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Staff Spotlight

Abby Gordon S'14 Returns as a Communications Intern

Looking back on my time as an Island School student, the question everyone asked was "will it be hard to leave this place and go back home?"  Although I met some of the most interesting people, grew immensely as an individual and became part of such a powerful community, I wasn’t sad to leave. I never understood why that was until I came back two years later. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I've learned that once you’ve been part of the Island School in one capacity or another, it never leaves you. The elements of this place have a subtle way of weaving into your life in everything you do. Inside I knew I’d always be back and two years later I am back as part of my gap year!

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For the first four months of my gap year (August-December) I am working at the Island School as a communications intern.  Working along with the communications team, I take photos of students and the various CEI research teams, as well as make videos to promote the goals of the School. I’m gaining incredible experience from this position and it’s fantastic being part of this community once again. Everyday I’m energized by the work I do and the people I’m around, which is sometimes a rare thing to find in a job.

Following my departure from the Island School in December, I am heading to Kauai, Hawaii for two weeks to travel and pursue photography opportunities. I am hoping the two weeks can be extended depending on what opportunities emerge.

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In early February I travel to Oxford, England to begin my internship with the Children’s Radio Foundation, which promotes radio programming by and for youth in many different African countries.  I will spend 3 months with the Foundation and I will be photographing local projects and working as a member of their communications team.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Once summer comes, I’ll be doing some solo backpacking around the UK for a few weeks before heading to Western Europe to backpack various countries from Norway to Greece. Come fall 2016 my adventures will head to the United States where I will be attending Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Undecided on my major, I’m keeping it broad and looking into anthropology, photography and journalism.

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Needing a break from traditional schooling, I am fortunate to have time to work on my own growth within the greater world. I’m taking a gap year because I believe in the power of travel, the value of interacting with humans outside of one's bubble, and the importance of supporting a community that is making the world better.  I know that for myself to grow as a person, I need to delve deeper into new places and experiences. Every day is a happy adventure and I truly have found my passion back here!

Staff Spotlight: Peter Zdrojewski

peter_z Name: Peter Zdrojewski

Where are you from?: The Paris of the Midwest, also known as Cleveland, Ohio

Where were you before this?: Teaching marine ecology to high school students in Belize

What brought you to The Island School? One of my students (who is now working here as an EP educator) in Belize told me about this place; she did a week-long EP program - from Branson in California

What is your favorite dining hall meal?: Chicken curry w/ coleslaw

Name one thing that not many people know about you: I hate ketchup

What is your favorite word?: croissant

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?: Knuckleball pitcher in the majors

What are your top three movies of all time? Field of Dreams; Bull Durham; The Natural

What songs and/or bands have you been listening to lately?: Billy Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald

STAFF SPOTLIGHT: OLIVIA GELL

Name: Olivia Gell

Where are you from? New York

Where were you before this? I was studying at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

What brought you to The Island School? A passion for Literature and belief in the impact of experiential education. When I learned about this school I had an immediate desire to become a part of this community composed of individuals with a hunger to both inspire and be inspired by others, as well as grow, be adventurous and expand creativity.

What is your favorite dining hall meal? Soup!

Name one thing that not many people know about you: One of my biggest pet peeves is bad hugs

What is your favorite word? It is a Spanish word- we still need one to capture this moment in English: "Sobremesa"- That moment once a delicious meal shared by wonderful company is finished but the conversation is still flowing endlessly.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Editing is a somewhat similar field, but also Psychology.

What are your top three movies of all time? Caddy Shack, Good Will Hunting & The Kids Are Alright

What songs and/or bands have you been listening to lately? Nujabes, Miles Bonny, Susan Tedeschi, Maxwell-- all over the spectrum, I know.

Staff Spotlight: Mik Cooper

mik_cooper Name: Mik Cooper

Where are you from? New York City

Where were you before this? Directly before arriving on Eleuthera I was in New York City but before that I was at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

What brought you to The Island School? I was a student here in the Fall of 2007 and then returned in June of 2011 to work at CEI for the summer. After graduating from college I returned to the Cape once again to work for the Communications Department and Alumni Relations as well as serve as an Island School faculty member. It’s been great being back here and working for the organization in a professional capacity.

What is your favorite dining hall meal? Easy: french toast and bacon. Though I’m a big fan of breakfast in general.

Name one thing that not many people know about you: I’m absolutely terrified of flying but have been taking lessons to try and get over it. I used to love to fly but for whatever reason as I got older, I got increasingly more terrified. So now I’m trying to understand how planes work and through that hopefully become a less nervous flyer.

What is your favorite word? That’s tough, I’d have to say it’s a tie between “bogus” and “whacky”

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? My closet dream is to one day be a writer for SNL or any funny show like Broad City really.

What are your top three movies of all time? Almost Famous, Forrest Gump, and My Cousin Vinny What songs and/or bands have you been listening to lately? I’ve been listening to KC & The Sunshine Band a lot lately but also MisterWives and Chance the Rapper. Random but hey.

STAFF SPOTLIGHT: EMMA ALEXANDER

Name: Emma Alexander Histories Teacher, Dean of Students

Where are you from? Cambridge, MA

Where were you before this? Cape Town, South Africa

What brought you to Eleuthera? I was specifically drawn to IS's Histories department, which draws heavily on the discipline of Anthropology. I saw a position for Histories teacher posted and was so excited! I thought this was a great way for me, with a background in Anthropology, to get back into the world of education and working with high schoolers.

What is your favorite dining hall meal? mac & cheese!

Name one thing that not many people know about you. I was on sesame street when I was 10 years old. I was in a library song and carried books on my head.

What is your favorite word? Umbuntu-- Bantu term used in South Africa roughly translating to "human kindness"

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Writer for Lonely Planet

What are your top three movies of all time? "Dog Town & Z Boys"; "Stealing Beauty" & "Dave Chapelle's Block Party"

What songs and/or bands have you been listening to lately? D'angelo's new album Black Messiah; Paul Simon's Graceland and everything by The Roots!