Meet some of our instructors:


Nina Antze is a botanical artist, quilt maker and teacher living in Sonoma County. She has a degree in Fine Art from  San Francisco State University and has a Certificate in Botanical Illustration from the New York Botanical Gardens. Her quilts have won numerous awards and her botanical paintings have been exhibited in New York, Filoli Gardens, the Huntington Library and the San Francisco Botanical Gardens.  

She teaches drawing classes and workshops throughout the Bay Area and in the Botanical Illustration Certificate Program at Filoli Gardens. She works in colored pencil, graphite, watercolor and fabric.

Nina is a member of the Northern  California Society of Botanical Artists,  Botanical Artists of Southern California, Guild of Scientific Illustrators and the  Colored Pencil Society of America.

Jeff Froke - Arts Instructor

Jeff Froke - Arts Instructor

A professional ornithologist for more than 40 years, Dr. Jeffrey Froke has focused his career on the protection of wild birds through field research (e.g., Mexican parrots), teaching, and preserve management across the United States and Central America.  Whether as a park ranger, wildlife warden, university lecturer or conservation executive  — including several years traveling and working with Roger Tory Peterson — Jeff remains dedicated to connecting people, young and old, with the birds in their shared neighborhoods — like Pebble Beach, Monterey and Pacific Grove, for example.  

Jeff, who trained at Humboldt State University, University of Hawaii, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, UCLA and Harvard,  is a life member of  National Audubon Society, past charter trustee of Pacific Seabird Group, and emeritus member of the American Ornithologists’ Union and Cooper Ornithological Society.  Jeff knows what makes birds tick… and fly and dive and sing!

Ashley Gora - Spanish Language Instructor

Ashley Gora obtained her MBA and MAIEP from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, a renowned for its emphasis on languages and international studies.  Originally from the Chicagoland region, she developed a desire to learn Spanish at a young age and started taking classes when she was in middle school.  She continued to takes classes throughout her high school and college years, and combined this with immersive learning and work opportunities abroad in Spanish-speaking countries.  

Ashley taught middle school English in Spain to native Spanish speakers, tutored high school Spanish, and tutored intermediate college Spanish during her undergraduate years at Lake Forest College in Illinois, where she received a dual Bachelors in International Relations and Spanish.  At Middlebury, she took advanced Spanish content courses and she took a course in English-to-Spanish consecutive interpretation.  Ashley's love for Spanish also caused her to develop a passion for Latin dances like salsa, which she helps teach in the community every week.  She is excited to be teaching a Spanish summer camp for middle schoolers this summer in addition to co-coordinating a Model United Nations summer camp!

Marie Gilmore - Instructor

Marie Gilmore - Arts Instructor

Marie was classically trained at the California School of Arts and Crafts in Oakland and the Choinard Art School in Los Angeles, and went on to hone her skills at Monterey Peninsula College and Hartnell College. 
She has worked with famed sculptor, Richard MacDonald (metal sculpture) and Pearson Design (retail design).  She has been a muralist, ballet program director and, most importantly, a teacher.  Through the Carmel, Pacific Grove and City of Monterey, she has taught outdoor painting, oil and acrylics, water color and colored pencil applications to both adults and children. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Pacific Grove Art Center. 
The Lyceum is pleased to announce that Marie will be a regular art teacher in our arts programs. She is a long time resident of Pacific Grove.


Photo Credit: dimnikolov

Jerry Gleason - Robotics Instructor

A native of San Francisco who worked in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Jerry Gleason has been helping us at the Lyceum since 2005. He was educated at Stanford University in Physics and Computer Science and co-founded Machine Intelligence Corp. with three colleagues from the Artificial Intelligence Center at SRI. He retired in 2005 as a Sr. Engineer / Scientist from Hewlett Packard’s corporate electronics laboratory in Palo Alto. At the San Jose Technology Museum he helped create and judge the annual San Jose Tech Challenge for a dozen years. In 1989, he designed and built a permanent attraction for the museum called the Alphabot (Vanna), an interactive spelling robot. For the past six years, Jerry has been on the Board of L.I.F.E. Inc., a non-profit group that assists children in the East Salinas area with tutoring, especially in the areas of math and science. Jerry serves on the Church Council for The Church of the Wayfarer in Carmel, where he recently managed the installation of a state-of-the–art multimedia platform; and is a member of is a member of the Carmel Foundation Photo Club.

The Lyceum is fortunate to have Jerry as a teacher and advisor. Retirement for Jerry has been a quest to find ways to give back to the community using the talents he has accumulated. Thank you, Jerry!!

Jade Hage

Jade Hage - English Instructor

Jade Hage is currently an M.A. candidate in Georgetown’s English Master’s program.  A native Pacific Grovian she loves to share her passion for all things literary with the town that raised and nurtured her.  Jade received her B.A. in English from UCLA along with a minor in Education Studies.  She hopes to one day teach high school English on the Monterey Peninsula among the esteemed faculty who so inspired her love for learning and critical thinking. In the meantime, she is happily immersing herself in the world of children’s literature as she embarks on writing her Master’s thesis, which will use animal studies to explore the intersection of faith and imagination in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia.  

This summer Jade will be teaching a two-week course on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.  Studying the intricacies of Shakespeare’s work is one of her life’s passions, so she is thrilled to share her abundant enthusiasm with the rising generation of high school students. 

Lynn Hamilton


Lynn Hamilton is a former anthropologist, writer (educational publishing) and public school teacher.  During her elementary teaching, she helped create school gardens, and promoted the teaching of science, art, and language in and through the garden.

Lynn is one of the founding members of the local organization “Return of the Natives”, a restoration education project (now based in the watershed Institute at Cal State Monterey Bay), whose motto is “Bringing nature closer to people and people closer to nature, through hands-on participation in restoring habitats.” She believes that nature and the arts are powerful ways to create peace and community on many levels.

Lisa Handley - Art Instructor

Lisa Handley is a collage artist, writer, blogger, instructor and SoulCollage® facilitator.  She handcrafts her Plumeria Papercraft notecards sold locally, on Etsy and by custom order, and one of her designs was featured in Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts.  She offers many creative classes and workshops for children and adults.  Lisa discovered Seena Frost’s expressive, insightful SoulCollage® process in Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula’s Healing Art program and was inspired to train as a facilitator of SoulCollage® and the MeCards4Kids™ adaptation.  Along with her passion for the arts, Lisa loves nature and enjoys beach walks and family hikes.

Julie Heilman

Julie Heilman- Art Instructor 

Julie began her studies at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, and completed her degree in Illustration at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, CA. She continues to explore her personal art journey in Pacific Grove while sharing her love of art with young folks.

Madison Holland

Madison Holland - Art Instructor

Madison Holland is a printmaker, painter, and textile artist who recently relocated to Monterey. She graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2015 with a BFA in printmaking. She has run the art department at Camp Norwester, a summer camp in the San Juan Islands of Washington state, for the past two summers. Before that she was an instructor there and even before that she was a camper. It was there she honed her love of the outdoors and all things related to making and creating. On her days off she can be found in her grandmothers sun drenched dining room working on no less than 5 projects at a time. Follow her on instagram to she what she's up to now: @madholla

Erin Hunter - botanical art instructor

Erin is a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and the California Native Plant Society. She has worked with major museums, small businesses and noted media outlets nationwide.  When she's not painting, teaching or working at the computer, she can be found puttering in her backyard garden or hiking in coastal forests. Her dog-eared copy of the Reader's Digest Guide to North American Wildlife sits prominently on her desk.

Lynda Kamrath

Lynda kamrath - square foot gardening

Lynda Kamrath was raised in Eastern Washington on a small farm and went to college at CSU, Hayward where she got a degree in Recreation Therapy.  After college, she lived in Brazil and Germany.  She later got her teaching credentials at Chapman College and worked in elementary education for 25 years.  In her retirement, she volunteers at school gardens in Salinas and at the Harvey House (home of the first mayor of Salinas).  Lynda currently teaches the Lyceum's Square Foot Gardening classes at Mission Park and Laurel Wood Elementary schools. 

Sharon Nelson - Arts Coordinator


Sharon Nelson is a retired  public school teacher and guidance counselor. She is a  Fellow of The California Arts Project, and  past member  of California Music Teachers Association.  
She has  developed  classes for the Lyceum's   Squarefoot Gardening and Botanical Art program.   Currently she teaches Pocket Sketching, Nature Journaling,  Creating Herbariums, and projects related to garden arts.  She is enrolled in the Botanical Illustration Certification program at Filoli and gives private piano lessons in her home studio.

Claudia Stevens - Botanical Arts

Claudia Stevens is a botanical artist, botanist and teacher.   She holds a Master’s degree from CA State University San Jose, a BFA in printmaking, with background in botany and Scientific Illustration. Claudia has taught drawing, painting and clay sculpture in the public schools since 1990. She has collaborated with botanists and biologists, illustrating a biology book, interpretive signs, books and editorials. Her work appears in University Press’s, Sunset Magazine, Bantam Books, Rodale Press, and elsewhere. Currently, Claudia is working on a project launched and supported in part by the Creative Work Fund grant.   The project is a quiet act of conservation in collaboration with a team specializing in plant ecology, anthropology and fine art; the goal of the project is to raise visibility and public awareness to the importance of our local native plants and biotic resources.  Her work retails in over one hundred shops and galleries.

Vickie Rockower - Mandarin Chinese Instructor

Vickie is a very dedicated and creative instructor who has a passion for teaching Chinese language and culture to young children and helping them experience success through the magic of learning.  She was formerly on the Board of North Valley Chinese School in San Jose in charge of "Chinese-Teaching Affairs".  Since moving to Monterey in 2008 she’s developed her Mandarin Chinese Tutoring and Teaching.  That experience with young children inspired her to launch her "Learn to Love Mandarin Chinese" Day Camp in 2013.   Now offered at The Lyceum, it was oversubscribed this year.

Vickie is a native Mandarin Chinese speaker and teaches both simplified and traditional Chinese, as needed.   Her teaching methods emphasize meaningful aspects of Chinese culture, calligraphy, legends, and festivals as well as role-playing and fun games to fully engage her students.


Patrice Vecchione - Art Instructor

Author, poet, collage artist, and teacher, Patrice Vecchione is the author of two works of nonfiction, most recently, Step into Nature: Nurturing Imagination and Spirit in Everyday Life (Simon & Schuster) and two collections of poetry. Patrice has taught creative writing and collage to children and grown-ups for many years. 


Kate Warthen - Art Instructor

My current mediums are collage, mixed media, watercolor, woodblock, and batik. I continually experiment with new mediums to develop tools for the widest possible range of expression. Elegance of form and elements of storytelling and humor are what I value most in my own work.
I am primarily a self-taught artist, with the exception of workshops that I take as often as possible. I have visited many of the great art museums in the USA and France, and constantly study the work of other artists, which I consider fundamental to my artistic training.



Steve Zmak captures the essence of the West through photography that speaks to the soul. A native Californian, Steve is a fine art and commercial photographer, graphic designer, and author of “A Year in the Vineyard.” This stunning collection of more than 100 photographs takes readers on a visual journey through four seasons in four vineyards in Monterey County’s Santa Lucia Highlands. A 17-year resident of the Monterey Bay, and photographer since childhood, Zmak takes viewers through some of the Central Coast’s most breathtaking scenes and invites them to revel in the moment and make it their own. 

Steve Zmak’s photographs have been exhibited at the National Steinbeck Center, Center for Photographic Art, California State Capitol Museum, Monterey Museum of Art, and several California wineries. His work is currently on exhibit at the UC MBEST Center, Monterey County Administration Building, Transportation Agency of Monterey County, Monterey County Health Department, Pessagno Winery, and State Senator Bill Monning’s Monterey Office.