in Education focusing on educational administration and leadership at Endicott College and ST Thomas University. Emily is considered an artist and practitioner as she 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 an educator for twenty years. She was special educator, behavior specialist and administrator for 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.  



Expressive Arts Coordinator

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.



Art and Education Faculty

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 35 years. 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.



Assistant Art Educator

Arcadia is from Haverhill and has been part of our faculty and staff since she came to us as an intern 3 years ago. She loves teaching art, and is currently in university with a focus in art education. Arcadia has a strong background in computer graphic arts and ceramics.



Studio Assistant

Ruby started as a student here at Shoe Town Arts and as she developed her skills as an artist she became interested in teaching as well. Ruby excels in many areas in the arts (including music). Ruby is currently in high school and is an aspiring artist.



Assistant Art Educator

Julia is new to Shoe Town Art Center. She is currently studying art and art education at UMASS Lowell. Julia has much experience working with children and loves expressive art such as painting and ceramics.



Studio Intern

Greer is our studio intern. She is currently in high school. She loves working with children and art. Greer also excels at keeping the studio in tip top shape, making sure all the materials and supplies are clean and organized. Not only is Greer an amazing artist, but she is also an amazing actress! You will often find her dancing with the broom stick or singing and reciting the lines to her upcoming play!



Therapy dog

Chewy is our resident art therapy dog. Originally he was rescued as a puppy four years ago. You will find him around the studio usually in the arms of a student or sitting on a lap. He is friendly, kind and makes everyone happy. Often the kids will make costumes for him and dress him up. He is a professionally trained and registered Emotional Support Dog.