Teacher Spotlight: Elementary I

Monday, January 14, 2019

Meet the Teachers of Elementary I: Patuxet and Mattakeesett Classrooms

Katie and Mark!

The ELI classrooms of Bay Farm provide a Montessori learning environment where students are supported in their emerging abilities to read and write, understand, and manipulate mathematical concepts and materials, the physical and natural sciences, history and geography, and world cultures. We love our ELI Teachers, Katie and Mark -- They spend the day moving through the room, giving lessons, answering questions, and generally making sure that each child is actively engaged and making progress. Learn a bit more about Katie and Mark below! 

Katie Byrne: Lead Teacher of Mattakeessett

Katie graduated from the University of Colorado and CMTE/NY (Center for Montessori Teacher Education). She also completed her Orton-Gillingham practicum at Children's Carroll School. Before becoming a full time teacher, Katie worked at the US Forest Service and for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR.

5 Fun Facts You May Not Know About Katie:
1. She has visited every continent except for Antarctica (and she is dying to go to Antarctica!) She LOVES to travel.
2. She has a cat with 24 toes!
3. She loves going to the beach, even in the winter
4. Katie has been a teacher of swimming, skiing, tree planting, English, life skills, and knitting (probably more).
5. She loves learning and finding something new to learn about every day.

Katie’s Favorite Thing About Working at Bay Farm:
“The community - My colleagues, the students and their families.”

Mark Benoit: Lead Teacher of Patuxet

After High School, Mark joined the Air Force and was a member for four years (he was at Edwards AFB when the shuttle first landed.) He traveled for about eight years, working in Europe, living off the land in Hawaii, and working on a Quaker farm. He spent ten years helping to raise his sister's three children while he attended schools. Some of which included:
- National Outdoor Leadership School in Wyoming
- Danforth Museum of Art
- Bridgewater State University, Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education, Anthropology, and Earth Science
- Mark has also been a massage therapist for over 25 years.

Mark has taught environmental education for the Appalachian Mountain Club, Audubon Society and has been at Bay Farm for over 20 years! 

5 Fun Facts You May Not Know About Mark:
1. From 1st to 8th grade, Mark walked to school a mile and a half every day with siblings and classmates. They also walked home for lunch and back each day. 
2. He once spent a spooky, rainy night sleeping alone inside the Stonehenge ring before it was fenced off. 
3. His family loves to bike tour often carrying their own supplies and camping for weeks.
4. His hair began turning gray in 8th grade.
5. He loves playing guitar and is trying to teach himself the piano.

Mark’s Favorite Thing About Working at Bay Farm:
“Always learning something new.”  

A great way to learn more about our Elementary Program is to visit the classroom to see the students and teachers in action. If you would like to schedule a tour, please contact Britta Moran at BrittaM@bfarm.org