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Staff Biographies

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Lori Snyder, Executive Director

Lori received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Maryland, followed by furthering her graduate studies at Loyola University. Lori began her career in 1982 as an Elementary School Art Teacher; where she clearly distinguished herself as a maverick in the Arts Integration field long before it was in vogue. As Lori's career evolved, she became immersed in the Gifted and Talented Programs for Students, identifying opportunities for elementary and secondary students in art, music, drama, and dance. Perhaps her most pivotal role was when Lori collaborated with colleagues at Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) to write a grant for nearly $700,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Education to increase Mathematics achievement at the Wiley H. Bates Performing and Visual Arts Middle School. She co-authored the article "Transforming Teaching through Arts Integration" that was published in the Journal for Learning through the Arts in January of 2014 that highlights the model and findings from the grant. Largely due to Lori's leadership, Bates Middle School has been recognized by the College Board and the George Lucas Educational Foundation for its excellence in teaching all children with and through the arts and was received an award for Arts Integration from the Arts Schools Network.

Simultaneously, Lori worked with arts partners, leaders in AACPS, representatives from higher education and arts partners across the state to develop and implement AACPS' first Performing & Visual Arts Magnet Programs. During her tenure as Senior Manager of the Performing & Visual Arts Magnet Programs, the magnificent arts addition was added to the Annapolis High School building and she facilitated the transformation of a former school in Annapolis into Studio 39, the creative studios and performance space for AACPS' Performing and Visual Arts Magnet Programs. Lori was recognized in 2011 as the Maryland Art Educator of the Year by the National Art Education Association and was chosen by the Anne Arundel County Arts Council as the 2014 Arts Educator Annie Award Winner. Lori's influence has been instrumental in the lives of many and has highlighted the talents of students as well as her colleagues.

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J'aime Drayton, Director of Development

J’aime received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in American Studies from the University of Maryland College Park. She is passionate about K-12 education in Maryland schools and she has been awarded numerous awards for her work with students. She has four years of experience consulting small businesses and nonprofits on business and fundraising strategies. She is a former Organizing for America fellow, an active member of the PTA, and a former candidate for the Maryland State Senate.

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Mary Hester, Director of Program and Administration

Mary Hester received Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Dance and Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County,where she was a Linehan Artist Scholar. Throughout her undergraduate career, she explored the intersection of Dance and Public Policy by designing a unique Arts Advocacy major, researching as an Undergraduate Research Scholar, and interning with Americans for the Arts. After graduation, she completed her Master’s Degree in Public Policy with a focus in Education at The School of Public Policy at UMBC in December 2015. She worked for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene where she supported statewide programming for oral health as a Research Associate. Throughout her Graduate studies, she served as a Student Representative on the Board for the Maryland Council for Dance and taught dance with Bright StARTS, a program through the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, and with dance studios on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Most recently, Mary worked in Leadership Development at the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore.

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AEMS Alliance, 190 W. Ostend Street, Suite 210, Baltimore, Maryland 21230     Phone: 410-837-5500   Email: info@aems-edu.org