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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Max is a recent graduate of Washington University in St. Louis where he studied environmental biology and secondary education. He has an extensive background in wilderness trip leading with middle and high school students. Max spent three years assisting in classrooms in the St. Louis public schools. He could not be happier to be starting his teaching career at NCS. Max enjoys many outdoor activities and has a particular fondness for canoeing.
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.
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; she had directed the Japanese summer youth program and currently works in both the French and Japanese programs, and provides professional development training to staff for all languages.
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.
Sam is a graduate of St. Lawrence University, where he received a BA in geology and art and art history. Prior to coming to NCS, Sam worked at Northfield Mount Hermon Summer School. A native of Clinton, NY, Sam grew up in the Adirondacks and is an experienced outdoor guide and educator. Sam's interest include alpine skiing and fly fishing.
Joey Izzo was born and raised in Lake Placid, NY. He played music professionally in the area from the age of twelve before receiving his Bachelors in Music Production and Engineering from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. His progressive fusion band Arch Echo has gained international attention and he actively tours both nationally and internationally with the group. When not at NCS he works as a freelance composer, producer and session keyboardist working with artists from all over the world. As a composer his music for television has been featured on NBC, TBS and more. He is married to his wife MC and they both live in Lake Placid.
Kathi received her B.A. in business management from SUNY Empire State College and spent over a decade channeling her passion for teaching into mentoring, team-building, corporate training, and small business consulting. Since the birth of her son in 2005, she has directed her interests toward education. Kathi is passionate about making learning more accessible for all students and has focused her studies on identifying processing challenges that impact literacy, numeracy, and executive function. Kathi comes to NCS with eight years of independent school administration, teaching, and community building experience, and feels that NCS's location in the Adirondacks offers students natural therapeutic benefits and authentic learning opportunities beyond the classroom. Kathi provides 1:1 support and facilitates small group sessions designed to help struggling learners build core competencies and work more efficiently. She also works in collaboration with faculty to incorporate diverse teaching techniques into their lesson planning. Kathi loves spending time outdoors, crafting, and spending time with friends.
Kayla is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, where she earned her B.S. in chemistry and leadership. As a wilderness trip leader at Farm and Wilderness Summer Camps, Kayla has led middle school students on backpacking and climbing trips in Vermont and in the Adirondacks. She also has experience coaching youth basketball and soccer. Kayla enjoys listening to music, cooking, and spending time outside year-round, especially snowboarding in the wintertime. She loves learning and is continually amazed with the synergistic phenomena of the natural world.
Gavi joined the North Country School and Camp Treetops community in June 2017 as a farm intern and then became the assistant farm manager. She earned a B.A. in biology and studio arts from Swarthmore College. Raised in Brookline Massachusetts, Gavi has spent many seasons working on New England farms and is excited to bring her passion for farm-based learning to the classroom. She loves spending her free time running, reading, making watercolor paintings, and skate skiing.
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. Becca's writing has been featured in Adirondac, the Adirondack Mountain Club magazine, and she is a contributor to both Edible Capital District and Edible Green Mountains magazines—members of the local-food focused Edible Communities family of publications.
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.
Caroline Hlavacek Perry
Caroline joined the East End faculty in the fall of 2015. She graduated from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a BA in Western Theology, Art History, and Medieval & Renaissance Studies. She is currently finishing thesis research for her MAT in Middle Level Education through the University of Vermont. Prior to NCS, Caroline worked in a private school in Massachusetts, a parochial school in Lake Placid, and a public school in Vermont. She has taught literacy, cultural studies, and art to students in preschool through 8th grade. Having grown up on campus at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, Caroline loves living and learning in a boarding school environment. She has been coming to Lake Placid seasonally since she was born, and now lives on campus with her husband Justin (NCS '03). Caroline loves spending time on the water with family and friends and also enjoys reading, skiing, traveling, and live music.
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.
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.
Ted returns to NCS after working in both the admissions office and the athletics department at Lakeside School (Seattle). Ted's tenure at NCS began in the 2013-14 school year, when Ted taught math and was a primary houseparent. From 2014-16 Ted served as the NCS program logistics coordinator while continuing to teach math and acting as support houseparent. While at NCS Ted coached men's soccer at North Country Community College. Prior to his time at North Country School, Ted worked at Hackley School as an assistant teacher and soccer coach. Ted has worked at North Country Camps since 2004, currently working as an associate director. Ted received his BS from Juniata College, and his Master of Education degree from the University of Washington. Ted is passionate about playing and coaching soccer, and enjoys hiking, canoeing, and camping.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kyra received her BA from St. Lawrence University in Environmental Studies and Sociology in 2016. Kyra has worked as a substitute teacher and outdoor education assistant at Aspen Country Day School, as a teaching intern at Northfield Mount Hermon's Summer Session, as a camp counselor, and as an outdoor guide for peers in college. Kyra's outdoors interests include mountain and road biking, canoeing, downhill and cross country skiing, fly fishing, and hiking, She is passionate about environmental social theory, sustainable development, environmental education,
watercolor painting, farming, and speaking Spanish.
Born and raised in Old Chatham, New York, Kelt graduated from Hamilton College in 2017 with a B.A. in comparative literature from Hamilton College and completed a humanities teaching apprenticeship at the High Mountain Institute in Leadville, Colorado. The magic of the Adirondacks – the mountains, forests, farms, and people who call them home – brought him back to New York. Kelt’s goals in the classroom include fostering a space in which all opinions are heard and respected. After all, what is literature without multiple interpretations? When not absorbed in a good book, Kelt enjoys all things outdoors, particularly hiking, fishing, and climbing.