Herring Gut Learning Center Staff

Herring Gut Learning Center - KATHY BARKER
KATHY BARKER

Executive Director

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After 39 years spent in public, private and state level education systems, Kathy Barker (she/her) and her husband Bob retired to Spruce Head Maine. Not ready to give up her passion for teaching and learning, Kathy spent 18 months looking for a way to meaningfully contribute to an educational endeavor in her new community. Then she “met” Herring Gut Learning Center. She was immediately drawn to the creative and important mission of the center as well as the opportunity to be part of a growing outreach to impact as many Maine students as possible.

Kathy brings her experience as teacher of children, professor/teacher for adults, and in management/leadership. She has served as principal, director of services, and a county/state educational leader. She has also established international educational programs for students with disabilities and faced the challenges and rewards of running a non-profit school.

Kathy was honored with the Beekman Award of Leadership in Michigan for her persistent and relentless quest for high quality instruction for all students of all abilities. Her greatest satisfaction continues to come from watching the success and accomplishments of students and faculty.

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SALLY BYRNE CRUSAN

Coordinator of Development and Marketing

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Sally is originally from the Boston area and has been living in Port Clyde full-time since 2016 with her husband Ron. Sally is a lifestyle enthusiast and enjoys all that Port Clyde and mid-coast Maine has to offer. Her background includes providing administrative support in a variety of educational and non-profit settings. Additionally, she has extensive experience in the fields of development, relationship building and special event planning. Sally was a founding board member of the Rowan County Community Care Clinic, President of the Framingham Creative Arts Council and has volunteered countless hours for a variety of non-profit and community organizations. With a passion for lifelong learning, Sally is excited to bring her networking and development skills and experience to Herring Gut Learning Center.

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GEORGIE BURRUSS

Coordinator of Educational Programs

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Georgie grew up in Massachusetts where she spent summers sailing on Farm Pond and exploring the rocky coast of Cape Ann. While she attended Tufts University, earning her Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Environmental Studies, she traveled to The Bahamas and Costa Rica to conduct research in both terrestrial and marine systems. After finishing her undergraduate degree, Georgie moved to The Bahamas to work at the Cape Eleuthera Institute, working in marine research, education, and outreach. During this time, Georgie studied spawning migrations of bonefish, a popular catch-and-release fishing target. In 2018, she earned her Master’s of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University; her research centered on using acoustic telemetry to track bonefish migrations around the island of Eleuthera to locate reproductive habitat. During her time at MSU, Georgie gained more teaching experience in biology and led a study abroad program to the Cape Eleuthera Institute. In 2018, Georgie moved back to New England and joined the Herring Gut Learning Center team as an educator. She is able to draw on her experience of teaching research classes to high school students at the Island School and teaching introductory and marine biology to MSU undergraduate students. Georgie also serves on the Board of Directors for the Friends of Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge. In her free time, Georgie enjoys exploring midcoast Maine with her dog, Cooper, and tending to her collection of over 100 houseplants.

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PATRICK BURNHAM

Marine Science and Aquaculture Educator

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Patrick returns to his Maine roots after spending several years on the west coast.  He is a graduate of the University of New England with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science.  His experience includes teaching science at a private school in Redlands, CA where he developed and taught STEM curriculum compliant with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) using Discovery Education program resources to 4th through 8th grade as the only science teacher in the school.  He was prior Assistant Program Director at Catalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI) in Fox Landing, Catalina Island, CA.  During his tenure at CIMI he led students on educational snorkels, kayaks, hikes, and tide pool excursions. He taught classes on marine mammals, deep-sea, fisheries, marine debris, oceanography, plankton, islands ecology, and astronomy as well as labs on fish, sharks, and invertebrates, and algae using touch tank organisms and dissections. Patrick aims to motivate all of his students through their challenges, even if that challenge is a s simple as putting on a wetsuit and making a jump into cold, dark water for a night snorkel.  He is skilled in accommodating a variety of learning styles, physical, mental, and behavioral disabilities, and experience levels.  At CIMI is was also an aquarist, auspice diver and company captain.  He was responsible for the collection and care of aquarium and touch tank organisms. Patrick teaches primarily using hands-on, immersive approaches that follow the fives E’s: engage, explore, explain, elaborate , and evaluate.  His lessons often include interactive labs that enforce an understanding of the scientific method. He has skillfully tailored his teaching style to accommodate our current global situation, transitional teaching to online platforms.

National Institute for STEM Education Micro-certification in “Establishing the Virtual Classroom” recognized Patrick in August of 2020 and he was awarded a “Bringing STEM to Life” Grant from Azusa Pacific University in March 2019.  Patrick is certified as a rescue diver and is experienced in waterfront lifeguard skills, first aid, CPR, AED and oxygen administration through the American Red Cross.  Patrick is excited to be back in Maine and is excited to explore the St. George peninsula.