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College of the Atlantic's Educational Studies Program celebrates 25 years

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COA Alumna Amy Hoffmaster COA Alumna Amy Hoffmaster

BAR HARBOR - College of the Atlantic's Educational Studies Program is celebrating its 25th year of graduating state-certified educators this year. To commemorate, the college is hosting a series of workshops and panel discussions on education in Maine on Oct. 6 and 7.

Students at COA have studied education since 1972, when the college began; in 1987, under the leadership of Peter Blaze Corcoran, the Maine Department of Education approved COA's teacher certification program. Since then, alumni of the program have held positions as classroom teachers in private and public schools in the United States and overseas, as principals and as leaders of educational programs in national parks, farms, community gardens, museums and nature centers, in addition to many other occupations.

Several of these educators are returning to participate in the anniversary celebration. The panels feature alumni, as well as Etta Kralovec, EdD, a former director of the program. From 2:30 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 6, the college holds its Symposium on Human Ecology and Education in Gates Community Center. Panelists will be Kralovec, John Tapper '83, PhD, a member of the elementary education faculty at University of Hartford; Todd West '00, Maine's Deer Isle-Stonington High School principal; Kristen Tubman '05, Spanish Department chair at Boys Latin School of Maryland; and Amy Hoffmaster '06, program design manager at Citizens Schools.

Following that will be three concurrent workshops on education, lasting from 4:15 to 5:45 p.m. The session 'Integrating Education for Sustainability into the Middle School Curriculum' investigates education for sustainability as both essential information and a model for inquiry-based teaching. Presenters are James Cole '89, assistant principal at the Manhattan Middle School for Scientific Inquiry in New York City and sculptor, printmaker, and educator Dina Petrillo '89 who runs the Post Office Studio Workshop in Belfast.

A second offering, 'Human Ecologists as First Teachers: Parenting and Homeschooling,' presents reflections by Lelania Avila '92, Emily Bracale '90, and Lilea Simis '90. They lead a discussion on their own preparation for parenting and homeschooling, and the role of parents as educators making choices regarding children's schooling.

The final concurrent session is 'Wholeistic Education,' by Cerissa Desrosiers '00, a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Antioch University, New England. She will discuss this method, which she describes as 'an innovative, values-based, interdisciplinary pro-social model,' that can be both proactive strategy for maintaining health and a treatment during times of distress.

The symposium closes on Sunday, Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. to noon, with Bonnie Tai, EdD, leading a discussion framed by Rich Borden, PhD, COA's Rachel Carson Chair in Human Ecology, on education might look like in another 25 years, 2037. This will be in COA's Educational Studies Center in Turrets.

Now under the leadership of Tai, COA's Educational Studies Program continues to connect beginning teachers with seasoned educators and youth in local schools, as well as afterschool and early childhood programs.

The public is invited. For details, contact Dianne Clendaniel at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (207) 801-5624.

College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning human ecology that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more, visit

Last modified on Wednesday, 03 October 2012 14:08


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