The Conway School follows a flexible collaborative process that engages all employees in thoughtful discussion and participation in decisions large and small. We believe this model reflects the school’s mission, values, and curriculum; strengthens the institution’s ability to respond to challenges and take advantage of opportunities; and creates a collaborative, efficient workplace.

Lisa DeGrace, Development Manager

Lisa DeGrace has spent her career as a non-profit administrator and fundraiser. She has worked for a variety of organizations including a Land Trust, an artist residency program, a non-profit photography gallery, and schools and an arts college. After nearly thirty years in Portland, OR she happily returned to New England, refamiliarizing herself with snow and mosquitos. Lisa is also a composer, working with contemporary dancers and video.

MFA, Sierra Nevada University
BA, Hampshire College

Roxy Finn, Admissions Manager

Roxy Finn, Admissions Manager, has been exploring the intersections of creativity, culture, and planet since 1994 as a scientist, teacher, educational administrator, designer and parent. Beginning her career in geology, she then taught English and developed educational programming for students and institutions in Japan, Italy, and New York City. During her 15 years at Hampshire College in the neighboring town of Amherst, she co-created multiple experiential, project-based design and entrepreneurship programs. She is also certified in permaculture design and co-managed Paradise Lot, an urban perennial agriculture homestead in Holyoke, MA.

BA, Geology, Smith College

CJ Lammers, Projects Manager

CJ Lammers is a nationally-known speaker and advocate for all things green. For almost thirty years she worked tirelessly with citizens and state and local governments to move the ball forward on various topics including tree and forest preservation; small and large landscape conservation; and environmental land use policies, strategies, and regulations. Her most recent full-time position was as a Master Environmental Planner in Prince George’s County, Maryland where she implemented environmental legislation and advised decision-makers in the areas of agricultural and forestry conservation and general issues related to the environment. At the Conway School, CJ cultivates projects for the students to complete as part of their winter (planning) and spring (design) terms. She also teaches classes in planning and contributes to student project support. CJ is the Program Manager for the Conway Institute, the school’s continuing education arm.

At George Washington University she was one of the founding professors in GWU’s Sustainable Landscapes Program. She currently teaches the Introduction to Sustainable Design course, the first in the Sustainable Landscapes Program series, providing an overview of all aspects of sustainable design.

MS, Urban and Environmental Planning, University of Virginia
BS, Natural Resource Management, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

Priscilla Novitt '07, Administrative Director

As Administrative Director, Priscilla Novitt ’07 shares responsibility for primary leadership of the school with Academic Director Ken Byrne and Finance Director Kara Schnell. Priscilla spent close to a decade in New York City, where she produced professional development conferences and workshops for artists, implemented peer coaching and training programs for arts leaders, and consulted with artists and arts organizations about strategic planning, federal grant management, and grant writing. She has also helped create a digital archive of historic Northampton city maps, and co-owned a small commercial-scale apiary/hobby gone out of control.

MALD, The Conway School
BA, Psychology, Oberlin College

Kara Schnell, Finance Director

Kara Schnell has been peripherally connected to the Conway School since 2000, since she and her husband, Chuck Schnell ’01, moved to the area for Chuck’s academic year, and decided to make western Massachusetts their home. Though Kara holds a degree in botany, she discovered accounting in 2005, and has been assisting both non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses with bookkeeping and payroll services for the past 13 years. Kara has served on Boards and Finance Committees for local non-profits, and has recently started volunteering at her sons’ elementary school with a school banking program. She enjoys gardening and tending to a small flock of chickens. As Finance Director, Kara shares responsibility for primary leadership of the school with Academic Director Ken Byrne and Administrative Director Priscilla Novitt ’07.

BS, Botany, University of Vermont

Michele VanLandingham, Development Coordinator

Michele VanLandingham joined the Conway School in 2018 and is the Development Coordinator. This is her first rodeo working within the world of development. She spent close to twenty years working in the natural skin care industry as an ingredient specialist. Michele lives in Turners Falls, MA tending to her two teenage children, elderly beagle named Lottie, and beloved perennial and herb gardens.

MEd, University of Maine
BA, History, Canisius College

Dave Weber '15, Campus Manager

Dave Weber ’15 works to ensure the smooth functioning of the school’s facilities as well as the implementation and maintenance of the school’s landscape. He works with students throughout the year to troubleshoot their technology questions and often joins the class for ecology fieldwork sessions.

Outside Conway, Dave serves his hometown of Williamsburg on its Mill River Greenway Committee and Woodland Trails Committee, helping to plan the extension of a regional multi-use trail and design, build, and maintain a network of trails for public recreation. He is an avid cook, photographer, traveler, canoeist, and general lover of the outdoors among other things.

MSED, The Conway School
BA, Peace and Justice Studies, Tufts University

Elaine Williamson '11, Events Manager and Alum Coordinator

At Conway, Elaine Williamson ’11 has the roles of Registrar, Alumni Liaison, Event Coordinator, and Librarian. Elaine received her undergrad degree in psychology and worked in the mental health field for a number of years before going back to school at Conway. She has been the host of the Belchertown (Elaine’s) Plant Swap since 2003. Elaine became a Master Gardener in 2007 and has lectured on a variety of gardening topics. After Conway she worked as the administrator for the Hampden/Hampshire County Conservation District and operated her own residential design business. Mom to three grown sons and married for forty years this summer, Elaine is a pet lover and plant geek.

MALD, The Conway School