Our Teachers

Holly Burnett

Holly is the founder of Art First, Inc. and has an extensive background in the arts. She has studied and taught throughout the United States and Canada and has taught at various schools, museums and nature centers within this community. After moving to Pittsburgh, Holly turned Art First over to her friend, Diane, and returns each summer to do what she loves – teach and be with friends. Holly lives in Pittsburgh with her husband, Mark, and their two Papillions, Max and George. She is a docent and a studio art instructor at the Frick Pittsburgh.

Tom Cofran

Tom has more than twenty years experience in cabinetmaking and carpentry — skills first learned from his father, a longtime teacher of woodworking. A graduate of Tower Hill School and William and Mary, Tom is now a contractor who resides in Landenberg with his wife and two daughters. When he’s not working on renovations to their older home, he enjoys fly fishing and coaching soccer.

Andrea Comiez

Andrea enjoys teaching a range of students from ages 3-23…and beyond! She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary English Education and a Master’s Degree in Reading Education. She taught 6th grade English/Reading for three years and worked as an elementary Reading Specialist for six. She also taught undergraduate education classes at the University of Maryland, College Park – her alma mater. She now works as a teacher at Walnut Grove Coop in Newark, DE and as a Reading Tutor at Gilpin Manor Elementary in Elkton, MD. She resides in Maryland with her fantabulous husband and son. She also believes that the Earth without art is just eh.

Lianne Covington

Lianne is a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, New York. She is studying Textile Design with a minor in Art History. She has studied abroad in Paris to learn about the fashion houses and current trends and is now an intern at Wearbest, Bella Dura. Lianne first became interested in art during kindergarten and attended Art First, Inc. every summer learning from Holly Burnett, Diane Humphrys and Tracey Simmonds. She graduated from Avon Grove High School where she enjoyed the art programs and her teachers. In her free time, she enjoys weaving, sewing and jewelry. Some of her hobbies are reading books, hiking, movie nights and making new friends.

Caitlin Daugherty

Caitlin graduated from Kutztown University with a degree in Fine Arts and a minor in Psychology. She is a kindergarten art teacher for Weaver Day School and the Director of Art Education at the Oxford Arts Alliance in Oxford, Pennsylvania. She wishes to contribute to building a substantial art community through her position at Oxford Arts Alliance where she is able to bring art and culture to the little town daily. Along with her director position, she teaches children’s lessons, classes, camps, and clubs.  She is passionate about bringing people together through art and emphasizes the importance of art-making as a fun way to release stress and replace it with inspiration!

Natalie Ferry

Natalie is an 8th grade science teacher who just completed her seventh year of teaching.  As an avid member of her school’s STEM redesign team, she loves incorporating science into art.  She graduated from Ursuline Academy in 2006 and University of Delaware in 2010. She graduated from Wilmington University in January of 2017 with her masters in educational leadership. She enjoys spending time with her husband, 3 year old son, Benjamin, and 1 year old daughter, Scarlett.

Diane Humphrys

Diane is an experienced teacher with a strong background in arts and crafts. She has a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and has taught 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades. Diane has also taught summer fun programs for young children, dance, environmental science classes with a local nature center, preschool at children first preschool, and has worked in different schools providing school support services. She has been affiliated with Art First Inc. since 2004 and is now the owner. She enjoys mixed media collage, fiber arts, experimenting with different media and new techniques, and teaching art programs to all ages.

Karen Snowe Johnson

Karen is a Director of children first preschool in Hockessin, Delaware. She has a degree in Child Study from Tufts University and has 40+ years experience teaching young children. She is a world-wide museum aficionado, an amateur bird watcher and a plant lover. Karen resides in Newark, Delaware with her husband.

Colleen Loughlin

Colleen went to Kings College and graduated with a BA in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education. She moved to Delaware in 2007 with her husband from Philadelphia. They have a 9 year old daughter who is an alumni of children first preschool. She is currently a Pre 1 classroom teacher at children first preschool during the school year.

Ellie Schwartz

Ellie Schwartz is a current Sophomore at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. She is currently studying Illustration and has had a passion for doing art since she was very young. She taught and helped with many of the camps last summer including Faerie week, Look No Brushes!, Action! Art!, and Americana Week, just to name a few. She is looking forward to coming back this summer to help out and even teach a few camps herself!

 Jo-ann Shiley

Jo-ann graduated from Hofstra University in 1999 with a Fine Arts degree.  She went on to get her Art Education Degree from Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, and graduated in 2000.  She also has a Master’s in Education from Wilkes University, which was completed in 2006.  She has been teaching for 16 years as an Art Teacher at Avon Grove Elementary School in Pennsylvania.  Jo-ann believes that teaching art to children gives them a chance to realize there are so many ways to accomplish a task.  It opens their minds to think differently and learn how to express themselves.  During her summer break, she enjoys spending most of her time at the beach with her husband and two children, Emma (12) and Ben (10).

Tracey Simmonds

Tracey has a BA in Biological Sciences and a Masters in Education. She has spent her career working with children to create learning experiences focusing on science and art. After a relocation to the Midwest, she has focused on establishing her studio, teaching workshops, and growing her creative spirit. This year saw her work traveling into private collections in England, Germany, and Australia, along with private collectors here in the United States. When not in the studio, she enjoys spending time with her husband, son, daughter and new puppy in central Iowa.

Rachel Tallant

Rachel is an art student at the University of Delaware. She hopes to study graphic design under the competitive major, Visual Communications. Rachel is currently completing the core program at UD where she studies fine arts such as paint, photography, printmaking, and typography. Rachel plans to become either a photographer, graphic designer, art director or art teacher one day. In her free time she has volunteered and taught several afterschool art classes at Downes Elementary School and Art First, Inc. and loves coming up with fresh and new ideas for crafts and projects.

Margaret Vidumsky

Margaret has a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s Degree in Special Education.  She is an experienced teacher who home schooled for eleven years, was a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader, taught at a local nature center, and is presently teaching 3rd grade at Avon Grove Charter School.  In addition to art, she enjoys gardening, hiking, birding, bicycling and other outdoor activities.  Margaret lives in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania with her husband and pup.

Delma Williamson

Delma is retired but she fills her time working in her church on several committees. She also volunteers at the West Chester Food Cupboard. When she is not volunteering at church or the cupboard, she can be found crafting at her desk or bowling with the ladies from the gym. Delma lives in Landenberg, Pennsylvania with her husband.

Debby Wilson

Debby has a background in Art History, business and education. She worked at Winterthur and JPMorgan before earning her teaching certificate. She has taught elementary math, tutored in reading as well as math, and taught at the Early Learning Center at Hockessin United Methodist Church for 9 years. Debby is presently in her second year teaching Pre-K at children first preschool. She enjoys crafts, sewing, painting, gardening and being outdoors. Debby lives in Hockessin with her husband and daughter.

Jennifer Lex Wojnar

Jennifer received her BFA in fine metals from Tyler School of Art at Temple University. She spent five years in the jewelry industry until leaving to marry and start a family. Returning home to scenic Chester County has brought back her love for painting. Her paintings can be found in local shops, online, and at the Oxford Arts Alliance juried gift shop in Oxford, Pennsylvania. Jennifer currently is an art teacher at CCAC and at OxAA and this summer will be teaching for the National Gourd Association