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

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

Nicholas Higgs PhD

Director of Research & Innovation

Nicholas Higgs PhD

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

Nikki Rolle

Executive Assistant

Katherine Walz

Katherine Walz

Director of Education

Dan Blessing

Dan Blessing

Director of Expeditionary Programs and Risk Management


Accounts

Treshae Clarke

Treshae Clarke

Accounting Clerk

Kelia Duncombe

Kelia Duncombe

Accounting & Reporting Manager

Sherrelle Knowles

Sherrelle Knowles

Planning & Business Control Manager

Devaughn Sweeting

Devaughn Sweeting

Purchasing Manager

Mitzy Sweeting

Mitzy Sweeting

Island School Ambassador


Advancement & Cape Eleuthera Foundation

Anna Becker

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

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.

Taylor Hoffman

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

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

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

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.
Jack Bliss

Jack Bliss

Donor Relations and Special Events Coordinator

Jack Bliss

Growing up in Wellesley, Massachusetts, Jack studied Biology and Spanish at Trinity College. Following a lifelong connection with the ocean and passion to develop a career in marine science, Jack went on to work as a diver and educator for the New England Aquarium. Following this, Jack joined The Island School in 2018 on the Educational Programs team. In his three years working on campus, he coordinated short-courses, led the GAP program, and served as a Marine Ecology Teacher for the Semester. Jack managed educational programs for Loggerhead Marinelife Center in South Florida before returning to work for the Cape Eleuthera Foundation. Through fundraising and development, Jack supports The Island School’s ability to provide students with transformative educational experiences.

Communications

Laura Dougherty

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

Vernesse Henderson

Creative Content Strategist

Vernesse Henderson

Vernesse grew up in The Bahamas with a strong love for the arts. She studied Visual and Creative Arts at Sheridan College. She freelanced in product photography, illustration, and graphic design, which eventually led her to the world of Digital Marketing in Korea. Now at The Island School, Vernesse is dedicated to sharing authentic stories through media and marketing. She’s currently working towards a Media and Communication Arts Bachelors from Woosong University.
Megan Gilbert

Megan Gilbert

Digital Content Coordinator

Megan Gilbert

Megan first set foot on The Island School’s campus in 2012 as a Visiting Programs student, but that was only the beginning. Growing up in Iowa, she formed a deep-rooted passion for community, nature, and sustainability. Megan returned to The Island School in 2016 and 2017 as an intern before graduating from Iowa State University with degrees in Journalism and Environmental Science. She worked at The Island School as a Senior Communications Associate from 2018 to 2020, and now returns as our Digital Content Coordinator to share our story and amplify our mission.

Dining Services

Nicholi Anderson

Nicholi Anderson

Kitchen Porter/Butcher

Nicholi Anderson

Jacquel Kemp

Jacquel Kemp

Kitchen Manager

Tiffany McKinney

Tiffany McKinney

Supervisor/Sustainable Food Teacher

Tiffany McKinney

Monique McSweeney

Monique McSweeney

Chef/Sustainable Food Teacher

Monique McSweeney

Juanya Strachan

Juanya Strachan

Chef/Sustainable Food Teacher

Juanya Strachan

Rodney Thompson

Rodney Thompson

Chef/Sustainable Food Teacher

Rodney Thompson

Oswald Young

Oswald Young

Kitchen Porter

Oswald Young


Education Team

Emma Higgs

Emma Higgs

Music Teacher

Joanna Paul

Joanna Paul

Instructional Coach


Facilities

Carrington Butler

Carrington Butler

Facilities, Waterfront, & Scuba

Carrington Butler

Portia Carey

Portia Carey

IT Assistant

Marcion Sturrup

Marcion Sturrup

Facilities Manager

Martino Francis

Martino Francis

Facilities Staff

Martino Francis

Edwin Hall

Edwin Hall

Facilities Staff

Edwin Hall

Albert Pratt Jr.

Albert Pratt Jr.

Junior Carpenter

Albert Pratt Jr.

Lothan Woodside

Lothan Woodside

Facilities Staff

Lothan Woodside


Health & Wellness

Laurinda Griffin

Laurinda Griffin

Nurse

Laurinda Griffin

Maya Dru

Maya Dru

W-EMT/Wellness Center Coordinator

Aaron White

Aaron White

W-EMT/Wellness Center Coordinator


Human Resources

Sherrall Carey

Sherrall Carey

HR Services & Benefits Manager

Julienne Carey

Julienne Carey

Housing Staff

Julienne Carey


Information Technology

Sony Bellot

Sony Bellot

IT Technician


Scuba

Alex Robertson

Alex Robertson

Scuba Supervisor and Lead Dive Instructor

Blair Robertson

Blair Robertson

Manager of Diving Operations

Morgan Kritzman

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

Johny Alexis

Landscape Technician

Mia Avril

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

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.
Dorlan Curtis

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.
Natalia Hurtado

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

Elidieu Joseph

Agricultural Technician

Eric Schneider

Eric Schneider PhD

Lab Manager & Senior Research Scientist

Eric Schneider PhD

Eric is a Senior Research Scientist and our Lab Manager. His work focuses on improving the sustainability of fisheries and conserving marine biodiversity. He has collaborated with fishers on projects focused on a variety of commercially and recreationally important species, including stone crabs, pelagic sportfish, and bonefish. Eric received a BSc in Biology from Gettysburg College, an MSc in Natural Resources & Environmental Science from the University of Illinois, and a PhD in Environmental and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Glasgow. Eric is the Island School Research Class Coordinator and has been teaching The Semester Research Class since 2013.
Vincent Louisius

Vincent Louisius

Landscape Technician

Patricia Thompson

Patricia Thompson

Farm & Landscape Manager

Silia Woodside

Silia Woodside

Research Assistant

Natascha Wosnick

Natascha Wosnick PhD

Research Scientist

Natascha Wosnick PhD

Emma Porter

Emma Porter

Visiting Researcher

Erin Parker

Erin Parker

Research Scientist

Deneé Rankine

Deneé Rankine

Research Scientist

Amy Brooks

Amy Brooks

Research Assistant

George Smith

George Smith

Research Technician

Vincent Pastor

Vincent Pastor

Research Technician

Brett Ziter

Brett Ziter

Renewable Resources Systems Technician

Aqilah Ali

Aqilah Ali

Research Technician

Taylor Cargill

Taylor Cargill

Research Technician


High School Semester

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

Christina Wickman

Christina Wickman

Semester Director

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.
Allie Silber

Allie Silber

Dean of Academics

Allie Silber

Meet Allie, an outdoors enthusiast whose deep bond with nature led to a lifelong passion. With a diverse background in wilderness pursuits like backpacking, rock climbing, and kayaking, she’s channeled her love for the outdoors into an educational career. llie studied Ecology and Evolution at the University of Washington before pursuing a MA in Environmental Studies and Education for Sustainability from Prescott College In her 13+ years as an educator, Allie has crafted immersive learning experiences, guiding students to learn through hands-on activities.. As The Dean of Academics, she’s committed to providing transformative education that nurtures eco-conscious, sustainability-minded, adventurous, and empathetic individuals.
Adam Bernstein

Adam Bernstein

Dean of Faculty, 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.
Lauren Gould

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, led Down Island Trips, and held the role of Treehouse Dorm Head for the Semester and Summer Term. Lauren is currently the Assistant Director and Dean of Students for the Semester Program.
Brian Baker

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!
Elsa Davis

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.
Julia Kichorowsky

Julia Kichorowsky

Teacher, Histories

Gustav Wellin

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.
George Clarke

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.
Caroline Ward

Caroline Ward

Teacher, Literature

Caroline Ward

Caroline is originally from Wellesley, Massachusetts. She majored in English with a concentration in Creative Writing at Northwestern University and studied for a semester at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. Through AmeriCorps and College Possible, Caroline served as a college counselor for low-income students in Seattle and Federal Way Public Schools. Caroline has led backpacking programs on Minnesota’s Superior Hiking Trail, Vermont’s Long Trail, Iceland’s Laugavegur Trail, and Switzerland’s Alpine Pass Route and loves to swim and bike around Eleuthera. She is grateful for the opportunity to teach and learn at The Island School.
Quinn Butler

Quinn Butler

Semester Mentor

Quinn Butler

Quinn’s relationship with the Caribbean began when he moved to the island of St. Croix to work in permaculture and sustainable systems. A lover of the humanities, he has always been interested in cultural immersion and place-based learning. While studying anthropology and archaeology at NYU, he found a way to blend these two interests, conducting fieldwork on the Caribbean coast of Belize. Quinn is eager to continue to learn and grow alongside a group of motivated students. In his free time, Quinn enjoys making pottery, running, and lounging on the beach.
Sophie Colantuono

Sophie Colantuono

Semester Mentor

Sophie Colantuono

Growing up in the Ocean State, Sophie spent most of her time in or by the water. Her Rhode Island roots brought her to Eleuthera for the first time in Spring 2017 as a Semester student. She went on to study at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School where she double majored in Marine Affairs and Ecosystem Science & Policy and minored in Creative Writing. She is particularly interested in how writing and art forms can be used as educational tools to engage communities in environmental policy. Having spent many summers as a camp counselor, Sophie strives to bring her energy and compassion to the communities she works with and can’t wait to inspire students to discover their own power as leaders. In her free time, Sophie loves spending time with friends and family, playing in the ocean, writing, and kickboxing. 
Annika Goldman – Scuba

Annika Goldman

Semester Mentor

Annika Goldman

Annika Goldman grew up in Princeton, New Jersey and has been scuba diving ever since she was ten years old. Her love for the ocean led her to attend The Island School Semester in 2016. Annika majored in Environmental Studies and Communications at the University of Southern California and prior to joining the Semester, she worked in philanthropy at the Bezos Earth Fund. She has a deep interest in climate policy and diplomacy and can’t wait to empower students to be future change makers for our planet! When Annika isn’t scuba diving with students, she will be found doing the worm. 
Zion Martin-Hayes

Zion Martin-Hayes

Semester Mentor

Zion Martin-Hayes

Zion is from the Chicago area. Growing up as a city kid, she navigated self-expression through various cultural and artistic spaces. Eventually, she realized that dance provides a space for people of different backgrounds to come together and learn from each other. As a recent Connecticut College graduate, Zion is excited to use her double major in Dance and English with a Minor in French to continue to create and support spaces for people of different cultures to commune together. One of the areas in which she hopes to foster community is in outdoor spaces; our shared space as a people. For three years, Zion developed a deep love for the ocean as a Skin Diving instructor at Catalina Island Camps and, in the Summer of 2022, she interned at an outdoor dance intensive in Senegal. Her education and outdoor endeavors have encouraged her to find innovative ways to use dance and her love of outdoor spaces to develop cross cultural connection. 
Clara Masseau

Clara Masseau

Semester Mentor

Clara Masseau

Clara grew up in Vero Beach, Florida, a barrier island community that continues to impact her interests in marine conservation. During her undergraduate degree, she studied abroad in the Turks and Caicos, gaining field research experience at the School for Field Studies Center for Marine Resource Management. With a newfound love of scuba diving and wider scope of marine ecology, she moved to the Florida Keys to learn and work in coral restoration. She is passionate about the systems that form and impact her home and is excited to advise and assist in the curriculum both in the classroom and out in the field.
Izzy Parizeau

Izzy Parizeau

Semester Mentor

Izzy Parizeau

Izzy is from Sherborn, Massachusetts, and studied psychology at Dartmouth College. Since graduating in 2019, she’s hopped around from Los Angeles to Denver to Wyoming, doing social media for Spikeball and filling her free time with traveling, sports, and wandering around grocery stores looking for samples. She’s passionate about the intersection between mental health and the outdoors, and she is working on a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling.
Roxy Silva

Roxy Silva

Semester Mentor

Roxy Silva

Roxy is originally from San Francisco, California, and first joined The Island School community as a Summer Term student in 2016. A vagabond at heart, The Island School was the first of many opportunities living abroad and initiated her passion for travel and cross-cultural experiences. Before returning to Eleuthera, Roxy spent two years solo-backpacking around the world, reaching 30 countries while also earning a degree in Sociology and Media Studies from UC Berkeley. Most recently, she spent 6 months traveling through Southeast Asia, where she became a certified yoga teacher and PADI rescue diver. With an enthusiasm for community living and leadership development, Roxy is excited to encourage students to step out of their comfort zones and challenge new perspectives. In her free time, she enjoys exercising outdoors, going to farmers markets, and improving her photography skills.
Abigail Grab

Abigail Grab

Semester Mentor

Abigail Grab

Abby was born and raised in the state of Vermont. She graduated with a science education degree from Montana State University in 2021. Since then, she has been working as a substitute teacher, ski instructor, and math tutor.  She has spent several months traveling in Southeast Asia and received her yoga teacher certificate. More recently, she has worked as a long-term high school biology and physics substitute teacher. She is passionate about outdoor, place-based education and cannot wait to explore that more on Eleuthera.

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.

Chelle Marshall

Chelle Marshall

DCMS Principal

Erica Allen

Erica Allen

Art

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.
Elizabeth Ramnarine

Elizabeth Ramnarine

English/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

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.
Kayla Woods

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

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.
Aaron Davis

Aaron Davis

Physical Education Teacher


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

Bonnie Drost

Lead Teacher

Bonnie Drost

Bonnie grew up in a rural community located on Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada, but spent the majority of her teaching career in the greater Toronto area. She is a seasoned educator, with close to 2 decades of experience in middle and elementary education. Bonnie obtained her Master of Education with a focus on International Education (policy and curriculum development) from the University of Western Ontario. She joined the ELC in 2021, and enjoys the opportunity to work within the place-based, experiential education model at The Island School.
Daniel Evans

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

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

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.

Summer Term & Visting Programs

Rachel Buissereth

Rachel Buissereth

Director of Visiting Programs and Director of Summer Term

Madeleine Mendels

Madeleine Mendels

Manager of Visiting Programs and Dean of Students

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!
Bronte Mohr

Bronte Mohr

Visiting Programs Coordinator

Hannah Murphy

Hannah Murphy

Visiting Programs Coordinator

Hannah Murphy

Hannah is from the eastern shore of Maryland, where her love for the ocean first began. Growing up on the Miles River, she spent every summer sailing, boating, swimming, and trekking around the marsh with friends. For the past two summers, Hannah has worked as a captain for a sailing program in the Caribbean, teaching young adults to sail and live aboard sailboats. Hannah graduated from Tulane University, majoring in Social Policy/ Practice and Sociology with a minor in Teaching, Learning, and Training. She has loved playing sports her whole life and expanded her fitness career by becoming a group fitness instructor at City Surf Studios in New Orleans. Hannah is incredibly excited to be a part of The Island School team and is especially stoked about teaching students all about sustainability and how to better coexist with our environment. In her free time, you can find Hannah going on little explorations or runs, finding fun things to climb, or just going for a relaxing swim.
Andrew Treat

Andrew Treat

Visiting Programs Coordinator

Andrew Treat

Andrew Treat is excited to be returning to The Island School! He is originally from New England (Connecticut mostly) but he has been coming to Eleuthera every year of his life. With so many of his fondest memories on Eleuthera, it is one of his favorite places on Earth. Andrew was a Semester student in the spring of 2017 and went on to study Earth and Oceanographic science at Bowdoin College in Maine. He will be co-teaching Marine Science for the Summer Term, and a Visiting Programs coordinator in the fall. Andrew loves to fly fish, play music, and enjoy the company of those around him. After a year of meandering, he is more than ready to settle on Cape Eleuthera.
Claire Hunt

Claire Hunt

Visiting Programs Coordinator

Claire Hunt

Having grown up in Charleston, South Carolina, Claire loves the coastal life, cherishing marsh adventures and sun-soaked days. An adventurer at heart, she spent many summers island hopping throughout the Caribbean, first as a student and later as a PADI Dive instructor on live-aboard sailing and diving programs. In college, Claire was eager to better understand the relationship between people and place, earning a degree in Sociology and Environmental Studies from Wake Forest University. Following her passion for exploration, she made her way to New York City to work in the travel industry. After learning the ropes of the industry, Claire is excited to return to her blue water roots at The Island School.

Community Engagement & Partnerships

Anshena Johnson-Walker

Anshena Johnson-Walker

Community Engagement Manager

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.
Doniqua Mckinney

Doniqua Mckinney

Community Engagement Assistant

Doniqua Mckinney

Doniqua (Sue) is originally from Deep Creek, Eleuthera. An alumna, her educational journey found her at The Island School’s Deep Creek Middle School between 2007 and 2009. As the eldest granddaughter of Rebecca Goodman, a former Island School chef, Sue is deeply rooted in her community. A proud mother, Sue’s fervor for working with children blossomed during her impactful community service at Advance Childhood in New Providence, fueling her commitment to nurturing the next generation. Her dedication transcends teaching, aiming to guide and encourage young minds for holistic growth and positive influence.