The Reverend Tracey Robinson-Harris, Interim Minister
The Reverend Tracey J. Robinson-Harris joined as our Interim Minister starting August 2017. Tracey is very experienced in the role of interim minister having recently served the First Church in Jamaica Plain where they have successfully called a new minister after a long search. She has also held Interim positions at First Unitarian Universalist Society in Middleboro, MA, First Parish of Sudbury and First Unitarian Church in Worcester.
Tracey has been very active in social justice causes including being a part of an interfaith clergy group involved in support for Black Lives Matter, and is currently a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association's (UUA) Journey Toward Wholeness Transformation Committee charged to monitor and assess the UUA’s progress toward becoming an anti-racist, anti-oppressive multicultural faith community.
When Tracey isn’t preaching, she and her dance partner participate in regional and national ballroom dance competitions. In the world of ballroom, she is what’s known as a ten-dancer; waltz, tango, foxtrot, Viennese waltz, and quickstep (the Standard dances), cha cha, samba, rumba, paso doble, and jive (the Latin dances). E-mail Tracey
Michelle Coté, Director of Religious Education
Michelle Cote has been serving First Parish Church of Stow& Acton since 2008. Prior to coming to FPC she taught for over 30 years in a variety of positions including literacy specialist, special educator, owner/director of a learning enrichment center and working with adults with disabilities. She has a Master’s Degree in Education from Lesley University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Wheelock College.
She takes all her experience with children, youth and adults and uses it to create an array of programs for the Religious Education Program. She is particularly interested in creating programs that build a sense of faith and community amongst the children and youth. Working closely with the Religious Education Committee she oversees the Religious Education classes, the youth groups and the rites of passage programs that are an integral part of First Parish.
Michelle strongly feels that each child and youth has something special to offer the Religious Education Program and to FPC. She works closely with all interested children,youth and families to help each child and youth become an integral part of the FPC community. E-mail Michelle
Mike Pfitzer, Director of Music
An experienced choral director, Mike Pfitzer previously taught at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he was the conductor of the University Chorus and the assistant conductor for the UW Concert Choir under Director of Choral Activities Beverly Taylor. While a student at Tufts University, he was the assistant conductor of the Tufts Chorale, Chamber Singers, and Concert Choir, leading the latter group in a performance of Faure's Requiem in 2008.
Mike has extensive experience as a cantor and choir director, having led the bilingual English and Spanish choir at St. Clement's Church in his hometown of Saratoga Springs, NY. In addition to church work, Mike has a strong affinity for music on the stage, having served as the conductor and assistant conductor for musicals and operas in Medford, MA, Madison, WI, and Central France. An experienced baritone, he has performed in opera ensembles and choirs for years, having sung in solo performances with choirs across the country, and in voice recitals in the U.S., France, and South Africa.
Mike received the Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he studied with Beverly Taylor, and graduated magna cum laude with the Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and History from Tufts University, where he studied with Andrew Clark (Harvard University). Other conducting teachers include Dr. William Weinert (Eastman School of Music Summer Institute) and Jeff and Brenda Vredenburg (Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam). Please visit www.michaelpfitzer.com for more information or email Mike.
Deedee Perkins, Parish Administrator
Deedee has a Master's in Education, and prior to First Parish, she served as the Director of Admissions at an independent elementary school. Deedee was in Admissions for a number of years in different independent co-ed Boarding/Day high schools and also served as a Faculty Advisor to students. Deedee volunteers at Open Table, the Nature Connection in Concord, and the Concord Art Association.
At FPC, Deedee manages the Parish Office, is responsible for the Sunday Orders of Service, the weekly 'Sunday & This Week' newsletter, The Chronicle (monthly), and the calendar. She works directly with the Minister, and responds to external inquiries, including rental requests. E-mail Deedee
Joleen Trotta, Membership Development CoordinatorE-mail Joleen
Sanghee Kim, Pianist/Organist
Sanghee Kim previously served as the pianist/organist for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon from 2005 – 2011. In addition to her work in Winchendon, Sanghee has accompanied for the Wesley United Methodist Church (Medford, MA) and played for voice master classes both in the United States and abroad.
Sanghee maintains an active performance calendar, having given recitals in Boston, Cambridge, Worcester, Winchendon, and her native South Korea. She is also a successful teacher, giving private lessons as well as working with the Joy of Music School in Worcester since 2003. Sanghee received the Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance and Music Education from Pusan National University in South Korea and the Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the Boston Conservatory. She has also received a Performance Diploma in both Piano and Collaborative Piano from the Longy School of Music (Cambridge, MA), where she studied with Sally Pinkas and Brian Moll. Other teachers include David Deveau and Irwin Gelber.
Paul Spanagel, Youth Coordinator
Paul is a recent graduate from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. He is a lifelong UU, grew up in Shrewsbury as an active member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Worcester, and eventually UUCW as well, holding leadership positions in both youth groups simultaneously. Throughout high school, he worked to bring the youth communities of the two churches together through fun, community, and service.
Prior to FPC, Paul worked at First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia as a lead teacher for older Sunday school students teaching the Windows & Mirrors UUA curriculum. He also co-facilitated the Coming of Age program, in an attempt to revitalize youth programming in a church with no youth group to speak of. Upon the conclusion of the program, all of the youth involved were interested in continuing to meet moving forward.
FPC is excited to have the opportunity to work with Paul as he offers youth ministry to our Junior and Senior Youth Groups. Paul will be looking for input from youth and parents as well as involvement from interested adults as he develops and runs these programs.
Janet Beatrice, External Publicity Coordinator
Janet is FPC’s External Publicity Coordinator. Janet submits articles, calendar items, and worship information to local newspapers, TV stations, and on-line resources. FPC members can send listings, event info, or any questions about external publicity directly to Janet. E-mail Janet
Whitney Granger, Sexton