Otter teachers are mentors and coaches who help students balance their need for support with their need for independent exploration. The foundation of teaching the otters is forming open, candid, and playful relationships. 6/7 teachers enjoy this stage of adolescence and the process of showing students the joys, struggles and responsibilities that come with entering the world of adolescence.
6/7 Team - Human Ecology & Spanish
Maria was born and raised in the greater Seattle area. She has worn many hats since then from Natural History Tour Guide in Denali National Park to Wellness Center Coordinator for the San Francisco Unified School District. She double majored in Spanish and Anthropology at Western Washington University and played on the Women’s Lacrosse team. After some exploratory years in Alaska and Crested Butte, CO, Maria set off to earn a master’s degree in Women’s and Children’s Health from Boston University. Maria believes that the many benefits of learning a second language are clear and has adopted the OWL (Organic World Language) method. She has taken her classes beyond the textbooks and worksheets to an atmosphere where each student is authentically engaged in language acquisition through hands-on, interactive activities. Maria enjoys many of the amazing outdoor activities that a mountain lifestyle provides as well as gardening, reading, playing the fiddle, yoga, dancing, and her greatest love is her family. Her husband is a creative Architectural Designer and they have two curious, fun-loving kids who are constantly teaching them important life lessons.
6/7 Team - Human Ecology & Writing
As a local potato, Lena was raised in the Wood River Valley and graduated from The Sage School. After graduating, she spent six months in India, lived in Central California for almost two years, and then moved to Prescott, AZ, to pursue her master’s and bachelor’s degree at Prescott College. As an undergrad, she majored in Cultural and Regional Studies and minored in Outdoor Education. Her master’s degree is in Social Justice and Community Organizing. In this program she had the opportunity to work with Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, raising awareness around educational disparities and the housing crisis in the Los Angeles area. She later worked with Sonoran Prevention Works, researching impacts of the opioid crisis in and around Prescott. She had the opportunity to work with multiple organizations on the United States-Mexico border as well as co-created and was the logistics coordinator for Praxis Youth Organizing Conference in Tucson, AZ. Her thesis focused on global philanthropy and the effects of capitalism and colonialism on geography. She is passionate about community engagement, youth organizing, justice for marginalized groups, and imagining and co-creating a world we want to live in. Lena is happy to be invited back to The Sage School and eager to share with students and colleagues what she has learned about racism, wealth and income inequalities, the relationship between the global north and the global south, the impacts of our current global economic system, and much, much more.
6/7 Team - Human Ecology & Mathematics
Originally from Colorado, Kaleb’s wandering foot and passion for chasing rivers brought him to central Idaho where he now guides on the Main and Middle Fork of the Salmon River. His passion for water and sense of adventure has led him to many places. After earning a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado he travelled to Laos with Engineers Without Borders. Kaleb has spent the last 6 summers guiding rivers in Colorado, Arizona, Washington, and now Idaho. He is always excited to share his knowledge of the natural world with students, and has flourished in an array of non-traditional outdoor classrooms. His curiosity is endless and contagious. Developing genuine unique relationships with each student is at the core of his teaching philosophy. He is excited to continue setting roots down in the Wood River Valley and join the Sage School community.