History – Mission – Programs

Since 1987, New Heights has been offering experiential learning and adventure programming for greater Seacoast Youth after school and during the summer. A highly qualified and experienced staff works to help youth explore, discover new interests and build the skills they need to become adults.

The mission of New Heights is to assist Seacoast youth to develop the competence, character, confidence, and resiliency necessary for a healthy and successful adulthood.

We do that by providing hundreds of youth each year programs such as:

  • Adventure: Rock-Climbing, Hiking, Surfing, Canoeing, Camping, Extended Wilderness Treks: Surfing Safari on Cape Cod, Adirondacks Canoe Trip, Hiking National Parks in Utah, Texas and New Mexico
  • Global Arts: Stilting and Circus Arts, Cooking Around the World, Visual Arts with Recycled Materials
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering Math): Robotics, Geocaching, Board Game Design, Digital Film Making, Geocaching
  • Sports: USTA Tennis, Skiing, Snow Boarding




Meet the Staff

New Heights staff members are highly skilled and educated in outdoor education, psychology, fine arts, education, and youth development.

Staff members maintain CPR, defensive driving, and Wilderness First Responder Certification and several employees hold Master’s degrees in their given discipline. Staff-to-student ratios are 1 to 10 for programs and 1 to 5 for overnight expeditions.

This combination of experience and expertise provides the highest quality programming for all youth involved.

Tracey Tucker

Executive Director

M.A. in counseling psychology, Gonzaga University
B.A. in secondary education, Eastern Washington Univ.
B.A. in history, Stetson Univ.
Licensed Mental Health Therapist

Year started with New Heights: 2004

Tracey Tucker is currently the Executive Director of New Heights: Adventures for Teens. Aside from her extensive educational background, which includes an MA in Counseling Psychology and extensive experience in the fields of adolescent development, attachment theory and resiliency, Tucker is certified as a Licensed Community Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC) and worked as a child and family mental health therapist in both community mental health and private practice settings.  Tucker has personally distinguished herself as a leader with a business acumen, as she is not only a graduate of the 2008 Leadership Seacoast Class, but was named one of New Hampshire’s “Top Forty under 40 Professionals” in 2007.  Her innovative leadership and management style has also directly affected the programmatic structure of New Heights with her implementation of the Mentor Program in 2005. Basing the program on solid, evidence-based principles, Tucker reached out to Dr. Vance of Seacoast Mental Health Center, who is recognized as a national leader in the field of resiliency research and youth development. The result of this collaboration was an assessment tool that has consequently enabled staff to track individual protective and risk factors within each participant. The purpose behind implementation of this Resiliency Assessment is to increase the resiliency of participants, which research has shown is a critical programmatic element of any effective out-of-school program.

Email: ttucker@newheightsonline.org

Phone: (603) 422.8235 Ext.103

Meghan Rice

Assistant Director

BA in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire
Masters in Education from Franklin Pierce University

Year started with New Heights: 2008

A native New Hampshire-ite, Meghan has ALWAYS worked with children.  Before she came to New Heights she was a nanny, a kindergarten teacher, a tutor and an elementary sub! Expect to see her cooking, getting’ arty or even hiking and biking. She says “I think that all children can achieve at great levels, they just need to believe in themselves and have adults whom also believe, support, nurture, and respect them…that’s what I’m here for!”

Email: mrice@newheightsonline.org

Phone: (603) 422.8235 Ext.110

Janice Hastings

Director, Development and Marketing

B.A., Linguistics – University of New Hampshire

Year started with New Heights: 2011

A native of New Hampshire, Janice moved to Portsmouth while attending University of New Hampshire in the 80’s and loved it so much she never left (except for those couple of years in DC!).  Janice has 25 years in non-profit arts, education and afterschool programming at the state and national level.   Her experience includes coordinating arts and vocational programming in a therapeutic residential facility for teens and later coordinating summer job training programs for 1,400 NH youth ages 14 to 21.  Janice was the Executive Director of VSA arts of NH bringing arts programs to people with disabilities for nearly 10 years before moving to Washington, D.C. to become the Director of Education and Affiliate Services for VSA arts.  At VSA arts, she worked with executive staff and boards of 51 domestic state affiliates to strengthen the capacity of their organizations.

Email: jhastings@newheightsonline.org

Phone: (603) 422.8235 Ext. 000

Mallory Sweeney

Executive Assistant

B.S., Accounting- Southern New Hampshire University, 2008

Year started with New Heights: 2008

A former participant as well as a junior staff member at New Heights, Mallory returns to the program as an Executive Assistant. Charged with managing the registration process for New Heights’ many programs and helping maintain its database, Mallory serves an important role in making sure many of the behind the scenes “office stuff” gets done. Outgoing and known as the occasional prankster, Mallory is an avid outdoor enthusiast and is excited to incorporate her skills in accounting with her love for working with people.

Email: msweeney@newheightsonline.org

Phone: (603) 422.8235 Ext.101

Sally Gregory

Adventure Program Coordinator

B.S. Outdoor Education from Houghton College

Year started with New Heights: 1995

As Adventure Coordinator, Sally leads one of New Heights’ core programs. She brings to her job a rich background in the field, including instruction for the Wolfcreek Wilderness School and Outward Bound. Sally is certified as a Wilderness First Responder and can usually be found leading rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, canoeing, surfing, and skiing trips, as well as an annual high school trip to National Parks in Utah, Texas, and New Mexico.  These adventures all have an emphasis on leadership development, self-reliance, and environmental ethics.  The adventure kids at New Heights sign up for these programs year after year and peer instruction has become a major component of each trip.  Sally also is an advisor for Peer Leadership, a student run community service based group at Portsmouth High School.  And, lastly, she facilitates a weekly intergenerational activity based program for senior adults and middle schoolers that is 11 years strong.

Sally’s foundation is her family who have been her cheerleaders her entire life.  They’ve always been her strongest supporters and taught her to always have fun and make sure everyone around her is too!

Email: sgregory@newheightsonline.org

Phone: (603) 422.8235 Ext. 000

becca Pawling

Arts & Culture Coordinator

B.F.A. Syracuse University
M.F.A. Interdisciplinary Art Goddard College

Year started with New Heights: 2001

Becca has been sharing her love for the creative process with New Heights participants for over a decade. In this time she has grown the arts curriculum in a direction that cooperates with the sustainable practices of  New Heights, in that, most projects use recycled materials, natural materials or digital technology.
Some of the projects and workshops she facilitates are stilt walking, costume design and choreography, fine arts, sustainable arts and crafts and fiber arts, fitness, holistic health, and gender-specific programming.
She also leads intentional global and cultural programs in an effort to help adolescents learn about the world they live in with tolerance and generosity.
Becca believes that young adults are resilient and creative by nature, and will adapt positively to many of life’s difficulties with proper adult guidance. By involving youth in the creative process and allowing them to celebrate the successes as well as struggle with the failures involved in any endeavor, she believes we will grow confident, capable, active citizens.

Email: bpawling@newheightsonline.org

Phone: (603) 422.8235 Ext. 104

Wayne Moulton Jr.

Intentional Gaming & STEM Coordinator

As the resident technical expert he leads New Heights’ FIRST LEGO Robotics teams (as well as other robotics programs), Geocaching, stop motion animation, and upkeeps our website and social media.

As well as having a technical side, Wayne loves games of all kinds. He started the Sages of RPG (Roleplaying Games) at New Heights as a high school volunteer. A program that uses non-electronic board, card, and roleplaying games to help participants learn important life skills. Using intentional gaming Wayne is able to help specific skills that a students may need by purposefully choosing a game to meet their needs. He also always has an active or board game ready in one of his many “bags of tricks”.

As an active member of the Portsmouth community you may see him at many places including social media events, community game nights, theatrical performances, or working on his latest project at the local Port City Makerspace.

Email: wmoulton@newheightsonline.org

Phone: (603) 422.8235 Ext.108