Alex, or “Mr. J” to his students, has been teaching at Breakwater since 1990 and has skillfully integrated his passion for outdoor adventures and cultural exploration into the Breakwater curriculum. This year he teaches Spanish language to our kindergarten through middle school students.
A talented photographer, he loves creating photographic slideshows of all his outdoor adventure trips to share with students. Alex has hiked the Appalachian Trail in Maine, traveled to Mexico, and accompanied Breakwater’s eighth grade students on their adventures in Costa Rica since 2009.
Alex received his B.A. in rhetoric from Bates College and his M.Ed. from Antioch University New England. He is the proud parent of two Breakwater alumni.
Allie Cahoon - Art and Graphic Design
Allie joined Breakwater in 2014. She teaches art to students from kindergarten through the eighth grade. In addition to guiding young artists in the studio, she also serves as a graphic designer for Breakwater. In her classes she strives to create a positive studio environment for each student and bring compelling art to children.
Allie earned an undergraduate degree in Architectural Studies, which combined a study of architectural history, sculpture, and design.
Outside of Breakwater Allie continues her own art practice and plays Division II Rugby for Portland Women’s Rugby Football Club throughout New England. Other interests include making balloon animals, gender equality, and growing her collection of antique claw-foot bathtub legs.
Andrew Hodgkins, First and Second
Andrew is a new addition to Breakwater and joins our rst and second grade teaching team. Andrew comes to us after ve years in New York City at the Calhoun School, a progressive independent school where he taught preschool, rst and third grades. He holds a Master’s degree in elementary education from Hunter College and a Bachelor’s in music performance from the University of Southern Maine. Andrew came to teaching after years as a professional drummer, recording records and touring the country in a rock band. Andrew is excited to have found a home for progressive education at Breakwater that shares his desire to foster students’ creativity, curiosity and passion for learning.
Now that Andrew is back in Maine, he is looking forward to taking advantage of all that Maine has to offer with his wife and one-year-old son, Oscar (see: live music, Sea Dogs baseball, snowboarding at Sugarloaf and easy access to the great outdoors!)
Ben Boegehold - Seventh and Eighth
Ben Boegehold (pronounced BEG-hold) is looking forward to his rst year at Breakwater, where he will be teaching 7th and 8th grade with Jed and Fitz. Ben began his career pulling weeds and selling vegetables with middle schoolers during a summer job in college. Since then, he has worked on three different farms, built raised bed gardens, tutored in Boston Public Schools, developed a gardening program at a Montessori School in Lexington, MA, and taught 8th grade English at Bonny Eagle Middle School.
Ben grew up in a small suburb of Boston, and is the oldest of three brothers. He studied English and Education at UMass Boston, and student taught at a small pilot school in the city. He is passionate about helping students connect the skills they learn in the classroom to the experiences they have of the world.
Outside of school, Ben loves hiking, kayaking, reading, playing his guitar, cooking, and gardening. He lives in Portland with his wife and his dog.
Cheryl Hart - Fifth and Sixth, Instruction & Student Support
Cheryl is one of Breakwater’s longest tenured teachers, having joined the school in 1984. Before coming to Breakwater she directed and taught in a gifted and talented program in New Hampshire and taught third grade and fth grade in public schools in Maine. She taught kindergarten when she was rst hired at Breakwater, and has since served as a classroom teacher for several different combinations of grades three - eight, as well as in a variety of administrative positions. Currently teaching fth and sixth grade, she brings years of experience to her role as the coordinator for instruction and student support. Cheryl loves being part of a creative and vibrant learning community that celebrates and supports children and their families.
Outside of Breakwater, Cheryl is very interested in the music of other cultures and in the power of music to connect, heal, and inspire. Cheryl plays guitar and percussion and sings with a local band. She performed for thirty years with the Portland Symphony’s Magic of Christmas Chorus and has been a member of the Portland Community Chorus since 1979.
Cheryl has a B.S. in Elementary Education, with minors in both early childhood and learning disabilities, from the University of Maine. She has pursued graduate studies in gifted and talented education, and is the proud parent of a Breakwater alumna.
Claire Martin, Kindergarten
Claire brings over twenty- ve years of teaching experience to her position as Breakwater School’s new kindergarten teacher. Highlights from her rich and varied professional career include several lead teacher positions, work as a k-5 learning strategist, a k-5 resource room teacher, a coordinator for the America Reads/Computes tutor program and for the Big Brother/Big Sister program. Claire has designed learning opportunities that foster children’s environmental awareness, understanding of sustainability, and the development of leadership skills. She implemented a school wide social message program, supervised the chess club, community store, and student council activities. Most recently Claire taught in an alternative, developmentally appropriate, investigative k-6 public school program in Melbourne, Australia, where she served as a lead 1, k-1 and 1-2 grade level teacher.
Claire has her B.S. in Elementary Education with a child development concentration. She worked through college in the early child development center as an assistant teacher. She holds a Masters in Education with a focus on learning and behavior and has her Principal Certi cation for the State of Maine. Claire has trained in the Kathy Walker Approach, Responsive Classroom, Making Better Choices, Reading/Writing Project, CAFE, Math Academy-I Get It Math, SPIRE, Reading Project, Sitton Spelling, Dimensions of Learning, and Brain Gym... just to name a few. Throughout her professional career Claire has taken pleasure in mentoring many new and student teachers.
Claire is joining the Breakwater community because of her passion for engaging children in meaningful, integrated learning experiences that awaken natural curiosities and innate excitement. She is grateful to have the opportunity to design and implement developmentally appropriate, authentic programming that builds con dence, fosters success and inspires a life-long love of asking questions and nding their own answers.
Claire’s other passions include traveling with her husband, skiing, gardening, kayaking, hiking, art, and reading. She enjoys discovering natural wonders in places like tide pools and gem mines. She loves spending quality time with her family, children, grandchildren and her yellow lab Lily Rain.
Danielle Gorman, Music
Danielle is beginning her fourth year at Breakwater School teaching music and movement for the toddler through fourth grade classes. Danielle fell into teaching music when she was shocked to discover that not everyone belts show tunes in harmony on family drives and pianos are not a standard appliance for the American home. This resulted in the past fteen years of teaching music and creative movement to everyone from infants to professional educators throughout Maine.
In addition to a B.A. in Communication, certi cations in Montessori education, Musikgarten, and Orff-Schulwerk, Danielle is one of the rst fully certi ed yoga therapists in the state of Maine. She is a sought after presenter on Embodied Mindfulness for families and in the classroom, and is currently developing a dual-purpose mindfulness and music education curriculum for early childhood.
Danielle loves to watch young people claim their inherent creative musical potential and thrives on creating opportunities for students to fully express themselves. She is the parent of both a current Breakwater student and a recent graduate, and counts her blessings everyday that she gets the opportunity to share this extraordinary educational community with her children.
David Sullivan, Executive Director
David Sullivan was appointed Head of School in 2006. Previously, he was a teaching Principal in Brooklin, Maine, a fourth grade teacher at Milton Academy, a faculty member at North eld Mount Hermon School, and Associate Director of the Exploration School, an enrichment program for elementary through high school students at Wellesley College, Yale University, and Saint Marks School.
David is passionate about creating a clear, de nable vision and sustainable model for the school’s future. He is also handy with a hammer and a nail (he built his family’s home in Brooklin), loves poetry and magic, and has even been known to juggle re.
David has a Masters in Education from Harvard, and a bachelor’s degree from Hampshire College. He is the proud parent of three children, two of whom attend(ed) Breakwater School.
He currently chairs the Commission on Independent Schools at the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) which accredits roughly 700 independent schools in New England.
Denny Church - Fifth and Sixth Associate
Denny is entering his second year at Breakwater teaching middle school math and science. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire earning him a degree in Environmental Conservation. Denny combined both his passion for nature and education by becoming an outdoor educator on Cape Cod. While on Cape Cod, he was granted the opportunity to teach children the importance of collaborating with one another in order to create positive changes in their rural and urban communities.
Denny’s mission as a teacher is to create an environment where children are self motivated to become life-long learners. He models this by scuba diving and interacting with wildlife around the world. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking and exploring New England with his dog, Willow.
Emily Davidowitz, Preschool Assistant
Emily worked as an assistant teacher in the toddler and preschool classrooms at the Rita Gold Early Childhood Center in New York City. She has her Master’s degree from Teachers College at Columbia University in early childhood general and special education. Impactful on her understanding of learning through play was her research project on social and emotional development and block building in pre-kindergarten. Emily’s BA is from Hobart and William Smith Colleges where she had a double major in economics and public policy with a minor in education. Nearing completion of her portfolio assessment, Emily will soon be certi ed in New York State for birth to second grade general and special education.
During college, Emily was a coxswain on the rowing team for all four years, and competed at NCAA championships four times (with two fourth place nishes). In the summers, she is the trip and transportation director at Kamp Kohut in Oxford, ME, where she organizes an average of 18 trips per week to various places in Maine and New Hampshire. Emily loves to read (most recently, the newest Harry Potter), loves dogs (although her favorite animal is a moose), and is happiest on or near bodies of water.
Erica Paul, Toddler
Erica joined Breakwater’s toddler classroom teaching team at the start of the summer. Previously, she spent two years as a preschool special education teacher in an inclusive classroom at Pathways Early Learning Center in Brunswick, Maine.
Erica comes from a family of educators and was rst inspired to become a teacher during a child development course at Sarah Lawrence College. She transferred from Sarah Lawrence to the University of Maine at Farmington to pursue a degree in Early Childhood and holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Special Education. Erica is a level six Maine Roads to Quality member and holds a 282 certi cation in Early Childhood Special Education and a 081 certi cation in Early Childhood for children between the ages of birth and ve.
Erica is inspired by watching young children engage in new experiences and by watching them take steps toward independence. She is excited to join Breakwater School because of its commitment to fostering curiosity and a love of learning in all children. Outside of Breakwater, Erica enjoys drawing, writing, and convincing her friends and family to play games from her extensive board game collection.
Erin Knight, Director of Strategy & Innovation
Erin is an education technology executive, consultant and entrepreneur. She is the founder of the Open Badges movement, which is a new system for credentialing and accreditation, and for supporting broader learning across the Web and lifetimes. Erin founded and directed the Badge Alliance, a network of over a thousand organizations collaborating on building and growing an open badging ecosystem. She spearheaded the Chicago Summer of Learning and initial Cities of Learning work, and now leads the growing Maine State of Learning initiative. She runs Badge Labs, a product, services and implementation rm focused on catalyzing a new culture of learning, identity and hiring. Formerly, Erin ran an education technology research center at University of California- Berkeley and worked for many years at Blackboard in the early days of online learning.
Erin brings her experience and ideas to Breakwater to help us tell the story of the Breakwater Way, explore new strategic avenues to sustainability and launch the John W. Knight Curiosity Lab, a new space to make, break, tinker, invent and wonder.
Erin is also the mother of two amazing Breakwater Early Childhood students and two adorable chocolate labs. In her ‘spare’ time, she loves running, playing basketball, sampling delicious food and exploring Maine.
Patrick “Fitz” Fitzgibbons - Seventh and Eighth
“Fitz”, as the students know him, is an avid life long learner. He came to Breakwater in 2012 and immediately fell in love with the school, the teaching philosophy and the community. Fitz has lled a variety of roles and is now thrilled to join the seven/eight teaching team as a classroom teacher. He plans to get the students outside as much as possible!
Before coming to Breakwater Fitz studied Biology at Providence College and then worked for a decade as a naturalist and director of an environmental education center located on Cape Cod called Nature’s Classroom.
In his spare time Fitz does anything and everything outside - hiking, birding, fishing, etc. The only thing Fitz loves more than the natural world is sharing it with children.
Graham Duncan, Technology and Facilities
Graham joined the staff at Breakwater part time in 2011. He is now the full time Technology and Facilities Coordinator. He enjoys keeping things running smoothly from behind the scenes, but is always happy to help out in the classroom or go out on an adventure. Graham also teaches in the Enrichment program, offering classes which encourage students to explore technology.
Outside Breakwater Graham is, rst and foremost, a parent to two wonderful children, both Breakwater students. He is also a landlord, gamer, sailor, hiker, and camper.
Graham received his B.A. in Technical Theater and Minor in Fine Art from the University of New Hampshire. He completed CompTIA A+ Certi cation and Linux/UNIX Administration training at Bridge Education in Westbrook.
Hans Spencer, Music
Called a “master composer” by the Boston Globe for his jazz orchestra’s debut CD, “First Storybook”, Hans teaches music at Breakwater to grades ve through eight. His career stretches over twenty years of supporting stories for theater directors, lmmakers, animators, and choreographers. He has created music for plays at Portland Stage – “Snow Queen”, “Iron Kisses”, “Magnetic North”, and “Passion of the Hausfrau”- as well as underscored hundreds of improv comedy shows at Improv Boston Theater, played saxophone with bands such as the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra and his own Indigo Invention Group, and written jazz compositions for both groups. The Chameleon Arts Ensemble, one of Boston’s premier classical chamber groups, regularly features his music in their family concerts which he helps design and present. Hans was educated in classical composition at Oberlin Conservatory and earned a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from the New England Conservatory.
Hans taught k-eight music in the Cambridge Public Schools and in Lesley University’s graduate program in Creative Arts and Learning. He now splits his teaching passions between Breakwater, MECA and his private teaching studio.
This is Hans’s third year at Breakwater, a school he shares with his two children.
Jeanne King, Early Childhood AfterCare
Jeanne is starting her twentieth year at Breakwater! She has taught kindergarten and preschool and delights in nurturing the hearts, minds and growing bodies of young children.
Jeanne leads the Early Childhood Enrichment program with attentive interest for each child’s thoughts, stories, upsets and triumphs. Jeanne offers continuity throughout the day to the toddlers and preschoolers, many of whom already know and love her. Jeanne holds a B.S. in elementary education with a concentration in literacy from St. Joseph’s College.
Jed Bloom - Seventh and Eighth
Jed is entering his third year guiding students through seventh and eighth grades. In addition to his school year teaching role, Jed leads the Breakwater Youth Corps (BYC) during the summer months. He has been an educator for fteen years. He was the Service Learning Coordinator for the Sanford School Department, taught fth grade in Sanford, taught at Nature’s Classroom, and has led summer camps at the Wells Reserve and Wayn ete. Jed has a Master’s in Educating for Sustainability from Antioch New England University.
Breakwater provides Jed with a great opportunity to ful ll his goal as an educator to help students become leaders in the community and stewards of their place. Jed thrives when helping students create amazing projects and do good work.
Outside of school Jed enjoys exploring the world with his kids Priya and Rohan, rambling through the woods with his dog Henry, and enjoying life with his wife Arunima.
Jessica Houk, Communications and Culture Coordinator
Jessica joined the early childhood team as lead teacher in the toddler program in the summer of 2011 and moved to kindergarten in 2013. Jessica has taught preschool through rst grade in the classroom setting; theater to elementary and middle school students; served as the Director of Educational Programming at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport, Maine; as Program Director at the Play and Learn Community on the island of Kauai; was Founding Director of MotherLode Productions, an NYC based experimental theater; and SummerStuff, a summer theater experience for young people. Jessica holds an undergraduate degree in Theater Arts and Dance from Bard College, a Master’s Degree from USM in Education and Literacy, and assistantship certi cation from the National Center for Montessori Education.
Jessica welcomes the opportunity to bring her diverse skill set to her new role. She looks forward to contributing to the advancement of our unique and dynamic community by communicating our values and culture - our “Breakwater Way” - explicitly and continuously through the telling of our story to both internal and external audiences.
Jessica is deeply grateful to share the safe harbor of Breakwater School with her child.
Josephine Berger, Preschool Assistant
After many years teaching and caring for young children in Vermont, Washington, and Hawaii, Josephine came to Maine- and joined our Breakwater community as an early childhood Enrichment teacher. This year, she moves to the preschool to share every day nature adventures with kids, whether they be searching the playground for insects, or leaves fallen from the trees, or curled up in the corner of the classroom with a story about a boy who weaves cloth from the clouds.
Josephine holds an Interdisciplinary Masters of Education in Personality & Learning Style from the University of Vermont. Helping children uncover the magic of the natural world has awakened in Josephine an enthusiasm for natural history that she likely lost long ago in the journey to adulthood. She is inspired by how children experience nature with such joy! Once she learned to see the world through their eyes as an adult, it has been hard to go back to seeing the world in any other way than enchanted.
Julia Beckett, First and Second
Julia is beginning her sixth year at Breakwater School. Prior to her current role as a part of our rst and second grade teaching team, she taught in our kindergar- ten program for four years. Julia nds great satisfaction in helping her rst and second grade students grow as both learners and individuals.
Julia has a B.S. in Natural Resources, a Master’s in Urban Planning, and is a graduate of ETEP (Extended Teacher Education Program) at USM. She is proud of her years at home raising three boys, during which time she found ways to continue her work in educational settings, whether teaching adult education classes or running a preschool out of her house.
Outside of school Julia enjoys spending time with her husband and their boys. She travels, hikes, swims, kayaks and quilts.
Katie O’Toole, Toddler
Katie is excited to join the toddler team this year as she begins her new adventure at Breakwater. She set up her rst classroom at age three for neighborhood children, enthusiastically agreed to help teach the younger kids Irish dancing at age eight, and has had over twenty years of professional teaching experience, primarily with toddlers through age three.
In her most recent roles as Director and Twos teacher at the Nest at Alphabet Academy, a Yale affiliated early learning center, and Associate Director and Twos teacher at Downtown Little School in Manhattan, Katie has created engaging, child centered learning environments for children and supported teachers in their own reflective practice. She has a Master’s in elementary education with a concentration in special education and a Master’s in early childhood leadership from Bank Street College of Education, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from College of the Holy Cross.
Katie creates an emotionally responsive classroom which meets children where they are and provides opportunities for children to explore their own interests and passions. She infuses yoga, songs, stories, and exploration of art materials and the natural world within each school day and loves to closely observe children’s work and play. Outside of the classroom she enjoys yoga, Irish dancing, live music, exploring the natural world with her daughter Maeve, taking long walks on the beach with her dog Mali, and cooking with home grown ingredients with her husband Jim. Katie is looking forward to having her daughter Maeve join the community as a preschool student at Breakwater.
Katherine Way, K-8 AfterCare
Katie is beginning her second year at Breakwater. Last year she was an Aftercare and Enrichment teacher, and also bounced around during the school day as a guest teacher. This year will be the start of her new role as Aftercare Program Coordinator!
Katie was rst inspired to work with children while growing up and watching her mother passionately teach fourth grade. Katie received her B.A. in Liberal Studies from USM in the TEAMS program and is currently working on a M.S. Katie has taught preschoolers with developmental disabilities and as an educational technician in a primary school. It was when she spent twelve long summers working at a local campground that she felt the desire to mix a little business with a lot of education!
Breakwater is the community that she has longed for and is over the moon that we can all grow together. When she is not at school, Katie can be found at numerous music performances, hiking any of the Portland trails, doodling on napkins, and organizing closets.
Kelly Steinhagen, Enrichment Director
Kelly is beginning her third year as the Enrichment Director. Prior to accepting this role, she was involved in the Summer at Breakwater and AfterCare programs for eight years, ranging in roles from a technical theater teacher, to an Explorers camp teacher, to an Enrichment teacher. Kelly is thankful to be able to extend the reach of the incredible Breakwater community by including so many students from greater Portland in our Enrichment programming.
Kelly is a graduate from the University of Maine at Farmington holding a B.A. in English, a B.S. in secondary education and a minor in theater.
When not at Breakwater, Kelly enjoys exploring the tasty food scene in Portland, or taking to the road and discovering new cities and towns.
Krys Carriere, Third and Fourth
For nearly a decade Krys has been teaching and learning from children in grades 2 through 6 from Maine to the Caribbean. This will be her rst year at Breakwater School. She has a degree from UMO in Elementary Education (k-8) and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Master’s degree in literacy from UNE.
Embracing the philosophy of wonder and the importance of community are cornerstones of her philosophy of education, along with creating rich, integrated learning experiences. When not teaching, Krys enjoys hiking and exploring the outdoors with her husband, two spirited little boys (who are also joining the Breakwater community!) and two giant dogs.
Lindsay Holt, Third and Fourth
Lindsay is beginning her fourth year at Breakwater School, and her twelfth year as an educator. Before coming to Breakwater she taught multi-aged classrooms at the Telluride Mountain School in Telluride, CO, where she led several Adventure and Experiential trips with her students. Lindsay worked at the Dexter and South eld Schools in Brookline, MA, and has run her own Summer Adventure Camp for the last ten years. She earned her B.A. from Syracuse University and has been formally trained in Montessori Math, Responsive Classroom, and Project WILD.
Lindsay enjoys integrating authentic, real world experiences with classroom learning. She loves supporting students as they realize their full potential and abilities as whole people. Outside of school, Lindsay pursues new experiences and adventures with her husband Steve and their new baby Henry.
Lindsay is also the coordinator for the Nason’s Park Greening Project. She enjoys this opportunity to bring students and the greater community together to be stewards of our school park.
Liz Furmanski, Third and Fourth
Liz is beginning her second year of teaching at Breakwater School and is eager to teach Ms. Lindsay’s students during her maternity leave. She has been working with children all of her life and has an in nite passion for teaching and learning from young people.
Liz grew up in the Midwest and has a B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Iowa. She has a diverse resume including three years with toddlers and preschoolers as well as a year guest teaching all ages and subjects at an elementary school in Iowa. After completing a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2014, Liz moved to Portland to explore the eastern mountains and seas, where she enjoys hiking, kayaking and camping. Liz loves being apart of the Breakwater community and getting to know the children and families she encounters.
Maggie Lyon, Academic Director
After the adventure of team teaching in our middle school and serving as the Middle School Division Coordinator, Maggie is starting her fourth year at Breakwater in a new role as our Academic Director - a position that will allow her the opportunity to support students, parents and teachers across our school wide community. Maggie has an innate and genuine desire to make a difference. She believes it is by challenging young people and educators to explore new places, take risks, and embrace the unexpected opportunities inspired by mistake-making that a space for truly meaningful learning is created.
Before Maggie and her family relocated to the Maine coast, she spent years at an Expeditionary Learning school near the Colorado Rockies. Maggie has taught, guided and collaborated with young people in diverse settings for two decades. She is deeply grateful for every minute spent counseling youth in residential facilities, riding mountain bikes over rocks in Moab, zip-lining in Costa Rica, studying poetry in the Maine woods, and helping individual learners she has worked with in the classroom create amazing projects by inspiring them to seek out and identify their personal best. Her formal education started at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a degree in literature and continued at the University of Colorado in Denver for her teaching credentials. Yet, she nds that she learns best by doing, making, and living the lessons as they show up in her professional and personal life. Maggie is looking forward to the expanding responsibilities of her leadership role because of her commitment to Breakwater and her rm belief in the value of our teaching model and unique qualities of our community.
Marjorie Antich Haley, Literacy and Student Support
For seven of her eleven years at Breakwater Marjorie taught first and second grade. An avid reader, Marjorie loves spending time in the library and enjoys passing on her love of books to her students. This passion, along with the enjoyment she finds in helping teachers maintain safe, nurturing and inspiring classrooms, brought her to her current position as our Literacy Specialist and Student Support Coordinator. Marjorie works to help each child in our early grades stay actively engaged in the learning process, feel honored for his or her individuality, and thrive at school.
Marjorie has a B.A. in psychology from Hendrix College and an M.Ed. in Elementary Education with a focus on Integrated Learning from Antioch University New England. She feels truly lucky to work at Breakwater where she values her supportive and inspiring colleagues, the amazing community of parents, and the curious, inspired and fun students.
Outside of school Marjorie enjoys reading, spending time outdoors, baking, and just being with her family - her husband John and son Neil, who, at three years old, is taking the big step up to preschool!
Molly Trayner, Preschool
Molly is beginning her rst year at Breakwater School in the preschool classroom. She is moving to Portland from Boston where she has been working at a Montessori school and as a mental health counselor for a non-pro t program. Molly was inspired to follow a path of teaching when she was studying music in Boston and found herself magnetically drawn to working with children in her community more than performing.
Molly received a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Child Studies from Lesley University. She is currently finishing her Master’s degree at Lesley for Integration of Creative Arts in Education. Molly passionately believes that creative arts integration fosters inclusion and that students who are engaged in authentic, experiential activities will learn to love learning. Molly is excited to be a part of the Breakwater team as she values educational environments that provide opportunities for children to work cooperatively and productively with others, creating a foundation of respect within the learning community.
Outside of school Molly loves to play a variety of instruments, conduct living room dance parties, cook, and adventure in the outdoors.
Moriah Perry, Director of Enrollment and Advancement
Moriah has been helping Breakwater run smoothly since she joined the school in 2006. She currently serves as our Director of Advancement and Enrollment. Moriah appreciates the opportunity to help families nd Breakwater and bring them into our wonderfully welcoming environment. She is proud to tour prospective families through our school where our students and teachers demonstrate the Breakwater Way in action so clearly every day. Moriah recognizes that being a part of the Breakwater community is privilege, and being able to work with children and their families is an honor. As an alumni parent she loves supporting a school that she knows rsthand sincerely respects children for exactly who they are, and nurtures their growing process with a balance of individual attention to their social needs and academic rigor.
Moriah has a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Southern Maine. She serves on the NEASC Visiting Committee for the accreditation of schools. Off campus Moriah spends her time attending to the million things that make up a day for working moms, including transporting her child all over Maine for her tennis matches. Moriah still nds time to put on her running shoes, typically logging ve miles a day.
Ray Wakefield, Maintenance
Ray has been keeping our campus functional and clean for 9 years. He is the glue that holds everything together!
Renee Hall, Administrative Office Manager and Development Coordinator
Renée has been with Breakwater School for two years now, managing both the administration and development of ce, and is often the rst face you see when entering our campus.
Previously, Renee held similar roles at other specialty schools, including a school for the blind and visually impaired. A graduate of Emmanuel College and born into a family of educators, Renée appreciates the Breakwater mission and feels a sense of belonging with the Breakwater community.
In addition to camping, boating, and going to the beach, Renée enjoys everything about life in the Greater Portland area and is a very active member of the Nor’Easter Run running group.
Sarah Desormiers, Finance Director
Sarah is an accountant and attorney licensed in Maine who focuses on tax, legal, and business services and solutions. She is now in her twelth year as a tax professional, and her second year as a Breakwater staff member after serving for six years on our Board of Trustees. Sarah received her undergraduate degree at Mount Holyoke College, went on to receive her law degree from the University of Iowa Law School and is currently a candidate for her Masters of Laws in Taxation at Boston University School of Law.
Sarah’s passion is in utilizing her extensive experience and knowledge of the tax code, regulations, legal and business practices, and case law to plan, strategize, and advocate to ensure optimal outcomes. From the micro to the macro, Sarah is detail oriented and meticulous yet maintains the ability to keep her focus on the larger picture.
In addition to balancing our books, Sarah balances parenting her two children, both current Breakwater students.
Sari Lindauer - Grades Toddler-4 Tinkering, Science Integrator
Sari is beginning her thirty-third year at Breakwater School. She graduated from Wheelock College with a degree in Early Childhood Education/ Museum Science and a double minor in art and science in 1979. She began teaching at an environmental education center as a multigrade classroom teacher before joining the staff at Breakwater in1983. Sari was the last teacher hired by Eleanor Costa, our founder, who retired that same year at the age of 75.
During her long tenure, Sari designed an early computer program for kindergarten through grade ve, started Breakwater’s science program highlighted by student centered investigations and monthly science challenges, created an urban garden and greenhouse, a wildlife park, worked with Portland Trails and other conservation efforts in Portland, and, most notably, spearheaded the integration of the Jessie Bullens-Crew Nature Preserve in Cumberland into the school curriculum.
In 2005 Sari proposed and developed an integrated/ thematic middle school program. It was piloted in the fall of 2006 and has remained a vital part of the Breakwater experience to this day. Currently, Sari continues to teach integrated science and instructs in the toddler - four tinkering program.
Sari runs an arts and culture camp from her barn in Hollis with her husband Saul and is currently building a treehouse.
She holds the distinction of having had her now adult children at Breakwater for 20 consecutive years without a gap! Both her daughter Ona (32) and her son Sam (29) taught at Breakwater as guest teachers and in enrichment. Sam is now a high school physics and chemistry teacher in southern Maine.
Shaun Aylward - Tinkering, Grades 5-8
Shaun is an artist, human ecologist, and educator in his second year at Breakwater School. After studying at the College of the Atlantic, Shaun taught sailing, built museum exhibits, worked as a production baker, ne furniture maker, musician, visual artist, and nally, spent three years as an upholsterer before returning to school to complete his Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) at the Maine College of Art.
Shaun’s mission at Breakwater is to resource the curiosity of children, believing that elaborating on and synthesizing expressions of curiosity promotes (plural and simultaneous kinds of) growth by illuminating mosaics of relatedness. Additionally, Shaun is an avid lepidopterist and active member of the Maine Entomological Society. He loves to read philosophy and anthropology, paint, build and play banjos, sh for striped bass off the beach, and invest lots of time scratching his cat behind its ears.
Tiki Fuhro, Summer at Breakwater
Tiki joined Breakwater in 2005 and helped build the Summer at Breakwater program into a thriving summer arts camp. She focuses on bringing professionals who are passionate about their crafts to Breakwater. Tiki believes in the power of camp! She sees it as an opportunity to develop diverse skills under the supervision of passionate teachers, enrich creativity, and form strong relationships within a safe and caring multiage community.
Tiki helped build LIFE LINES Community Arts Program at The Center for Family Life in Brooklyn, New York, where she taught drama, directed plays, ran a teen camp, and supervised a teen drama troupe for ten years.
Tiki has a BFA from New York University’s TISCH School of the Arts. During the school year, she teaches drama at the Wayn ete School.
Tom Fisher - Fifth and Sixth
Tom has taught at Breakwater since 1999. Since joining our community he has taught a number of grade combinations, currently sharing his experience and joyful teaching with our fth and sixth graders. Tom earned a B.A. in geology from Vassar College. He believes in sustainable learning and encourages his students to be self-reliant and self-motivated. A former photography instructor at the Maine Photographic Workshops, Tom shares his passion for photography with his students, often helping them create short lms and multi-media projects.
Beyond the classroom, Tom is an excellent cook and enjoys many outdoor activities, especially skiing. He is the proud parent of two children, both of whom are current Breakwater students.
Wendy Getchell, Early Childhood Coordinator
Following six years teaching our toddlers, Wendy is enthusiastic to bring her experience and love of children to her new role as Early Childhood Program Coordinator. Her sixteen years teaching and working with young children began at New Dance Studio in 2000 as an early childhood dance teacher. Wendy served as Managing Director at Terpsicore Dance Inc. from 2009-2014 and is founder and director of Kids Creative: Moving Arts for Kids, an after-school arts program that provides dance for young children. Wendy holds a B.A. from the University of Southern Maine, has completed courses for Infant/Toddler Credentials I and II, holds a certi cate in Staff Leadership from CEI, and has Nature Play training from Maine Audobon. Wendy most recently volunteered on a NEASC Visiting Committee for the accreditation of schools.
Wendy is passionate about her work with young children, believes strongly in inclusive practices and is dedicated to sharing knowledge with families and teachers to provide the best early learning experience for each child. She enjoys crochet, taking walks on Portland Trails with her family and is a dance member and Artistic Director of Dirigo Dance Project for it’s fall 2016 season.
Yasmin Azel, Preschool
Yazi is as a lead preschool teacher beginning her second year at Breakwater School. Early childhood education became a passion for Yazi while knee-deep in the mud of salt marshes in Ipswich, MA, digging for razor clams with a group of young campers from the Crane Estate summer program.
Everyday adventures with children showed Yazi that education could be deeply meaningful in the outdoors. This lead Yazi to attain her Master’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education with a concentration in Science and Environmental Education from Antioch University New England. Combined with a Bachelors of Fine Arts with a concentration in Creative Arts Therapy from Endicott College, Yazi values using the arts, creativity, storytelling, and nature as central components of the child’s learning experience.
Portland provides the perfect setting to keep Yazi fueled by cooking delicious locally sourced meals, catching waves at Higgins beach in the evenings, and taking weekends off rock climbing or hiking in the White Mountains.