<b>Peninsula <i>Hands On Art</i></b>, Gig Harbor, Peninsula School District art programs and projects

Board of Directors

Jessica Rogg - President
Jessica Rogg is a longtime Gig Harbor resident, GHHS alum with a degree in Graphic Design. She is a mother to 2 daughters and 1 son. Jessica has served PHOA since 2010 in many capacities. She started as a docent in her daughter's classrooms which evolved to helping as a school lead, board member and featured artist. Jessica feels strongly that all children should receive an education in the fundamentals of visual arts. She sees art as a form of communication that must not be disregarded and loves PHOA's commitment to art education. Jessica and her partner Curtis Burkart run a commercial screen printing and embroidery company in Gig Harbor, Custom Prints NW.

Jen Nielsen - Vice-President
Jen Nielsen has spent most of her professional life in education-as a therapist, teacher, and currently the library specialist at Goodman Middle School. She is passionate about the arts--creative, performing, and literary--and has been active in Peninsula Hands on Art since returning to the Puget Sound area in 2018, serving as a classroom docent, co-lead at Discovery Elementary, and joining the board in 2020. She is also the author of the YA Fantasy Fractured Kingdoms series, and winner of the 2020 Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest for Young Adult literature. When not writing, shelving books or choreographing musicals, she is most likely playing with her family in the forest, on the water, or in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest.

Marta O'Neill - Treasurer
Marta was born and raised in Steilacoom and moved to Gig Harbor with her family over 20 years ago. After graduating from the University of Washington, Marta went on to earn her CPA. She worked for Moss Adams in Tacoma and Ryan, Jorgenson & Limoli in the Harbor, then became a full-time property manager. Her experience with Peninsula Hands on Art began 13 years ago when she painted a salmon at the first PHOA docent training, and watched her two boys flourish in the program while students at Harbor Heights. She is excited be involved in this organization once again as it continues to bring amazing art projects into classrooms throughout Gig Harbor.

Kristin Nordquist - Co-Secretary
Kristin Nordquist has been on the board since 2014. Before that, she was co-chair of Peninsula Hands On Art at Voyager for 8 years. She has three children who have grown up with the program and she couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of this amazing program. Kristin has always loved art. She feels the kids need this outlet for creativity and expression. As Pablo Picasso said, " Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life".

Tiffany Place - Board Member
Tiffany Place is the head of Peninsula Hands On Art at Discovery Elementary. An introduction to art and design in public high school inspired Tiffany to pursue a career in graphic design, so she is very passionate about exposing children in public school to the arts and giving them an opportunity to create. Tiffany earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in graphic design from the University of Cincinnati. Prior to moving to Gig Harbor with her husband and two boys, Tiffany worked in award-winning design firms in Boston, Los Angeles and Seattle. She was a key contributor on the brand design for a number of national businesses and still sees her designs today in grocery stores and out and about in the city. Currently, Tiffany provides freelance design services to local businesses through her company Place Creative.

Erin Morton - Board Member
Erin is passionate about art and creative thinking as a means for problem solving and improving communication across often impenetrable boundaries. While she isn't agonizing over her future TED talk (joking-is there a TED stage for introverts?) she's raising two boys with her husband and running a small creative firm. After becoming a docent for both her kids' classes, she could see the deep value in the program and lightly stalked the website to find out how she could further support the effort. The stars aligned and a position opened up, and she couldn't be more thrilled to be involved in such an important and necessary program. Erin has a BA in Anthropology and Art & Design, and has been a graphic designer, writer, and creative director for over a decade. Let's give art to more lives!

Kristin Page - Board Member
Kristin Page earned a BA in Liberal Arts from California Lutheran University and is a 3rd grade teacher at Voyager Elementary School. She has had a lifelong love of the arts and has painted over 40 wall murals during her artistic career. Kristin enjoys experimenting with music and painting and her artwork has been featured on several cards and brochures for the Health Committee at Agnus Dei Lutheran Church, Gig Harbor, Washington.

Ashley Aston - Board Member
Ashley Aston grew up Bangor, Northern Ireland and Graduated from the University of Ulster with a degree in Fine and Applied Arts, she continued her education with a post graduate teaching certification. Prior to moving to the United States she taught Art at secondary and higher education levels. She moved to the Midwest in 2004 and to Gig Harbor in 2013. She was introduced to Peninsula Hands On Art when her twin daughters first started Kindergarten at Purdy Elementary School and signed up immediately to be a docent. Since then, she has been in positions as a school lead for both Purdy and Minter Creek Elementary schools. Due to the structure of the program and her past experience as an Art teacher Peninsula Hands On Art was an ideal way to volunteer in the classroom in a meaningful way. "I love that each student gets to use real, good quality art materials, they are taught how to do the project but are given space to use their own creativity to make a unique art piece and are given an introduction to different aspects of the Art world with each project they complete."

John Manthe - Board Member
John Manthe is a 14-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force who moved to Gig Harbor in 2020. He and his wife Trisha are proud parents of two kiddos in the Peninsula School District who are constantly asking when the next Peninsula Hands On Art is coming to their class. Prior to living in Washington, John and his family have lived in Las Vegas, Okinawa, Oklahoma, Florida, D.C., and California, but they love Washington and never want to leave. John enjoys hiking, reading obscure history books, and beating his kids in board games to teach them resilience.

Karmen Furer - Executive Director, non-board member
Karmen has volunteered with Peninsula Hands On Art since 2014, serving as a classroom docent and school lead for her two daughters. She has never missed a project and considers her time with PHOA to be the most rewarding volunteer work she has experienced. "I love that we have this inclusive art program in our School District that affords each child the opportunity to feel success and pride in their artwork and in themselves." Karmen has previous experience in Social Work as well as in Program Development and Volunteer Coordination and Support. She deeply believes that this program helps foster a lifetime appreciation for the arts in the hearts of our students. Fun Fact/Home Decor tip: Karmen's daughters' completed projects adorn the stairwell of her home and make for a vibrant art display sure to be appreciated by all!

Marla Morgan - Co-Founder, Past Executive Director, non-board member
Marla has had a life long love of the arts. As Co-founder and past President of Peninsula Hands On Art she is inspired to provide art education to every student because of the impact it has on the way they see the world. "Every student has an immense creative potential that needs to be nurtured and cultivated, and every child should be given the same opportunity and material to do so." Throughout her career in advertising and sales training Marla has been motivated by what truly makes a difference in the lives of children. "Art is the expression of the soul that transforms the ordinary every day into the brilliant adventure that is life!"

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