This summer we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know our new science teacher and her lively, four-legged sidekick, Cooper!  Ally Muir grew up in New Jersey, but spent summers and college in Maine where she has always felt most at home. After graduating from Colby with a major in Geology and minor in Russian, she taught at The Ecology School in Saco. In the summers she lead long distance bike tours (across country, down the Pacific Coast) and backpacking trips (in the Alps). While living in Colorado she taught at an alternative, residential High School in the mountains and as a Bio & Chemistry teacher in Colorado Springs. She “couldn’t be more excited to return to Maine and work at The New School.”
Ally’s other amazing interests:
“I am a curious person who loves asking questions and learning about the world around me.
I love traveling, skiing, biking, hiking, making kombucha, collecting rocks, exploring tide pools, cooking, eating whoopie pies, and crocheting.”

Some of Ally’s reason for choosing The New School:

  • Purposefully small and community oriented
  • Inclusive of all students, interests, and learning styles
  • No testing/grades but more authentic assessment methods
  • Mostly, I chose TNS because of a gut feel I got from learning about the school….students seemed engaged and comfortable, like they could be their best self here, and I too, hope to be my best self here.

Just a sampling of some of the classes she is excited to develop with the students:

  • Marine Biology—getting to learn from the local landscape, do some dissections and hopefully partner with a local organization
  • Science of cooking—interesting and delicious!
  • Geology of southern Maine—my first love.
  • Developing the greenhouse. I am excited to discover what the students would like to do with it—grow food, herbs, build aquaponics systems, raise and reintroduce native plants—whatever it might be!
  • Neuroscience. Hopefully going to study this fall. Cool way for students to learn about the brain and science behind stress, love, impact of drugs and meditation (to inform healthy life choices, of course)
  • Watersheds. local rivers, macroinvertebrates and fish (maybe even tie in fishing)
  • Birds. An instructor I know from a previous school taught an incredible bird class. They are all around us and yet, your average individual knows very little about—nonetheless pays attention—to them. I’d love to learn about something I know very little and do some birding, especially with coastal birds.

Other aspects of the school to which Ally is attracted: 

  • I’m excited to keep learning—from students, colleagues, and by teaching new courses each semester!
  • Excited to get to know each of the students and support them in discovering what they are most passionate about
  • Excited to spend class time in and off campus at outdoor classes and partnering with local organizations/land trusts/researchers
  • Intensives—vast opportunity for group of us to study whatever we are interested in. and to travel!

And Welcome Cooper!

Hi, my name is Cooper. I am a five-month old pup with a curious mind (and nose). I was born in Colorado, but love Maine and all of the deciduous plants to eat. I love exploring the world around me, chewing on sticks, belly rubs from friends and eating food—all the food I can get. I too have a growth-mindset and will be starting school soon. I have lived in houses, cars, motels and tents in Colorado, Michigan, NJ, and all the states in between. I’m not sure where home is, but I think I’ve found it here in Maine. Haha.