A coed boarding and day school for grades 4-9
North Country School main campus

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 daughters Rosalie, Claire, and Eleanor.

Title(s)
Theatre Teacher, Primary Houseparent


Josh Briggeman

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

Josh graduated from Kenyon College in 2005 with a B.A. in history. He first joined the North Country School faculty in 2008, where Josh taught Level III, IV as well as Level V history. He left NCS in 2012 to return to school and earn his master’s degree in the Art of Teaching. Josh returned to NCS in 2016 and focused his attention on teaching Level V history and computer programming. His wife, Megan, is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Pittsburgh. In his free time, Josh enjoys hiking, Telemark skiing, rock climbing, board games, and playing Ultimate Frisbee.

Title(s)
History Department Chair, Primary Houseparent



Garth Cilley

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

Garth returned to NCS as a math teacher in 2013, thirteen years after leaving NCS as a staff-student. He holds a BS in mechanical engineering from Clarkson University with a minor in mathematics. Prior to returning to NCS 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. During his time as a math teacher at NCS, Garth has taught every grade level class offered by the school. As his NCS teachers did for him, Garth is excited to share with students his passions for canoeing, biking, and skiing in the mountains he first came to love as a child.

Title(s)
Math Teacher, Support Houseparent


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 and Biology Teacher, Co-Primary 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


Max Goldberg

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

Max graduated in 2018 from Washington University in St. Louis where he studied environmental biology and secondary education. Max spent three years assisting in classrooms in the St. Louis public schools. In his first year at NCS, Max played an instrumental role on the Level II team where he taught science and math. Max has an extensive background in wilderness trip leading with middle and high school students. Max enjoys many outdoor activities and has a particular fondness for canoeing.

Title(s)
Level II Math and Science Teacher, Support Houseparent



Sierra Grennan

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

Sierra came to NCS in the Fall of 2010, after completing a BFA in Photographic Illustration at Rochester institute of Technology. During her time at RIT, Sierra worked in Circulation at the Wallace Library. Sierra spent six years working as a Camp Counselor for Jericho Recreation Camp in Vermont from 2004 to 2009. She spent five days a week working with elementary and middle school aged children, teaching them how to cook, directing art activities and coaching sports. Sierra Currently spends her Summer photographing with medium format color film, gardening fruits and vegetables in her hugelkultur bed and hiking in the high peaks.

Title(s)
Darkroom and Digital Photography Teacher, Circulation Librarian, Support 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; 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.

Title(s)
International Student Program Coordinator, ESL Teacher, English Teacher


Sam Hecklau

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

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.

Title(s)
Math and Science Teacher



Joey Izzo

Bio
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.
Title(s)
Music Teacher



Bryan Johansmeyer

Bio

Bryan joins the NCS community after several years building his love and appreciation for boarding school working in admission offices of schools in Massachusetts and Maine. He earned his B.A in Psychology from Stony Brook University while competing as a varsity athlete for the lacrosse program. Following graduation from Stony Brook Bryan coached lacrosse at Haverford College and Amherst College. After leaving the college coaching ranks, Bryan began his boarding school career working in the admissions office of Northfield Mount Hermon School as their Family Liaison Specialist. Most recently he has spent the last two years as an Associate Director of Admission at Gould Academy, where he developed strategies to attract students of great character and ambition to join a community that fosters learning through experience. In addition to his responsibilities in admission, Bryan has proudly served as the Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse coach and dorm parent. He takes great pride in the relationships he develops with students within the school community. Bryan is excited to share his passion for the outdoors and adventure with the students and faculty at NCS. He lives in Mountain House with his wife Danielle, son Sam and dog Hali.

Title(s)
Dean of Students



Kathi Lally

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
(518) 523-9329   x6530
Bio

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.

Title(s)
Learning Skills Teacher



Kayla Lodico

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

Kayla is a 2018 graduate of the University of Minnesota, where she earned her B.S. in chemistry and leadership. She joined the NCS faculty in the fall of 2018 and taught a variety of upper level math courses. Kayla has considerable experience as a wilderness trip leader from her time guiding middle school students on backpacking and climbing trips in Vermont and the Adirondacks for Farm and Wilderness Summer Camps. 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.

Title(s)
Math Teacher, Support Houseparent



Gavi Mallory

Email
(Primary)
School Phone
(518) 523-9329   x5415
Bio

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.

Title(s)
Level I Math and Science 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. 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 magazinesmembers of the local-food focused Edible Communities family of publications.

Title(s)
Edible Schoolyard Instructor, Riding Instructor, Creative Writing Instructor, Freelance Writing and Public Relations



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, ESL, Residential Life/Student Life Coordinator, Librarian, Primary Houseparent


Caroline Hlavacek Perry

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

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 completed 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.

Title(s)
4th and 5th Grade English and Social Studies Teacher, Co-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)
Edible Schoolyard Teacher, Spanish Teacher, Riding Staff, Co-Primary Houseparent


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 enjoys bringing hands-on learning experiences to students in his earth science class. Larry has led trips in Alaska as an instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and has run programs for Camp Treetops and RocE cottage in the summer months. Larry enjoys creating large sculptures out of reclaimed metals, and with students has produced pieces that are on display on campus as well as Keene, Saranac Lake, Buffalo NY and Washington DC. An avid telemark skier and climber, Larry spends much of his time sharing these passions with his daughter Ella and son Peter.

Title(s)
Science Teacher, Level IV, Industrial Art and Theater Tech Teacher, Co-Primary Houseparent


Ted Sonneborn

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

Ted returned to North Country School in 2017 after earning his Master of Education degree at the University of Washington. In his tenure at NCS Ted has been a primary houseparent, math teacher, logistics coordinator, secondary school placement coordinator, and dean of students. When not working with students in an academic setting, Ted enjoys coaching soccer and working at North Country Camps, where he is an associate director. Ted attended Juniata College, where he earned a BS in elementary education. Ted is passionate about playing and coaching soccer, and enjoys hiking, canoeing, and camping.

Title(s)
Secondary School Placement Coordinator, Math Teacher



Dave Steckler

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

Dave joined the NCS community in 2001 after graduating from Hobart College with a BS in Environmental Studies and Economics. In his first stint at NCS, Dave taught science and math in Level One. Dave left NCS to complete his Masters in Ecological Teaching & Learning from Lesley University in 2005 and returned to NCS in 2008 after teaching at the Hillside School in Marlborough, MA and the North Haven Community School in North Haven, ME. Back at NCS, Dave settled into teaching Level Three science, and a variety of math classes over the following decade. He was also instrumental in developing the robotics program at NCS. In the fall of 2018, Dave assumed the role of Dean of Faculty.

Dave is an enthusiastic telemark skier, rock climber, hiker/bushwhacker and also enjoys reading and a variety of artistic pursuits.

Title(s)
Dean of Faculty, Robotics Teacher



Katie Weaver

Bio

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. She taught at Northwoood for 25 years in the studio art department joined the faculty at North Country School in 2015. Katie loves teaching art and weaving creativity into all aspects of her life. Katie also enjoys horseback riding, winter sports, and spending time with her family.

Title(s)
Studio Art Teacher



Jessica Wegrzyn

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

Jess holds a BA from St. Lawrence University and an MEd from the University of New Hampshire. Additionally, Jess holds professional certification in Learning Differences and Neurodiversity with a specialization in executive function support from Landmark College and is working towards certification in Orton-Gillingham and Wilson Reading System. She is a member of the North East Association of Learning Specialists. Jess has served a number of roles at North Country School: as 7th and 9th grade English teacher, as a Primary houseparent, as Weekend Program Co-coordinator, and Program Logistics Coordinator. Since 2017, Jess has been a Learning Skills Coach with the Learning Support Services program. In the fall of 2019, Jess will officially step into the role of Director of the Learning Support Services program. Jess and her husband Larry Robjent have been members of the North Country School community since 2000.

Title(s)
Director of Learning Support Services


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 (retiring Executive Director) 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


Kyra White

Email
(Primary)
Bio

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.

Title(s)
Level II English Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher, Edible Schoolyard Teacher, Co-Primary Houseparent



Kelt Wilska

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

Born and raised in Old Chatham, New York, Kelt graduated from Hamilton College in 2017 with a B.A. in comparative literature 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.

Title(s)
Level III English, Learning Skills, Support Houseparent