We typically have 20-30 staff at TDI Johnson each June, depending on enrollment. Some staff members have a Masters in Gifted Education or are experienced teachers, some are experts in their fields, some are young adult alumni, and some are alumni who are now old enough to be experts in their fields! We have an incredibly strong number of returning staff each year.
Bio coming soon!
Emily was a camper at the inaugural kids’ TDI in 1999 and became one of its first alum teachers over 17 years ago. She is now a Quality Engineer Developer on the Photoshop team at Adobe, where she puts her passion for digital art and design, her automation skills, and her ability to break anything to productive use. In her past lives, she’s been a manager of non-profit programming and communications, tutor, freelance designer/illustrator, commercial background actor, and even a spy. Emily has lived in New York City since graduating from Wellesley College in 2008 with a B.A. in Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences, and began studying improv and sketch at Upright Citizens Brigade Training Center in 2010.
Lucy earned a Masters in Gifted Education from Johnson State College in 2002, has been co-director of TDI for over 15 years, and started the Leadership Program in 2004. She is very happy that her two grown children, Emily and Max, have remained very involved in TDI for all that time. Lucy also works in Colchester with her husband, Dave, at Professional Construction, Inc. as a construction estimator, and with developing some property they own in Alburgh, VT. She sings as a hospice volunteer with the Noyana Singers for hospice patients. Lucy is also the Executive Director of the Green Mountain Center for Gifted Education, TDI’s parent organization.
Max graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2013 with a BS and MS in Computer Science. His passions include tennis, rock climbing, and video games. He is a software engineer, previously at Google, but now at Second Street in St. Louis.
Adam has been attending TDI for around 7 years since he was in sixth grade. A future film studies major, he enjoys all forms of art and technology.
Bio coming soon!
Nicole Dagesse is a Site Specific Dance artist and teacher. Nicole earned her BFA in Dance and BS in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. After several years of dancing in the Boston area, Nicole moved to Boulder, Co. to pursue an MFA in Site Dance and Somatic Practices. Nicole founded Murmurations Dance while living and working in North Carolina. Now Murmurations has found its home in Vermont where Nicole lives with her incredible family. Besides directing Murmurations Dance, Nicole teaches contemporary dance, aerial dance, and aerial yoga at Saint Michael’s College and North End Studios. Learn more about her offerings at worldtreeyoga.org.
Bridger is going into his Junior year at U32 High School and is in his 3rd year of the TDI leadership program. He spends his time playing video games and making videos. He thinks that this is his 7th year at TDI, but also thinks he could be wrong.
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
Grady would very much like to believe he’s still thirteen years old. Since that’s starting to get hard, though, he figured teaching at summer camp was probably the next best option. He enjoys figuring out why people speak and write the way they do, and can usually be found analyzing your grammar in the middle of conversations.
Susan has been attending TDI for 10 years, and has no intention of stopping now. She’s passionate about a lot of things, including writing, philosophy, TDI!
Will Frick is a longtime TDI veteran, and usually teaches the Computer Game Design and Rube Goldberg Machines strands. A graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, he currently works as a software engineer at Dealer.com in Burlington, Vermont.
Jackson Hall is studying computer science as a first year student at the University of Vermont Honors College. He likes to play soccer, ski, snowboard, and ski jump, draw, make origami art, play chess, program, and solve Rubik’s Cubes. He will be returning this year for his 10th summer spent with the TDI family.
Once a camper himself, Jameson hopes to make the TDI experience as mind-blowingly-awesome as it was for him. A long time theatre enthusiast, veteran nerd, and now a biology major at UVM, Jameson deeply values the power behind fostering a love for learning. As a result of his studies, he also likes puzzling on which chemical pathways make him want to embarrass himself in front of large groups of people.
Lillian is currently a freshman at the New School in New York, trying to decide on a major that will actually make her money someday. This will be her eighth year at TDI.
Bridget started TDI as a camper 16 years ago and hasn’t missed a year since. She’s taught a variety of classes over the years, from creative writing to podcasting to neuroscience. She graduated from UVM in 2015 and is currently working in New York City as a doctors’ assistant in pediatric ophthalmology while she applies to medical school.
Eric Iverson has been a camper, leadershipper, and staff member at TDI for over 12 years of his life, and plans to keep adding more to that total. He earned his Bachelors and Masters of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2018, and likes to hike, read, and play tennis in his spare time. Eric currently enjoys working at the United Illumiating branch of Avangrid utility subsidiaries in Orange, Connecticut.
Ellen returns for her 18th year as co-director of TDI. She has run the Gifted and Talented Program at Cambridge Elementary School for the past 30 years and is an active member of the Vermont Council for Gifted Education, where she coordinates an “On the Road” Saturday morning outreach program.
Max Kriff is a student at the University of Vermont and is vastly disappointed that becoming an adult doesn’t just mean ice cream for breakfast. You can call him by his last name if having two people named Max becomes too confusing.
Sierra, a historical costumer and reenactor, is proud to represent the “history geek” side of TDI. An only child by birth and a TDI kid since 2003, she delights in her passel of honorary siblings. Catch her giving tours at the Ethan Allen Homestead or sewing tunics with the Society for Creative Anachronism.
Mary graduated from Burlington High School in 2018 and now attends Stanford University, where she’s hoping to major in linguistics and possibly German (but she’s also interested in evolutionary biology and cognitive science and lots of other things). She is beyond excited to spend another summer crafting dragon eggs, playing the nose flute, and eating ice cream at every meal. When she’s not browsing Wikipedia’s rabbit holes, she likes watercolor painting, listening to nursery rhymes in other languages, and making stuff in the woods. TDI has been a big part of her life since she was a camper, and she feels so lucky to get to keep coming back.
While working as a G/T Enrichment Teacher in a public middle school in Vermont, Nancy completed three Yoga Teacher Trainings. She is currently teaching yoga and meditation and continues to attend classes and conferences. Recently retired from public education, Nancy now devotes her time to yoga and meditation, writing, reading, cooking and walking with her dog
Bill first came to TDI as a third grader, and hasn’t missed a year since. Now a Junior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Bill is excited to return to TDI each year to help give back to a program that was a major driving force in his life. Bill’s interests include science, art, technology, and sometimes making a fool of himself.
Alice Russell is currently a Junior at Manhattan College in New York City and she will be continuing her 12th year at TDI. She enjoys writing, reading, dogs, binge-watching scary movies, and art.
Colin Spencer loves disco, soccer, cookies, videogames, fresh air, breakfast, art, Bowie, dogs, technology, hiking, foreign films, and burritos. He is a passionate musician and is fascinated by synthesizers; he is working on designing and constructing his own musical toys. Colin works for a local technology company here in Vermont where he helps design motherboards for industrial computers.
Carol founded the Talent Development Institute in 1998 as part of her responsibilities as a Professor of Education at Johnson State College. She also directed the graduate program in the Education of the Gifted while at the college. She continues to enjoy TDI in her retirement, serves on the board of the Green Mountain Center for Gifted Education and the Vermont Council for Gifted Education, and consults with families and schools regarding the nature and needs of gifted learners.
Ashley Stout is a writer, reader, photographer and creator. In the past, she ran her own photography business. Ashley has devoted much of her teaching career to Gifted Education. She currently teaches at Johnson Elementary School and loves to bring energy, fun and creativity into all she does.
Cam is a student at the University of Vermont and majoring in Film and Television studies. He has been a part of the TDI family since being a camper in 2011 and is now a teacher and administrator. He is excited to spend this summer exploring new interests and opening up the TDI family to other big smiles.
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
Nathan is co-host and manager of CollegeHumor’s improvised comedy drawing YouTube Channel Drawfee. Before his show’s success, Nathan cut his chops illustrating articles and comics for CollegeHumor editorial while practicing improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Training Center. Nathan graduated from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business in fall 2011 with a B.S. in Marketing, which he only mentions whenever he has to write a bio.