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. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys running, backpacking, reading and adventuring outside.
Histories Teacher and Communications Educator
Lia-Lucine believes that stories are what connect us as humans. When recorded, they have the potential of eternalizing moments and people. She is thrilled to be working with Island School students to help create and share their stories. Lia has a BA in Archaeology and Classics and a MA in Education. She conducted archaeological fieldwork on Etruscan and Roman sites in Cortona, Italy as well as lab work preserving artifacts from Timucuan tribes in northern Florida. She has created documentary films on the Hare Krishna and Turkish/ Armenian relations. She joined Teach for America in 2011 where she taught History and English in rural Hawai'i. In 2015, she created a podcast called StoryHound to share the stories she has recorded and edited over the years. In the summers and winters, Lia works for Outward Bound where she leads expeditionary sailing, backpacking, and canoeing trips. She enjoys playing the accordion, surfing, and searching for treasure.
Literature and Writing Teacher
Jenna Gersie holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental studies from Skidmore College and Green Mountain College, respectively. For both, she concentrated on environmental literature and writing. She is particularly interested in how literature allows us to form perceptions of place and understand meanings of home. Jenna has held various positions in environmental education and study abroad, most recently as a program associate for SIT Study Abroad programs in the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. She is an editor for the environmental literary magazine The Hopper, and her own writing has appeared in Orion magazine, The Goose, and Dirt magazine, among others, and is forthcoming from Kudzu House Quarterly. She has also coached high school swimming, lifeguarded for nine years, and worked with sea turtle conservation projects in Australia, Florida, and Indonesia.
Research Teaching Fellow
Through Cam's previous positions working with the Shark Research and Conservation Program and the Educational Programs team at CEI, Cam has developed a passion for teaching as well as a dedication to studying and preserving the natural environment. Prior to becoming fully immersed in the Cape community, he graduated with a bachelors in Marine Biology from Eckerd College and has shared his knowledge of marine ecosystems through programs at local schools in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Cam is an avid runner, and also enjoys fishing, free-diving, and playing beach volleyball in his spare time.
CSD Research Teacher
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 teaching credential in Earth Science in 2010. Alex has been professionally involved with outdoor and experiential education for the last ten years. He has taught classes on backpacking and kayaking, planned student-centered backpacking and climbing trips, instructed students at a residential outdoor educational 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 family. Today, in addition to his teaching responsibilities, Alex is an advisor and manages the Bike Shed. In his free time, Alex loves free-diving, slack-lining, and rock climbing.
Seminar and CSD Research Teacher
Leigh joined the faculty at The Island School in 2013 after 15 years teaching at independent schools in New England and California. He holds undergraduate degrees from Union College in History and French and from the University of Massachusetts in Plant and Soil Sciences. This December, Leigh will earn a Master’s degree from Green Mountain College in Environmental Studies and Conservation Biology. At The Island School, Leigh co-teaches both a Sustainability Seminar and Research class, and supports the Center for Sustainable Development in conducting food security research, implementing greening and sustainability initiatives, and incorporating permaculture design schemes on campus. Additionally, he leads kayak trips, coaches swimming and running, and is passionate and deeply committed to the school’s farm program. Leigh is a former professional and nationally ranked ultra-marathon runner, and still humbly participates in any and all water sports and attempts to keep up with his active family and children (ages 12 ad 8). His wife, Lisa, is the Assistant Principal at the Deep Creek Middle School, and his kids attend DCMS and the Early Learning Center respectively. This year, Leigh is writing a children’s book on the ecology of The Bahamas. He also plans to run the 110-mile length of Eleuthera as part of a community outreach event.
Dean of Students
Liz has been a professional in the field of outdoor education for more than eight years, the last three of which were spent as Director of the Gap Year program on Cape Eleuthera. Liz received her BSc in Physical Geography in The UK. With her degree in hand, Liz combined her passion for the ocean and her passion for education by teaching in the Florida Keys at an experiential education facility, The Newfound Harbor Marine Institute. In 2012, Liz fulfilled a childhood dream to live and work in the ‘land-down-unda’ – taking outdoor education to a new level in the Australian bush by teaching lessons in ocean conservation and sustainability in the landlocked wilderness. After careful consideration, Liz transitioned to The Cape Eleuthera Island School in April 2013 to become director of the Gap Year Program, and is now head of The Island School Summer Term and the Dean of Students for The Island School semester program.
Literature and Writing Teacher
Rikka grew up on the Maine coast, and graduated cum laude from Carleton College in 2009 with a degree in Religion. She then spent four years working in both publishing and the nonprofit sector before returning to graduate school. In 2015 she earned a Master's of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction Writing at the University of Montana in Missoula, where she taught undergraduate composition and creative writing and was named the Tim O'Leary and Michelle Cardinal Prose Scholar. Rikka spent the following fall in Zermatt, Switzerland, teaching English literature at Swiss Semester. She joins us from Big Sky, Montana, where she enjoys hiking, skiing, and the mountain life.
Research Department Head
Kate graduated from Bangor University, UK with a degree in Zoology and Marine Zoology in 2004. Following this, Kate spent a year traveling the world before returning to study a Masters in Marine Conservation. Kate worked for a UK non-profit organization on Andros, The Bahamas for 3 years teaching marine conservation. It was here she met her husband, fellow Island School teacher Jason Kincaid. Kate and Jason then travelled the world working on sailing yachts. Kate is currently finishing her PhD thesis in fisheries and marine conservation from Memorial University, Canada. Kate has been part of the IS community since 2012 and has worked as a research advisor in past semesters before taking on her current role. Kate is mummy to Rose (2 years) who has grown up on Eleuthera. Outside of work, Kate enjoys family time, sailing, swimming, traveling and exploring the world through the eyes of a toddler.
Flora graduated from Middlebury College in 2012 with a joint major in Geology and Environmental Studies. She chose this major in equal parts for her academic interests and the ample opportunities it provided to be outside. Since college she has worked in experiential education, spending summers leading service trips to China and Thailand with Lakeside School (Seattle), and teaching math at three semester schools. Teaching at Woolman (California) and Maine Coast Semester sold her on the hands-on, immersive education of the semester school model. She is thrilled to now work for The Island School where she teaches math, leads kayak and sail trips, and loves jumping into the ocean any chance she can get.
Patrick has been a part of The Island School family for nearly eight years, beginning when he was a student in the semester program in 2008. Patrick returned to Cape Eleuthera two years ago to teach for The Island School's Summer Term. Unable to stay away, Patrick decided to stay and work on the Cape as a teacher with the Cape Eleuthera Institute's Educational Programs team for a year before joining The Island School faculty in Fall 2015 as a Histories Teacher. A graduate of Bishop’s University (Canada) with a degree in International Studies and Economics, Patrick has worked to advance the Humanities curriculum at The Island School. On top of Patrick’s role in the classroom, he is a sailing expedition leader, a dive instructor and a swim coach at The Island School. Whether under water or in the classroom, Patrick enjoys fostering a sense of community at the school he grew to love while he was a student.
Histories Teaching Fellow
Lizzy graduated from Middlebury College magna cum laude in 2015. She majored in Sociology and Anthropology and received honors on her senior thesis, Title IX and Women’s Athletics: The Sports Bra as an Iron Cage. She minored in Education Studies and Global Health. Lizzy was a co-captain of the Varsity Volleyball team and rowed in the women's first varsity 8 boat on the crew team. After graduation, Lizzy was an editorial intern with Sports Illustrated and served as a volunteer coordinator for a local United Way.
Caleb graduated from Kenyon College in 2014 where he studied economics and environmental studies and was an All-Conference and captain of the men’s varsity lacrosse team. Following graduation, Caleb took a position teaching mathematics and economics at Vermont Academy. In addition to his teaching duties, Caleb was the boys’ varsity lacrosse coach, residential dorm parent, and 9th and 10th grade academic advisor. During the summers, Caleb works at Camp Dudley, an all-boys camp in Westport, New York, as an athletic department and leadership development team staff member.
Looking to blend his teaching, coaching, outdoors, and leadership experiences, Caleb joins the Island School to teach mathematics, coach running and swimming, and assist the outdoor programs. In his spare time, Caleb enjoys fly fishing, skiing, baking and eating bread, and free-diving.
Environmental Art Teacher
Maria holds a BA in Visual Arts Education with a studio emphasis in painting and a minor in psychology from Ball State University. She is also a National Outdoor Leadership School semester alumna and holds a Wilderness First Responder certification. After graduating, she headed to Alaska to work as a sea kayak guide before coming to the Island School for the first time as a a fellow teaching Environmental Art. After the fellowship, she moved back to Alaska where she has since worked as a snorkeling guide, an outdoor recreation specialist for adults with disabilities, and a substitute teacher. She also designed and taught an ongoing series of youth art classes in collaboration with the local arts council. In her free time, she enjoys free-diving, beachcombing, and making jewelry with what she finds on the beach.
Wellness Educator (DCMS and Island School)
Allison is originally from a small town in Canada’s only desert. She studied child and youth development on the west coast of Canada at the University of Victoria. After completing her Bachelor’s degree in Child and Youth Care she worked in a variety of community agencies supporting children ranging in age from 1-19. Most recently Allison worked as a Wellness Educator, School Counsellor and Boarding Student Advisor at a an international boarding school in Victoria, BC, Canada while completing her Master’s of Arts degree in Counselling Psychology. Her thesis was focused on student wellness, which led her into developing a comprehensive student wellness program aimed to educate students on health and wellness and inspire and guide them into successful, balanced and fulfilling futures. Allison is thrilled to be joining both The Island School and Deep Creek Middle School!
Marine Ecology Teacher
Maxwell graduated from Dickinson college in 2016 where he studied Biology and was a member of the swim and squash teams. Maxwell has broad experience in leading eco-tourism around the world. He has worked as a dive master in Thailand, as a safari guide in South Africa and in animal conservation in Australia. He has conducted reef research in Mozambique and the Seychelles. In the past, Maxwell has worked as a hiking guide, naturalist, and sailing instructor at summer camps. Maxwell is also a WEMT (Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician) and he volunteers for the Jackson Ambulance Service in his hometown of Jackson, New Hampshire. As an Alumnus of the Island School, Maxwell first returned in 2015 and then again in 2016 as a Marine Ecology teacher for the Island School’s Summer Term Program. In his free time Maxwell enjoys free-diving, playing the ukulele, and photography.
Environmental Art Teacher
After completing his undergraduate degree in Fine Arts at the University of Victoria in Canada, Nick Archibald followed his creative pursuits into the film and television industry, as well as establishing himself as a practicing artist. Nick then pursued his passion for art education and youth leadership at St. Michaels University School. He became a House Parent for a boys’ boarding house, as well as an Art Intern. Nick then completed his second Bachelor’s degree at the University of Victoria in secondary education. During this time, Nick broadened his interest in Indigenous education, partaking in an intensive Indigenous Education Institute program in 2015. A main focus of his studies at this time was engaging students with social justice and activism through art. Nick has since taught at both the Middle School and Senior School levels. In his spare time, Nick enjoys camping, canoeing, surfing, fishing, and many other outdoor activities.
Marine Ecology Teacher
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.