Our Staff


054-IMG_8101The staff of college students and college graduates is led by a team of directors who facilitate the cooperative spirit of the camp and oversee administrative details. John Bechtold is the administrative director of the camp, accompanied by Assistant Director Katie Sussman. All directors work in teaching/counseling positions in addition to their director roles.

All staff are experienced artists in their subject area and are invested in arts education. Most staff are pursuing or have degrees in their field and hail from a range of schools, including the Rhode Island School of Design, University of Chicago, Alfred University, Oberlin College, Boston University, Harvard University, Berklee School of Music and Wesleyan University.

John Bechtold, Director. In his 13th year as director, John is thrilled to return to this remarkable community. As chair of the Performing Arts Department at Amherst Regional Middle and High Schools and head of the theater program there, John is fortunate to be surrounded by the arts and young artists throughout the year. John’s background is in creative writing, theater direction and design, with a special interest in lighting design and immersive theater.

sussmanKatie Sussman, Assistant Director. Returning for her 7th year at DASAC and 2nd year as Assistant Director, Katie Sussman is delighted to take part in another fun-filled summer of collaborative artistic exploration.  A native of Western Massachusetts, Katie now resides in the Boston area and teaches art at Bedford High School.  Katie’s background is primarily in painting and drawing, though she also teaches courses in ceramics and digital art during the year.  DASAC truly holds a special place in Katie’s heart as a safe space for young people to experience personal and creative growth.