FOUNDER AND MASTER TEACHER
Dr. Traci Demuth has pursued her dreams of positively impacting education in a variety of ways through public, private, and non-profit programs. In 2013, she started Dream AcadeME Summer Camp. Since then Dr. Demuth has expanded Dream AcadeME with Homeschool, Tutoring, Afterschool classes, and consulting services.
Dr. Demuth received her Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) in K-12 Education Leadership at USC in 2015. With over fifteen years of teaching experience, her most memorable experiences have been teaching Pre-K at Harvard University and working with parents to open micro-schools. Dr. Demuth weaves Reggio and Constructivism philosophies to create a curriculum that meets the needs of 21st century learners with personalized Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math project-based experiences. She incorporates the latest research and constantly evolves the curriculum to meet the students’ interests and needs.
Teaching children to read and write is one of the most rewarding experiences for Dr. Demuth as an educator. She facilitates a blended program of whole language, invented spelling, phonics, social constructivism, and process drama to maintain motivation for reading and writing. By incorporating the child's interests and moving at a pace that maintains the child's confidence, Dr. Demuth has observed numerous children make leaps and bounds in their literacy development. With a strong foundation in reading and writing, students are better able to research, document, and experiment with STEAM learning projects.
Most importantly, Dr. Demuth respects and highly values the parent-teacher partnership and works closely in regular communication with parents about their children’s experiences. Parents can expect regular documentation with children’s pictures, videos, and quotes, including details of the daily curriculum, to make the children’s learning visible.
In addition to her credentials in education, Dr. Demuth is also a certified yoga and fitness instructor. Many elements of yoga, movement, dance, meditation, and mindfulness are integrated into daily practices at Dream AcadeME.
Dr. Demuth has a deep passion for teaching and learning. She creates the most authentic and honest approach to education possible to prepare children for success in today’s globalized society. Dr. Demuth hopes you will join her endeavor in education reform and expresses her gratitude for sharing in these dreams.
Founding Director & Secretary
Sarah received her Bachelors of Arts in Geography in 2005 from the University of Maine at Farmington. She spent several years working for the Maine and Connecticut Departments for Environmental Protection working to map and protect endangered species habitat throughout New England. Her mission during these years was to provide the proper tools and advocacy for preserving the rich biodiversity inherent in nature and empowering others to do the same. Partnering with the University of Connecticut, she taught undergrad students and fellow research partners mapping techniques for environmental conservation furthering her mission to bring an active voice to our environment's preservation. Likened to Socrate's philosophy of learning by way of questions, a Geographer asks, “Where?” and “Why?” And uses various technological tools to design ways to visualize research and find those answers. The elements of the STEAM integrative approach are inherently infused into this type of work. Though her career as a Conservation Geographer predates the acronym, it was the interplay of these five elements, now STEAM, that gave strength to her conservation efforts. It's an approach she has experienced professionally and enthusiastically advocates for.
Alongside "saving the earth" (or at least the tiny part within New England), she has worked as a professionally trained and certified ski instructor and race coach where she specialized in learn-to-ski/learn-to-race programs for 3 to 5 year olds. Empowering her young students to discover and develop the skills and athleticism to successfully and confidently ski, provided them also with an ability to interact with nature in a way they never had before, and to grow and share that interaction with their families. Time spent connecting with outdoor space is something Sarah holds dear to her heart. She believes deeply, as Emerson did, in the power and value of nature. And connecting to nature within community and family creates an experience ripe for learning and empowerment.
Most currently, her work has led her to teaching within an enrichment program for 2 and 3 year olds in the Boston, MA area. Her love of teaching and her journey into motherhood brought her here most naturally. The program is vested in art, music, play, and movement, all with undertones of the Reggio Emilia philosophy that she hopes to grow and strengthen.
Joining us here at Dream AcadeME, Sarah brings with her the compassionate voice of nature. She believes strongly in cultivating the confidence in her students to ask questions and openly hypothesize and search for the answers. She uses her peaceful, Reggio-inspired approach to instill a sense of wonder in our natural environment and honor each individual's sacred place within it. Coincidently, she wholeheartedly believes in the mission of Dream AcadeME, finding it directly aligned with her own. In her spare time, she enjoys ballet, yoga, mindfulness practice, photography, and all things out of doors.
Founding Director & Treasurer
As a father, James is a man who believes in the individual, while investing in the team building mentality to make positive changes in this life. Early childhood education is an important aspect in his life, and his sister, Traci, was and still continues to inspire James with how to improve every child’s education from the early stages to make sure they succeed in learning throughout their entire life. For this reason and many others, James supports and believes in the teaching foundation of STEAM that is embedded into Dream AcadeME.
In his career James worked with children and parents for over three years while producing creative video content for Maker Studios, a company owned by The Walt Disney Company. It takes a talented and creative collaborative effort to produce video entertainment. The team mentality was previously engrained into James’ mindset while serving in the Air Force as a Crew Chief. During his military service, he volunteered for the local Children’s Special Olympics in North Dakota. This positive experience sparked his ambition to always stay involved with the youth of this world. Working with a diverse group of parents and children gave him a better understanding of family dynamics and education.
James often observed and discussed computers and technology with his father, who was a talented computer guru during the huge technological boom in the 1970s-1990s. At home with the guidance of his mother, he used the VHS video camera to record family videos as young as seven-years-old. In high school James made short movies with his friends, and then after the Air Force James studied Cinema and Photography receiving his Bachelors of Arts Cum Laude at Southern Illinois University. His childhood experiences with film certainly guided his passions for higher education.
His deep connections with nature began when James was just a child. His mother and father always encouraged him and his sister to spend ample time outdoors to remain proactive and in touch with nature. This motivated James to ride his bike on trails throughout the forests of New Hampshire and he participated in Cub Scouts. Jump ahead 20 years, and James found himself working on a project hiking and digitally mapping over 330 miles of hiking trails at our beautiful National Parks. The pure energy he received during this endeavor solidified his bond with our beautiful planet.
Taking his knowledge from mapping trails using the world’s first 360°, full motion, high-resolution camera rig propelled him into producing and capturing 360/3D content with other various camera rigs. Now he finds himself in the forefront of creating amazing content for 360° and Virtual Reality (VR) headsets and players. James recently setup a developer kit for the brand new HTC Vive which he now uses to playback the 3D content he creates with his business partners. The applications for the technology and computer science James interacts with on a daily basis will benefit his guidance and leadership qualities as Founding Director and Treasurer of Dream AcadeME.
James’ final asset to Dream AcadeME is connected to his work as a Producer. James builds large budgets for multiple projects, which gives him strong confidence when working with any budget. Often, he hires crew to help create the video projects, so he is very resourceful when working with people towards a common goal. The team mentality that goes into producing coupled with James’ deep roots and connection with nature and technology parallels his contributions to Dream AcadeME’s mission and success.
Founding board member and tech consultant
Alex grew up in a small town named Morton in Central Illinois. He received his BS in Communications from Illinois State University in 2009 with a focus on interactive design. After college he moved to sunny California and embarked on his career in user interface design. Promodes.com is the company he currently works for full-time.
In 2007, Alex co-founded a small design company called Skyconcepts. The company offers web, app, and graphic design services for clients across the country.
Alex has worked pro-bono with several organizations that support great causes. One of his longest standing clients is Teen Challenge of Peoria, located in Peoria, Illinois, which works with men and women who are suffering from drug and alcohol addictions. Alex has also worked with Heart of Illinois Harvest, a non-profit food rescue program that transports surplus food to local agencies for free distribution to those in need. Giving back to the community is something Alex believes in and tries to work with those in need whenever he can.
Alex has watched Traci take Dream AcadeME from an idea to a successful nonprofit in a matter of a few years. He’s inspired by her diligent work ethic and happy to have been involved since the beginning. In his spare time he enjoys exploring California, and making music.
Founding board member and legal support
Amanda Fish received her Bachelor of Arts from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism
(UMD) and relocated to Los Angeles shortly after graduation. She has since worked in law as an
executive assistant coordinating large multimillion-dollar jury trials.
A proponent of yin-yang balance, Amanda aims to use both right and left brain throughout the day. She completed a YogaWorks RYT-200 teacher training in 2014 and taught studio classes in LA. Amanda studied yoga philosophy throughout the training, which sparked an interest in
thinking about thinking. The following year, Amanda became Reiki I attuned. She has since taught vision boarding workshops—using creativity to connect yoga and
meditation with journaling and writing exercises. In 2017, Amanda, along with Dream AcadeME founder Traci Demuth, led a group of 8th grade students in a vision board workshop hosted by another education-focused nonprofit.
As a Dream AcadeME Board Member, Amanda brings her communications expertise and yoga
knowledge to the table. Her keen eye for problem solving also incorporates compassion and
mindfulness. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys yoga, biking, dancing, reading and vegetarian