Our students learn alongside passionate and dedicated educators from a wide variety of backgrounds. We are all educators: whether we have dedicated years of higher education to our disciplines, have lived on Eleuthera our entire life, or are conducting scientific research at the Cape Eleuthera Institute. Below is a list of the professionals working most closely with Island School semester students.
Director of The Island School
Ashley graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Sociocultural Anthropology and Professional Writing and specializations in Peace and Justice Studies and Health and Wellness Promotion. In 2008, Ashley accepted a position as a Teach For America corps member and taught for three years in California, simultaneously pursuing a Master's degree in Education at Alliant International University. Looking to foster experiential learning methods, Ashley then spent one year working in outdoor education. In 2012, Ashley returned to TFA to work with the same community she initially taught, this time coaching teachers in pedagogy and practice. Ashley has attended workshops in leadership, experiential education, positive psychology, and critical thinking. Ashley joined The Island School community in 2014 as a Histories and Literature teacher after finding the curriculum and program matched her education philosophy focused on holistic development, and in Fall of 2016, assumed the role of Director. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys running, backpacking, reading and adventuring outside.
Dean of Students
Liz arrived at The Cape Eleuthera Island School family in spring of 2013. She joined us as the Director of the Gap Year Program, which she led for three years. Liz also directed our Summer Term for two years and assumed the role as Dean of Students in fall 2016. Her transition to The Bahamas came after years of fostering a deep understanding of experiential education, she is still as passionate as the first time she assisted a student to see the best version of themselves nine years ago. Liz received her BSc in Physical Geography in the UK. She combined her love of the ocean and her passion for education by spending over two years teaching marine science at an experiential education facility in the Florida Keys. She transitioned to the ‘land-down-unda’ in 2012 – taking outdoor education to a new level in the Australian bush leading trips and working with students from all over Australia. Since being back where she belongs, where the ocean and land meet in a place she thoroughly believes in, she has been able to foster relationships with students, develop programming, and is working hard every day to deepen her understanding of what it means to live well in a place. This year, Liz will also be teaching our capstone leadership course, Seminar. In her spare time Liz finds herself hiking, being outdoors, hammocking, exploring the underwater world, traveling and spending time eating good food with friends that are family and family that are friends.
Dean of Academics
Bruce has been an educator for 17 years. He has spent most of his career working in and around the Grand Rapids area of Michigan teaching Science and Industrial Arts. Bruce earned his Bachelor's degree in Biology at Central Michigan University in 2001, and a Master’s degree in Education from Ferris State University in 2004. Bruce also holds teaching certifications in Chemistry, Industrial Arts as well as Construction Trades. Over the course of his career, he has enjoyed creating curricula specifically designed to connect student’s passions and needs with experiential place based learning. His philosophy of teaching centers on the idea that
learning must be real, hands-on, relevant, and meaningful to students. Bruce believes that students experience success in education when their dreams and abilities are connected with their passions in a significant and meaningful way. In 2015 Bruce and his family moved to the jungle of Costa Rica to teach as well as immerse themselves in the rich culture and natural environment. Throughout his career, he had been fortunate enough to work with different cultures and students in rural, suburban, inner city and jungle settings. In his free time, Bruce enjoys freediving, SCUBA, woodworking, and spending time experiencing new adventures with his wife and three children.
Teaching Fellowship Program Coordinator
Alex hails from Lancaster, Ohio but has lived in California, Chilé, Michigan, and Colorado. Alex graduated from the University of Dayton in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in Geology. He returned to the university to earn a secondary education teaching credential in 2010. Alex has been professionally involved with outdoor and experiential education for over twelve years. Currently, he certifies students to freedive at The Island School. He has taught classes on backpacking and kayaking, instructed students at a residential outdoor education facility in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and led National Parks camping trips. Alex's relationship with The Island School dates back to the Fall of 2014 when he volunteered for the Cape Eleuthera family. Today Alex certifies students in freediving and coordinates morning freediving sessions for students. Alex also manages the Teaching Fellowship Program, coaches the students training for the Half Marathon, and is an expedition leader for sailing and kayaking trips. In his free time, Alex loves freediving and ultra running.
Chelsea graduated from Sewanee: The University of the South in 2014 with a major in Environmental Studies: Arts and Humanities. While at Sewanee, Chelsea played on the Women’s Varsity Lacrosse Team, leading the team as Captain her senior year. Chelsea spent her summers during college leading the Outdoor Leadership Program at a small summer camp in Virginia. After graduation, Chelsea went on to work at Google in San Francisco. Chelsea is thrilled to be on Eleuthera and cannot wait to share her passion for education, leadership, and adventure. In her free time Chelsea enjoys spending time with friends, family, hiking, traveling, re-reading Harry Potter, skiing, floating in the ocean and listening to music.
Applied Scientific Research Head
Cameron hails from Ada, Michigan and first joined the CEIS community in Summer 2014 as an intern with the Shark Research and Conservation program. After returning to and graduating from Eckerd College with a degree in Marine Biology in 2015, Cameron rejoined the CEIS community as a research technician at CEI. Since then, he has taken on more education focused roles with the Education Programs department, The Island School semester program, Gap program, and Expeditionary Summer Term. Cameron is now combining his passions of field research and education as the Applied Scientific Research Head. Aside from this role, he enjoys freediving, fishing, running, and exploring the island.
Applied Mathematics Teaching Fellow
Andrew has come out of the mountains where he was teaching math at the High Mountain Institute to embrace all the wonderful challenges and joys of Eleuthera. He loves pushing students to accept and embrace the unknown and is especially excited to share his love of patterns with students. While his undergraduate thesis was in abstract algebra and number theory, he loves the chance to put theory to practice and tackle the water cisterns on campus! Growing up in Nashville, TN, he attributes much of his early love for the outdoors and hands on learning to the Waldorf School he attended. Among his favorite outdoor pursuits are hiking and trail running, backpacking, cooking in the backcountry, whitewater rafting, and sea kayaking. As a player on both his high school and college ultimate frisbee teams, Andrew loves coaching and teaching new players to throw. When he isn’t doing math or hiking, Andrew can often be found reading in his hammock, cooking for friends, or playing Spades.
Marine Ecology Teacher and Expedition Head
Jason grew up in southern New Hampshire, then moved to southern Ohio for high school and college. Graduating with a degree in computer network systems, Jason started working for Ohio schools, teaching teachers how to use school networks. After gaining his Dive Instructor qualification, Jason moved to Andros Island in The Bahamas to teach week-long programs to visiting high school and college marine biology students. Teaching primarily coral reef ecology and water sports, Jason stayed in the islands for six years. Jason then traveled around the world for three years with a job in the hospitality industry, only to come back to the Bahamas to take up teaching again. As a Marine Ecology teacher, Dive Instructor, swim coach, and a kayak / sail expedition leader, Jason uses his past experience in The Bahamas to educate students about the amazing underwater world. By trade, Jason is also a USCG Boat Captain, SCUBA instructor, kayak guide, and enjoys all water sports, especially sailing.
Literature and Writing Teaching Fellow
Ariel grew up in Yarmouth, Maine, a small coastal community that filled her blood with a bit of salt water. She headed west into the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and attended Colorado College where she studied Sociology and Education. Ariel has spent her summers as a backpacking and hiking leader for Apogee Adventures where she found herself hiking in Olympic National Park, the Northern Cascades and most recently scaling the Pyrenees Mountains in both Spain and France. Ariel attended the Island School Summer Term in 2011, was an Educational Programs Intern in 2015 and is thrilled to rejoin the CEIS community. Eleuthera holds a special place in her heart and she is excited to get to know more nooks and crannies of the island this year. If she’s not working you can find her napping in the sun or adventuring in the ocean.
Land and Environmental Art Teacher
Christer was born and raised in West Bloomfield Michigan. He graduated from Hobart and William Smith College with bachelors degrees in Fine Art and in Art History. Christer first found a love for teaching early in college through working at the summer art programs with Cranbrook Kingswood Schools. In the summer of 2015, and 2016, he taught at the Brightmore Makers Space. A collaborative effort with the University of Michigan, and Detroit Community Schools, to bring art to the students of Detroit. He most recently worked for the Detroit Parade Company for the past three years as a sculptor and welder. Over the summer of 2018 Christer traveled to Italy, and Germany, for two separate artist residencies; The Digital Stone Project in Gramolazzo, Italy culminated in a Group exhibition in Forte Dei Marmi, Italy, at the Villa Bertelli and the Claudia Dietz Stone Carving Residency, in Eberdingen, Germany, focused on traditional carving techniques. Christer has a great passion for place-based art and environmental conservation. Something his time as an Island school student in 2009 helped him pursue. The connection between people and their environment and the connection of people to people are what inspires much of his work. In his free time, Christer enjoys fishing, reading, skiing, sailing, kayaking, hiking, exploring new places, and meeting amazing people.
Applied Maths Teacher
Ella grew up in Brooklyn, and calls the Pacific Ocean surrounding Southern California home. She graduated from Scripps College, where she majored in Environmental Analysis, with a focus on Marine Ecology and Oceanography. Throughout her time as an undergraduate she researched coral paleoceanography, melanoma pathology, intertidal barnacles, and marine mammal bioacoustics. Ella also founded and captained the women’s club soccer team at the Claremont Colleges. She has worked as an Applied Biostatistics tutor, a TA for Marine Ecology and Environmental Science labs, an education specialist at Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and as a research associate for the Billion Oyster Project. Ella was a teaching fellow at The Island School last year and is excited to continue at The Island School as Applied Mathematics Department Head this year. In her spare time Ella enjoys running, adventuring, eating spicy foods, geeking out about marine invertebrates, and exploring the ocean.
Marine Ecology Teacher
Caroline grew up alongside the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, Colorado where from a young age she was inspired by the great outdoors. She graduated from Skidmore College with degrees in Economics and Environmental Studies, focusing on ecosystem service valuation as a tool for risk management, and playing for four years on the Women’s Tennis Team. In her junior year, Caroline studied abroad with the School for Field Studies in Bocas del Toro, Panama where she had the opportunity to research corals for the first time and fell in love. She went on to complete a Master’s degree at the Yale School of Forestry with concentrations in Marine Ecology (focus in coral microbiology), Resource Economics, and Experiential Education. Caroline is especially excited by the power of the arts to inspire actionable change and new ways of thinking; She has been involved with the Environmental Film Festival at Yale (EFFY) and Mountain Film Festival in Telluride. Caroline’s favorite activities include hot yoga classes, eating interesting cheeses, making art, dancing, hiking, exploring the ocean and watching socially/environmentally focused films.
Histories Teaching Fellow
Lauren grew up in Baltimore, MD before heading south to the College of Charleston where she studied Hospitality and Tourism Management. Lauren spent her summers during college as a counselor at Kieve Camp in Maine. She has a passion for working with children and was a part-time nanny throughout college. She also worked as a Tourism and Development teacher for the Island School Summer Term program in the summers of 2017 and 2018. Lauren was an Island School student in the fall of 2012, and she couldn’t be more excited to be back living in Eleuthera and can’t wait to share her passion and love for this place with all of you.
Emily Cava Northrop
Emily is from Miami, Florida, where she grew up scuba diving, kayaking, and camping on Biscayne Bay and throughout The Everglades. Emily says that she first learned to like being outside while attending The Outdoor Academy, a semester school in western North Carolina. She went on to study Marine Science and Geology at the University of Miami and earned a Masters in Coastal Zone Management from UM’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. As part of her thesis project, she created the full curriculum for a documentary-film based online course in marine and environmental science, working with expert guest scientists across seven countries. The driving vision of the project was to bring experiential education to a wider audience. More recently, Emily has worked as an environmental consultant, and as a Coastal Resources Planner for the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. She is thrilled to focus again on experiential and applied learning as an Interdisciplinary teacher at The Island School. When she is not thinking up new lessons, you can find Emily training for the next triathlon, practicing and teaching yoga, scuba diving, writing letters, and cooking.
Community Outreach Teacher and Coordinator
Lydia grew up in a small town in western Ohio, and graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in American Studies and English. While focusing her studies on the history of science and creative non-fiction, she found herself trying everything from playing club soccer to editing a literary magazine. Over the past few years, Lydia has worked as a BB gun range director at a summer camp, a copyeditor, and an education intern for NASA. Lydia was a Literature and Writing teaching fellow at The Island School last year and is excited to continue at The Island School as a Community Outreach teacher this year. She enjoys exploring Eleuthera, drinking coffee, talking about pop culture, and and recklessly attempting difficult crossword puzzles.
Histories Teaching Fellow
Hailing from coastal Connecticut, Ivy has learned from exploring new intellectual, environmental, and social landscapes in Eleuthera as an Island School student, and in Colorado during college. She feels lucky to have attended the Island School, which planted seeds for her Feminist and Gender Studies major in college. Ivy loves to think about how nature, culture, and power intersect in different ways for different people. Ivy is interested in interrogating the ways in which systems of power permeate dominant institutions, like tourism, for example, and in turning a critical lens to what popular consumer culture deems normal and positive. She is eager to join the Island School team as a Histories fellow this year, as this was her favorite class as a student. Ivy comes from a big family and loves to watch cartoons, laugh, and go underwater. She is here to make this place better for everyone involved and in proximity.
Literature and Writing Teacher
Taylor was born and raised in southeastern North Carolina and attended Appalachian State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Since graduating he has spent time teaching middle and high school English in Richmond, Virginia, mentored college students aboard schooners in the Atlantic Ocean, and organized writing workshops in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Taylor enjoys traveling, playing the drums, running and cooking.