Math & Science Faculty
Jenn Daigle - Mathematics Teacher
Bio Coming Soon!
Jonathan Doughty - Science Teacher
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 Teacher
Bio Coming Soon!
Peter Moxhay - Physics, Mathematics & Photography Teacher
Dr. Moxhay will be familiar to students who participated in his Arduino and Raspberry Pi programming classes at Baxter last fall. He’s been a math and physics teacher at Portland High School and King Middle School, and math and physics are the subjects he’ll be teaching at Baxter along with computer programming. He’s a former theoretical physicist (high-energy particle physics) with degrees from Brown University and the University of Minnesota. When he became interested in education, he got deeply involved in international projects with math and science educators from Russia, Bulgaria, and Romania.
He’s long seen the need for a STEM school in southern Maine and is pleased that Baxter will also have an incredibly strong humanities and arts component. He says, “I like the prospective focus on enabling students to build interesting stuff with their hands. I expect that letting students work on practical projects of their own devising will develop student motivation in a big way." Dr. Moxhay lives on Peaks Island with his family.
Fun facts about Dr. Moxhay: He has done research in elementary particle physics, string theory, and quantum field theory. His languages are Russian and French, and he plays old-time fiddle.
Sean Parrott-Wolfe - Mathematics Teacher
Mr. Parrott-Wolfe graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 2014 with a degree in mathematics and physics. He is teaching math this year. His research interests include mathematical physics, general relativity, quantum field theory, and theories of quantum gravity.
At USM, Mr. Parrott-Wolfe founded the USM Mathematical Society and served as a student representative for the USM Mathematics Curriculum Planning Committee where he represented the academic needs and desires of mathematics students. In addition, he served as a mathematics tutor for undergraduate students at all levels from pre-algebra to multivariate calculus.
Mr. Parrott-Wolfe says, “I believe mathematics is an art and that investigations in mathematics stem from creativity and curiosity. Mathematics isn’t always about getting the right answer, but about the ongoing process of problem-solving.” Mr. Parrott-Wolfe wants his classroom always to be inquiry-led and expects hand-on-involvement from his students.
Fun facts: Mr. Parrott-Wolfe has been a barista, paperboy, audio engineer, welder, recycling plant sorter, baker, bike mechanic, and a dockhand.
Elke Perks - Life Science Teacher
Ms. Perks doesn’t just teach about the dirt; she gets out there with students into the dirt—or water. As a life science teacher, most recently at South Portland, and as a English major at Rutgers, she loves connecting things—the fall of Mayan civilization because of anomalies in climate patterns and how those climate trends might mean something now; or the history of Aztecs and chocolate and why it might primaryrm thinking about contemporary water issues. Side-by-side with her students, she discovers meaningful stories through science.
“The world to me is a fluid system that connects everything in a complex community of interactions encompassing all disciplines,” says Ms. Perks. “The more I teach, the more connections I can see, and it inspires me to want to learn more.”
Ms. Perks has a masters in environmental studies from Antioch New England and has taught in experiential programs at the Stone Environmental Schools of New England and as an adventure educator at Camp Kieve, where she led ten-day wilderness sea kayaking and backpacking trips for freshmen and sophomore girls. She used Muscongus Bay to teach tidal ecology and Baxter State Park to teach geology and terrestrial ecology.
Ms. Perks lives in Portland, which she especially loves in winter, with her family, which includes three young sons.
Fun facts about Ms. Perks: She moved to Maine from New Jersey to be a chef at an off-the-grid lighthouse inn on Isle au Haut. She loves skiing down Portland streets in a snowstorm. And, because she’s crazy about birds, she always has a pair of binoculars in her car.
David Rawson - Math, Science & Technology Teacher
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 Teacher
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.
Gretchen Yock - Math Teacher
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.