Steven Schaefer has been teaching social studies and science in Maine high schools and colleges for years. Steve believes in project-based learning and creates innovative curriculum for his classes. His goal as a teacher is to get his students to see the world as a youngster sees it, with awe and wonder. He believes that no two learners are the same and we must honor the diversity in our students. An expert boat builder and sailor, Steve loves to mess around in boats, fish, putter in the garden and enjoy the outdoors with his dog and cats.
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Language Arts teacher Christine Knowles studied English and Women’s Studies at Keene State College and obtained her Masters Degree in education at University of Southern Maine’s Extended Teacher Education Program. Christine loves making literature and poetry accessible to everyone, and her students read everything — from the classics to comic books. Her favorite courses to teach at The New School are Fiction Writing Workshop and The Poetry Experience. When not at school, Christine can often be found curled up under a tree with a good book, taking piano and art lessons with her daughter Willow or playing all sorts of games with friends.
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Math teacher Evan Dewdney studied mathematics and economics at Hamilton College and obtained his Masters Degree in education at University of Southern Maine’s Extended Teacher Education Program. Evan’s approach is to inspire curiosity and wonder in his students. If he can make students curious about how the world works they will become life long learners. Evan strives to develop rapport with every student, assess their learning style and adjust the way he teaches to suit their needs. He and his wife are the proud parents of a young daughter named Aria. The couple live in Portland and love to hike, bike, travel and spend time outdoors.
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Marylyn Wentworth co-founded The New School in 2000 and served as the school’s Principal until 2016. She is now devoting her time at TNS to teaching. Marylyn has been an educator in Southern Maine since 1961. She has been a national consultant for school reform with the Coalition of Essential Schools, the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, the Annenberg Rural Challenge, the Foxfire Teacher Outreach Center, the National School Reform Faculty, and the School Reform Initiative, and has had long-term involvement with The Southern Maine Partnership. She has been a potter and graphic artist, a teacher in MSAD 71 and at Waynflete School and is presently an avid gardener, quilter and writer. In 1970 she co-founded The School Around Us, The New School’s K-8 sister school, with eight other families. Marylyn has a Maine Certificate in secondary English, K-8 general education and K-12 Art.
After graduating in 2006 from The Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in Biomedical Photographic Communications, Michael made a move to New York City. He spent the next 6 years working with world renowned portrait photographer Martin Schoeller. By working in NYC, traveling the world and meeting countless inspiring people, Michael continuously honed his expertise in photography. After contributing to numerous magazines such as Time, The New Yorker, and National Geographic, Michael and his partner Kit McCann (TNS’s Guidance Counselor) left New York in 2013 to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. Michael believes very strongly that education is the absolute key to the future of the world and enjoys wholeheartedly every moment spent with students at The New School.
After obtaining certification in ASL/English Interpretation for the Deaf, Martin joined the Lexington School for the Deaf in NY as a job developer for the Deaf, served as American Sign Language Program Director on the community college level and adjunct professor at the Lewis School, Princeton, NJ. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Maine’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children at the Governor Baxter School, Falmouth, ME. He feels strongly that clear communication with other cultures is the key to a life of purpose.
Crystal believes that understanding psychology is an essential foundation for addressing many of our societal dynamics. She holds a BA in psychology from Vassar College, and is completing a Master’s Degree Program at Goddard College in Sustainability and Social Innovation with a focus on social justice and equity within the sustainability movement. She enjoys engaging youth in areas of diversity, power, and privilege, knowing that youth are our future and that positive change starts with them. Crystal is a parent of two students at The New School and serves on the Board of Directors. She loves hiking, gardening and rural life.
Paul divides his time between the Maine coast and Canada where he has served as Artistic Director at New Ottawa Repertory Theater and an Instructor at The Ottawa School of Speech and Drama. He was also Artistic Director for Boston’s Alley Theatre, Montreal’s Theatre 21st Century, and spent many years as Managing Director of New York City’s Playwrights Preview (now Urban Stages). Paul has had 19 plays on various BEST OF…lists, both as a playwright and director. He has directed 5 plays Off-Broadway, and his play MAKING TRACKS won the 1986 Double Image Theatre’s New York One Act Play Festival. Paul also serves as a film critic for THE ARTS FUSE.
Marybeth studied Spanish at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Salem State University, specializing in Latin American literature and politics. She studied abroad in Spain and Cuba and has traveled extensively throughout South America. She is an experienced ESOL instructor, having taught immigrant communities in the US and while living abroad, most recently in Colombia. Marybeth also operates Two Toad Farm in Lebanon, ME where she and her partner, Jordan, raise chickens and grow over two hundred varieties of organic herbs and vegetables. Marybeth recently accompanied two TNS students to Argentina to work on an organic dairy farm (and perfect their Spanish) during a three week “Intensive.”
Rev. Maureen Gill Ausbrook wrote the textbook she is using to teach “The History of Medicine” at TNS. Maureen is a graduate of All Paths Divinity School and Loyola University Chicago. Her research areas are the history of medicine, medical ethics, religion and public policy. While in graduate school, Maureen completed a 600-hour clinical internship with the Patient Consult Service at Loyola University Medical Center (Chicago). She has taught the history of medicine (emphasis on German physicians and the Holocaust) at Stritch School of Medicine, as well as U.S. and European history, philosophy and medical ethics at the community college level. Maureen is an author and public speaker and ordained interfaith minister with a special ministry as a pet chaplain who works with veterinarians and animal rescue workers in areas concerning animal rights and animal ethics.
Lonni Messina studied neuroscience and behavior and worked as a research assistant at UNH. During this time she discovered her passion for exploring the points where science, art, and culture intersect. By utilizing concepts from the scientific community as inspiration for surrealist painting, she makes album covers for musicians, designs custom graphics on long board decks, and creates unique multi-panel décor. In addition to teaching at TNS, Lonni works as a standardizing patient for doctors in training as well as a PCA in the greater Portland area.
Pat Davenport co-founded a K-8 alternative, progressive school in 1970 in Norwich, VT, and has been dedicated to education ever since – earning an M.Ed; teaching English at a high school in VT, and history and English at the Frances Rechman School in Hanover, NH; serving as principal in two school districts in VT for eighteen years; and creating an Adult Basic Education Program in Enfield, NH. Since moving to Alfred, ME to be near her son and his family she has worked as a dedicated volunteer at The New School’s Thrift Boutique, Outta The Box.
Josie Perkins has been studying music since the age of seven. Piano was her first instrument of study followed by saxophone and private vocal training. Josie is a graduate of Point Park University where she received a B.A. in Theater Arts with a Musical Theater concentration. She also holds her certification as a licensed Kindermusik educator. In 1995 Josie joined the musical international program Up With People and traveled throughout the U.S., Canada and Scandinavia sharing the universal language of music with students and families from over 32 countries. She has seen first hand the positive effect music has on people and their lives. Josie is excited to have the opportunity to share her knowledge of the musical language with students at The New School.
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