Meet the team

Our staff and instructors are passionate about dance and engaged with the community.

Carol Knox

Executive Director and Board President

Carol has worked with BalletRox since 2005, serving as BalletRox Board President and Executive Director since April 2012 and volunteer coordinator since 2006. Carol, a well-respected community activist, is a long-time volunteer teaching assistant at Boston Public Schools’ Mission Hill School in Jamaica Plain. She is retired New England Area Director for United Auto Workers (UAW), retired Massachusetts AFL-CIO Vice President, and a graduate of Connecticut College

Valerie Maio

Program Development and Fundraising Manager & Boston Schools Program Manager

Valerie came to BalletRox in 2002, after a professional dance career in Rhode Island and Boston. She has extensive Arts in Education experience, designing and teaching integrated curriculum in public school settings; training in Youth Development from BEST Initiatives; and is a certified Rhythm Works Integrative Dance Instructor. Valerie is passionate about teaching classical ballet as fundamental for students at all levels of training, from creative movement to advanced ballet and also enjoys serving as Creative Director overseeing choreography and performances. Originally from NY, she holds a B.S. in Dance from Skidmore College, and an M.S. in Non-Profit Management from Lesley University.

Instructors

Olga Marchenko

Program Manager, BalletRox Dance!
Lead Instructor, Mather School

Originally from Russia, Olga has worked with BalletRox since 2008. After graduating from Saratov Ballet Academy, she joined Moscow City Ballet and toured the world for four years. She is a long-term BalletRox teacher, and serves as Program Manager for BalletRox Dance! and Boston Public Schools (BPS) Programs, overseeing the training of dance teachers and execution of the dance program at BPS partner sites. She holds an M.S. degree in Global Studies and International Affairs from Northeastern University.

Sybil Huggins

Lead Tap Instructor, BalletRox Dance!
School Programs Liaison, Curley and Kenny Schools
Lead Instructor, Kenny School

Sybil, a Roxbury native, is an accomplished tap dancer with extensive experience in the greater Boston area with Boston Tap Company, Jacob’s Pillow, and Jeannette Neill Studio. Sybil has worked with BalletRox since 2006 as performer, teacher, administrator, coach, and mentor. She brings her many years of teaching experience and love of children into her role as School Programs Liaison where she provides direct support to students and their families, as well as interacting with classroom teachers, school faculty, and staff. She has a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Boston University.

Ana Bueso

Instructor, BalletRox Dance!

Ana has been dancing since she was three years old and continues to have a passion for the art. She mainly focused on Ballet but as she grew older she branched out in other styles including modern, contemporary, belly dancing, bachata, and any other styles she could take classes in! Now she is a second year student at Newbury College where she studies psychology and will graduate as class of 2018. In 2014 BalletRox came into her life again! She is now the Program Assistant and Creative Movement Instructor.

Mikela Lymon

Instructor, BalletRox Dance!

Mikela began dancing at the age of 5, taking classes in ballet, tap, and hip hop. Her passion for hip hop and specifically for contemporary and modern dance grew as the years went on. She has danced and trained throughout high school, participating in programs such as “REACH” that tours and performs at different schools around Boston area. In addition, she studied ballet and hip hop at Tony Williams Dance company and was a part of a dance group that performed in Boston, MA, and RI. Mikela has minored in Dance at The University of Hartford.

Victoria Sagardia

Instructor, Boston Public Schools

Victoria Sagardía was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She started her dance education in Guaynabo, at Academia de Artes Franceschi, under the instruction of Ana María Castañón, Roberto López, Arleane López, María Julia Landa, Christina Franceschi, Hector Padilla, and Rosa Sandín among others. She also studied with Compañía de Danza 21, under the instruction of Lourdes Gómez, Vesna Lantigua, and Jesús Miranda among others. She has been teaching and working with youth since 2010. In 2013, she moved to Boston, where she collaborated with Emerson College’s dance company for two years, then became a part of Boston-based contemporary company Danza Orgánica in 2015. The same year, she worked with Sociedad Latina as a dance consultant, running the dance program at the organization. She joined BalletRox in 2016. Victoria is currently finishing a Bachelor of Arts at Emerson College.

Board of Directors

Three BalletRox board members

Three BalletRox board members:
Lisa Pearlstein, Monique Veale, and Julie Sutherland

Carol Knox

President, Jamaica Plain, UAW AFL-CIO, Retired

A well respected community activist, Carol has worked closely with BalletRox since 2005. Carol is retired New England Area Director for United Auto Workers and Massachusetts AFL-CIO Vice President. She is a long-time volunteer Teaching Assistant at BPS Mission Hill School in Jamaica Plain and continues to give back to her community through her leadership and stewardship of BalletRox.

Gregory A. Manousos

Vice President, Southborough, Morgan, Brown and Joy, LLP

Greg Manousos is a partner with the Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP, a labor and employment law firm in Boston. Prior to joining Morgan, Brown & Joy in 2000, Greg served as Counsel to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. Greg is an active member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, and he is a frequent presenter and participant at NACUA conferences across the country. Greg serves on the Board of Directors of Hearth, Inc., a Boston-based non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of homelessness among the elderly through a variety of prevention, placement, and housing programs. Greg is thrilled to join BalletRox Board.

Julie Sutherland

Treasurer, Jamaica Plain, GPI Models

Julie has been involved with BalletRox since 2005. She’s served as President and Treasurer and is committed to providing opportunity for arts within our local communities.

Jane Allard

Clerk, Jamaica Plain, Akamai Technologies

Jane Allard is a Senior Manager of Developer Productivity at Akamai Technologies. Previously a software engineer at Math Works and a trained ballet dancer, Jane has been a BalletRox supporter since 2001.

Monica Auguste

At Large, Mattapan, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Monica Auguste is Procurement Manager of the IT Department at Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Rachel Hassinger

At Large, Boston, WGBH Educational Foundation

Rachel Hassinger is a strategic communications professional for artists and nonprofits, and a semi-professional musician. She recently joined WGBH Educational Foundation as the Digital Content Editor (Classical), merging her digital and music professions. Previously, Rachel served as the Online Communications Specialist at Management Sciences for Health and as Online Communications Manager at Boston University School of Public Health. She directed a women's chorus in Boston, teaches piano, and accompanies vocalists and instrumentalists on piano and percussion. Rachel studied piano performance and sociology at Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Oberlin College, and earned a BS, magna cum laude, in Interdisciplinary Studies from Boston University.

Morgan Keith

At Large, Boston, Liberty Mutual

Born in Boston, Morgan has been dancing ballet since she was given the chance to dance at age two through a program at her Montessori school. This opportunity -- and a director offering to allow Morgan to attend studio classes free of charge -- ignited her lifetime passion for dance and appreciation for community involvement in the arts. Morgan has had varied experiences in the dance community: nationally competing in ballet, lyrical, contemporary, and jazz for almost a decade; performing lead roles with a regional ballet company in Texas for 10 years; attending ballet summer intensives such as The American Academy of Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet NYC, The Boston Ballet, and Kaatsbaan Extreme Ballet; and most recently, acting as a choreographer and board member for her college’s dance ensemble. She holds a BS in Business Administration from Babson College and is currently a Financial Business Systems Analyst at Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Monique Marshall Veale

At Large, Mattapan, METCO

Monique Marshall Veale has more than 17 years of experience working with children and families from various walks of life, cultures, and socio-economic backgrounds in the greater Boston area. Monique’s primary focus has been in academic and social enrichment programs for children and adolescents between the ages of 5-19 years old. She was the founding director of C.A.T.C.H. and Smart-Kids in Roxbury, and has served in leadership positions for METCO programs in the Dover-Sherborn, Weston, and Lincoln school districts. She has served on the Board of Trustees for the Roxbury Weston Programs Inc., as the Vice President of Community Outreach for the Boston Children’s Theatre, co-leader of the Walker School Cultural Competency Task Force, and on a variety of community boards emphasizing cultural competency, family involvement, education and community service learning. As the Program Manager for Adolescent Enrichment Services at the Dimock Center in Roxbury MA, Monique leads a youth program that provides academic enrichment, recreation, community-outreach and after school care and education.

Lisa Pearlstein

At Large, Needham, Benoit Mizner Simon & Co. Real Estate

Lisa Pearlstein lives in Needham with her husband, Noah, and two daughters, Sadie and Miriam. Lisa earned her BA in Philosophy at University of Texas at Austin and her Master’s in Business Administration at Boston University. After taking a break from the corporate world of IT Sales to raise her daughters, Lisa became a real estate agent working for Century 21 Commonwealth. She joined Benoit Mizner Simon & Co. Real Estate in October 2016 and ranks in the top five of agents with her husband, Noah. Lisa volunteers at Temple Beth Shalom, Needham. She loves the confidence, self esteem, and sense of self that her daughters have gained during their dance experiences and believes every child should experience the same. She loves BalletRox’s dedication to both the public school program and the community dance program.

John Tobin

At Large, West Roxbury, Northeastern University

John Tobin currently serves as Vice President of City and Community Affairs for Northeastern University, where he manages the relationship between the University and elected city officials, agencies, and local community partners. He has extensive experience in theatre production and consulting, responsible for producing and promoting live public and private comedy and music shows; over 400 shows have been produced in the Boston area since 2002. John served as Boston City Councilor, District 6 for 9 years, Representing the communities of Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury, in addition to parts of Roslindale, Mission Hill and Roxbury. He is neighborhood activist and has supported the following organizations: Charles River Spring Valley Neighborhood Association, West Roxbury Civic and Improvement Association, Boston Children’s Theatre, Regan Little League, Parkway Little League, Parkway Soccer, Bellevue Hill Association, Roberto Clemente League, Catholic Memorial Hall of Fame Committee, Mark Bavis Leadership Committee. He is thrilled to serve on BalletRox Board and continue to strengthen its partnership with Northeastern University.

Josh Ungar

At Large, Newton, Bank of America

Josh Ungar is a Vice President at Bank of America.

Advisory Board

Suzanne Federspiel

Brookline, BPS Principal, Retired

Susannah St-Germain

Framingham, Boston Scientific

Suzanne Liebech

Concord, Dancing Wellness