Diane Murphy

Why BigFish? I like to encourage people to embrace their BigFish nature. We're all "bigfish" in our own minds. 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 and watch them discover and uncover their taIents. I believe Self-Directed Education is the most authentic & innovative way we can support our teens to become whole & productive adults.  Many talented & resourceful people have joined our mission to provide this much needed alternative for kids in our area. We learn from each other. If you are reading this, we probably have something to learn from you. Please consider joining 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 taught English, literature and social studies in Maine public schools for 30 years. I ran theater programs, provided after school wellness programs, worked as adjunct English faculty at York County Community College, and taught creative writing  at The Writer's Academy of UNH. 

BigFish Learning Community provides support for teens to leave conventional school and build an education of their own based on personal interests, skills and passions. 

Self-Directed Education happens when teens have the time, space, and flexibility to create their own lives.

Who? Together, with a large group of volunteers and college students, we are a diverse group of caring individuals with a wide variety of skills and interests to share. Our board of directors and advisors come from a variety of backgrounds and share our deep interest in helping teens realize their goals through self-directed learning. 

What? Mentorship, classes, tutorials, apprenticeships, community, adventure, and more! We provide a host of academic, non-academic and social supports to make the idea of leaving the traditional path and taking control of your own education a realistic option.



Darren Tapp

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.
  • 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.
  • Lisa McGunnigle - Lisa is a lawyer & nurse practitioner bringing experience & wisdom to our team.