Ms.Deborah Lafrance began her training with Ms. Nancy Gavenda in 1994. In 1998, she and John Mahaney began teaching an after school karate program in the Rockport Elementary School. In July of 2000, they opened Gloucester Uechi Karate Academy in Gloucester, Mass. on a full time basis. Ms. Lafrance currently holds the Master rank of Rokudan (Sixth Degree Black Belt). She continues her studies under the tutelage of Mr. Buzz Durkin.
Ms. Lafrance also holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing which she received from Salem State College in 1993. She worked at North Shore Medical Center for ten years in both the Labor & Delivery and Intensive Care Units.
Mr. John Mahaney began his training with Ms. Gavenda in 1993. In 1998, he and Deborah Lafrance began teaching an after school karate program in the Rockport Elementary School. In June of 2000, they opened Gloucester Uechi Karate Academy in Gloucester, Mass. on a full time basis.
Mr. Mahaney currently holds the Master rank of Rokudan (Sixth Degree Black Belt). He continues his studies under the tutelage of Mr. Buzz Durkin. Mr. Mahaney also holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Hotel Management which he received from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1986. He has worked in Hotel Management and as a sales and service provider for Metroplitan Life Insurance Company.
Mrs. Janice Sutherland currently holds the rank of Yondan (Fourth Degree Black Belt) and studies under the tutelage of Mr. Mahaney and Ms. Lafrance and has been their student since 2000. Mrs. Sutherland is the Office Manager and teaches children’s classes. She is married and has two boys both of whom have studied at the academy and are black belts.
Arthur Beane, Ed.D., began his Uechi Ryu study December 2001 at the age of fifty-seven and has been a student of Senseis John Mahaney and Deb LaFrance. He now holds the rank of Yondan (Fourth Degree Black Belt).
Art’s profession was in education. It began in 1968. He was a classroom teacher, program director, counselor, alternative high-school teacher, university clinical professor, elementary school assistant principal and principal. Along the way, beginning September of 1988, Art matriculated into Boston University in the Special Education Department as a part-time student. In 1993, he started full-time student-teacher field placement and supervision work at B.U. while continuing to take night courses to meet his degree requirements. Art earned an education doctorate, Ed.D., in 2001. Since December 2008 when Art retired, he has been living a peaceful life with his wife Margaret and teaches regularly at the karate academy.
Assistant Instructor Devin Fore has been training at the academy since he was 7 years old and has been a member of our school for 11 years. He will be entering a college robotics program part time while maintaining his teaching postion at the academy. He is great with the children and is a role model of responsibility and discipline for all the junior students to live up to.