NECCA to search for executive director

Harrison named interim director of circus school

BRATTLEBORO — After three years under the leadership of Jamie Hodgson as executive director, the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA) is launching a search for a successor.

Wendy Harrison started her duties as interim executive director on Sept. 8.

Hodgson joined NECCA in 2006 as a coach and has helped develop many of the classes being taught there. In 2009, she developed the school's successful Intensive Training Program for aspiring professionals and led that program until 2017, when she developed and led NECCA's new three-year ProTrack program. She was appointed executive director in 2018.

Elizabeth Wohl, chair of NECCA's board of directors, said that Hodgson's three-year tenure as executive director “has been marked by consistent growth, financial strength, and a keen attention to maintaining and improving NECCA's reputation for high-quality circus instruction in a safe, warm, and supportive atmosphere.”

Hodgson was hired as deputy director of the National Conference for Community and Justice, a job that is closer to her home in Connecticut.

Harrison, who recently resigned as municipal manager for the town of Rockingham and the village of Bellows Falls, brings to NECCA a deep reservoir of leadership experience and a demonstrated commitment to serving Brattleboro's nonprofit community.

Previously, she served as director of community and government relations at the Retreat Farm and as director of development and community relations at the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust.

Before coming to Brattleboro in 2015, she held a number of municipal management positions in Florida and she earned a master's degree in governmental administration from the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.

The school was founded in 2007 by Elsie Smith and Serenity Smith Forchion, who currently serve as director of programming and producing director, respectively.

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