David (Hock) Hochschartner has a BA in political science from Union College and an MA in private school leadership from Columbia University. In his 30+ years in education, he has taught math, science, and history and served at various schools as Dean of Students, Dean of Faculty, Assistant Head, and Director. Hock came to NCS as the science department chair in 1982. He taught and directed many programs at NCS from 1982-1993, and with his wife, Selden West, was an NCS houseparent for a decade. He was Director of Presidio Hill School in San Francisco for three years before returning to NCS as Head in 1999. Hock is a past commissioner of the New York State Association of Independent School's (NYSAIS) Accreditation Committee and is a past President of the Junior Boarding Schools Association (JBSA). He was a Visiting Fellow of the prestigious Klingenstein Center at Teachers College, Columbia University in 2003. Hock has two children, Jon (NCS 02) and Lucy (NCS 13). In his spare time Hock is an avid rock climber, skier, mountaineer, and lacrosse player.
Louisa Munoz is North Country School's director of school. Previously, she worked for the Peace Corps in Paraguay as a director of training for six years and as a teacher and administrator at North Country School for seven years. She also practiced family law for six years. She earned a B.A. from Goddard College and a J.D. from Temple University Beasley School of Law. Louisa’s daughters Vikki and Lisa both graduated from NCS in 1990, and her grandson, Liam, just finished his first year at Camp Treetops. Louisa believes middle school children need both structure and freedom provided in a community by talented, nurturing guides. Children benefit from a vigorous academic program that includes the arts, the farm, the garden, the outdoors, and residential life; one that fosters critical thinking and collaborative skills, confidence, creativity, and provides a sense of purpose.
A Keene Valley resident for many years, Fritz previously served as controller for 13 years at an injection molding manufacturer in Plattsburgh. Prior to that he worked at the American Management Association in Saranac Lake and for Camp Dudley in Westport; he has additional experience in bank financial controls in New Hampshire and Maine. Fritz holds a BS from the University of Maine in recreation management and has served as treasurer for local non-for-profits including the North Country SPCA, the Keene Valley Congregational Church, and East Branch Friends of the Arts. He lives with his partner Rob Hastings in Keene Valley at Rivermede Farm, an organic small-scale farm much like ours.
David Damico serves North Country School (NCS) as Director of Admissions. He also assists with the coordination and direction of North Country Summer School (NCSS). David earned degrees in French and International Relations from Bucknell University (including time studying at The Sorbonne in Paris), and spent 15 years working in France and Switzerland. His independent school administration has included work with both domestic and international boarding schools, as director of admissions and dean of students. He and his wife Melanie live walking distance to campus, along with their two children, Samantha and Luca.
Originally from Massachusetts, Matt has spent most of the last three decades in the Adirondacks after coming to Lake Placid for the first time in 1989 to teach high school English. He made his way into development work at The Adirondack chapter of The Nature Conservancy after an eighteen year career in independent schools as an English teacher and administrator. The independent school realm eventually called him back, and he merged his enthusiasm for great teaching and learning programs with his background in institutional advancement by serving as Director of Development at Long Trail School in Vermont and later at Falmouth Academy on Cape Cod. When he is not traveling in his capacity as Director of Advancement, Matt spends time outdoors with his son, Finn, especially enjoying hiking, biking and running--and nordic skiing when the snow flies.
An Adirondack native, Emilie joined North Country School (2014) after residing for many years in Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec, Canada. She brings over a decade of experience working in content production and creative direction in the fields of marketing/communications and education, with a background in writing, visual arts, and media. Prior to coming to NCS, Emilie worked as a college instructor, as well as with Sensate, an interdisciplinary online academic journal in experimental media based at Harvard University/MIT. Previously, Emilie was a wilderness trip leader in Northern Ontario, where she paddled 400 miles of whitewater from Lac Mistassini to the Cree community of Waskaganish on the Hudson Bay. Emilie earned her BA (philosophy) and BFA (fine art) at Queen's University in Kingston, ON; her MA (media studies) at Concordia University in Montreal, QC, and MFA (creative writing) at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. She currently resides in Saranac Lake where she serves as a board member of Ausable Grange Farmers' Markets, BluSeed Studios, and other local organizations. She enjoys yoga, paddling, skiing, playing fiddle, traveling, and exploring with her husband, Patrick, and her dog, Tennessee Blue.
John holds a BS in ornamental horticulture and landscape design, an MS in plant science and molecular genetics, and PhD, ABD in plant science from Cornell University. John has extensive teaching, speaking, and administrative experience in education both public and private. Since 2005 John has directed operations and maintenance efforts, renovation, new capital construction, and sustainability initiatives for NCS/CTT. John and his family first worked at NCS/CTT in 1990 when he headed the garden program. John’s wife, Karen, is the Director of Camp Treetops, and their children, Kelli, Katie, and Tucker, have a long history as campers and counselors and kitchen workers at CTT.
Karen and her family first came to Camp Treetops and North Country School in 1990, drawn by the wild beauty and warm community of the Adirondacks. After several years, graduate school and job opportunities took the family to Ithaca, but summers at Treetops were the constant throughout, with Karen serving in various roles from counselor to program director and camp director since 2003, when the Culpeppers returned to Lake Placid full-time. A graduate of Springfield College, Karen is well versed in environmental, experiential, and special education, as well as recreation and physical therapy. She enjoys hiking, swimming, skiing, and running with family and friends.
Peter Bullock has a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Education from Vermont College of Norwich University. He discovered North Country School and Camp Treetops in 2001 as a delegate of Shelburne Farms. Until 2013, Peter worked at Shelburne Farms serving as a school programs educator, summer youth program director, partner program liaison, safety committee chair, and organizational development fellow. For the past three years, Peter has developed programs at Endeavour Middle School, Vermont Athletic Academy, and Richmond Forest School. He has taught agricultural and natural sciences, math, and social studies, and he has served as a Kindergarten through 8th grade curriculum specialist and middle school cross country coach. Most recently Peter was the interim head of school at the Bellwether School. Peter’s passion for connecting ideas to experience includes guest lecturing at Middlebury College, Champlain College, Community College of Vermont, and the University of Vermont. He enjoys social innovation labs, bird language, science, history, and farm-to-table experiences. He and his wife, Michelle, have two daughters, ages 6 years and 8 months, and a 2-year-old son.
Joshua Faller has a B.A. in history and a certification in ecological horticulture from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a M.A. in sustainable agriculture and food systems from Alaska Pacific University. He spent several years as an outreach worker and harm reduction counselor working to help people in crisis. He then served two terms in AmeriCorps developing tutoring and mentorship programs in low income neighborhoods and supporting dynamic urban agriculture initiatives focused on providing food security for all. Later, Joshua managed educational and community farms in the Northeast and Alaska for a decade, growing sustainable food and teaching others to do the same. Joshua's first child, Jasper, was born in the summer of 2018.