A coed boarding and day school for grades 4-9

Where most classrooms end, ours begin.

Faculty

Courtney Allen

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
(518) 523-9329   x5432
Bio

Courtney earned her bachelor's in theatre at the University of the South and her master's in educational theatre at New York University. She began teaching theatre during summer camp, then moved to the classroom. Since 2003, Courtney has taught theatre, English, ESL, and social studies in public and private schools in Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida. She also founded Vital Voices, a non-profit theatre program for at-risk youth in New York City, and has built theatre programs that focus on cross-curricular connections. When not teaching or directing, she enjoys swimming, ice skating, and spending time with her husband Chris and young daughters Rosalie and Claire.

Title(s)
Theatre Teacher, Primary Houseparent


Matthew Beckwith-Laube

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
(518) 523-9329   x6502
Bio

Matthew Beckwith-Laube currently is the chair of the mathematics department at North Country School and is the director of the International Summer School. He earned a degree in Geology from the College of Wooster and was a consulting geologist for five years before teaching at a boarding school in northern New Hampshire. His passion for teaching comes from 'learning by doing' as well as traditional study. He enjoys cycling, climbing, and most things out of doors.

Title(s)
Math Department Teacher (Chair), Director, North Country Summer School (NCSS)


Josh Briggeman

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
518-523-9329
Bio

Josh Briggeman returns to North Country School after four years away. While away he lived in Pittsburgh, PA, where he studied the history of the environmental movement in America while earning his master’s degree in the Art of Teaching. Josh also coached the Pittsburgh Ultimate Frisbee team, Alloy. In 2016 he helped them reach the National Championships for the first time. Josh graduated from Kenyon College in 2005 with a degree in History. His wife, Megan, is currently a PhD candidate in Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Pittsburgh, and they have a cat named Floyd. In his free time Josh enjoys hiking, Telemark skiing, rock-climbing, board games, and playing Ultimate Frisbee.

Title(s)
Social Studies Teacher, Houseparent



Garth Cilley

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
(518) 523-9329   x5429
Bio

A former NCS student and staff child, Garth rejoined the community in fall 2013 after 13 years. He holds a BS in mechanical engineering from Clarkson University with a minor in mathematics. Most recently he worked in Boulder, Colorado as a temporary design engineer for a company making bike and ski racks. Prior to that he was a mechanical engineer at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to analyze, size, and design nuclear reactor components for Navy submarines. As his NCS teachers did for him, Garth is excited to share with students his passions for biking, kayaking, and backcountry skiing in the mountains he first came to love as a child.

Title(s)
Math Teacher, Support Houseparent


Tom Clark

Email
(Primary)
Bio

Tom studied geo-science and physics at Montclair and Rutgers Universities, earned his master's degree, then taught science and music at West Milford High School. He was a science teacher at NCS in the 1970s and has also spent his summers since 1966 as a woodworking counselor at Camp Treetops, where he met his wife, Alison Riley-Clark. Tom rejoined the NCS faculty in 2002 as a photography and woodworking teacher. He also enjoys working with the riding program. Tom has twice received the "Environmental Educator of the Year" EPA award in Vermont. He loves hiking, skiing, and almost any sort of outdoor activity.

Title(s)
Photography Teacher, Woodshop Teacher, Staff Photographer


John Doan

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
(518) 523-9329
Bio

With a BA in music from Haverford College, John first came to NCS in 2000 to run the farm and garden program. Since 2004, he has taught music to students in all grade levels, and with Level III instructor certification in alpine and telemark skiing, he also directs the NCS ski program. He lives at nearby Sheepback Farm with his wife Libby. Their two children, Hannah (NCS 05) and Jacob (NCS 07), went to Utah for college but come home to the Adirondacks most summers.

Title(s)
Music Teacher, Support Houseparent



Libby Doan

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
(518) 523-9329   x6511
Bio

With a BA from Bryn Mawr College, Libby has 30 years experience in independent school teaching and administration. She came to NCS in 2000, and before joining the admissions staff in 2011, taught sixth grade and served as the assistant head for academics. In 2015, she returned to the faculty as our Learning Specialist. In addition, Libby offers weekend activities, and supports the ski and snowboard program by teaching our alpine and telemark skiers – especially the beginners.

Title(s)
Learning Support Coordinator



Todd Dowling

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
(518) 523-9329
Bio

Todd joined the faculty in September 2011 after four years of teaching environmental education on the coast of Maine. He graduated from Bucknell University in 2007 with a BS in biology focusing in ecology and evolution, as well as a teaching certificate. After graduating he taught ecology, natural history, and outdoor living skills in Maine to elementary through high school students. A wilderness first responder, Todd leads wilderness trips for teenagers during summers and recently led a group through the 100 Mile Wilderness on the Appalachan Trail in Maine. During the warmer months, he enjoys cycling and has a life goal of riding his bike a century in all 50 states.

Title(s)
Science Teacher, Secondary School Coordinator


Steph Durell

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
518-523-9329
Bio

Steph earned a BA in Biology from Williams College, then spent a year working on the farm here at North Country School. She is excited to return to NCS after teaching math at a junior boarding school in New Hampshire. During summers, Steph has led wilderness trips for middle schoolers throughout New England and worked on a number of farms. She enjoys spending time outside with her dog, particularly hiking, trail running, and cross-country skiing; she also loves to grow, prepare, and share food.

Title(s)
Math Teacher, Support Houseparent



Noni Eldridge

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
(518) 523-9329
Bio

Noni has a long association with NCS. Her grandparents, Walter and Leo Clark, founded the School in 1938; her parents, Harry and Betty Eldridge, were co-directors from 1970 to 1980; Noni is an NCS graduate (’78), as is her son Justin (’03) and daughter Sarah ('09). Noni teaches art and horseback riding. Noni enjoys canoeing, skiing, camping and horseback riding in her free time.

Title(s)
Art Teacher, Support Houseparent, Horseback Riding Instructor


Peter Fish

Email
(Primary)
Bio

Peter graduated from Denison University in 1981 with a degree in English and has been passionately engaged in teaching ever since. He has taught English and history, most recently at National Sports Academy in Lake Placid. Outside of school, Peter enjoys house construction, reading, cross country skiing, mountain biking, hiking, and spending time with his family. He lives in Lake Placid with his wife Diane.

Title(s)
English Teacher, Level V


Sierra Grennan

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
(518) 523-9329
Bio

A graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology with a BFA in photographic illustration, Sierra joined the NCS staff in 2010. Spent time in Norway working on organic farms in summer 2013. She also spent a summer in New York City interning with two photography galleries, where she did editing work and assisted with photo shoots. A native Vermonter, Sierra likes to knit, read, garden, can fresh veggies and fruit, and spend time outdoors.

Title(s)
Photography Teacher, Co-Primary Houseparent


Meredith Hanson

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
(518) 523-9329
Bio

Meredith came to NCS in September 2012, after completing her MA in Second Language Studies and teaching ESL at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She has also taught English in Japan and France, the latter on a yearlong Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. Meredith spends her summers at Concordia Language Villages in northern Minnesota, where she is interim dean of the Japanese summer youth program. She earned her BA in comparative languages and linguistics (French/Japanese) with a minor in TESOL from Earlham College, where she also worked on their ropes course. Meredith studied visual arts at Interlochen Arts Academy, where she grew up, and loves contra-dancing, making art, and playing the ukulele.

Title(s)
International Student Program Coordinator, ESL Teacher, Co-Primary Houseparent, Japanese Teacher


Mickey Hardt

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
(518) 523-9329
Bio

Mickey graduated from the University of Vermont in 2011 with a BA in anthropology and a minor in biology. Before joining NCS for the 2013-14 school year, he completed a year with AmeriCorps in his hometown of Boston, where he taught a 6th grade class and educated students about healthy lifestyle choices regarding food and exercise. Mickey is certified by the American Mountain Guide Association as a climbing wall instructor and has guided rock climbing, hiking, rafting, and mountain biking trips in Colorado, Montana, and Massachusetts. He enjoys almost any activity that will keep him outdoors, from gardening to snowboarding.

Title(s)
Math and Woodshop Teacher, Primary Houseparent


Caroline Hlavacek

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
518-523-9329
Bio

Caroline graduated from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a BA in western theology, art history, and Medieval & Renaissance studies and is currently finishing thesis research for her MAT in middle level education through the University of Vermont. She has worked at schools in New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont in teaching literacy, cultural studies, and arts to students in preschool through 8th grade. She grew up on the campus of Lawrence-ville School in New Jersey and has lived in Lake Placid seasonally since she was born. Caroline loves spending time on the lake with family and friends and enjoys reading, skiing, traveling, and live music.

Title(s)
Level II English and Social Studies, Support houseparent



Luke Hudak

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
(518) 523-9329   x6521
Bio

A Lake Placid native and graduate of St. Michael's College in Vermont, Luke joined the NCS staff in September 2012. Prior to NCS, Luke taught history, English, and science at the nearby National Sports Academy. Besides a serious love for both tennis and hockey, Luke enjoys all the Adirondack Park has to offer. His favorite activities include hiking, swimming, kayaking, and fishing in the summer and cross-country skiing, back-country skiing, and pond hockey in the winter. Luke lives in Cascade House with his wife Andrea and their two dogs.

Title(s)
Dean of Students, History Teacher


Rory Mandl-Abramson

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
518-523-9329
Bio

Rory graduated from the University of Vermont in 2014 with a BA in cultural anthropology and a minor in geology. Before coming to NCS, she taught an array of after-school classes at a Burlington elementary school, was a ski instructor at Stowe, and spent a lot of time training horses for friends. Rory has been riding and working with horses since 1996, and in the summer manages the riding program at the North Country Camps, also in the Adirondacks, which she grew up attending. Outside of the stables and classroom, she enjoys skiing, playing music, gardening, and exploring the surrounding mountains.

Title(s)
Level I and II Teacher, Riding Teacher, Support Houseparent



Becca Miller

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
518-523-9329   x5475
Bio

Becca and her husband Elie Rabinowitz came to NCS in 2014 from Cape Cod, where she ran a CSA at an organic farm for three years. The two also helped start a community garden at St. Gregory School Community Garden in Tucson, AZ, and have co-led student travel expeditions, including a camping and canoeing trip in the Florida National Parks. Becca has a BS in media communications from Syracuse University and an MA in higher education from the University of Arizona, where she worked in residential life and admissions for six years. Becca is passionate about growing and cooking food, travel, and the outdoors, and has a life goal of visiting all of the U.S. National Parks.

Title(s)
Edible Schoolyard & Riding Instructor; Program Support; Freelance Writing



Lisa Munoz

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
(518) 523-9329   x5433
Bio

Lisa is excited to return to NCS, where she has lived twice before: first as a student who graduated in 1991 and later as an eighth-grade history teacher from 2003-06. For the past seven years she taught ESL in the New York City public schools. Lisa holds a BA from the University of Vermont, a JD from New York Law School, and an MS in TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) from Lehman College in New York. She enjoys exploring and spending time outdoors with her son (and future NCSer) Liam.

Title(s)
English Teacher, Level IV, Primary Houseparent


Elie Rabinowitz

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
(518) 523-9329   x5475
Bio

Elie graduated from Syracuse University in 2005 with a BA in psychology and in Spanish language, literature, and culture; he has taught Spanish and ESL for grades 6-12 in Arizona and Massachusetts. In 2011 he earned an MA in education from the University of Arizona. He has coached middle and high school sports (baseball, softball, and cross-country) and co-led international and domestic trips for students. He is joined at NCS by his wife Becca Miller and their two dogs Bean and Otter. Elie loves playing outside, whether hiking, biking, backpacking, or trail running, and is also passionate about all things food: growing, preparing, and eating.

Title(s)
Farm Educator, Woodshop Instructor, Spanish Teacher, Riding Staff


Don Rand

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
(518) 523-9329
Bio

A native of the area, Don began his unbroken line of association with North Country School and Camp Treetops in 1954. An avid skier and mountain climber in his more supple-jointed years, he was attracted to this unique environment by more than philosophies and life-style. The Adirondacks helped. Beginning as a camp counselor (following disenchantment with a six-year stint of university teaching), he joined the NCS faculty in 1959. Primarily a music teacher, there are few roles in the NCS/Treetops spectrum in which he has not actively participated. Doubtlessly he is best remembered for the many large-scale original musical plays he routinely churned out. Though officially retired in 1991, he continues to give private music lessons three days a week.

Title(s)
Music Teacher


Larry Robjent

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
(518) 523-9329
Bio

Larry graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1996 with a BS in geology and a focus in theater. He and his wife Jessica received a Watson Fellowship and spent a year traveling the world looking at the use of ropes courses and initiative games. He has led trips in Alaska as an instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and runs climbing programs for Camp Treetops in the summer months. An avid telemark skier and climber, Larry has traveled with Hock to Chamonix, France and Peru pursuing his love of the alpine zone. Most of his time is spent imparting these passions to his daughter Ella and son Peter.

Title(s)
Science Teacher, Level IV, Theatre Tech Teacher, Co-Primary Houseparent


Dave Steckler

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
(518) 523-9329
Bio

Dave returned to NCS in 2008 after three years away. He spent a year teaching earth science and biology at the Hillside School in Marlborough, MA and the last two years in a Fellowship position through the Island Institute, helping teachers at the North Haven Community School in North Haven, ME developing hands-on, place-based curricula. Dave double majored in environmental studies and economics at Hobart College and recently completed his master’s of science in ecological teaching and learning from the Audubon Expedition Institute at Lesley University. Dave is an enthusiastic telemark skier, rock climber, hiker/bushwhacker and also enjoys reading and a variety of artistic pursuits.

Title(s)
Science & Math Teacher, Primary Houseparent



Katie Weaver

Bio

Katie joins us this year after teaching high school art at Northwood School in Lake Placid for 25 years. The twin sister of art teacher Noni Eldridge, Katie is a 1978 alumna of NCS, the daughter of former co-directors Harry and Betty Eldridge, and granddaughter of School founders Walter and Leo Clark. Katie also has a long association with Camp Treetops as a counselor and cook. She is a 1982 graduate of the Colorado Rocky Mountain School and 1984 graduate of National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). She earned her BS from Potsdam State University in 1988 with a major in studio art and minor in biology. Katie enjoys horseback riding, winter sports, and weaving creativity into all aspects of her life.

Title(s)
Studio Art Teacher, Support Houseparent



Jessica Wegrzyn

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
(518) 523-9329
Bio

Jess holds a BA in Comparative Religious Studies and African Studies from St. Lawrence University, and a Master’s of Education from the University of New Hampshire. She has taught in outdoor education centers, residential therapeutic schools, and public schools. Jess and her husband, Larry Robjent, have been members of the North Country School community since September 2000. In that time, Jess has been a primary houseparent, weekend co-coordinator, and Level III and V English teacher. On extended leave from teaching, Jess was a fulltime stay-at-home mother to daughter Ella (born June 2006) and son Peter (born September 2008) from fall 2006 through spring 2012. Jess rejoins the NCS faculty for 2013, teaching Level III English, supporting the Edible Schoolyard program, and coordinating the weekend outdoor program.

Title(s)
English Teacher, Level III, Weekend Coordinator


Selden West

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
(518) 523-9329
Bio

Selden first arrived on campus to teach English in the fall of 1983, married Hock (current Head of School and Camp) on the Lake Hill in 1984, and has held a variety of positions at NCT ever since, including teacher and tutor, librarian, publications editor, Director of Development, barn manager, and primary houseparent. In her life outside NCS, she has been a professional biographer and a part-time farmer. Both her children are graduates of NCS, Jon in 2002, Lucy in 2013. Selden holds a BA from Lesley College, and her passions are history (and sharing that excitement with children), reading, and the natural world.

Title(s)
History Teacher


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