Meet Our Staff

Committed in Every Way to Your Success


Our Team

United by a shared purpose — to develop leaders who inspire and drive change — The Island School is a single organization made up of several interconnected parts.

Senior Leadership

Ben Dougherty

CEO/Head of School

Ben Dougherty

Ben first worked at The Island School from 2006-2009 as Science Department Chair and Dean of Faculty for the Semester. From 2010 to 2020, Ben served as the Assistant Head of School and Academic Dean at High Mountain Institute (HMI) in Colorado and as Head of Upper School at The Derryfield School in New Hampshire. Ben’s career in education began in the wilderness working for outdoor and experiential-based organizations, including Outward Bound. His educational ethos stems from the values rooted in those experiences. He continues to create learning opportunities that help students develop perseverance, personal responsibility, an understanding of ones role within a community and the ability to find joy in overcoming adversity. As an educator, Ben is foremost focused on building future leaders of the world by helping students develop competence and confidence through solving real problems and impacting their communities in tangible ways. Ben leads by example and is a collaborative colleague who understands the weight and opportunity of his position to expand the reach and impact of The Island School.

Nicholas Higgs

Director of Research & Innovation

Nicholas Higgs

Nick is a Bahamian marine biologist that hails from the fishing town of Spanish Wells, Eleuthera. Before returning to The Bahamas to lead the Cape Eleuthera Institute at The Island School, Nick worked as Deputy Director of the Marine Institute at the University of Plymouth in the UK. He began his research career studying the ecology and biodiversity of deep-sea habitats, completing his doctoral research at the University of Leeds and Natural History Museum, London. He has since diversified his research interests and is currently focussed on sustainable fisheries in The Bahamas, particularly the spiny lobster fishery.

Nikki Rolle

Executive Assistant

Katherine Walz

Director of Education

Dan Blessing

Director of Expeditionary Programs and Risk Management


Accounts

Treshae Clarke

Accounting Clerk

Kelia Duncombe

Accounting & Reporting Manager

Sherrelle Knowles

Planning & Business Control Manager

Devaughn Sweeting

Purchasing Manager

Mitzy Sweeting

Island School Ambassador


Advancement & Cape Eleuthera Foundation

Anna Becker

Director of Semester and Summer Term Admissions

Anna Becker

Born in Virginia and raised in Colorado, she studied strategic communications and Spanish at Washington State University. She continued her world tour following graduation and spent a year living in Spain while traveling around Europe. With a new home-base in Philly, Anna is excited to be a part of the team working to offer students experiential learning opportunities and impactful educational experiences at The Island School.

Alexander Cates

Director of Development Operations and Finance

Alexander Cates

Alex first joined the Cape Eleuthera Foundation in the summer of 2016 as an Operations Intern after graduating from Quinnipiac University. After completing his graduate studies at Suffolk University he rejoined the team as an Associate Business Officer in 2019. Alex is currently the Director of Development Operations and Finance at the Cape Eleuthera Foundation. A native Eleutheran, Alex graduated from the Deep Creek Middle School in 2008.

Emma Cottone

Advancement Assistant

Emma Cottone

Originally from central New Jersey, Emma pursued her bachelors degree in marine biology from Rollins College in Florida. After college Emma spent two years in the Philippines working in environmental education and marine conservation. Most recently before joining our team, Emma was a college and career coach for high school students in Philadelphia, and is thrilled to fuse her passion for both marine science and student advocacy as a member of the Foundation team.

Taylor Hoffman

Executive Director

Taylor Hoffman

In 2012, Taylor returned to The Island School as a research fellow after working in marine science in California and Florida. She soon learned of her passion for welcoming young people into the program she participated in during high school (Spring 2006). Taylor joined the stateside team in 2013 to lead The Island School admissions team and has continued to expand how we market and promote all the programs on the cape.

Lindsay Johnson

Director of Development

Lindsay Johnson

Lindsay brings experience in development operations, campaign management, and international tourism and education from her time working at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Context Travel. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame and earned a MA in Modern French Studies from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. Lindsay lives in Philadelphia with her husband Brandon and their daughter Quinn.

Madison Kennedy

Semester and Summer Term Admissions Associate

Madison Kennedy

Madison joins the Admissions Team excited to share The Island School with the next generation of students. She is a big supporter of The Island School’s focus on experiential learning, which stems from her experience in Sitka, Alaska where she guided high school students through internships, jobs, and post-secondary planning. Madison studied psychology and human development at Tulane University and the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education and looks forward to connecting students with the opportunities available at The Island School.

Megan Platt

Alumni Relations Manager

Megan Platt

Megan bring experience in program management and development, volunteer coordination, and fundraising to the Foundation team. Megan began her nonprofit career in Buffalo, NY where she focused on local community development efforts. In 2017, she moved to Philadelphia, and worked with United By Blue, leading their large-scale waterway cleanup operations. She is a graduate of Houghton College, where she earned her BA in Communications and Business Administration. Megan is excited to be part of the Foundation team and to enhance the alumni experience for all Cape Eleuthera Island School alumni.

Communications

Laura Dougherty

Director of Marketing & Communications

Laura Dougherty

Laura first became acquainted with The Island School in 2006 when she joined the community as a humanities teacher. After three years on the island, she moved on to pursue other opportunities in the US. She continued her work with non-profits and unique educational models, serving as the Director of Admission and Advancement for the High Mountain Institute and most recently as the Director of Communications for the New Hampton School in New Hampshire. In 2020, Laura returned to Eleuthera to lead the marketing and communications program at The Island School, better support the foundation, and share the organization’s inspiring story. She lives on the Cape with her husband Ben and two children Mia and Finn.

Vernesse Henderson

Creative Content Associate

Josie Cousineau

Design & Creative Content Associate

Josie Cousineau

Josie is a Boston native and graduate from Elon University, NC. She holds degrees in both Communication Design and Media Analytics. The focus of her projects at Elon were usually around social equity, climate change advocacy and sustainable practices. She has worked at several agencies that helped her become a well-rounded designer. In addition to her creative side, she enjoys running, hiking, fostering dogs and DIY projects. It’s these qualities and experiences that excited her about the role of Digital Content Associate at The Island School.

Dining Services

Nicholi Anderson

Kitchen Porter/Butcher

Nicholi Anderson

Arntrae Coakley

Supervisor/Sustainable Food Teacher

Arntrae Coakley

Jacquel Kemp

Kitchen Manager

Tiffany McKinney

Supervisor/Sustainable Food Teacher

Tiffany McKinney

Monique McSweeney

Chef/Sustainable Food Teacher

Monique McSweeney

Juanya Strachan

Chef/Sustainable Food Teacher

Juanya Strachan

Rodney Thompson

Chef/Sustainable Food Teacher

Rodney Thompson

Oswald Young

Kitchen Porter

Oswald Young


Education Team

Tiffany Bain

Learning Support Teacher

Emma Higgs

Music Teacher

Joanna Paul

Instructional Coach


Facilities

Carrington Butler

Facilities, Waterfront, & Scuba

Carrington Butler

Portia Carey

IT Assistant

Martino Francis

Facilities Staff

Martino Francis

Edwin Hall

Facilities Staff

Edwin Hall

Albert Pratt Jr.

Junior Carpenter

Albert Pratt Jr.

Lothan Woodside

Facilities Staff

Lothan Woodside


Health & Wellness

Kaitlyn Joyce

Manager of Wellness Center

Kaitlyn Joyce

Kaitlyn grew up in the great state of Maine where she also attended nursing school at Saint Joseph’s College. She has worked in emergency rooms since 2015, and in nursing since 2017. In addition to being an RN, she holds certifications in Emergency Nurse Pediatrics, Trauma Nursing, and is a Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN). Kaitlyn maintains a compassionate, caring, and non-judgmental approach to healthcare and strives to ensure every member of our community can achieve optimal mental and physical wellness. A New Englander through and through, she brings her passion for the outdoors with her to The Bahamas. When not working, Kaitlyn enjoys swimming, learning to kitesurf, and spending time with her two precious potcakes!

Andrew Dalton

Wellness Center EMT

Andrew Dalton

Drew Dalton grew up in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, and attended university at Appalachian State in Boone, North Carolina. While a student at Appalachian State, Drew studied Recreation Management with a concentration in Commercial Tourism. From a young age, Drew has had an extreme attraction to the water and has spent many summers as an EMT and Ocean Rescue lifeguard for various beaches in the Jacksonville area. He has a wide variety of leadership experience in outdoor activities ranging from hiking and biking to long-distance swimming and cave exploration. Drew enjoys the variety of work and unique people he gets to know through Educational programming. In his spare time, Drew enjoys photography, training for endurance races, surfing, and exploring underwater caves.

Human Resources

Karen Burrows

Housing Manager

Sherrall Carey

HR Services & Benefits Manager

Julienne Carey

Housing Staff

Julienne Carey


IT

Sony Bellot

IT Assistant


Scuba

Alex Robertson

Dive Instructor

Blair Robertson

Dive Instructor

Morgan Kritzman

Scuba Instructor & Semester Staff

Morgan Kritzman

Morgan is originally from Glenview, Illinois and against all odds as a Midwesterner, she was always drawn to the ocean. Her passion began at The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago where she volunteered in the guest engagement and education department. She quickly began to realize that the intersectionality between conservation, education, and marine sciences were her calling. She studied Marine, Estuarine, and Freshwater Biology at the University of New Hampshire. While in University, Morgan had the opportunity to gain scientific diving experience. Morgan first joined the Island School as part of the Summer Term faculty in 2021, where she taught Marine Ecology and earned her Divemaster certification. She is so excited to welcome Educational Programs and cannot wait to show visitors around her favorite dive sites. In her spare time, she loves spending time scuba diving, hiking, skiing, cooking, and traveling.

Cape Eleuthera Institute

Our team of research scientists and technicians make CEI an extraordinary place to conduct meaningful and impactful research.

Johny Alexis

Landscape Technician

Mia Avril

Aquaponics Systems Engineer

Mia Avril

Mia is a true CARICOM national. Born and raised in Saint Lucia, she has lived and worked in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Dominica, among other places. She is an aquaculturist by training but her educational and professional background also expand to include environmental and marine science. Her intention is to ensure that there will always be fresh lettuce available to all on campus, among other hydroponically produced vegetables. As would be expected, she does enjoy spending her time outside, the beach is her happy place. She also enjoys watching TV and considers popcorn to be a food group.

Michael Bowleg

Visiting Scientist

Michael Bowleg

Michael Bowleg Jr is a Bahamian sustainability and aquaculture scientist from Nassau, The Bahamas and an alumnus of The University of The Bahamas’ Small Island Sustainability program. Michael graduated with honours from The University of Plymouth with a MSc. in Sustainable Aquaculture in which his thesis focused on the application of prebiotics in salmonids to enhance growth and immune system function. He also has substantial research and husbandry experience in finfish and crustacean aquaculture, aquaponics and environmental education. Currently, Michael is a 2nd year PhD student and Teaching Assistant at the University of Exeter in the UK. Currently at CEI, Michael’s research is focused on identifying marine ecosystems relevant to Caribbean spiny lobster pueruli settlement in Eleuthera. In particular, he hopes to identify the feasibility of Caribbean spiny lobster stock enhancement and production aquaculture and grow out.

Secoudieu Camille

Agricultural Technician

Dorlan Curtis

Assistant Director of Research & Innovation

Dorlan Curtis

Dorlan is a Bahamian bioprocess engineer from New Providence. Prior to joining CEI, he worked as a Process Engineer at Verso Paper in Michigan, USA and Assistant Residence Director at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. He received a B.E. in Chemical Engineering from Youngstown State University and M.Sc. in Bioprocess Engineering from SUNY-College of Environmental Science and Forestry, During his tenure as a graduate researcher, his thesis focused on thermochemical hemicellulose extraction of invasive Casuarina lignocellulosic biomass to produce biofuels and bioplastics. At CEI, he conducts research in utilizing fungi to produce food and biomaterials.

Bronwyn Esterhuizen

Senior Research Scientist

Bronwyn Esterhuizen

Bronwyn is from the East Coast of South Africa, more specifically Warner Beach, a little fishing village south of Durban. Prior to arriving in Eleuthera, she was a qualified horticulturist with most of her experience in coastal landscaping and more recently landscape management in the hospitality industry, both in South Africa and the Caribbean. Currently she is pursuing a M.Sc. in Horticulture and her research project is on Permaculture Design for climate resilience using The Island School as a case study.

Marjahn Finlayson

Research Scientist

Marjahn Finlayson

Marjahn is a climate scientist from New Providence, Bahamas. During her undergraduate career at Wesleyan University, she researched tropical cyclones and climate variability at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. After graduating, she taught in the United States and The Bahamas as a science and mathematics teacher for students ranging from kindergarten to high school for three years. She continued her research career at the University of Leeds, where she earned her Masters of Research in Climate and Atmospheric Science. At CEI, Marjahn’s research focuses on tropical cyclone development under climate change, ocean-atmosphere interactions, and climate change awareness.

Natalia Hurtado

Research Scientist

Natalia Hurtado

Natalia is a Colombian marine biologist who started studying coral population and growth to improve coral restoration for her undergraduate and master’s theses. Since 2008, she has been involved in many coral projects in Colombia, The Netherlands, Bonaire, Curaçao and Qatar. Now, she is applying her expertise at the Bahamas Coral Innovation Hub project, hoping to help to rehabilitate threatened coral populations by using sexual and asexual propagation to grow and research different coral species. Natalia has been teaching dive courses for the last 15 years, training beginners, divemasters, new instructors and teaching specialties like the PADI Reef Rescue Course.

Elidieu Joseph

Agricultural Technician

Eric Schneider

Research Scientist & Lab Manager

Eric Schneider

Eric grew up near Washington D.C. and has been working with CEI since 2013. His research interests are motivated by a need to conserve biodiversity and to improve the sustainability of fisheries. He has worked alongside fishers on projects focused on a variety of recreationally and commercially important species including stone crabs, pelagic sportfish, and bonefish. He received a BSc in Biology from Gettysburg College and a MSc in Natural Resources and Environmental Science from the University of Illinois. Eric is a PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow and has taught the Semester Research Class since 2013.

Vincent Louisius

Landscape Technician

Patricia Thompson

Farm & Landscape Manager

Silia Woodside

Research Assistant

Lindsay Rigby

Research Technician

Julia Kichorowsky

Research Assistant

Lucia Yannuzzi

Research Assistant

Megan Poulton

Research Assistant

Alexa Hoffman

Research Assistant

Deon Armbrister

Waste Management Technician

Reanna Jeanes

Research Scientist

Reanna Jeanes

Reanna completed her Masters of Marine Biology from UNC Wilmington, with a research focus on the impacts of hypoxia and high temperature stress to physiology of staghorn coral. After learning to SCUBA dive with her undergraduate research at Clemson University, Reanna became passionate about coral reef biology, as well as education and outreach to local communities. Reanna aims to use research to improve effective field and land-based aquaria techniques for coral aquaculture. She enjoys spending time with her dog, Lacey, as well as reading novels, going surfing, playing board and card games, and longboarding.

Hayden Goldspink

Research Technician

David Iyileh

Research Technician

Nick Nonnenmacher

Research Technician


High School Semester and Summer Term

Our Semester and Summer Term faculty are committed in every way to their students’ success.

Brian Baker

Teacher, Marine Ecology

Brian Baker

Brian Baker grew up in Wellesley, Massachusetts and first came to the Island School as a Semester student in 2014. He quickly fell in love with the incredible ocean environment, the people, and ethos that make this place so unique. After his semester, Brian brought his love for the ocean to the New England Aquarium where he worked in visitor education. His love for the ocean continued at the University of Miami, where he studied Marine Affairs and Ecosystem Science & Policy. As an undergraduate, Brian worked on climate change policy at the state government level and returned to The Island School as a Summer Term teacher. He loves spending time outdoors in nature diving, skiing, or in any way he can!

Adam Bernstein

Teacher, Literature

Adam Bernstein

Adam grew up in Baltimore, MD and was a student at McDonogh School and the University of Virginia. While at UVA, he studied anthropology and global sustainability, and joined us on Eleuthera as a CEIS intern in 2015. He has spent time studying and working on environmental issues in Hawai’i, New Zealand, the wider South Pacific, the Spanish Basque Country, and, of course, the Caribbean. Most recently, he worked for a global forestry consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., before rejoining the Island School community in June 2019 to work for the Educational Programs department. Adam is currently the Beach House Dorm Head, Literature and Writing teacher, and Head of the Exercise Program. In his free time he enjoys surfing, freediving, trying to improve his Spanish, and playing music. He is also a certified meditation teacher.

Liz Cutler

Master Teacher

Liz Cutler

Liz began her education career as an experiential educator, leading wilderness trips with a variety of different groups. After earning a masters in Comparative Literature from Princeton University, she taught high school English at Princeton Day School in Princeton, NJ for 37 years. She also created and directed their sustainability initiative for 18 years. She was Founding Director of a 50-school non-profit consortium, (OASIS NJ Schools) helping all NJ schools move forward in sustainability. Recently, she became a whole school sustainability consultant working with schools all over the country. She is a pressed flower artist who loves to be in nature.

Elsa Davis

Teacher, Histories

Elsa Davis

Elsa is originally from Norwich, Vermont, where she first became enamored with the outdoors while growing up in the mountains. She studied Political Science and Environmental Studies at Elon University, and is passionate about art, action, and intersectionality in the climate crisis. She is experienced in outdoor education in forest classrooms as well as summer camps in Vermont. Having first joined the CEIS community as a semester student in Fall 2013, Elsa has now led Down Island expeditions, courses, and assisted with research with CEI Educational Programs and Island School semester since early 2020.

Lauren Gould

Dean of Students

Lauren Gould

Lauren is originally from Baltimore, MD, and first joined The Island School community as a Semester student. She always knew she wanted to return as a teacher one day and that dream first came true in 2017 when Lauren worked for the Summer Term. Since then, Lauren has taught the Histories class and led Down Island Trips for the Semester and Summer Term. Lauren is currently the Treehouse Dorm Head, Histories teacher, and Assistant Dean of Students.

Samuel Kosoff

Semester Director

Samuel Kosoff

Sam has been an educator for 26 years and served in a variety of roles at diverse places. He returned to his alma mater, The Lawrenceville School, immediately after earning his B.A. in English at Hamilton College. During that time, Sam and Chris Maxey, Island School founder, became friends, often collaborating on experiential education opportunities at Lawrenceville. After earning an MALS at St. John’s College and spending a year at Link Community School in Newark, NJ he helped Chris launch The Island School in 1999. After four foundational years at The Island School, Sam became Upper School Admission Director, English teacher, and Coach at McDonogh School before returning to Lawrenceville as their first Sustainability Director. Ready for a change, in 2020 Sam returned to Eleuthera as the Master Teacher for the Spring Semester and has stayed on to serve as Semester Director. Sam is the proud parent of two Semester alumni (S17 and F19). His wife, Emilie, is Dean of Faculty at Lawrenceville School.

Gustav Wellin

Teacher, Mathematics

Gustav Wellin

Güs is originally from Falmouth, Maine and first joined The Island School community as a student in Fall 2008. He graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Atmospheric Science and Renewable Energy. He spent several years in the solar industry working on utility scale solar projects before returning to outdoor education in California and Colorado. Güs is passionate about connecting education to the real world and working with students to nurture leadership skills and independence. In his free time, he can be found reading, skiing, jumping into bodies of water, and writing out elaborate Dungeons and Dragons storylines.

Peter Talpey

Teacher, Math

Peter Talpey

Peter grew up in Western New York and attended Hamilton College, where he studied mathematics and computer science. Peter has also spent over a dozen summers working and guiding in the mountains of Wyoming. He worked as a teaching apprentice in Leadville, CO, at another semester school, the High Mountain Institute. Following his apprenticeship, he taught high school math in New Hampshire for four years before returning to experiential education at the Island School. While he loves hiking, climbing, and horse packing in the backcountry, he also loves swimming and exploring the marine fauna of Cape Eleuthera.

George Clarke

Teacher, Marine Ecology

George Clarke

George grew up in Bath, UK and studied Marine Conservation at the University of Plymouth’s Marine Institute. During his studies he gained experience in field research and social science research investigating human connection to marine environments and the use of education as a means of change. He is a ‘life-long learner’ and combines formal education with real-world experience and application. George previously worked as an environmental educator, teaching students and developing other educators. He loves combining experiential education with storytelling to share the experiences of Ocean citizens around the world. He is passionate about mentoring and is inspired by the journeys shared between mentor and mentee. In his free time, George enjoys scuba diving, snorkeling and paddling.

Mia D’Orazio

Semester Mentor

Mia D’Orazio

Watching Planet Earth more times than she could possibly count, Mia was drawn to the wild and wonderful world of environmental research from a young age. After moving from the Bronx to Miami, she chose to stay near the coast and studied Biology, Marine Ecology, and Chemistry at Florida International University. This is not Mia’s first time at The Island School: she was a summer semester student and often credits that experience for inspiring her to pursue her passions. She is a firm believer in the power of education and is most excited about how experiential learning shapes community leaders. During her free time, Mia likes to play games, bake brownies, and go fishing with good company!

Caitlin Zimmer

Semester Mentor

Caitlin Zimmer

Caitlin has lived by the coast her whole life, developing a fascination with all things water from the Long Island Sound in Connecticut to tidal pools in Cape Town. In 2021, she graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana where she majored in Environmental Biology and got a certification in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Since then she has worked as a fisheries technician in Mississippi where she spent her days tagging sharks, taking fish otoliths, and teaching the public about the wonders of the ocean! In her free time, she loves to play board games and bake desserts.

Caroline Ward

Semester Mentor

Caroline Ward

Caroline is originally from Wellesley, Massachusetts and attended Milton Academy. She majored in English at Northwestern University and studied abroad in Dunedin, New Zealand. Her work since graduation has included college counseling low-income students in Seattle through AmeriCorps and leading backpacking programs in Iceland and Switzerland for Overland Summers. Caroline is grateful for the opportunity to teach and learn at The Island School.

Lyle Seeligson

Semester Mentor

Alynne Sinnema

Semester Mentor

Alynne Sinnema

Alynne is originally from Alberta, Canada, but moved out to the east coast to attend school at Acadia University. After obtaining a degree in theatre, she has combined her passion for teaching, physical exercise and performance to pursue a career as an aerial silks performer, as well as an aerial circus teacher. Alynne has worked as a mentor and leader in multiple disciplines, including work with women, people with disabilities and children, and she loves to combine her passion for people with her work as an educator.

Veronica Wolff

Semester Mentor


Deep Creek Middle School

DCMS teachers are talented, compassionate professionals who are committed in every way to their students’ success. Meet these extraordinary educators and individuals.

Erica Allen

G7, G8 & G9 Arts

Erica Allen

Erica Allen is a native of Orange Creek, Cat Island and moved to Eleuthera after she married. She graduated from the College of the Bahamas, with a degree in Fine Arts. Before coming to DCMS, she taught Art and Craft at Windermere high school. She is passionate about the development and creativity of her students . She enjoys bringing out the unique talent in each individual.

Daenette Gardiner

DCMS Principal

Daenette Gardiner

Daenette joins us from Nassau, having worked for many years at Lyford Cay International School. As a former special education teacher, consultant and school psychologist, Daenette has more than 20 years of experience working with students from preschool to college level with a wide range of abilities. Her educational background includes a Master of Science Degree in School Psychology from Northeastern University and a Master of Education Degree in Language and Literacy Learning from Lesley University. Daenette also earned a Bachelor’s degree in Counseling Psychology and an Associate’s degree in Christian Leadership. She’s a skilled tennis player, talented gardener and a true life-long learner.

Elizabeth Ramnarine

G7, G8 & G9 Language Arts

Elizabeth Ramnarine

Liz Ramnarine moved to The Bahamas from Guyana in 2002 to join her then husband, who was teaching at Windermere High School at the time. The following year, she secured a job with the government and began teaching at Preston Albury High School, where she remained until June of 2019. Liz holds a Trained Teacher’s Certificate from The Cyril Potter’s College of Education in Guyana and a Bachelor’s of Arts in English from The University Of Guyana. She has been teaching for the past 25 years, the first 8 of those being in Guyana and the remainder being here in The Bahamas, on the island of Eleuthera. She has taught grades 7- 12 Language and Literature and Grades 8 Reading. She has enjoyed working with students preparing them for the Scripps National SpellingBee Competition. She enjoys exploring nature, watching and capturing sunsets (thus her nickname, Sunset Hunter), writing short stories and poetry, embroidery and cooking. Liz is excited to be a part of the DCMS family, since it gives her an opportunity to experience teaching in a system/environment where the focus of learning is not only academic based.

Rashida Sweeting

Administrative Assistant

Rashida Sweeting

Rashida Sweeting is a native of Water Ford, Eleuthera. She attended Wemyss Bight Primary and Preston H. Albury High School. Before DCMS, Ms. Sweeting worked as a special education teacher with Exceptional Education Outreach and as a tour guide at Princess Cays. She has a passion for children and Bahamian culture, and is so excited to be working at DCMS.

Katherine Coleby

Mathematics Teacher

Katherine Coleby

Katherine hails from Nassau, The Bahamas. She earned her B.S. in Environmental Science from Drexel University, and worked as a research assistant and environmental educator before becoming a full time teacher in 2019. She is excited to blend her experiences from both of these professions to provide her students with rich, stimulating, and lively lessons! Katherine currently lives in Deep Creek with her pet rock, Rubble. In her free time she loves beaching, dancing, and socializing.

Kayla Woods

Social Studies Teacher

Kayla Woods

Kayla has been teaching for more than 10 years and is thrilled to teach in DCMS’s experiential environment. During her career, Kayla has taught all 4 core subjects which include Math, English, Science, and Social Studies, ranging from 5th grade to 8th grade in Texas. She was also the cheer coach/sponsor and previously instituted a campus step team for student extracurriculars. Her high school years were spent at Jordan Prince Williams High in Nassau, and she later received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She is the mother of one son who recently started his college journey.

Anastacia Rigby

Science Teacher

Anastacia Rigby

Before arriving at DCMS, Anastacia spent three years employed as a teacher and private tutor in science and mathematics on various family islands in The Bahamas; most recently in North Andros. She graduated from Fisk University with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. While in university, Anastacia served as a research assistant in a structural biology laboratory and an undergraduate teacher assistant in an organic chemistry laboratory. She is passionate about education and excited to implement inquiry-based and experiential learning principles with her students. She enjoys reading, dancing, and exploring nature by hiking.

Elementary Learning Center

ELC teachers are caring, nurturing professionals who are dedicated to helping children to grow into confident, capable learners. Meet these outstanding educators and individuals.

Bonnie Drost

Lead Teacher

Bonnie Drost

Bonnie grew up in a very small community located on Georgian Bay in Canada, but has lived and worked in the Toronto area since moving there for university. Bonnie is a seasoned educator, having spent the past 13 years teaching Grade 6. Prior to that she taught kindergarten. Bonnie earned a Master of Education with a focus on International Education (policy and curriculum development) at the University of Western in Ontario, Canada. She brings experience in inquiry-based learning and is excited about the place-based experiential educational model at the ELC.

Daniel Evans

Teacher

Daniel Evans

Dan is a full time teacher at the Elementary Learning Center. In addition to being a university-trained elementary educator, Dan has a degree in Sports PR and Journalism. Most recently, Dan taught Year 5 in the UK and is excited about using the wide Island School campus as the classroom at the ELC. He is a UK world champion ultimate Frisbee player, and served as captain and coach of the United Arab Emirates national ultimate Frisbee team.

Angelica McKinney

Teaching Assistant

Angelica McKinney

Angelica (Jelly) grew up in Deep Creek, Eleuthera. She is a seasoned ELC teaching assistant, working with the program since 2015. She brings a gentle style and genuine care for her students to her work.

Brenda Olariaga

Teaching Assistant

Brenda Olariaga

Brenda is returning for her 3rd year at the ELC. Brenda takes a playful approach to learning. She is a native Spanish speaker and enjoys teaching her language and culture to the students at the ELC.

Programs and Partnerships

Some of the most important work we do at The Island School involves our work within the community and the individuals and organizations that partner with us. These joint efforts integrate The Island School with Eleuthera and The Bahamas, as well as help build global connections.

Visting Programs

Madeleine Mendels

Visiting Program Manager

Madeleine Mendels

Madie is originally from Holland, Michigan, where her love for the outdoors was fostered on the shores of Lake Michigan. She studied Environmental Studies and Environmental Decision Making at Denison University and is passionate about experiential learning, community resiliency, and engaging others in the outdoors. Madie has spent time as a student and as a marine biology instructor in the Caribbean, studying climate change policy in Small Island Developing States, and also teaching and living with students on sailboats. Madie is excited to explore Eleuthera through snorkeling and hiking with visiting groups, and learn with others in an intentional community. In her free time, she enjoys creating art, diving, biking, and anything outdoors!

Krissy Pyfrom

Visiting Program Coordinator

Krissy Pyfrom

Krissy was born in Nassau, New Providence and was initially introduced to The Island School as a student during the spring semester of 2017. She has since gone on to intern with the Bahamas National Trust as well as the Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation before becoming an aquarist and husbandry specialist at Atlantis. Krissy has interned with the outreach team at Island School, allowing her to work with local kids. She is motivated by educating youths about the environment.

Christina Wickman

Director of Summer Term & Visiting Programs

Christina Wickman

Christina is the Director of Visiting Programs and the Summer Term. She is a science teacher, outdoor educator, and educational program administrator who has worked in the UK, Dubai, Bonaire, and the United States. She is also a competitive ultimate frisbee player, an Oregonian, and a lover of the ocean. Christina studied Marine Biology at the University of Oregon before pursuing a MA in Biology from Miami University of Ohio. More recently she attended the University of Exeter for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. Christina is so excited to help students learn, grow, and develop as global citizens.

Alexis Saunders

Visiting Program Coordinator

Maura Glovins

Visiting Program Coordinator

Daniel Baldwin

Visiting Program Coordinator

Timothy Outwater

Visiting Program Coordinator

Ally Aplin

Visiting Program Coordinator

Bronte Mohr

Visiting Programs Coordinator


Community Engagement & Partnerships

Andrenique (Tiny) McKinney

Community Engagement Assistant

Andrenique (Tiny) McKinney

Tiny McKinney was born in New Providence and moved to Deep Creek at a young age. She attended Preston H Albury High School and has a certificate in Childcare & Early Years Foundation Stage, a certificate in Working with Students with Special Educational Needs, she is a Wilderness First Responder, First Aid and CPR certified and has her PADI Open Water Scuba certification. Tiny enjoys working with children and encourages students to succeed and achieve their goals to be whoever they want to be. Tiny supports all of our community engagement programs and works closely with our partner, Bahamas Plastic Movement as a Camp Coordinator.

Anshena Johnson-Walker

Community Engagement & Partnerships Coordinator

Anshena Johnson-Walker

Anshena is an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) specialist who originally hails from Deep Creek, Eleuthera. She was locally educated at the University of the Bahamas where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Banking and Finance with a minor in Foreign Languages. Anshena gained valuable experience in diverse sectors such as finance, hospitality, sales and manufacturing before settling into education. Since earning her Cambridge University CELTA certification in TEFL, she has worked with a broad spectrum of students ranging from kindergarten to adult learners in Japan, Thailand and The Bahamas. Her specialty is phonemic awareness, and her passion is building a solid reading foundation in young learners. Anshena also holds advanced PADI scuba, Wilderness First Responder and Emergency First Responder certifications.