The Island School stays busy all year round–especially during the summer. This summer we were excited to welcome back a number of Island School alumni who are working with The Island School Summer Term as alumni mentors, as well as over at the Cape Eleuthera Institute as research interns. Meet them and hear what they have been up to all summer:
Mike Cortina (F'02), Ami Adams (S'11), Patrick Lamontange (F'08), Hadley Dawson (F'08), George Giannos (F'10), Whit Powel (S'09), Sarah Allison (S'12), Jane Drinkard (F'11), Claire Davis (Su'12), Carter Brown (S'09), Nick Lanza (S'10), Catharine Pirie (F'10), Griffin Hunt (F'11)

Ami Adams (S’11) is working as a Marine Ecology teacher for the summer term and is so excited to be back on Eleuthera for the first time since Spring 2011. This summer, she has been able to bring her love for the marine world and field experience into the classroom while leading various experiential lessons on topics such as mangroves, food webs, and fish. Aside from Marine Ecology, Ami also took part in leading all of the sea kayaking trips during orientation week where she provided students the basic skills needed for sea kayak expeditions and taught lessons in the field including moon phases and Bahamian archaeology.  Some of her other responsibilities include participating on the medical team, acting as a personal advisor to four students, and keeping everyone’s stoke levels high!

Patrick Lamontagne (F’08), as part of the Summer Term faculty, has been helping to teach the Tourism & Development course. His position has involved leading down island trips for the three groups of students. Not bound by the traditional confines of the classroom, Patrick has been able to teach students through experience. Remembering the importance of the down island trip as a student, he has been thrilled to be able to come back as an alumnus and see the logistics behind these trips as well as help the students bond through the challenges it presents.

Hadley Dawson (F’08) is helping teach Food Systems, a course that integrates farm work, permaculture principles, and sustainable systems. She has greatly enjoyed working with such a fantastic group of faculty, many of whom are also alumni (she and Pat Lamontagne were in the same advisory!). Two of her favorite things here are sharing meals with students and seeing their improvement in morning exercise.

This summer, Whit Powel (S’09) has returned to Eleuthera to teach The Island School Summer Term students. Last summer, she served as a human ecology teacher, focusing specifically on food systems and waste. This summer, the curriculum has shifted and is now a Sustainable Food Systems unit that focuses on the principles of permaculture, methods of sustainable agriculture, and the various ways farmers on Eleuthera deal with the climate, poor soil, and lack of agriculture on this island. The students’ final project in the Food unit is a site design sketch of a space on campus that has the potential to be more productive.  With the use of the 12 permaculture principles and the knowledge and information from the Food class, farm visits, and field work, the students are creating designs that could be utilized in the future to make Island School’s campus more productive. In addition to teaching the Food unit, Whit has an advisory and is co-head of the Girls Dorm. Whit is loving being back for her second summer as a Summer Term faculty member and is looking forward to an awesome rest of the term with these students and faculty!

Sarah Allison was a student at The Island School during Spring 2012 and has returned as an intern on the Shark Research and Conservation Team this summer at CEI. The research she has worked on this summer has revolved around sharks, stingrays, and deepwater isopods. Sarah has immensely enjoyed coming back to Eleuthera on the CEI side of campus and being able to apply her experience and knowledge that she gained as an Island School student into a professional and research-intensive setting.

Jane Drinkard attended The Island School in Fall 2011 and is down on Eleuthera this summer as the Communications Intern. Jane manages the Instagram accounts and photo sharning pages for CEI and Island School, as well as document the Summer Term student’s semester. Jane is excited to be back and has been enjoying watching the Summer Term students experience this place for the first time.

Claire Davis was a student during Summer Term 2012. This summer she is working at the Cape Eleuthera Institute as a Flats Ecology and Conservation intern helping out with current research projects. Claire says It’s awesome to be back and see some of her Island School teachers again, and she can’t wait to come back soon!

Carter Brown (S’09) is on the Shark Team this summer as a Shark Research and Conservation Intern and so far has been able to study sharks, rays and deepwater isopods. Carter says it has been absolutely incredible to return to Island School/CEI and discover this place all over again with an amazing group of people. The pace at which the place is changing and expanding is crazy to see but the fact that all of the core values from when he was a student at The Island School five years ago are still in place is great to see because to Carter, coming here feels just like returning home!

This is Nick Lanza’s (S’10) third summer returning to teach Marine Ecology for summer term. This past May Nick graduated from Prescott College with a degree in Environmental Studies and Adventure Education. He will be staying through this summer into the fall and spring semesters as the new full time Marine Ecology teacher. For Nick, Island School has been a place of continuous growth. First discovering and devoloping leadership qualities as a student here in Spring 2010, Nick has worked hard to return as a faculty member during the summer, and he is very proud to be joining the team full time. This organization has allowed Nick to grow as a learner and a teacher. Now, he looks forward to growing as a professional.

This summer, Catharine Pirie (F’10) is working as a Summer Alumni Mentor at The Island School. Her main focus is on working with the Tourism and Development unit that spends four days traveling up the island. Ever since her IS semester in Fall 2010, she has been looking forward to coming back. This summer Catharine is presented with the opportunity of working with secondary level students. In college, she is working towards graduating with her certificate in secondary education, and any hands on experience is invaluable. Catharine is having a great experience working with students and getting to know them through class as well as advisory. It is awesome to watch their love of the school grow the same way Catharine’s did as a student. She is most looking forward to Parents Weekend to see how kids share this unique experience with their families.

Griffin Hunt (F’11) is working as a Summer Term Alumni Mentor. As such, he is teaching the Tourism & Development course, which includes a 3-night down-island trip and a 24-hour solo. This is his second summer at The Island School and he is excited to be working with many of the same teachers again.