At the heart of NBSS are a diverse and dedicated team of staff, faculty, and strategic advisors. Together they provide a supportive environment for students to learn at the highest level, and they engage with a broad-based community of alumni and friends. In addition to the Staff and Faculty below, our community also includes dedicated Boards of Directors and Advisors.
Ada brings a unique background as a former professional handweaver and dyer, musician, and homeschooler to her current role as Facilities Coordinator. She provides evening and weekend support to the Continuing Education department, career training students, and special events, as well as working on improving the School’s facilities. For two years while a Violin Making & Repair student, Ada managed the NBSS student worker team, which has led to a natural progression into a larger role at the School. In addition, Ada continues to build violins and work for a local violin restorer.
Sharon, born and raised in Bucks County, PA, came to NBSS in 2013 with more than 20 years of experience in independent school admissions at George School. She has also worked in fine craft and studio art at Sylvia Nicolas Stained Glass Studio in Mont Vernon, NH; Miler Lagos in Toronto; and New York and Oldham Porcelains in Lansdowne, PA. Sharon facilitates not only the admission process, but more importantly the drive, commitment, and mature readiness that candidates bring to their training at NBSS. She is passionate about helping initiate the pathway for students to become masters of their chosen craft and trade, in the spirit of the School’s founder Pauline Agassiz Shaw. Sharon received her BA in Fine Art from The University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on hand-built fine porcelain.
Sharon specializes in porcelain roses, and is also a Celtic harpist. Like Harry Potter, she has a lightning bolt scar (but on her kneecap!)
Peter is the Carpentry Department Head and a graduate of our Preservation Carpentry program. He most recently worked for custom building and design firm David E. Lanoue, Inc, and previously supervised NBSS interns at Mt. Lebanon Shaker Village. Peter is also a former NBSS Continuing Education instructor, with additional experience as a camp counselor and a public school teacher.
Emily is a 2007 graduate of the Basic Piano Technology program, a 2008 graduate of the Advanced program, and a Registered Piano Technician. She also holds a degree in piano performance from Trinity University. Emily was previously self-employed as a field service technician and piano rebuilder in San Antonio, Texas, where she served a robust private clientele including schools and universities. She is a sought-after instructor at nationwide Piano Technicians Guild seminars. Emily has served the PTG on several committees and as an active tuning and technical examiner. She is a 2021 recipient of the PTG’s Crowl-Travis Member of Note award.
As an educator, leading from both the office and the studio, Sarah has worked at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, the Rhode Island School of Design, the State University of New York at New Paltz and the Oregon College of Art and Craft. She has lectured widely, regularly serves as a guest critic to studio programs, and has organized exhibitions on contemporary craft and design in the US and abroad. In 2005, Sarah was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to the Netherlands to research Dutch contemporary applied art. Sarah volunteers regularly and serves on the Boards of Art Jewelry Forum and The Furniture Society.
In addition to her work in education, Sarah has maintained a studio practice rooted in craft. Trained in metalsmithing and jewelry, her work has ranged from woodworking to weaving to printmaking—always with a focus on the meanings inherent to objects and materials. Her artwork has been included in exhibitions nationally and internationally, including the Museum of Art and Design in New York, the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, and The Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston.
Born and raised in Ohio, Sarah received a BA from Smith College, a Certificate in Metalsmithing from the Oregon College of Art & Craft, and holds an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art.
Matt is an NBSS graduate and long-time NBSS Continuing Education instructor. He joined the full-time program faculty in 2017. Matt has also served as an instructor at The Windsor Institute and Penland School of Craft. He’s a long-time member of the Guild of New Hampshire Woodworkers and a contributor to Fine Woodworking Magazine‘s video series. Matt founded River City Woodworking in 2001, which produces high-end furnishings and millwork for residential and commercial clients.
Hillary York is a Registered Piano Technician and moved to New York after graduation from both Piano Technology programs. There she worked as an action rebuilder and eventually became the Director of Technical Services for a large dealer and rebuilder in the NYC metro area. Her duties included managing a rebuilding shop, a team of piano technicians, and the technical needs for four showrooms. She next worked as an independent piano technician in the Denver, Colorado area, doing both in home service and shop work. Additionally, she has traveled internationally for technical factory training and has consulted for various international piano factories.
In 2019 she hiked the entire 2,200 miles of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.