Kat holds a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Antioch University New England and is a graduate of Hampshire College and Northfield Mount Hermon School. She began her place based education career when the term had barely even been coined, when she returned to Northfield Mount Hermon to teach a sustainable agriculture class. Kat felt that the school farm was a valuable and underused resource that students and teachers could utilize as a laboratory and space for hands-on lessons, in addition to the campus work program. Her passion for place-based education started early, and she has continued on this path for the past twenty years.
Kat is well versed in public and private education, and has also spent time with children at camps, non-profit organizations, and farms. She taught in upstate New York, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont before moving to Maine in 2014. Kat’s immersion in a variety of educational pedagogies and philosophies including Waldorf and Montessori have influenced her teaching style and understanding of best educational practices. She has researched and seen the benefits of hands-on, meaningful academic experiences for children first-hand and continues to believe that engaging the whole child in education is extremely important for individual development and success.
In addition to teaching, Kat has been farming throughout her life, raising animals and vegetables, driving draft horses, herding sheep with border collies, and making hay, apple cider, and maple syrup. Kat has also designed and published farm-based curricula; attended an Edible Schoolyard Academy in Berkeley, California; and started an Edible Schoolyard kitchen and garden class for seventh-graders. Kat enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience in place-based education with other teachers at conferences and workshops, and is a self-professed “curriculum geek”, which means she will happily plan new lessons and activities for hours on end. When she’s not tromping around Chewonki Neck with her students, Kat can be found in Alna with her husband, Nick, and their two daughters, Ada and Maeve, where they have a gigantic garden and can ski right out their back door.
Kat was the founding teacher of the Elementary School at Chewonki and has devoted the past three years to making the program the best it can be. She is looking forward to year four!