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Cheri Soule

Director of Dance

Cheri Soule

 860-408-4291

B.S., SUNY Brockport
B.A., Eastern Connecticut State University
M.F.A., Smith College

Cheri Soule is the Director of the Dance Program at Walker’s. She teaches modern, jazz, ballet, choreography, and improvisation in both the Upper and Middle School programs. She received an MFA degree in Dance from Smith College, a B.S. in Dance from SUNY Brockport, and a B.A. in Fine Arts from Eastern Connecticut State University. Cheri has danced professionally with The New England Dance Theatre and The Judy Dworin Performance Project. She also enjoys designing sets for JDPP’s Moving Matters! program in Hartford. Cheri has also served on the faculty at Springfield College, and as visiting artist at Trinity College. Her favorite part about being at Walker’s is the chance to teach, rehearse, and collaborate with such enthusiastic young dancers.

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Laurie MacAlpine P'08

Music Department Chair

Laurie MacAlpine P'08

 860-408-4295

B.S., Ladycliff College
M.M., The Hartt School

Laurie MacAlpine came to Walker’s in 1998 and has expanded the music program to address the needs of a growing student body. She earned her bachelor’s degree in science with a minor in vocal music from Ladycliff College and went on to receive her master’s in music composition from The Hartt School, University of Hartford. An accomplished musician, she studied composition and theory with Arnold Franchetti, classical guitar with Janet Marlowe, and piano with Bridget de Moura Castro. Before coming to Walker’s, Laurie owned her own piano and classical guitar studio for 10 years and started four independent music programs for home school associations in Connecticut. She has conducted several children’s choirs in churches throughout Hartford and is currently the cantor at Our Lady of Sorrows Church. At Walker’s, she has expanded the music program to include a gospel choir and a chamber choir (Voce Felice), Upper and Middle School orchestra, a handbell choir, and chamber ensembles. In October 2006, she was awarded The Natalie Galbraith Mitchell Chair in the Humanities for her work at the school. She is currently a member of Simsbury Town Band in the clarinet section.

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Marissa Forde P'28

Visual Arts Faculty

Marissa Forde P'28

 860-408-4264

B.A., Jacksonville University
M.Ed., University of Hartford

Marissa, a Simsbury native, joined the Walker’s community in the winter of 2011 after beginning her teaching career in the local public school system. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in studio art with a focus on Illustration from Jacksonville University, and her master’s degree in education from the University of Hartford. She holds certifications in both art education and elementary education. Marissa teaches middle school visual arts. She also teaches ceramics with students ranging from beginner through advanced level three. Marissa is passionate about engaging girls in art by encouraging her students to explore how artistic creations are born through the solving of problems.

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Ben Barker

Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair, Visual Arts Faculty

Ben Barker

 860-408-4263

B.Sc., University of East Anglia, England

Ben Barker earned a B.Sc. (Hons) in Environmental Sciences from the University of East Anglia in England and is a graduate of the Connecticut Film Industry Training Program from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. Ben spent over 20 years in the environmental industry conducting laboratory analysis, mobile laboratory site investigations and indoor air quality studies. He is a State of Connecticut Department of Health Services-certified Environmental Laboratory Director. After leaving the scientific arena, Ben pursued his life-long love of photography and film by working in locations management for film and television productions in New York City and Connecticut. He is also a seasoned and qualified soccer coach, having coached the game for 15 years. Over that period he has coached all youth ages from two to 18 years old.

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