Our Staff

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.

Brooke Armstrong has been devoted to democratic education and advocacy for children's rights since she attended the University of Delaware, where she studied elementary and middle school education. After spending time in real classrooms during her early college career, Brooke soon became aware of and alarmed by the atrocities taking place in conventional school systems today. After voicing her concerns, she was steered to research Sudbury education by a professor who specialized in alternative models. Brooke was hooked immediately, and spent the rest of her time at college pushing the University to support her in her quest to complete her student teaching placement—and eventually become a full-time staff member—at a Sudbury school. Brooke was able to fulfill her student teaching requirement at The Philadelphia Free School, a Sudbury school in South Philly. While at PFS, Brooke’s passion for Sudbury education blossomed and grew. Her time as an intern there solidified her belief that children are human beings who deserve respect, autonomy, freedom, and trust. After graduating and completing her internship in 2013, Brooke was voted in as a full time staff member at Arts & Ideas.

Brooke is originally from Bainbridge Island, a tiny island near Seattle. She spent most of her childhood outside, building tree forts, picking blackberries, and getting intro trouble with her cohort of neighborhood friends. Brooke enjoys eating her husband's cooking, working on home improvement projects, playing video games, hand embroidery and sewing, and hanging out with her four cats. As a type 1 diabetic, Brooke is an active member of and advocate within the worldwide diabetes community. She has also trained her own Diabetic Alert Dog, Marcie, to detect and alert her to low glucose levels. She is hoping to have Marcie with her full time at Arts & Ideas once her training is fully complete.

Phil Glaser was born and raised in Olney, MD, a suburb of Washington DC. His father, a public high school math teacher, and his mother, an IT administrator at a major corporation, fostered his gravitation towards things technical early on. His childhood fascination with technology and subsequent public high school engineering education led him to attend the University of Maryland school of engineering, where he immediately felt like he was missing out. Having been exposed to a variety of places and ways of life through travel as a young child and teenager, he also became aware of and interested in the foreign and unknown. His curiosity led him to leave the fields of engineering and computer science in favor of studying linguistics and Germanic Studies, for which he earned his Bachelor's in 2011. Phil's college decisions provided him the opportunity to study abroad in Germany, which, in turn, led him to pursue further travel opportunities. In search of a sustainable and meaningful career after college, he spent two years living and working as a homesteader in northern California and western North Carolina, and as an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher in Harbin, China. After teaching English in China, he enrolled in a Master's of Education program (in ESOL) at University of Maryland. During his time spent student-teaching and wrestling with the realities of public schools, he discovered the Sudbury model and Arts & Ideas in particular with the help of a couple of free-thinking professors. Though he does not wish to teach in public schools, he is grateful to have been in the Master's program, if only for the fact that he discovered alternative models through it. As staff at Arts & Ideas, Phil uses his continued interest in computers and technology to help provide the tech facilities required to keep up with the school community's ever-expanding curiosity and imagination. He hopes to one day establish an exchange program of some sort with other Sudbury schools, both American and international.

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.