All posts by teamcomm


Student Update March 11, 2013

Throughout the semester, we will be featuring regular updates about the student experience here at Island School, through the voices of our own students. These “Student Update” reflections will blend stories and experiences from all areas of student life, from academics to adventures, keeping you all posted on meaningful moments that happen here each day. Enjoy our first Student Update of S.13:

Hi, this is Liz Whitson and I want to let you know what has been happening in this hectic first week for the students at Island School. Ashley just told me that our first week here on Eleuthera will be complete tomorrow (Monday) and I cannot believe it; it feels like I have been here so much longer. From adjusting to the new dorm settings and the rigorous schedule already, it is weird that I have only been here for six days. We have had our introductory night classes to the classes we will be taking at Island School and have jumped right into kayak and SCUBA week! K1 and K2 departed Eleuthera on Friday and are expected to come back today! It will be great to see everyone again since we have had so little time to get to know all the students we will be spending all the rest of our time here. K3 and K4 depart tomorrow and the first SCUBA group will all be certified after 3 days of hard work.

I know for me that SCUBA was a completely new experience. But, I absolutely loved it. Continue reading

Island School at Wellesley High School’s Seminar Day






Fall 2012 alumna, Korinna Garfield, invited The Island School to come speak at a session during Wellesley High School’s Student Congress Seminar Day. Korinna is a member of the high school’s Student Congress that chooses speakers and organizes the entire day of seminars. We were flattered to be included in such a cool event! We were also grateful for the contributions made during the presentation by our Island School alumni at Wellesley High School, Korinna and Christie Ledingham (S’11). Thank you for having us, Wellesley High School!

Gap Program Update #6

What a busy week! This final week of February brought the midpoint of our intensives (see the previous post for background info), the much-anticipated Monster Run-Swim, and various other excitements!

Intensives continued for the gappers – for me that meant continuing on with the shark team, the highlight of which was discovering we sharking gappers are not bad luck (aka we finally got to help with a shark!!!). After a long morning setting up and then watching our line in the marina, tempting a number of sharks with fresh bait from fishermen down the dock, we finally had one large nurse shark bite! Jack, Shaper and I got to help Brendan and Ian take the necessary samples and measurements, plus tag the shark before releasing it again. This was the second-to-last nurse shark needed for the longline physiology study – wahoo!

On Tuesday night, various members of the CEI/IS community gathered for a Coffeehouse. Among a cluster of various talents from baking to putting chickens into tonic immobility (more commonly used – at least here – with sharks), Shaper performed an excerpt from the Vagina Monologues written by her friend, Sasek a poem by the spoken-word poet Andrea Gibson, and Jack sang Neil Young’s Heart of Gold with two of the interns. All around a fun, talent-filled evening!

Wednesday was Foundation Day, celebrated with participation in various activities (I went lobstering, which turned into Shaper and I practicing hauling ourselves into the boat – just getting buff), meetings with our “extended advisories” that we will be a part of (briefly) while the IS students are here, and a barbeque and bonfire on Sunset Beach! Continue reading

Maxeys Visit African Leadership Academy

Issac gives Maxeys tour of library
Maxeys at lunch with students from ALA

The Island School is building a bridge to Africa through a partnership with African Leadership Academy (ALA). The Academy, located outside of Johannesburg South Africa, is a world-class, pan-African secondary institution that aims to educate and develop outstanding students into principled, ethical leaders for Africa.

Chris and Pam and daughters, Tyler and Tegan, visited ALA on Saturday, toured the campus and gave a presentation for students and faculty. ALA students played a major role in our Leadership in Education conference back in Spring 2011 and our first ALA student joined us this past summer from Ethiopia. There is a shared Island School-ALA mission that focuses on giving students space to solve real-world problems and learn how to be successful agents for positive change in the world.

We have to thank our friends at Noble and Greenough, Ben and Sarah Snyder, Ernie and Kim Parizeau and Michael Denning for making this introduction.

Island School Parent Reception

On Friday, March 1, Ernie and Kim Parizeau (parents of F’03, S’06, and S’10) opened up their home in Wellesley, MA to host an Island School Parent Reception. The reception featured Middlebury College professor, and alumni parent, Jessica Holmes (parent of F’12) speaking about a summer entrepreneurship course Middlebury College is offering in Lake Tahoe called MiddCORE. MiddCORE is for highly motivated college students (or recent graduates) who have a desire to build leadership and communication skills, and develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Students should be comfortable in collaborative settings and be prepared for forty hours a week of impact-focused, project-based learning.

It was an incredibly successful event with over 60 alumni parents and friends of The Island School or Middlebury College in attendance. We would like to extend a huge thank you to the Parizeaus for hosting everyone in their beautiful home! Visit MiddCORE’s website for more information.

Alumni Spotlight: Justin Drazin (F’05)!

Island School alumnus of Fall 2005, Justin Drazin, recently published his first children’s book called “Albert and the Amazing Pillow Monsters”.

On why he wanted to begin writing children’s books, Justin said that, “many nights growing up, I would lay awake in my bed, scared of the prospect of a dark room and the unknowns that came with an irrational, yet very real fear. The sounds and shadows that appeared when the lights went out were enough to completely eliminate the usual comforts of home. One night, I was introduced to a story that talked about imagination and the endless possibilities that occur in dreams. Since then, I have been passionate about creative writing and helping children work through their own fear of the dark. “Albert and the Amazing Pillow Monsters” is my way of passing on the idea that ‘Imagination is the brightest nightlight’ and that bedtime should not be a time of fear, but rather a time of fun.”

His first children’s book can be found in eBook at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Congratulations, Justin! We look forward to your future publications!

Maxey Freedives with William & Brittany Trubridge

Chris Maxey had the opportunity to join a freediving course at Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island, The Bahamas taught by the world record holder William Trubridge. The Island School is excited to have William and Brittany Trubridge return later this year to help advance our freediving curriculum at Cape Eluethera. We hope to work with the Trubridges to possibly open a course in December 2013–stay tuned!

Gap Program Update #5

It’s week five of our time here on Eleuthera, and we started off the past seven days by diving head first into each of our intensive projects. Just a little background before I continue: for the rest of our time here at CEI, each of us gets to help out on various projects going on at the institute. Each gap year student will be doing something different for their last three weeks, depending on what projects interest them the most.

I spent the week working with the wonderful shark team here at CEI. Currently, they are doing a longline behavioral study, seeing how sharks act once they are hooked on a longline, and how this affects their blood counts. Two other gappers, along with myself, got to go out and help set and check the longline for sharks. As of now, we have yet to see a shark, and we are slowly becoming convinced that we have cursed the entire team. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that this coming week will bring new results!

Other than intensives, we completed two more dives Continue reading