Arts Department

In both curricular and co-curricular offerings, the Arts Department encourages students to find their own creative voices and to explore the cultural landscape they inhabit.  During the class day in our arts studios, black box theater classroom and choral and orchestra rooms, an average of more than 300 Peddie students take part in arts courses.  All incoming freshmen participate in a year-long Foundations class which includes a term each of music, theater and visual art, and upperclassmen may choose from among a wide variety of sequential electives in all three areas.  Arts education continues after hours as students create, practice and rehearse, preparing for the public exhibitions and performances that are a cornerstone of our dynamic experiential program. 
Explore the arts at Peddie
Meet the Arts Department
Alexander McDowell
Director, Peddie Fund
Macalester College - B.A.

Catherine Watkins
Art Department Chair
Yale University - B.A.
Syracuse University - M.A.
During her tenure at Peddie, Catherine Watkins has served as head of the Arts Department from 1991-93 and assumed that position again in 2007. She was a founder and faculty member of The Principio Project (1994-95), director of the Mariboe Art Gallery (1990-98) and an instructor of AP Art History and all levels of visual arts classes at Peddie. Watkins divides her time between the classroom, art studio and her family. She exhibits her mixed-media assemblages, collages and installations in the tri-state area.

Watkins is a graduate of Yale University, holds a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University and has done graduate work at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Marilyn Anker
Coordinator of Cultural Events
Virginia intermont College - B.A.
Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University - M.F.A.
Marilyn Anker has been a member of the Peddie Arts Department since 1998, and currently serves as the Coordinator of Cultural Events. Marilyn holds a B.A. from Virginia Intermont College and an M.F.A. in Theatrical Lighting Design from the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.

Diana Corliss
Grove City College - B.M.
Westminster Choir College - M.M.
Diana Corliss has been a teacher at Peddie since 2010, serving as one of the voice instructors in the Music Department. In 2012, she became the director of two of the smaller choirs and now teaches all voice lessons.

In her teaching, Diana focuses largely on fostering self-awareness and the connection of the mind and body. She is also an avid performer and is working toward her 200-hour yoga teacher certification.

Ms. Corliss earned her Master of Music Degree in Vocal Pedagogy & Performance from Westminster Choir College and her Bachelor of Music Degree in Voice from Grove City College. She maintains a private voice studio in the greater Princeton area and in northern New Jersey.

Eric Drotch
Teacher; Development Researcher; Director, Mariboe Gallery
Skidmore College - B.A.
University of Pennsylvania - M.F.A.
Brandeis University - Post-Bacc. Certificate in Art
Eric Drotch has been a member of the Peddie faculty since 2005. He teaches in the Visual Arts Department, oversees the Mariboe Art Gallery. Before pursuing his interests in art and teaching, Drotch worked for several prominent non-profit organizations and provided consulting services to many others. 

Drotch earned a B.A. from Skidmore College, a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio Art from Brandeis University and an M.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Marisa Green
Harvard University - B.A.
Yale University - M.M.
Marisa Green has been a member of the arts department since 2008, and currently oversees the choral program, which comprises a primary 60-voice ensemble and three smaller auditioned singing groups. She also teaches AP Music Theory and other music elective classes, and serves as music director for the annual all-school and freshman musicals. Her other roles at Peddie include coaching JV field hockey, working in Masters dorm, and participating in the annual sophomore bike trip.

Green is also currently active as a conductor and accompanist and has performed as a singer and violist in opera, church music, musical theatre, early music, and contemporary music. She holds a bachelor's degree in music and Latin from Harvard University and a master's degree in choral conducting and certificate in sacred music from the Yale School of Music.

Andrew Harrison
Cornell University - B.S.
Johns Hopkins University - M.A.T.
Maine College of Art - M.F.A.
Andrew has been a member of the arts department since 2008, and teaches at all levels within the visual arts program, including the rigorous Honors Art class. Additionally, Andrew co-developed the new curriculum for the recently added architecture class. A practicing multi-disciplinary artist, Andrew maintains an active studio and has exhibited his sculpture, short-films, digital prints, and installations in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago (

After receiving an undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture from Cornell University, Andrew attended Johns Hopkins School of Education in 1998 and earned a Masters of Fine Arts from Maine College of Art in 2008. Andrew coaches tennis and basketball and lives on campus with his wife, Suzy, and their three children

Jay Jaski
Florida State University - B.A.
Columbia University - M.F.A.

John Lucs '90
Technical Coordinator
(609) 944-7549
Boston University

Alan Michaels
Teacher, Director of Music
Mannes College of Music - B.M.
Mannes College of Music - M.M.
Alan Michaels has been director of Instrumental Music and a music teacher at Peddie since 1998. He also has a distinguished professional career as a musician, performing with Broadway and symphonic orchestras, as well as popular cover bands in the New York City area. He has performed at Carnegie, Avery Fisher, and Alice Tully halls. Michaels belongs to two traveling performing-arts groups that educate students throughout central New Jersey about music. He earned his master and bachelor of music degrees from Mannes College of Music in New York City.

Claudio Middleton
Catholic University, Valparaiso, Chile - B.A.
Catholic University, Valparaiso, Chile - M.A.
Claudio Middleton has been a teacher at Peddie since 1998 and a member of the Arts Department since 2012.  He teaches in the Visual Arts Program, including the Foundations class, and the rigorous Architecture course whose curriculum he co-created in 2009.  In 2007 he received the Sounders Teaching Award for excellence in classroom teaching.
Before coming to Peddie, he was a teaching fellow at the School of Architecture of the Catholic University of Valparaíso-Chile (1989-97).  He worked for two Architecture firms that specialized in government financed low-income housing projects (1991-97).
He holds a bachelor in Architecture and a master’s degree in Art History both from the Catholic University of Valparaíso-Chile.  Claudio lives on campus with his wife, Olivia, and their three homeschooled daughters.

Elizabeth Sherman
Ohio University - B.F.A.
The American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco - M.F.A.
Elizabeth has been Director of Theater at Peddie since 2006. In her tenure, she has taught all levels and a variety of styles of performance. She has directed numerous student productions including Metamorphoses, The Children’s Hour, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Into the Woods.

Prior to Peddie, Elizabeth worked as a professional actor and adjunct theater professor in New York City for more than ten years. During that time, she founded a successful Off-Broadway theater group, The Rude Mechanicals Theater Company, and supported her art starring in a host of regional and national television commercials.
Elizabeth received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Acting from Ohio University and a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from The American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, California.