Why BigFish? I like to encourage people to embrace their BigFish nature. As a long time teacher, I have learned to be a guide, resource, mentor, sometimes critic and always an advocate. It has been a privilege to work with teens, to watch them discover and uncover their taIents. I enjoy providing resources, mentorship, and community for teens to grown and learn in different ways. I whole heartedly believe Self-Directed Education is the most authentic & innovative way we can support our teens to become whole & productive adults. Already, numerous people have come forward in the making of BigFish. We are learning from each other. If you are reading this, we probably have something to learn from you. Please consider joining us in our mission. You can send us a message on the "Connect" page.
"Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have." Margaret Meade
My credentials: I hold a Bachelors degree in Psychology from The University of Maryland and a Masters Degree in Literacy & Learning from Walden University. I have taught English, literature and social studies in Maine public schools for many years. I've run theater programs, provided after school wellness programs, worked as adjunct English faculty at York County Community College, and am an instructor at UNH's Summer Writer's Academy.
I love to learn, run long distance, and travel to unusual places. My love of the Spanish language and Spanish cultures, as well as my commitment to marathon training, has taken me all over the World. Traveling has enhanced my life and dramatically influences how I work with young people. Recently I spent 10 days on my own in Cuba where many people thought I was a Spaniard. I love that!I have taught Spanish at the university level, private & public high school, and community college. I have designed and taught courses in Latin American Literature, Spanish Cinema, and Hispanic Theater. I encourage learners to take an active part in their learning. I believe the most valuable times of our lives are the ones that challenge us most. I also believe it is important to question social norms in order to lead a happy and fulfilling life. I often choose to live outside of traditional systems, which has recently led me to BigFish and the of mission Self-Directed Education.
I've been a science & math enthusiast since childhood. This love led me to earn physics and mathematics degrees from the University of Kentucky, and a Ph.D. in Algebraic Geometry from Purdue.
Algebraic Geometry focuses on interpreting algebraic questions as geometric, and geometric questions as algebraic. This approach expands the tools available to solve algebraic and geometric questions. Students can focus on their preference: geometry or algebra, eventually gaining a command of both subjects.
When I'm not teaching, I advise an international group on applications of cryptography. Promoting mathematical thinking is my passion. I look forward to teaching & mentoring our teens at BigFish.
Board of Directors
Ms. Holly Elkins (Mme. President) Holly is the embodiment of a self- directed learner: She is the BigFish Board President, an artist, printmaker, massage therapist, Reiki master, home builder, experimental baker.
Raegan Russell(Secretary) Studied Painting at Boston University where she received her BFA and her MFA. Raegan has exhibited her work widely in the Northeast and in the Virgin Islands. She has lived and worked as a practicing artist and teacher in Seacoast Maine and New Hampshire since 1997.
John Rimetz(Treasurer) Jack has owned and run small businesses in Connecticut over the last 30 years. A few years ago, he made his way to NH to care for a relative. Jack has since become a healthcare provider for seniors in Exeter and Durham. BigFish appreciates his vast knowledge & meticulous nature!
Jim Livermore - A self-taught metal smith. Jim’s work is juried in all shops of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, the prestigious organization that hosts the oldest crafts fair in America. Jim’s work can also be found at fine jewelry shows throughout the Northeast and Midwest.
Peter Berg - Author, Speaker, Holistic Mental Health & Health Coach and Educational Consultant. Empowering Youth, Families, Educators & Schools to meet their health and educational needs while elevating their voice. Author of The Tao of Teenagers: A Guide to Teen Health, Happiness & Empowerment.