Alumni News

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Jana Jurgens MacCulloch (Class of 1983)

JanaJana Jurgens MacCulloch graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Psychology. She lived in London after college and travelled all over Europe. Jana spent a lot of time volunteering with animal shelters back east, has driven cross country eight times and has four more states to visit to reach her goal of 50. She is an avid quilter, scuba diver, and New York City Marathon finisher.  Jana says, ”I am ridiculously proud to be an Island School alum and even prouder that my sister is the third grade teacher.  And most importantly, I have two beautiful children, Carmen [an Island School student] and Dylan.”

Sarah Fowler (Class of 1992)

Sarah FowlerSarah Fowler is living her dream—learning Spanish in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. After graduating from Western Washington University in Environmental Toxicology with minors in Chemistry and French, she worked as an environmental scientist for Windward Environmental for over six years. Sarah says, “Someday, I hope to return to the environmental field but I felt it was important for me to gain some different life experiences. One of my favorite parts about The Island School was the cultural studies program. I remember performing a Mexican dance for my family, enjoying the lively music and the vibrant colors. I think experiencing different cultures is very important and I am grateful that The Island School was able to give me an introduction to Mexican culture (among others). The friends I made at The Island School have turned out to be lifelong friends and I am happy to say that I am still connected with many of the teachers as well.“

Peter (Scribner) Webster (Class of 1991)

Peter“I am living and working in Seattle. After graduating from college, I searched for work in the less-than-booming economy and am now working for dark | light Design where I design lighting for everything from schools and clinics to casinos. We are designing the new Seattle waterfront.  I worked as part of the Game Day Operations Staff for the Seattle Sounders when they were minor league; now I’m working with the new professional women’s soccer team Seattle Reign FC, where I’m the facilities and equipment manager.”

Cameron Gidari (Class of 1999)

Cameron Gidari“My first exposure to storytelling was an in-depth documentary on pinnipeds – or fin-footed mammals – presented to my fifth grade class. Since then I have been in love with telling stories.” Cameron’s writing career took off while a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, where he worked as a news and sports writer and interned for Fox Sports Arizona and ABC 15. He also blogged and hosted a weekly radio show for a Mixed Martial Arts website.

Cameron has written and worked in many media across the country. He uses words, pictures and videos to connect with people and connect them to each other. His latest endeavor, Seattle Before8, is first in a series of eBooks about the hidden treasures of early-morning cities. Cameron lives in Hell’s Kitchen in New York, and is writing his next book, Manhattan Before8.

Alexis Miles (Class of 2002)

AlexisAlexis participated in Running Start at Seattle Central Community College and graduated from Eagle Harbor High School. She moved to the Philadelphia area to be near her father’s side of the family and began an internship assisting with the design and development of a 26,000-square-foot mixed-use project. Her love for both commercial and residential real estate led her to Robert Morris University, where she studied Hospitality and Tourism Management. Alexis works as a licensed real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Real Estate Services in Moon Township, PA, and is passionate about changing communities and helping others change their lives. Her goal is to earn a Masters Degree in Real Estate Development. Alexis remembers the connections she made with students and teachers at The Island School and says, “I have never felt more comfortable and accepted. I don’t think I would be where I am if I hadn’t had the opportunity to attend The Island School.”

Ben Tully (Class of 2000)

Ben in China

Ben in China

Ben is a teaching assistant in a British-style elementary school in Hong Kong. He graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in 2011 and has been in Hong Kong ever since. The son of The Island School’s former music teacher, Ben has enjoyed learning firsthand about the inner workings of a small school. “Now that I work at an elementary school, I find myself thinking a lot more about The Island School [which] gave me an invaluable education and a solid foundation to continue on in my academic life.” The overnight voyage on the research vessel Carlyn, the Seattle Children’s Theatre field trips, the Cultural Study and Lake Leak are fond memories. Ben’s idea of success is giving the world as much as, if not more than, one takes from it and putting a great deal of time and energy into effectively improving other people’s lives. Ben shares news about his travels and life in Hong Kong at http://msfaninhk.blogspot.com/ and his musical recordings at bentully.bandcamp.com.

Lucy Cutler (Class of 1996)

Lucy's neighborhood kids in Guatemala

Lucy’s neighborhood kids in Guatemala

Lucy is currently serving with the U.S. Peace Corps in Guatemala, where she teaches life skills classes to at-risk middle schoolers in a rural area. She also trains teachers and parents in how to build stronger support systems for children, and is facilitating connections between the community and aid organizations to build and equip a computer lab. She has run a girls’ summer camp, an English language workshop and a five-school career fair. Previously, Lucy spent a year with AmeriCorps working with the at-risk youth of Neah Bay, Washington, and received her bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College. Lucy plans to pursue a master’s in public administration with a focus on international development.

Marymoor Velodrome

Marymoor Velodrome

Lucy is an avid competitive cyclist, a recreational distance runner, and loves to cook, bake and make arts and crafts. Her idea of success is achieving a balanced life with a family, a career and recreational activities. Lucy’s favorite memory of The Island School is playing in the woods and Lake Leak at recess and coming back to class covered in dirt and mud.

Paul Kikuchi (Class of 1986)

kikuchiPaul is a percussionist, composer, and sound artist living in Seattle.  After playing in rock bands in his youth with Island School buddy John Peter Hasson, Paul went on to earn degrees in music from Bennington College (BFA) and Cal Arts (MFA).  As a performer Paul has toured extensively in the US and abroad and has appeared on over 40 albums.  Artist Trust, Chamber Music America, Earshot Jazz, and 4Culture have recently recognized his work.  Paul is the founder and artistic director of Prefecture Music, supporting contemporary music through performance, documentation, and education.  Learn more at www.paulkikuchi.com. His favorite memories of The Island School are the woods, soccer and story time with Nancy Leedy. “The Island School is the best!”

Jessica Haggar (Class of 1983)

Jessica and family

Jessica and family

Jessica is a veterinarian. She graduated from Montana State University with a degree in biology and from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Jessica is married and has a daughter and a son. Her fondest memories of The Island School are of Dave Leedy’s after school program.

Ryan Nickum (Class of 1985)

Ryan NickumRyan is a marketing specialist and blogger for Estately, a Seattle-based real estate search site. He loves to write, and was a reporter for the Lewiston Morning Tribune. As a Peace Corps volunteer, Ryan taught English in the Republic of Georgia for two years. His life path has included work as a reporter, copywriter, bartender, restaurant cook and server, caregiver, oyster farmer, construction worker, environmental lobbyist, freelance writer, process server, political activist and podcaster. Ryan lives on Bainbridge Island with his wife, Paige and daughter, Amelia.

leedy holidayLorna Leedy (Class of 1984)

Lorna lives at the Grand Canyon with her park ranger husband Peter and young son Hazard. She has owned a clothing and accessories line for eleven years, www.fancyponyland.com, and is opening a new store in Marfa, TX soon. Lorna is involved with The Grand Canyon Artist-in-Residence program, finds stray moments for making art, and will have a show in Seattle in September. She gives the occasional Tiny Grant through a philanthropic project born of her idea and resulting in the Tiny Foundation, at www.tinyfoundation.org. Lorna enjoys walking in the woods, cross-country skiing, and keeping up with Hazard.

Luc Rosenthal (Class of 2003)

Luc RosenthalLuc is spending a semester abroad in London immersed in the world of Shakespeare at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Luc gained access to the program through a sponsorship by New York University and was one of eight non-NYU students accepted. He is enrolled full time for five months and is pretty thrilled to be learning Shakespeare in England.

Patrick Wauters (Class of 2000)

Patrick and his host family

Patrick is enrolled in a two-year joint program with the University of Washington Masters of Forest Resources and the Peace Corps Masters International in Senegal. He serves as an agroforestry extension agent and says, “I live in a small village of about 600 people, where I work on a farm every day and help my community by . . . starting tree nurseries to establish a mango orchard and propagating thorny trees to plant around farms to protect from roaming cows.” Before Senegal, Patrick graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Environmental Science and spent three months working and traveling in Brazil. His idea of success is “striking a perfect balance between the pursuits of knowledge, duty, and personal fulfillment.” He remembers the joy of playing in the woods at The Island School with his friends.

James Hunting (Class of 1989)

James in character

James is a Special Effects Coordinator/Pyrotechnician in Brooklyn, NY. He has worked on just about every variety of special effect but what he likes to do most is blow things up! He is proud to still have all his fingers and both eyebrows as talismans of his safe practices. In addition to pyrotechnic work, James has worked as an Effects Coordinator on several Broadway shows, countless photo shoots, live and taped television programs, and many films, music videos, and commercials. See more at jmfx.net/.

Rafael Regan (Class of 2006)

Rafael spent his freshman year at Aviation High School in Des Moines, WA. He is now a senior at Ballard High School, where he runs on the track and cross-country teams, belongs to Earth Service Corps, and serves as secretary of the debate team. Outside of school, Rafael is a member of the Seattle Youth Commission and works with the City Council and the Mayor. His service on the Commission has let him recognize his gift of respecting and understanding others’ ideas while still staying true to his own opinions. He says, “Overall, my idea of success is growing up to understand that we all have something to contribute to society while finding a way to live happily . . . I feel like The Island School has given me so much in terms of self-confidence and friendships. The Island School has also given me the critical thinking skills that I use every day, from reading exercises in kindergarten with Kathy and Mary to the science projects in fifth grade with Mike and Betsy.”

Ellen Ferrin (Class of 1996)

Ellen Ferrin

Ellen is a fifth grade teacher at a charter school in the Bronx, New York. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Amherst College, her Masters in Social Work at Columbia University and her Masters in Education from Bank Street College.

Ellen’s favorite memories include Monday Morning Sing and cross-grade lunch dates at The Island School. She is grateful for her education at The Island School because it emphasized “experience and inquiry rather than testing and memorization.” She says, “When I teach children now, I try to hold my excitement about learning close and make my lessons relevant, accessible and curiosity-provoking.” Ellen’s past work running a home for teenage girls convinced her of the close connection between social work and education, and she plans to train teachers in the basics of social work.

Ellen’s idea of success is multifaceted: making a difference in the lives of others, achieving balance, striving for improvement, and being strong and dependable in difficult situations. She enjoys running with her dog, playing basketball and volunteering.

Joey Alsberge (Class of 1994)

Joey and his nephew

Joey in Burundi

When I was a college student [at Lewis & Clark], I wanted more than anything to go to Africa and work with a medical project. I knew I wanted to go to medical school and become a doctor, but before I hunkered down for years of medical training, I really wanted to get some hands-on experience working for an extended period of time in a place of great need. As the end of my senior year of college approached, I identified a wonderful project to volunteer with in Burundi, East-Central Africa, called Village Health Works. They were starting a medical clinic in a rural village, and they needed help–it was just what I was looking for. . . I got to help get a clinic and its various programs up and running. Being there for two years really allowed me to make a significant contribution to the organization and the community, and I feel extremely lucky to have had that opportunity.

Joey will graduate in 2013 from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and was inducted into his school’s Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society for his outstanding academics, leadership and community service. He completed an ophthalmology clerkship at Oregon Health & Science University in October, 2012. Read about Joey’s stint as a medical volunteer at a community clinic at http://weill.cornell.edu/news/publications/pdf/medicine2/2012-03_v1.pdf. Joey is proud that his nephew is now a student at The Island School.

Dylan Arnold (Class of 2005)

Dylan as Adam in “The Shape of Things”

Dylan graduated from Idyllwild Arts Academy in 2012, an arts-based high school in southern California. He got his start in theater in The Island School productions in the portable classrooms (anyone remember those?), on the school library stage, and at Bainbridge Performing Arts. In the summer of 2011, he was cast in a lead role in an independent film titled Fat Kid Rules the World, playing the jock younger brother. Best summer job ever! The movie won praise from critics at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival and became an audience favorite at the 2012 Seattle International Film Festival. Dylan studies acting at North Carolina School of the Arts.

Chris Agnew (Class of 1987)

Chris Agnew

Chris with his wife Lara McCluskey and son, Blue Agnew

Chris is the Pacific Northwest Director at National Outdoor Leadership School in Conway, WA. He received his BA from Western Washington University and his Masters from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Chris’s idea of success is staying balanced and finding happiness in family, career, and outdoor adventures. He says, “The Island School gave me a comfort and self-awareness with how I learn best, and a depth of understanding numbers and patterns that can only be gained through hands-on exploration. I still use this foundational knowledge today when I’m looking at financials on an Excel spreadsheet.” He has fond memories of former first grade teacher Judy Jurgens, and of playing in the woods and on the rope swing at recess. It’s no surprise Chris fits the natural world into his life on a daily basis and chose a career that involves both teaching and the outdoors. Chris recently traveled to India and Nepal as part of his job, and enjoys rock climbing and backcountry skiing.

Willy Chotzen-Freund (Class of 2002)

Willy (Class of 2002) on right, and his brother Zach (Class of 1998)

Willy is a senior at Washington University in St. Louis. He is double-majoring in Economics and Political Science and minoring in Legal Studies. He lists politics and baseball as his passions. Last summer he interned in the California Governor’s Office, and the previous summer he worked on Governor Jerry Brown’s campaign. At Washington University, he is involved in student government and is the president of his fraternity, Beta Theta Pi. He plans to attend law school after graduating and begin a career in politics or law.

Class of 2004 Reunion

Members of The Island School Class of 2004 got reacquainted in Webster Hall on June 5, 2011, just one week before their high school graduations. Many parents and teachers were in attendance too. Pictured here are Fritz Schlesser, Jolyon Gidari, Tucker Gilles, Blake Harper, Dana Van Wyck, Clara Dunn, Renee Henderson, Tatum Larson, Rachel Schneiderman, Samantha Morrissey and Sarah Lukins.

Renee Henderson (Class of 2004) is the 2010-2011 Kingston High School Student of the Year

The Kingston High School staff selected Renee as the 2010-2011 student of the year “because she epitomizes the student who accepts academic and personal responsibilities with grace and charm. She is a sterling individual to have in the classroom, in athletics, and extracurricular activities. Simply stated, Renee demonstrates stellar qualities throughout the range of activities in which she participates. Congratulations, Renee, for a job well done and for recognition richly deserved.” Renee is now a sophomore nursing student at the University of San Francisco.

Class of 2003 Reunion

Margaret Carder, Christine Pence, Kyle Schneider, Kiren Caldwell, Spencer Lucas, Phoenix Glendinning, Ginger Glendinning

Luc Rosenthal

Eight members of The Island School Class of 2003 reunited at Webster Hall in July of 2010 as they marked their graduations from various high schools. Shown here are Margaret Carder, Christine Pence, Kyle Schneider, Kiren Caldwell, Spencer Lucas, Phoenix Glendinning, Ginger Glendinning and Luc Rosenthal.

 

Rainey Vokolek Scott (Class of 1986)

This photo was taken at The Island School’s Fall Carnival. My daughter Adelaide really enjoyed herself and I promised there would be more to come! It is special to think of the “next generation” of Island Schoolers … and something I kept in mind as I served on the Board of Trustees for the past six years. I felt privileged to work with people that care so much about the school. My experiences with the wonderful teachers, staff, parents, fellow classmates and trustees mean so much to me.

I enjoy living back on the Island with my husband Brian and our daughter Adelaide. I am the artifact collections manager at the Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport. Prior to that I was Curator at the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum and in the collections division at the Museum of Flight.

Ben Leedy (Class of 1988)

Ben Leedy is an attorney with the Portland, OR, firm Holland & Knight. He lives south of Portland in West Linn with his wife, Tracy, and sons, Max and Sam.

Leigh Ferrin (Class of 1989)

My husband Carmen and I live in Tustin, CA, with our boxer dog, Jasmine.  Carmen works at Athletes First, a company that represents athletes, and I am working at the Public Law Center, an organization that provides free legal services to low-income individuals.  I am a staff attorney in the consumer department, working primarily on bankruptcy, debt collection and homeownership issues.

I have wonderful memories of The Island School, from the Carnival (I had to explain to Carmen what a “cake walk” was!) to learning French in kindergarten, to making a movie in my third grade class.  I am very lucky that my mom is still involved so I get to go back and visit many of my elementary school teachers on a regular basis!  And when I don’t get to visit, I at least get to hear about everyone, and about all the amazing changes that have occurred since I was a student there.

Ellen, Barb, Allan, Leigh & Carmen

   Call 206.842.0400
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