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.

Kele Isaacs

CFO

Kele Isaacs

Kelé currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer at The Island School, a position he has held since September 2019. Prior to joining The Island School, he worked in varying Finance roles in the utilities, private banking, fund administration and food & beverage fields, over his 15+ year career. Kelé holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business from Grenoble Graduate School of Business (a French Gandes École), a certificate in Financial Modelling, and is a proud alum of Queen’s College (Class of 1997). He and his wife Niketa have two children Neveah and Zackery. In his spare time, Kele enjoys snorkeling, cycling, developing financial models and thanks to his son, he is a burgeoning expert in LEGO construction.

Nikki Rolle

Executive Assistant

Katherine Walz

Director of Education


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.

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.

Allan Jones

Creative Associate

Allan Jones

Carly Shea

Digital Content Associate

Carly Shea

Originally from Massachusetts, Carly grew up cherishing the land and seascapes of New England. Her passion for exploring, understanding, and protecting wild spaces led her to The Island School as a Semester student in Fall 2013 and then across the pond to the University of St Andrews where she earned a BA in Sustainable Development. After graduation she enjoyed working in travel media and living in London before rejoining the Island School community in 2021. She is honored to be back on Eleuthera sharing The Island School story, and communicating our relationship with and impact on the planet. Outside of work Carly is happiest in a hotel bathrobe; cooking for friends; or singing in the car with all the windows down.


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

Martino Francis

Facilities Staff

Martino Francis

Edwin Hall

Facilities Staff

Edwin Hall

Audley Kemp

Diesel Mechanic

Audley Kemp

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!

Human Resources

Karen Burrows

Housing Manager

Sherrall Carey

HR Services & Benefits Manager

Tara Dames

Operations and Planning Manager


IT

Sony Bellot

IT Assistant

Portia Carey

IT Assistant

Dashae Clarke

IT Support Technician


Scuba

Alex Robertson

Dive Instructor

Blair Robertson

Dive Instructor


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.

Bill Bigelow

Research Class Coordinator

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.

Zoe Brown

Research Technician

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.

Ruben Gomez

Waste Management Technician

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

Alex Smith

Research Assistant

Patricia Thompson

Farm & Landscape Manager

Silia Woodside

Research Assistant


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.

Jessie Coates

Teacher, Mathematics

Jessie Coates

Originally from Maine, Jessie earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Maine in the study of Classical Humanities and Criminology. Since then, he has continued his studies in the world of medicine and outdoor education. Jessie is a nationally certified W-EMT and is currently working to complete his pre-medical prerequisites to enroll in medical school. He joined the Semester faculty in 2021 as a Mathematics teacher and a certified kayak expedition leader. In his free time, Jessie enjoys SCUBA diving or snorkeling, playing music, and story-building using the interactive media of Dungeons & Dragons.

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.

Colleen Dougherty

Teacher, Literature

Colleen Dougherty

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Colleen has enjoyed working with young people her entire adult life. She has a BA in Spanish Language & Literature, a BS in Wildlife & Conservation Biology and a Master’s degree in Social Work. Colleen began her formal teaching career through Teach for America in Arkansas and continued teaching as an international educator in South Korea, Colombia, and most recently leading experiential education trips through Latin America and the US. Outside of the classroom Colleen loves hiking, salsa dancing, scuba diving, rock climbing, reading personal development books, writing poetry, painting, and visiting family in the US.

Lauren Gould

Assistant 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.

Natalie Hodges

Teacher, Marine Ecology

Natalie Hodges

Natalie was born in The Bahamas, and is happy to have returned home to become a part of The Island School family. Natalie studied at Imperial College London, where she graduated with a BSc in Zoology and a Master’s in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation. During her time in London Natalie gained field research experience volunteering with the Zoological Society of London, and she has since worked as a Research Assistant on marine mammal projects in The Bahamas, the Irish Sea and Ningaloo Reef, Australia. Natalie completed her PGCE at Bath Spa University and taught Secondary Science at Oldfield School in England. She is a reflective and empathetic educator, experienced in curriculum design to encourage inquiry based learning. When she isn’t working Natalie tries to spend as much time as possible in or on the water sailing, surfing, SCUBA diving, and paddle-boarding with her dog.

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.

Sophie Kreutz

Semester Faculty

Sophie Kreutz

Sophie began her life as a city kid in Chicago, but quickly realized she had a deep interest in travel and exploration. She earned a degree in Marine Biology with minors in Spanish, Chemistry and Art in Charleston, SC before moving to México to teach through Fulbright. Sophie has taught various subjects for the past six years, in traditional and non-traditional classrooms. Most recently, she taught biology and ecology on the water as a kayak instructor and educator! As a self-proclaimed ‘forever student’, Sophie is constantly learning and loves the mixing and melding of different academic subjects. Outside of the classroom, you can probably find Sophie doodling, people-watching, rock climbing, or singing with the enthusiasm of an off-Broadway understudy.

Cameron Raguse

Research Coordinator

Cameron Raguse

Cameron hails from Ada, Michigan and first joined the CEIS community in Summer 2014 as an intern with the Shark Research and Conservation program. After graduating from Eckerd College with a degree in Marine Biology in 2015, Cameron rejoined the CEIS community as a research technician at CEI. Since then, he has taken on more education focused roles and is now combining his passions of field research and education as the Applied Scientific Research Head. Aside from this role, he enjoys freediving, fishing, running, and exploring the island.

Natalia Santamaria Gomez

Dean of Students

Natalia Santamaria Gomez

Originally from Bogotá Colombia, Natalia Sanz de Santamaria went to Arcadia University for a B.A. in biology and conservation. Shortly after she realised her passion was education, which she believes is key to conservation, so Natalia pursued a M.A. in Environmental Conservation Education from NYU. She has been an educator ever since, both in the classroom and outdoors. When she is not teaching, Natalia enjoys traveling, nature, illustration, and learning new things. She joined us on Eleuthera with her two sons Martin and Pedro.

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.

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.

Haimroy Ramnauth

Mathematics Teacher

Haimroy Ramnauth

Mr. Ram, as he is widely known, recently joined the DCMS team. He retired as a Senior Teacher from the Government System after 42 years of teaching Mathematics. During that time he taught from grade 7 through University levels. Mr. Ram brings a wealth of experience as an educator and a steady approach to helping students excel.

Nolene Rice

Social Studies 7 & 9, Physical Education 7, 8 & 9

Nolene Rice

Nolene Rice is from Cape Town, South Africa. Her teaching certificates cover Health, Physical Education, Geography and English Additional Language. Nolene has also taught in some interesting locations! Her career started in South Korea, then Bahrain, the Republic of Georgia and back to South Africa. Before returning to the classroom, she followed another passion and worked in the fitness industry for 2 years before returning to teaching in The Bahamas. Nolene brings her fitness industry experience and gym management to DCMS to offer students a holistic health and fitness perspective. She also draws on her geography qualification to guide students through the Bahamian Social Studies curriculum.

Hadish Street

G7, G8 & G9 Science, G9 Health Science

Hadish Street

Hadish is originally from England, but he has fully embraced island life. He spent the last two years at Queens College in Nassau, and now joins DCMS as the science teacher. He brings great experience in place-based education and is eager to find ways to get kids learning in and about the environment around them. Hadish is an avid diver so when he’s not helping students discover a love of science, you’ll probably find him in the water! We look forward to an exciting year ahead.

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.

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

Andrew Dalton

Visiting Program Coordinator

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.

Morgan Kritzman

Visiting Program Coordinator

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.

Tyler Maxey

Visiting Programs Manager

Madeleine Mendels

Visiting Program Coordinator

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.

Elizabeth Slingsby

Visiting Program Coordinator

Elizabeth Slingsby

Liz (she/her/hers) has been working in education for the past 14 years and has worked in The UK, The USA, Australia, and The Bahamas. She’s been living here on Eleuthera since 2013, and has worked for IS in many different capacities, as Gap Year Program Director, Summer Term Director, most recently The Island School’s Dean of Students. Liz is an educator at her core, helping students see their best selves no matter the modality. Liz believes wholeheartedly in our mission; leadership effecting change and she can’t wait to continue to inspire our visitors to understand what this means for them. Liz is an ocean lover, a listener, a supporter, a life-long learner, and continues to seek to spend time with friends who are family, and family who are friends.

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.

Community Engagement & Partnerships

Candice Brittain

Director of Community Engagement & Partnerships

Candice Brittain

Candice is responsible for connecting the organization locally and nationally in The Bahamas through education, conservation, and sustainability initiatives. She works with students, local community members, scientists, engineers, partner organizations, and government ministries to design and implement projects that have been requested by stakeholders and match the expertise within our organization. Candice has a Master’s degree in Biology, and a BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology. In 2015 she was selected to join the Kinship Conservation Fellows program which focuses on market-based solutions to conservation challenges. Candice is an Atlantic Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) Trainer, PADI Divemaster, RYA Powerboat Level 2 operator, EFR Instructor, DAN Diving First Aid for Professional Divers Instructor, and Wilderness First Responder.

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.