From 2002 to 2019, Kristen worked as a graphic designer for various weekly newspapers and as a freelance artist in Maine and Idaho. Ad design, page layout, diagrams, and illustrations were her bread and butter. She learned not only about the power of smart design, but the wins in collaborating with a team, departments, and clients. She became dexterous and gained a solid appreciation for how a well-built image can successfully convey ideas. Kristen has also worked in an educational capacity as a Registered Maine Whitewater Guide where she trained and led paddling crews through Class V rapids. When not on the river, she taught horsemanship at Camp Ketcha in Scarborough, Maine, instructed rock climbing, and coached for the non-profit after school program Girls on the Run in Idaho. Kristen loved the connection she made with her students. Seeing them understand for themselves that what they were learning was not only enjoyable but empowering.
While Kristen was earning her Masters in Art Teaching from MECA, she was captivated by the teaching framework Studio Thinking and the Eight Habits of Mind. She holds a BFA in Painting from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and this framework synchronizes perfectly with her understanding of the artistic process. Besides Studio Thinking, Kristen is intrigued by the theory of Multiple Intelligences. She appreciates how this approach caters to a child’s uniqueness and how it will enable her lessons to be adjusted to play to their strengths, ensuring a better learning experience. She interned with skilled mentors at Poland Community School and Hall-Dale High School, both in Maine. She absorbed the experiences and her mentors' wisdom of practice.
To Kristen, the art classroom has always been a safe haven for creativity and growth. She aims to continue that atmosphere in her teaching.