2014 Presenters

Artistic director and co-producer Dr. Trish Lindberg professor of education and coordinator of the MEd in integrated arts program at PSU, is co-founder, with Professor of Music Dan Perkins, of the award-winning Educational Theatre Collaborative (ETC), a partnership among PSU, Plymouth Elementary School, and Friends of the Arts. Lindberg is also founder and artistic director of the award-winning Kearsarge Arts Theatre (KAT), a summer arts organization based in New London, NH that celebrated its 30th anniversary and final season in 2012. In 2003, she co-founded, with Gail Mears and Gary Goodnough, Theatre Integrating Guidance, Education, and Responsibility (TIGER), a professional theatre company that has performed for more than 320,000 children throughout New England with its original musical productions on social issues faced by children in our schools today. Celebrating its 11th anniversary, TIGER produced an original television pilot on bullying with NHPTV this past year, which premiered in Fall of 2012, winning a regional Emmy for the best produced Children’s/Youth program, a bronze Telly, and a first place for best feature given by the NH Broadcasters Association.

Lindberg’s work has been recognized by the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, which presented her with the 1999 Governor’s Arts and Education Award. In 2002, she won the prestigious NETC Moss Hart Trophy for Best Overall Production for her international original work, A You and Me World. In 2003, she received the Youth Theatre Director of the Year Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE). She was also named PSU distinguished teacher of 2003 and one of New Hampshire’s Most Remarkable Women by New Hampshire Magazine. In 2004, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education named Lindberg the New Hampshire Professor of the Year. She was selected from among 400 top professors in the United States. In 2007, Lindberg was presented with the Excellence in Children’s Theatre Award at the New Hampshire Theatre Awards and the New Hampshire Excellence in Education (EDies) Award from the New Hampshire Department of Education. ETC was honored by the New England Theatre Conference with a Moss Hart Honorable Mention Award for their original musical The Wild Swans and KAT received the 2013 Lake Sunapee Regional Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Award. Most recently, in addition to the Emmy and other awards for TIGER, ETC was announced as the 2012-2013 winner of the New England Theatre Conference (NETC) Moss Hart Trophy for Best Overall Production for their original musical “Marking the Moment.”

Lindberg has directed more than 100 productions for family audiences, including many original productions as well as touring performances in Ireland, England, South Africa, Lithuania, and New Zealand. Her original short play Bystander Blues which has been performed by many high schools across the country and her adaptation of Pollyanna with music by Will Ögmundson, which premiered at ETC in 2008, were both published by Dramatic Publishing Inc.


As the Arts Consultant for the NH Department of Education, Marcia McCaffrey leads the state’s public education sector in policy development for arts education, assessing student learning in the arts, and defining quality school-based arts programs for New Hampshire. Marcia is the in-coming President of the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE) and represents SEADAE on the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) Leadership Team. NCCAS is revising national voluntary arts standards in dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts.

Her past experience includes serving as a NEA grant panelist for Learning in the Arts, dance category; steering committee member for the State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards/ Arts Consortium, a project out of the Council of Chief State School Officers; presenting at national conferences on topics including the power of arts assessment to change teaching and learning and the new national core arts standards. Seminal work includes partnering with the Vermont Dept. of Education for four summers to run of the New England Arts Assessment Institute and partnering with the NH State Arts Council and the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire on Measuring Up: New Hampshire Arts Education Data Project report.

As a practicing dance educator who has worked in a variety of settings including public schools in Montclair, New Jersey to higher education in Eugene, Oregon and directing a senior’s dance company in Ithaca, NY, Marcia brings practical experience to her work. She has found a new application for her skill-set as a facilitator and consensus builder—work that requires planning, performance, patience, and people skills.



Lyn Ward Healy has a passion for helping schools and school leaders focus on their mission – helping students achieve!  Lyn has extensive experience in working with school leaders and teachers. She worked for five years as the Associate Executive Director of the New England League of Middle Schools and helped schools design and implement their professional development plans.  More recently she has been a middle school principal and a district level administrator for curriculum, instruction and professional learning for the Epping, NH School District. Her teaching career began in the elementary level and she spent several years working with “at risk” students in 7th and 8th grades.

Lyn has coached teachers and leaders, and presented on many topics from literacy to advisory to Common Core State Standards implementation and assessment.  Lyn was awarded the James Garvin Distinguished Service Award by NELMS in 2013. She holds degrees from Harvard University, University of New Hampshire and Albion College.


Megan Birch is a faculty member in the English Department at Plymouth State University.  She teaches courses in the undergraduate and graduate English teacher certification programs as well undergraduate general education courses about race, social class, and gender. She is also affiliated with the National Writing Project in New Hampshire.


Meg Petersen is a professor of English at Plymouth State University, Coordinator of Graduate Programs in English and the Director of the National Writing Project in New Hampshire.


Jill Deleault is a teacher of voice, dance, acting, music theory, and jazz at Campbell High School in Litchfield.  In addition, she runs a voice studio at the Manchester Community Music School.  Jill holds a Master’s degree in vocal performance from Oklahoma City University.  She directs and performs in professional musical theater productions at venues including the Barnstormers Theatre in Tamworth and Manchester’s historic Palace Theatre.  Also, Jill serves as a Director of the New Hampshire Music Educators Association.


Irene Cucina is a Professor in the Health and Human Performance Department, the Assistant Chair of the Department and the HHP Graduate Program Coordinator at Plymouth State University. She also serves as the Director of Teacher Education and is the NCATE Coordinator for the University.

Her teaching expertise is in teacher certification and she works with both the health and physical education teacher candidates.  Irene’s primary area of research is assessment. Irene has served on 11 athletic training thesis committees and is the advisor of the Phi Epsilon Kappa Honor Society as well as the chair of the University Council of Teacher Education. She serves on a number of department and campus committees.

Irene spent 16 years teaching health and physical education in Newton, MA where she was also the Aquatic Director for the City and a successful girls Basketball and Lacrosse coach.

Irene received numerous awards for her teaching and service including the AAHPERD Honor Award, EDA Honor Award, NHAHPERD Outstanding College/University Teacher, and most recently the Plymouth State University Distinguished Teaching Award.  She received her undergraduate degree at Northeastern University majoring in Athletic Training, Physical Education, Health Education, and Biology Teacher Certification (1982), her M.Ed. from Cambridge College (1992), in curriculum and supervision and her doctorate at Springfield College (1999) in pedagogy.


Kirsten Mohring is an elementary music teacher at Nottingham West Elementary School in Hudson.  During her 11 years at Nottingham she has taught general music to grades 1-5, started a grade 4-5 chorus program, a recorder program and a guitar program. She has presented workshops and classes with an integrated arts focus at Plymouth State University, namely integrating music and literature.  Kirsten is completing her Master’s Degree in Integrated Arts from Plymouth State this summer and currently performs with the Manchester Chorale Society.


Timm Judas has been a public school educator for over twenty years.  He currently teaches Visual Arts and Choral Education at Oxbow High School in Bradford, Vermont.  He works closely with Dr. Patricia Lindberg as her Graduate Assistant.  With a background in art, music and performance, Timm is pursuing his CAGS in Arts, Leadership and Learning and begin his Doctoral work.


Jim Stiles has been a member of the faculty since 2011, Dr. Stiles brings expertise in language arts, children’s literature, teaching methodologies, and cross-cultural studies to PSU.   His research explores the dynamics of fostering active literacy through critical inquiry, children’s literature, and performance.  An international educator for more than 20 years, he has organized and led programs for high school and college students in the U.S., Europe, Africa, and Asia.  Dr. Stiles was elected to the United States Board on Books for Young People (2012-2015) and serves as President (2012-2014) of the Children’s Literature Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English.


Heidi Welch is the 2013 NH Teacher of the Year and finalist for National Teacher of the Year Heidi Welch has been teaching music in NH since 1996, the last 16 years of which have been at Hillsboro-Deering High School where she teaches Band, Chorus, Music Composition, and Guitar as well as MS Chorus, American History through Music, Musical Theater Appreciation, and Film Music.  She has presented workshops in the areas of assessment and music electives, and holds a Master’s Degree in Education focusing on Instruction and Curriculum.