Category Archives: Events

New England Road Trip: The Island School Admissions Team is in Full Swing of Travel Season

Last week our admissions team, Taylor Hoffman (SP‘06), Maggie Nichols (F‘09), and Glenn Hartman-Mattson (Faculty‘14-15), visited high schools and colleges throughout New England! We spoke with prospective students and caught up with alumni throughout Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.


We went to Burr and Burton Academy and their Mountain Campus where we found a faculty alumnus from some of the first semesters on Eleuthera. Ben Freeman is now the Director of BBA’s Mountain Campus, a semester program focused on environmental education and sustainable living.

Ben Freeman and Taylor
Ben Freeman and Taylor


We then found a couple alums to have lunch with at Middlebury College!

Harrison Rohrer (F '13), Glenn, and Will Cembalest (SP '14)
Harrison Rohrer (F ’13), Glenn, and Will Cembalest (SP ’14)


For dinner we found Libby Schwab (F ‘14), Emily Peters (F ‘11), and Kyle Titsworth (SP ‘12) in Burlington, VT. All students at UVM, we loved talking with them so much that we didn’t have time to get a photo!


Onto to New Hampshire! We visited Hanover High School, Thetford Academy, and Kimball Union Academy during the day.

Thetford Academy:  Clara Hoffman (F ‘15), Taylor, and Kia O'Connor (F’15)
Thetford Academy:  Clara Hoffman (F ‘15), Taylor, and Kai O’Connor (F’15)

We had dinner at Molly’s in Hanover with some of our alums at Dartmouth and living in Hanover!

Starting from the left back row: Amelia Lubrano (SU ‘ 15), Ruby Spitz (SP’ 16), Maggie, Maisie MacMillen (F ‘15), Avery Vanacore (SP’14), Noelle Henderson (SP ‘15), Taylor, and Glenn
Starting from the left back row: Amelia Lubrano (SU ‘ 15), Ruby Spitz (SP’ 16), Maggie, Maisie MacMillen (F ‘15), Avery Vanacore (SP’14), Noelle Henderson (SP ‘15), Taylor, and Glenn



A visit to The Mountain School! We met up with Kareen Obydol-Alexandre, a teacher who attended the Summer 2016 Teachers Conference.

Kareen Obydol-Alexandre and Taylor
Kareen Obydol-Alexandre and Taylor 


Taylor and Glenn made some new lady friends
Taylor and Glenn made some new lady friends


That night we met up with a couple of our alums at Bates College!

Glenn, Sam Hastings (F’12), Jake Atwood (SP’14), and Taylor (Sam’s Advisor while at IS)
Glenn, Sam Hastings (F’12), Jake Atwood (SP’14), and Taylor (Sam’s Advisor while at IS)



Taylor drove up to Camden Hills High School and visited our partners at Hurricane Island Outward Bound. Glenn visited Freeport High School and Yarmouth High School. That night we had a small gathering of prospective students and alumni families in Falmouth, ME!

Glenn and her advisee, Jessie Gray (SP’15), in Falmouth!
Glenn and her advisee, Jessie Gray (SP’15), in Falmouth!



We drove up to Colby College for a cup of coffee with our last group of alumni!

Chase Goldston (SU ‘13), Hannah Piersiak (SP ‘12), Melinda Edie (F ‘14), Glenn, Taylor, Eleonor Bauwens (SU ‘15)
Chase Goldston (SU ‘13), Hannah Piersiak (SP ‘12), Melinda Edie (F ‘14), Glenn, Taylor, Eleonor Bauwens (SU ‘15)


Overall the admissions team connected with amazing alumni and prospective students all of New England and the trip was a giant success. But the highlight of the week was Maggie Nichols finding a camel in the middle of Vermont!! Even camels can try to live better in a (foreign) place.

Maggie and the leading expert camel in maple syrup production
Maggie and the leading expert camel in maple syrup production








Maxey in New England

Alumni at the Robinson's home (Fall 2012 Alumni Family) in Middlebury, VT
Alumni at the Robinson’s home (Fall 2012 Alumni Family) in Middlebury, VT

Chris Maxey and Cape Eleuthera Foundation Chairman, Ernie Parizeau, traveled to Hanover, New Hampshire and Middlebury, Vermont earlier this week. Alumni and families gathered to share stories and reminisce about their time on Eleuthera. The events were filled with pizza, laughter, and memories of the cape. Chris and Ernie are now headed to Boston for a board meeting and an Admissions Reception this weekend!

Alumni at Everything But Anchovies in Hanover, NH
Alumni at Everything But Anchovies in Hanover, NH

Summer Expeditionary Program ready to set sail!


We at the Island School are pleased to announce, in partnership with Hurricane Island Outward Bound, the first Expeditionary Summer Term. The program takes the form of a 19-day sailing trip, which includes time camping, conducting research and a traditional Island School solo experience. The expedition will depart from The Island School campus with experienced HIOBS guides and will spend 19 days navigating across the Exuma sound where the boat itself will serve as a floating, living classroom. Students will spend their time developing their sailing abilities as well as learning to understand weather, tidal and navigational skills.


The Island School is just finishing up its second semester of 8-day sailing expeditions with all students returning to campus tomorrow (May 7th). Campus will be filled with exciting stories of what they saw and experienced on the boat, in the Exumas, and during their solos aboard the Avelinda and Eliza Sue. The Island School and Hurricane Island Outward Bound are excited to begin the Expeditionary Summer Term and look forward to welcoming the first group of students in just over a month!


Welcome directors!

Departing faculty members Emma Alexander and Peter Zdrojewski  standing with 10 year veterans Merlene Munnings, Chris Maxey, Elidieu Joseph, and Christian Henry
Departing faculty members Emma Alexander and Peter Zdrojewski standing with 10 year veterans Merlene Munnings, Chris Maxey, Elidieu Joseph, and Christian Henry

Our board of directors leadership team gathered on Eleuthera this weekend to see the programs in action, and honor the contributions of faculty, board members, and alumni. Thank you to all of the directors who help us stay on track and growing – our shared success and future rests with you! Congratulations to all of the award recipients – we are honored to display your names in Hallig House.  

Alum Peter Meijer recently was awarded the Maxey Cacique Alumni Award, joining fellow board members Greg Henkes and Francesca Forrestal
Alum Peter Meijer recently was awarded the Maxey Cacique Alumni Award, joining fellow board members Greg Henkes and Francesca Forrestal

Summer Term: BANANAS about the swim test

As we headed into the first few days of Summer Term many of us weren’t sure what to expect. However, now that we have spent a bit of time here we have learned to expect the unexpected. Through many sessions of getting to know the island, the people, and what this overall experience will bring we students have started to settle in and become a community. Everyone here at the Island School comes from different places and backgrounds, but we all seem to have common connections and have already begun to build strong relationships with one another.

The first task we students had to complete individually and as a whole was our Swim Test at Triangle Cut right on campus. Not only is the Swim Test required for our Scuba Certification but also it is necessary if we want to explore the campus and the rest of the island. The test begun with Liz yelling “BANANAS!” which is synonymous here with “GO!”. We all hopped in (with a buddy of course) and began the test. Faculty lined the course cheering us on throughout the test keeping our spirits high and our heads above water. While some students finished what seemed like instantaneously others were slow and steady and at the end of the day everyone  passed! No matter where you were in the final lineup when you stepped out of the water you received an enthusiastic congratulations and a high five from each faculty member. Then came the second part of the test. We were to tread water for 10 minutes. Sounds simple enough, right? Little did we know we were to tread water inhabited by jellyfish for 10 minutes. 50 students kicking in water trying to keep our bodies afloat lead to pretty angry jellyfish who happened to be resting on the floor of Triangle Cut. The stings were mild yet constant and we all fought through them for the entirety of the test. Through getting to know one another, singing, dancing even, and most of all trying to get our minds off of the jellyfish we bonded as a whole. Don’t worry, we all made it out alive. Yes, with a few stings, but also closer as a community.

With each passing day our mental and physical limits are challenged, our smiles are brighter, and our hearts fuller. We know already, just in the few days we have been here, that this will be one unforgettable summer leaving us with friends and memories that will last a lifetime.


Your first Caciques,

Maggie and Matthew

CEI’s Anderson-Cabot Hall for Graduate Studies Opens to Create More Opportunities for Bahamians in Research

On Friday June 5th, Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI) hosted a ribbon cutting on their newest building, Anderson-Cabot Hall for Graduate Studies.  The grand opening was held during the SEA Change Youth Summit hosted by The Island School in partnership with 5Gyres and Jack Johnson.  Government officials, staff, students, and school supporters gathered to celebrate with an official ribbon cutting ceremony which featured speakers involved in the building’s creation, as well as its future. Chris Maxey, co-founder of The Island School, began the event by celebrating the growth of the organization and introduced Aaron Shultz, Director of Cape Eleuthera Institute.


Shultz explained the importance of Anderson-Cabot Hall not only to CEI’s campus, but also to the island of Eleuthera and the greater Bahamas. “CEI is a major hub for research, education, and outreach.  Our dorms serve over 1000 local and international students annually. Hallig House hosts professors, government officials, and short-course leaders.  The missing link has been a place for graduate students and interns to live and work on campus.  The Anderson-Cabot Hall will be the hub for the best and brightest local Bahamian and international graduate students in the Greater Caribbean Region.“

Shultz then introduced Alexio Brown, College of the Bahamas graduate, CEI Research Assistant and former BESS student at The Island School. Brown spoke about the opportunities that this building now opens up for Bahamian students like himself who aspire to pursue a career in the marine sciences. “Anderson-Cabot Halls allows me the opportunity to stay in The Bahamas and make a difference in the future of my country. There aren’t many places that offer this type of opportunity for young Bahamians in science like me.” As Shultz shared in his remarks, “Anderson-Cabot Hall is the first higher education facility built to support local and international graduate students in The Bahamas.”

In attendance was long-time supporter of the Cape Eleuthera Island School, John Dunagan, who dedicated the building to John “Giant” Norris Carey, builder and mentor. Ed Anderson and Linda Cabot, the primary financial contributors and for whom the building is named after, were present to cut the ribbon on the building and spoke to honor its opening.


As two-time Island School parents, The Anderson-Cabots told the crowd their motivation for supporting CEI’s newest building project. “Both our daughters Gigi (S’11) and Noelle (S’13) attended The Island School and had transformative experiences, that have been the cornerstones of their education. They returned home from the Cape as empowered young women; aware, excited and skilled to make an impact in their worlds,” shared Cabot. This building as a priority for Ed Anderson and Linda Cabot so that the Cape Eleuthera Institute could expand to reach more graduate students and eventually become, as Ed Anderson said, “the Wood’s Hole of the Caribbean.”


The opening concluded with remarks from Minister of Education, the Honorable Jermone Fizgerald and a luncheon honoring special guests, as well as the Carey Construction crew who built the Hall.

The Maxeys Make it to Bermuda!

Following the SEA Change Youth Summit held at The Island School June 5-7, Chris & Pam Maxey and their crew made up of Brittney Maxey, Mike Cortina (CSD sustainability teacher and F’02 alumnus), Kelly Duggan (S’11), Sam Kosoff (former IS teacher and Lawrenceville Dir. of Sustainability) and Georgie Burruss (CEI researcher) sailed from Cape Eleuthera, The Bahamas to Bermuda on their boat, Kokomo, sailing alongside 5 Gyres and Jack Johnson, who were aboard The Mystic.  Also on board the Mystic for the leg from Eleuthera to Bermuda was Island School alumna, Aly Boyce (F’10) and now her brother, IS alumnus James Boyce (F’12), will board the Mystic for the next leg.

Kokomo and Mystic left the Cape Eleuthera Resort & Marina in the afternoon of Tuesday June 9th and arrived in Bermuda coastal waters in the early morning of Sunday June 14th. Along the way, both the Kokomo and the Mystic conducted citizen science: trawling for plastic pollution in the ocean.

Spring 2011 Island School alumna, Kelly Duggan (right) who was also aboard the Kokomo with the Maxeys, helps CEI researcher, Georgie Burruss (left) set up the first trawl.

Upon arrival in Bermuda, the sailboat caravan was welcomed by the educational officer at Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), JP Skinner who lives in nearby Paget Parish. Last night, they had the opportunity to visit BIOS and check out the amazing work going on there. The rest of their time on Bermuda has been spent exploring the town of St. Georges and the nearby beaches with the team aboard the Mystic.

Tomorrow, the Kokomo and the Mystic embark on the next left of their trip, bound for the east coast of the United States. They will be sailing together for the first few days until the Mystic splits to make its way towards New York City and the Kokomo heads towards the Chesapeake Bay. We wish all the sailors a safe passage and calm seas!

James Boyce (F'12), Chris Maxey, Pam Maxey, Aly Boyce (F'10), Jack Johnson, Cha Boyce, Britt Maxey, Kristal Ambrose, Frank Boyce
James Boyce (F’12), Chris Maxey, Pam Maxey, Aly Boyce (F’10), Jack Johnson, Cha Boyce, Britt Maxey, Kristal Ambrose, Frank Boyce

Island School Hosts an International Youth Summit with Musician, Jack Johnson and 5 Gyres

This past weekend The Island School hosted the SEA Change Youth Summit with musician, Jack Johnson and 5 Gyres to raise awareness about the impacts of plastic pollution in the ocean and to inspire young students to be advocates for change. 34 Students gathered from Abaco, Grand Bahama, New Providence and Eleuthera as well as a school group out of New York and another student from Jamaica.

Students, chaperones and facilitators of the summit gather before the beach clean up.

As part of the kick-off for the weekend on Friday June 5th, Jack Johnson took part in a designation ceremony to become a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The designation was timely as last Friday marked World Environment Day, a UN flagship event encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment, celebrated in over 100 countries.

Musician Jack Johnson plays a few songs at the UNEP Designation where he was recognized as a Goodwill Ambassador.

Included in the kickoff to the festivities hosted on The Island School’s campus were remarks from Chris Maxey, founder of The Cape Eleuthera Island School, Anna Cummins and Marcus Eriksen, founders of the 5 Gyres Institute and Celine Cousteau, film maker, environmentalist and daughter of ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau and the granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau. Also in the line up was Kristal Ambrose, founder of Bahamas Plastic Movement and Minister of Education, Science and Technology, The Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald.

Summit attendees inspect some of the plastics found during the beach clean up.

The first day of the Summit centered around raising awareness on the issue of plastic pollution so that the students could create their own solutions based on the stories and information they’d received. In the afternoon students, facilitators, Jack Johnson and visiting UNEP representative, Naysan Sahba visited a local beach to do a clean-up lead by Kristal Ambrose. The day finished with a Junkanoo, cultural activity lead by Art teacher and Space to Create founder, Will Simmons in which Summit attendees, Island School students and Jack Johnson created original songs about plastic pollution to the Junkanoo beat provided by the visiting South Eleutheran students from Preston H. Albury High School.

Summit attendees, 5 Gyres, and Jack Johnson celebrate World Environment Day on June 5 and show off all of the beach plastic they gathered.

The second day began with a workshop on how to reduce single-use disposable plastics in the household. Students were given tips and tools on how to make their own toothpaste and steer away from buying highly packaged products and personal care products containing plastic micro-beads. After lunch, David Stover, co-founder of Bureo Skateboards told his story of making skateboards from fish netting found in the ocean and beaches of Chile. The students then sifted through their findings from Friday’s clean-up to create a symbolic SEA Change eye sculpture out of plastics with Dianna Cohen, founder of Plastic Pollution Coalition. The sculpture was then showcased at the Deep Creek Homecoming where Summit attendees enjoyed a plastic free event thanks to a donation by World Centric for all food packaging. Recover also pitched in with a donation of t-shirts for the homecoming made from recycled plastic bottles.

Students at the summit make all-natural toothpaste.

The last day of the Summit was spent teaching the students how to tell and share their own stories and to create their own solutions. Facilitators and visiting activists, scientists and artists participated in group discussions on how each student could make a change in their home, on their island and in their country. The day ended in a closing ceremony with music by local band, The Rum Runners, as well as Jack Johnson, who performed alongside local and visiting musicians and even played a tune with two Island School students.

Using the beach plastic the the students found during the beach clean up, they created a symbolic SEA Change eye sculpture with Dianna Cohen, founder of Plastic Pollution Coalition. The sculpture was then showcased at the Deep Creek Homecoming.

Summit organizer, The Island School’s Brittney Maxey, was blown away by the energy coming from the young students. “This is a historical event not only for us at The Island School and the island of Eleuthera, but also for The Bahamas and other island nations as a whole. We are sending these motivated young people back out into the world equipped with the tools to make a difference in their communities. The Island School’s mission is leadership affecting change and this weekend embodied this belief not only for the students but for the island of Eleuthera. We are a small place making big change.”

Thank you to event supporters: Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, AML Foods, Cape Eleuthera Resort & Marina, Recover, World Centric, From the Bow Seat, Bahamas Waste Limited, Cable Bahamas, One Eleuthera, The Muggia Family and Kim & Floyd Wilson.

IS and CEI Hosting 2015 Youth Action Island Summit June 5-7

The Island School and Cape Eleuthera Institute, in partnership with 5Gyres, musician Jack Johnson and All At Once, are excited to host the Youth Action Island Summit on our Cape Eleuthera campus this June 5-7, 2015. We have invited Bahamian students from Eleuthera and neighboring islands to explore and generate solutions to plastic pollution for island nations around the world alongside activists, artists, scientists and educators.


Like many island nations, the once pristine blue-water beaches of The Bahamas have been overrun by plastic pollution. Found on the border of the North Atlantic gyres, The Bahamas are not just forced to deal with their own plastic waste, they also serve as a collection site for the worldwide plastic waste that has been carelessly washed away to sea. We aim to provide the students with tools that will empower them to find and give life to solutions for their islands and islands around the world.

To learn more about the weekend, visit our website here.

Boys Hope Girls Hope Recognizes Island School’s Chris Maxey with Distinguished Global Service Award

Simi Sonubi (F'14) introduces Chris Maxey who received the Distinguished Global Service Award from BHGHNY.
Simi Sonubi (F’14) introduces Chris Maxey who received the Distinguished Global Service Award from BHGHNY.

On May 7th, 2015, over a record breaking crowd of 875 people gathered at Cipriani Wall Street for Boys Hope Girls Hope New York’s (BHGHNY) annual Vision of Hope Awards Dinner. Introduced by Fall 2014 Island School alumna and current BHGHNY student, Simi Sonubi, Island School Founder, Chris Maxey was honored for the incredible work he has done through The Island School’s City Bridge Program.

BHGHNY Maxey Award Speech

Maxey has created an international platform where year after year students and professionals from all over the world live and work hand in hand with locals to build a green community that focuses on marine and ecology studies, sustainable development initiatives, and  “fosters the development of responsible, caring, global citizens”. The Distinguished Global Service Award was inaugurated in 2012. The past three recipients are Barbara Chase, Former Head of School of Phillips Andover Academy, Charles Deacon, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions of Georgetown University and Bradford Gioia, Headmaster of Montgomery Bell Academy.

Also honored was Doug Kimmelman, Founder and CEO of Energy Capital Partners with the Vision of Hope Award. Super Bowl-winning New York Giants Hall of Famer Michael Strahan received this year’s Wellington T. Mara Award. In addition, BHGHNY student Adrian Roque-Silvas received the Mary Lanning Service Leadership Award.  Also in attendance was distinguished guest John Mara, the co-owner of the New York Giants.

The strong relationship between The Island School and BHGHNY continues with two students attending the semester program next academic year with full scholarships.

About Boys Hope Girls Hope New York

Founded in 1979, BHGHNY aims to serve low-income-first-generation-college-bound-students who are most in need and who have the demonstrated ability to excel in a demanding academic setting.  As the region’s only urban boarding program, BHGHNY is at the vanguard of youth development and its overall efficacy and approach continue to set new standards in student services and support. Over the years, our scholars have enjoyed high school retention/graduation and college placement rates of over 85% and hundreds of our graduates have gone on to enjoy productive lives as contributing members of their communities.