Anna Kroll is a cat mom, dancer, artist, and crafty person. Previously, she’s been the Digital Arts Technical Instructor at Bennington College, taught many summers at the University of the Arts Pre-College dance program, been a Domain Leader at Beam Camp, and was the Marketing Coordinator at the experimental performance presenter FringeArts. She received her MFA from UMBC in Intermedia & Digital Art where she currently teaches courses such as History and Theory of Games and Immersive Storytelling. Anna’s performance work has been shown throughout New York and Philadelphia including theaters, rivers, and subway underpasses. Her projects exploring world-building (and world-falling apart) through games and play have been presented at re:semblance at New Media Artspace (NYC/ online), Spark IV: A New World? (Baltimore), Spark V: Refractions (Baltimore, The Peale Museum), The Mind on Fire Variety Show (Baltimore/online), and Tendon Magazine. In Fall 2024 she will be a Bresler Artist in Residence at VisArts thinking about internal and external timekeeping tools.
She likes to tinker, would like to figure out sourdough bread, and dreams of sewing her own clothing. Driven by a deep-seated belief in community accountability and self-direction, Anna finds solace in the Sudbury model, drawn to its democratic principles. She eagerly welcomes the opportunity to learn alongside the vibrant energy of young people, fostering a culture of collaboration and empowerment. During her youth, she volunteered with animals a lot (including monkeys) so she’s also excited to be near chickens again.
Ashtral Jackson followed the education system her entire life graduating top of her class in high school then moving on to graduate Frostburg State University majoring in Mass Communications with a focus in Audio Production and a minor in Public Relations. Having always been an overachiever, Ashtral was highly disappointed in the answers she got from the forms of education she received and always had a passion for changing the current system.
After the college educated dream never panned out, she worked at a top earning law firm for 4 years realizing ultimately that lifestyle was not the right one for her path. She left the law firm and moved to Baltimore, getting another corporate job at Morgan Stanley. Ashtral again found the work she was doing not fulfilling and sought after another path less cog in the machine feeling. Overjoyed to find the Sudbury School one afternoon, she dove into the Sudbury model of learning and found the rewarding answers she had been longing for without realizing it existed. Education as education should be with respect given to children and their paths. In her spare time, Ashtral works on her candy company, watches cartoons with her cat Sensei, plays in nature, listens to music, creates art of many varieties, gets lost in books, philosophizes aspects of our current reality, and works on community outreach projects with friends. Ashtral has been excited from day one to bring her creativity, humor, and passion to the Sudbury School and join the other members of Sudbury Staff. She hopes to use her entertaining background of outreach to diversify and spread knowledge of not only the Arts & Ideas Sudbury School but the overall Sudbury style of learning.
Caroline Chavasse is the mother of two children and was a Professor of Video Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art for 7 years. She has presented master classes in Digital Video and Media Production at the Gilman School and has taught theatre workshops at University of Michigan, Middlebury College and Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. Caroline cofounded and operated, along with some terrific parents, the Free School Preschool and a community play group in Hamilton that ran for 5 years. Before moving to Baltimore in 2000, Caroline worked with LeVar Burton at his film company at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, helping to develop family-friendly entertainment for television and film and also on his Emmy award-winning PBS educational series, "Reading Rainbow." Caroline has an extensive background in theatre and television performing in New York City for ten years Off Off-Broadway and regionally in Chicago, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Richmond, North Carolina and Vermont. She's enjoyed working with such luminaries as Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Mary-Louise Parker. Her one-woman show, a blend of monologue, comedy and dance, received critical acclaim and was developed into a short independent film. Caroline has appeared in numerous television commercials nationally and locally, as well as on "The Wire." Some of her favorite things are history, vocabulary, cartooning, dog training, choreography and dance, video making and editing, reading stories aloud, camping and hiking, and working and playing with the exquisite young people at Arts & Ideas.
James Taylor is a proud father, credentialed mathematician, heretical physicist, and passionate (web) programmer. While he has had a life-long dislike of traditional schooling, it was not until Arts & Ideas moved into his backyard, sadly just for a year, that he first heard about the Sudbury model. He became an immediate advocate for the school in the neighborhood and proceeded to learn more about it. Having finally seen the solution as to how to let children live their life with respect, he just had to join up. James has a PhD in mathematics from Rutgers University. His specialty is in the mathematics of quantum mechanics on curved space. With over a decade of teaching mathematics, he has met many students whose traditional mathematical education left them ignorant and fearful of mathematics. For several years, James has had the very rewarding experience, while teaching online for Johns Hopkins University, of converting math phobic adults into math geeks. He has done this by encouraging his students to explore their life using mathematics, asking and answering their own relevant questions. In his time at A&I, his experiences have confirmed that children are amazing human beings and are a much under-appreciated gift to the human race. He is honored to be a part of this community and learns a great deal about the possibilities of life every day.
Josh Keogh is a lifelong Baltimorean. While attending Gilman School, he was the subject of a documentary about grief following the death of his father. He helped other young people experiencing loss as a participant at Camp Phoenix, a camp for grieving teens. Josh graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in American Studies. His academic study focused on history, labor relations, and film studies. Josh is a member of a labor union, and an advocate for better pay and working conditions for all people. He has worked toward those goals by training workers to be organizers, testifying before the city council, and pounding the pavement on the picket line. Josh has been a tour guide for those looking to learn about the history of Baltimore labor struggles, doing both walking and bicycle tours of Baltimore labor and union history. While still in high school, Josh began working at a bicycle shop, which became the launch point for founding a workers cooperative retail and repair bicycle shop called Baltimore Bicycle Works. The bike shop serves as a model of how a business can be organized and run democratically. The success of Baltimore Bicycle Works had lead to Josh has being a featured speaker about unions and worker cooperatives at MICA, University of Baltimore Law School, Doris M. Johnson High School, and the Catholic Social Justice Day. He has extended his love of bike mechanics by teaching bicycle repair to children with the Baltimore Youth Kinetic Energy Collective and to adults at Baltimore Bicycle Works. Becoming a father was a catalyst for Josh's discovery of and interest in alternative education and the intersection of democracy, learning, and childhood. Josh is a cyclist and bicycle commuter. Riding mountain bikes in Patapsco and other nearby parks is the way Josh maintains play in his everyday life. He is a consumer of large quantities of television of dubious quality. He enjoys camping. He has gone bow hunting four times, but has never seen a deer. Josh lives in Hampden with his wife, son, and cat.