Who We Are

Robin Heald, Founding Director

For nearly three decades, in both public and private schools, and on both coasts, Robin has taught drama to children between the ages of three and eighteen. Her specialty is developing scripts with children.

Before she received her teaching license, Robin was a stage manager in regional theaters and on and off-Broadway. She holds a B.A. from Hampshire College, in Music Composition and Theater, and a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Spalding University, with a concentration in Writing for Children. Robin is certified in the early childhood music program Music Together©.

Robin has been published in Exceptional Parent Magazine, and the academic journal, Children’s Literature in Education. Her first picture book, Pat, Roll, Pull, was published in 2012 (and available to purchase in the Temple Gift Shop). Her preschool e-book series, Jackson and Jillian, will be published in 2016.

Robin is married to Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor Anthony Heald. They have two grown children, Dylan, and Zoë

Robin founded Pomegranate in 2006.

Please click here if you want to contact Robin directly.

HollyHolly Weber Neimark, Co-Director

Holly has devoted a lifetime to education and the arts. She takes great pride and joy in teaching children to discover and nurture their artistic gifts, both individually and in the context of their larger community of peers.

Before teaching at Pomegranate, Holly worked for five years at Helman Elementary School as an education assistant and a special education support specialist lower elementary. Holly is also a certified Music Together© instructor.

Holly has worked professionally as an Equity Stage Manager and an actor in San Diego, Santa Fe and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She is a founding member of Hula O Kahawai, an Ashland-based performing hula ensemble. Holly’s music background includes formal and self-taught on ukelele, keyboards, clarinet and many Hawaiian musical instruments.

Holly received her BFA in Theatre Arts from Southern Oregon University. She is married to theater and film director Lenny Neimark. Their twin sons, Abraham and Gabriel attend Ashland Middle School where Holly continues to volunteer.

heather McCann  Heather McCann

Heather’s passion is art. Her formal art training has been the bridge for her between academics and self-discovery. Her goal in teaching art is to facilitate the link between the creative and the cognitive. Heather’s mission is to encourage children to work creatively, nurturing self-expression and joy.

Heather moved to Ashland from Northern Oregon three years ago and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Southern Oregon University. She plans to obtain a Masters in Education so she can continue to cultivate her passion for teaching and learning.

Before enrolling at SOU, Heather worked at the Lava Beds National Monument and was a wild land firefighter.

Heather is the proud mother of a beautiful ten-year-old daughter who attends Bellview Elementary School.  Heather regularly volunteers at Bellview doing reading and math groups to support the students and staff.

Heather has a Native American heritage, and her dream is to travel to Washington to visit the Nisqually reservation and connect with her history and culture.

LindaLinda Vanderlip

Linda taught 2nd through 6th grade children at Walker Elementary School and Ashland Middle School for twenty years.

Since her retirement from the Ashland School District, Linda has traveled extensively to such places as Greece, Austria, Turkey, Russia and the Panama Canal. When she is home, Linda enjoys Scrabble, walking, spending time with her grandchildren and reading, reading, reading!

Linda received her degree from Southern Oregon University, and has lived in the Rogue Valley for most of her life. She has raised three sons: Dennis, a Microsoft representative to Eastern Europe; David, a photographer and digital photography consultant; and Michael, a police officer. Linda has five grandchildren, one of whom is a Pomegranate alumnus.

Lucrecia to useLucretia Weems

Lucretia Weems has been a teacher for most of her adult life in numerous fields of informal education, including the arts, movement theory and garden design. Lucretia received her garden design training in the Landscape Architecture program at U.C.L.A. in addition to attending Reed College in Portland, Oregon.

For twenty years, she was an instructor and international teacher trainer in the Feldenkrais Method of somatic education developed by the Israeli physicist Moshe Feldenkrais. She then served as Program Director for Denver Tier III of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, which provided an after-school arts program to 120 underserved elementary schools, as well as grants and nonprofit training to hundreds of community arts organizations. She was Vice President of the Colorado Alliance for Arts Education for many years, and served on the founding board of the Museum for Contemporary Art Denver. She was trained as a docent at the Denver Art Museum.

Lucretia moved to the Rogue Valley 6 years ago with her husband, Jim Pagliasotti. She has served several terms as Docent President at the Schneider Museum at SOU, and she teaches Art in the Garden for Rogue Valley Farm to School. Her most valuable art teachers are her three grandchildren: Milo, Josie and Julia who visit often from Portland.


emma polombo  Emma Palombo – teacher assistant

Emma Palombo has lived in the Rouge Valley for most of her life. She was born in Colorado and raised on a farm. This is where her love for the outdoors began. Emma has been involved in all sorts of nature-oriented activities, including becoming certified as a Wilderness First Responder.

Emma has participated in The Rose Circle Mentoring Network first as a circle member and then as a mentor. Being part of the Rose Circle groups brought lots of creativity into her life. The creative base of Pomegranate greatly benefits the children AND staff.

Emma enjoys traveling, cooking, baking, arts and crafts, and has a strong passion for teaching children. Getting to know individual children’s specific interests, strengths and challenges is important to her. She is excited for the opportunity Pomegranate is offering her and looks forward to the learning and growth to come. She plans to attend Southern Oregon University to study Child Development. Emma is a graduate of Ashland High School.





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