Mathematics, Science, & Computer Science
Shiho Burnham - Mathematics
Mrs. Burnham was born and raised in Japan. She attended school there through high School and jr. college before moving to the U.S.. She found her passion in Math and Education while attending USM here in Maine.
Mrs. Burnham taught Math at Edward Little High School before she had children, and then she took some time off so that her children could become bilingual. Most recently she has been a math teacher for both middle school and high school students at Poland Spring Academy.
She lives in Lakes Region with her husband, three kids, and one dog.
Tyler DeAngelis - Mathematics & Science
Tyler comes to Baxter with a degree in Biology from Bowdoin College. His academic foci have been Environmental Science through GIS (mapping software) as well as developmental biology and he has previously taught at Brunswick and Freeport High Schools. At Baxter Tyler has taught both Math and Science and is excited to be adding GIS offerings to the course catalog.
For more information about Tyler’s teaching - read his Education Philosophy.
Outside of teaching Tyler enjoys endurance activities including nordic skiing and trail running. He has raced many international ski marathons and is working towards racing his first ultra marathon.
Jonathan Doughty - Science
Mr. Doughty has been a science teacher for 12 years, teaching at both a private middle school and several public high schools in Maine. He is teaching science at Baxter. He has taught a wide range of physical and life science classes including physics, geology, chemistry, and biology. Mr. Doughty believes “that good science education--like good science--starts with inquiry, travels through data and analysis, and reaches conclusions that lead inevitably to new questions.
He received his BA in geology and biology from Brown University. In addition to his teaching experience, Mr. Doughty is the father of two little girls, the Treasurer for the Maine Science Teachers Association, a fencing instructor, and a medieval re-enactor.
Fun Fact: When in Madagascar, Mr. Doughty was at one point taught to sail a dugout canoe by a group of young people who were amazed at the color of his hair.
Sam Feldman - Science
Sam teaches biological sciences at Baxter. Studying wildlife ecology at the University of Maine allowed him to expand his passion for the outdoors by classifying wetlands, computing complex statistical analyses, and working directly with some of the world’s largest and most revered megafauna. Completing the University of Southern Maine’s Extended Teacher Education Program has provided him with the tools to bring these experiences to students in a meaningful way.
On any given day, this means combining lab work with in depth research, teamwork, reflection, and a multitude of other skills. Students in Sam’s classes are encouraged and expected to ask big questions, and then to attempt to discover possible answers. Forming positive relationships with students and tackling challenges with inspiring colleagues are what makes him excited to come to Baxter every day.
Fun facts about Sam: He loves music almost as much as science, and has raised wild and exotic animals including yaks, black leopards, ring-tailed lemurs, and one human.
Alaina Galvin - Mathematics & Environmental Science
Alaina comes to Baxter with a strong math and science background. She has worked for a private environmental consulting company, as well as, for state and local agencies monitoring environmental conditions. She also has taught high school science in New Hampshire before relocating to the Portland area.
Alaina holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Rutgers University in New Jersey. While at Rutgers she was a member of the varsity crew and competed in the NCAA championship for rowing. Alaina has since shared her love of rowing while working as a high school rowing coach for over ten years.
At Baxter, Alaina enjoys making math approachable to all students and helping to build students' confidence in math skills. She loves the collaborative atmosphere that students and faculty have created at Baxter.
Alaina lives in Scarborough with her husband and two children.
Eric Kawamoto - Computer Science & Mathematics
Eric Kawamoto comes to Baxter after a 22-year career as an algorithm development (software) engineer at IDEXX Laboratories. He is new to teaching high school students, but has served as a teaching assistant for freshman calculus while an undergraduate Physics major at the California Institute of Technology, and as a teaching fellow for freshman physics while completing his dissertation in condensed-matter physics at Harvard University. He came to Portland in 1997 after three years as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he began acquiring the programming skills needed for developing algorithms (image processing and quantitation, curve fitting, optimization, clustering and classification, machine learning) for diagnostic instruments used in veterinary medicine. At IDEXX, Eric facilitated communication between biochemists and immunologists, and his fellow software, optical, and electrical engineers, by "speaking each other's language", while developing his junior colleagues into good communicators and strong individual contributors. He plans to take what he has learned from the corporate world, so much of which resembles the mission of teaching, into classrooms and project-based learning at Baxter, where he will teach Computer Science, Programming, and Engineering Design.
Besides long harboring a desire to pursue a second career as a secondary educator, Eric is an avid amateur orchestral and chamber musician, as well as a choral singer. In the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, he currently plays violin (http://www.midcoastsymphony.org/musicians/eric-kawamoto/), while during summer workshops at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, he derives great joy from the hard work of participating in chamber ensembles as a violinist and violist. Up until last year, when he began to take courses toward a teaching certification at the University of New England, Eric had sung tenor with the a cappella choral group Renaissance Voices. He has also served on the boards of the Maine AIDS Alliance and the Maine Gay Men's Chorus, supporting LGBTQ causes and safe spaces. Eric hopes that his experience as a scientist in academia, engineer in industry, musician, and advocate for women and people of color in STEM will inform a rigorous, practical, and compassionate teaching style to develop the next generation of innovators and problem solvers.
Julia Kosowsky - Mathematics, Science, & Humanities
Julia comes to Baxter Academy having spent a year teaching on wooden boats on this coast and the west coast and engaging with expeditionary learning. Previously, Julia taught high school science in Eastern Kentucky where she discovered the importance of student-centered inquiry learning. In Appalachia Julia also fell in love with the mountains. She loves to play outside in all forms, from hiking to sailing to growing food, and seeks to bring students along whenever possible.
In addition to instructing math and science courses, Julia is also working as a teacher leader developing Baxter’s Restorative Justice practices.
Julia is passionate about students recognizing their potential in the world and all that they are capable of as problem solvers. She is excited to support students in thinking critically and recognizing how interconnected they are to their peers, their community, and the world as a whole. She is also excited to have a lot of fun.
Peter Moxhay - Physics, Mathematics & Photography
Peter Moxhay is a former theoretical physicist who has done research in high-energy particle physics, string theory, and quantum field theory. He received an undergraduate degree from Brown University before going on to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota.
When he became interested in education, Moxhay got deeply involved in international projects with math and science educators from Russia, Bulgaria, and Romania. He has also translated educational books in mathematics and educational psychology from Russian into English.
Moxhay has previously taught a range of grades and educational levels in the Portland Public Schools. At Baxter, he is excited to be able to teach math and physics at a level which is not usually available to high school students.
Moxhay plays old time fiddle, enjoys reading and travel, and in recent years has become interested in 19th-century photographic processes (which he also occasionally teaches at Baxter, especially for Flex Friday projects). He lives out on Peaks Island with his family.
David Rawson - Science & Drama
Southern Maine has had to endure Mr. Rawson’s teaching for twenty-five years. He began his career at Wells High School, initially teaching Chemistry and Geometry. His subsequent teaching assignments spread to most of the curriculum in math and physical science, eventually expanding into technology as well. It was also there that he experienced his first forays into the wilds of school reform. Since 2001 he has been a member of the Poland Regional High School faculty, where he was a co-creator of an interdisciplinary individualized team, a faculty coach and mentor, and a long-serving member of the PRHS governance group. He has taught a wide range of courses, including Astronomy, Chemistry, and Physics; Statistics, Integrated Math, and Calculus; Digital Photography, Desktop Publishing, and AP Programming.
The concept of learning by discovery is central to his idea of successful learning. As Mr. Rawson puts it: “Figuring out how things work – in which direction will that rolling ball move? what function describes this pattern? – is vital to understanding the world around us. Without that understanding, we can hardly expect to be more than spectators, rather than participants.”
Mr. Rawson is a graduate of the University of Maine, where he earned double majors in Mathematics and Physics. There he met educators whose ideas he later turned loose in his own classrooms: math professors who taught the value of a Socratic dialogue and treating students as individuals; teacher guides who instilled the simple importance of commandeering a student’s pencil; physics professors who let students explore a room full of equipment with which to investigate the world, and showed how there is ample room and opportunity for humor in education. His work at the UMaine (now Maynard F Jordan) Planetarium also helped show him the path to a future helping students understand the universe around them.
The promise and the challenge afforded as one of the trailblazers making a path for the success of Baxter Academy, its students, its community, and its spirit, posed an opportunity too difficult to resist. The prospect of crafting effective individualized education around math and science is too thrilling to ignore. Helping the collective Baxter community figure out how to accomplish such a seemingly simple (yet inestimably complex) problem – now that is a noble quest!
Fun facts about Mr. Rawson: Neither the piano nor the clarinet (or even, during a disastrous spring, the drums) has yet succumbed to his efforts at mastery – or, to be fair, even competency. Seeking an outlet for music has instead lead to years as a choral singer (Messiah singalong, anyone?) and to all sides of the stage apron, where he has performed in and directed community theatre productions, high school theatre, and assisted local theaters with their technical lighting needs. An avid writer, he is also the author of Murder on Mount Desert.
Pamela Rawson - Mathematics & Computer Science
Ms. Rawson has been teaching for 25 years. During her career, Ms. Rawson has taught all levels of high school mathematics from basic skills to Advanced Placement. She spent the last twelve years at Poland Regional High School working with an integrated mathematics program and developing cross-curricular projects. While at Poland, Ms Rawson worked with teams of at-risk students, co-taught an integrated math/physics course with Mr. Rawson, served as a teacher leader and mentor, and field-tested the use of TI-Nspire technology for learning mathematics. She is intrigued by the use of technology to teach conceptual understanding and has used a variety of tools, beginning with graphing calculators in 1990.
As an independent consultant, Ms. Rawson has provided professional development to math teachers in Maine and throughout the country since 1993. Much of her recent work has focused on implementation of Core-Plus Mathematics and classroom use of TI-Nspire. She was recently granted T3 Regional Instructor status by Texas Instruments. Ms. Rawson is currently President of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Maine where she has worked to organize professional development supporting implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.
Ms Rawson is a graduate of the University of Lowell and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, with concentrations in Computer Science and Statistics. She also studied Mathematics at the graduate level for two years at the University of Maine.
Ms Rawson is excited to be a member of the Baxter inaugural faculty and looks forward to being amazed by her colleagues and students. She is especially excited to be returning to teach in Portland, where her career began. In her first year of teaching at Portland High School, she teamed her geometry class with an art class to create an architecture unit, culminating with a walking tour of downtown Portland.
Fun facts about Ms Rawson: She plays many instruments, but none of them very well. She has a passion for musical theater and has been on stage and behind the scenes at many community theaters in southern Maine. She has spent the last decade tracing her family roots and has made some interesting discoveries.
Allison Sample - Science & Mathematics
Allison teaches science and math in the Engineering Pathway. She graduated from Susquehanna University with a degree in Physics and was a student teacher here at Baxter last year. When she's not at school Allison enjoys reading and going hiking with her dog Loki.
Gretchen Yock - Mathematics
Ms. Yock teaches math at Baxter. 2015 marks her 20th year as a teacher. Most recently, she taught math at Castle View High School in Colorado, where she was part of a committee that worked to establish a project-based learning curriculum. Before that, she served as the math department chair at South Portland High School. As chair, she adopted and facilitated the implementation of the Core-Plus Mathematics Project Curriculum and created common core standards for all courses.
Ms. Yock has also been involved in several mentoring programs and committees to improve school climate.
Ms. Yock says, “My goal is to provide the best possible education to 21st century students through the facilitation of rigorous and relevant pedagogy based on best practice. To most effectively accomplish my goal it is additionally vital to develop strong personal relationships and collaboration with students, colleagues, and parents.”
Ms. Yock holds a BA in Mathematics with a concentration in Asian Studies from St. Olaf College, as well as an M.ed in Education with an emphasis in Brain Research from St. Mary's University of MN. Fun Facts: She has two standard poodles named Phoebe and Lola. The only cars she has ever owned were Volkswagens. And she was an art major before she switched to be a math major.