Meet the Staff
HS Special Education
863-4800 ext. 1210
Janica is a Maine native, growing up in Newport and then attending the University of New England in Biddeford. Upon graduating in 2016 she moved to Vinalhaven. While finishing her master’s she taught in pre-k and special education. After a brief hiatus to use her public health degree, she decided teaching was her passion and returned to special education. Outside of school you might see Janica walking her German Shepherd, reading, or spending time with her family!
863-4800 ext. 1114
MaryAnn got a Bachelor’s degree from UMF and began her career in education as an elementary teacher. After moving to Vinalhaven, she recognized the need for special education teachers and became certified to teach children K-12. She most recently earned her Master’s degree in Speech Therapy from Nova Southeastern University. She enjoys doing speech therapy with her students. MaryAnn is mom to Chad and Heidi, and enjoys reading, crafts, and puzzles.
Director of Student Services
863-4800 ext. 1112
Alison Pols is a Maine native who spent her early years in the Brunswick/Harpswell area, attending schools in Brunswick from grades K-BA, interrupted by a few years in schools in Italy. Her MS in Special Education is from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul , Minnesota, and her CAGS in school leadership is from the University of New England in Biddeford. Special Education has been a passion of hers since she took her first job as an Ed Tech 3 at Lisbon HS and realized she had found her vocation. Her most recent position before this new endeavor was as an assistant principal at Mount Ararat HS in Topsham, Me. She loves her daughter and her extended family, traveling, being outside, gardening, cooking, and working for the benefit of young people.
Imagine Learning Specialist
Les Penick grew up on a farm in central Iowa. He earned his B.A. in Industrial Technology Education from the University of Northern Iowa. After 10 years as a Ind. Tech Teacher he earned his Masters from Iowa State University in Professional School counseling and worked for 26 years as a middle school and high school counselor. Les was also a head football coach for 21 years and a head track and field coach for 33 years. This year along with his wife, Theresa, he will be running the remote learning program as well supporting Vinalhaven school in a variety of other capacities. In his free time he enjoys kayaking, bike rides, hiking the preserves on the island, facetiming grandkids, and learning about the island culture.
Imagine Learning Specialist
Theresa Penick graduated with a BA in Middle School Education and a MA in Middle School Math Education from the University of Northern Iowa. Theresa taught and coached in Iowa for 33 years and has been a Professional Development Specialist. Theresa enjoys exploring Vinalhaven and looks forward to being part of the staff at Vinalhaven School District. In her free time Theresa loves spending time with her family and friends, biking, hiking, and just enjoying the great outdoors.
863-4800 ext. 1160
Dan Ganoza grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and received his undergraduate degree from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. He served 22 years in the Air Force flying both the KC-135 (air refueler) and C-130 (tactical airlift/airdrop) aircraft. He was fortunate to have worked and lived in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. He has a masters in business from the University of Arkansas and a masters in education from Regis University. Prior to arriving at Vinalhaven he spent six years teaching science at Woodland Park High School in Colorado.
HS & MS Social Studies
863-4800 ext. 1212
Lynn grew up in Maine. She has a History degree from UNH, attended Boston University School of Law, and spent 25+ years as CAO for global investment firms in Boston, NY, Seattle, and London. Lynn began her career as an educator in 2019 and has a Masters in Education from USM. Prior to Vinalhaven, Lynn was Director of the Special Education Learning Center at Edward Little High School and then spent two years teaching Civics, US History, World History, Sociology, Comparative Religious Studies and Street Law. She is passionate about providing space for students to openly discuss many issues safely. Outside school, she plays with her two feline roommates, experiments on new culinary recipes, reads (historical fiction), and sings loudly in her car with the windows down (even in Winter).
863-4800 ext. 1208
While Kris Osgood grew up in Davis, Ca, she spent every summer of her life here, on Vinalhaven. She earned a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara and moved to Vinalhaven immediately after graduation, in January 1995. Kris began working at Vinalhaven School, first as a substitute, then as a long-term sub for middle school English. She was eventually hired as a permanent teacher and spent eight years teaching English, life skills, drama and journalism before she left to start her family. Sixteen years later, Kris is returning to the classroom as the high school and 6th grade English teacher. Outside of school, Kris enjoys reading, going for walks and lots of creative endeavors.
863-4800 ext. 1207
After teaching math and sciences courses for over 38 years in locales from Vermont to Cape Cod to Quito, Ecuador to various private, international and public schools in Maine, Africa and Central America, Dave McKechnie is happy to be here at The Vinalhaven School. Dave is a graduate of Pomfret School and the former Johnson State College in Johnson, Vermont which is now recognized as Northern Vermont University at Johnson. Various graduate programs have tried to claim him but so far, he has avoided being pinned down at anyone for his dissertation. He is an avid horse racing, baseball, rugby and hockey fan with a keen interest in astronomy and worlds beyond our own. Married to Kathy, they still call home Kennebunkport but let’s see what happens……Mr. McKechnie will be teaching various mathematics courses in the high school at Vinalhaven High School.
863-4800 ext. 1211
Susan Philbrook is enjoying her 7th year as the K-12 French teacher at Vinalhaven School. Originally from Davis, California, she attended the University of Maine at Orono where she played on the university soccer team and majored in French. She has a degree in French and a Master of Arts in Teaching in French. She is the Girls Varsity soccer coach, and the French club advisor. She also is part of the Sports Done Right Committee and the Girls Book Club and a member of the Discovery Curriculum Team. Besides teaching and soccer, Susan enjoys traveling, running, painting, and sewing.
863-4800 ext. 1015
Emily Cohn graduated from Antioch University with a Master’s in Education, with a concentration in Science and Environmental Education. Before teaching here on Vinalhaven, she was an environmental educator for many years working along the coast in Rhode Island and Maine. She was also an Americorps member in Chicago after going to college there. In her free time, she enjoys hiking on the trails around Vinalhaven, watching great movies, and swimming
863-4800 ext. 1119
Stormy Dyer graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington with a BS in Elementary Education. She previously has worked in the stern of a lobster boat, and has taught fourth grade at Vinalhaven School. In her free time, she enjoys being outside, working in her gardens, and going for long walks or hikes. She also enjoys baking, trying out new recipes and hosting family gatherings.
863-4800 ext. 1179
Cherie (Miller) Doughty is a 1987 graduate of Valley High School in Bingham, Maine. She attended the University of Maine at Farmington where she was an Alumni Scholar and a recipient of the Paul Douglas Teacher Scholarship. She graduated in 1992 with a B.S in Early Childhood Education. Cherie completed her student teaching in Kindergarten and Grade 2 on Vinalhaven. She met and eventually married a local and has remained since. While waiting for a Kindergarten teaching position, she taught in a variety of positions at Vinalhaven School including Elementary Ed. Tech., Special Education, a HS English class, MS Math and Science, Title 1, and Reading Recovery. She then taught kindergarten for 5 years, and is currently concentrating on literacy needs K-8 in the Title 1 Position. Cherie is the current MAP Coordinator for Vinalhaven School and is a member of the Early Literacy Curriculum Team and the K-12 English Curriculum Team. Outside of school, she is a member of Open Bible Baptist Church of Vinalhaven and teaches Sunday School ages 5-8. She also enjoys baking, reading to learn, studying the Enneagram, and spending time with her family and pets.
863-4800 ext. 1180
Brooke grew up in Sabattus Maine and graduated from Oak Hill in 2013. Afterwards she attended SMCC earning her associates in Early Childhood Education and later followed with her bachelor’s from the University of Maine at Farmington. Before moving to Vinalhaven she spent her first 4 ½ years teaching at an Intergenerational Preschool in Auburn- meaning her classroom was located within a nursuing home! On her free time Brooke enjoys spending time out on the boat, bringing her dog Crowley swimming and on walks, as well as riding snowmobiles up north.
863-4800 ext. 1174
Kayla was born and raised on Vinalhaven. She left for a short time to get her B.S. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Maine at Farmington. Kayla started her teaching career in Kindergarten for seven years then transitioned into the Discovery Room as a Special Education teacher. Kayla has three children- Ellie, Liam and Colin. When not at school, Kayla enjoys spending time with her family, being outside, and reading books.
863-4800 ext. 1225
Melissa started her teaching career as a nursery school teacher when her children were young. When they started elementary school, she volunteered in their classrooms on a daily basis. It inspired her to return to school and finish her Bachelors of Social Science degree from University of Maine at Augusta. After receiving her degree, she taught special education at Vinalhaven School from the fall of 2004-2011. For a year, she worked at the Belfast Head Start in the Early Head Start program. She returned to Vinalhaven School as an education technician in 2013. She is currently the second-grade teacher. Her hobbies are traveling, reading, riding horses and baking.
Robert "Bobby" Brown
863-4800 ext. 1219
Coming to you from Downeast Maine! New to Vinalhaven but a veteran of the Coast of Maine. I grew up on Mount Desert Island before embarking on a new adventure in Northern Maine. Spending roughly a decade in Fort Kent earning my Secondary and Elementary Certifications as well as a degree in Behavioral Sciences and a minor in History. Since obtaining my degrees I have worked in AOS 91, RSU 24, RSU 13 and Union 69 as an edu tech and teacher; a jack of all trades in the classroom and outside. During the summer I landscape/hardscape and know my way around a kitchen. I like to kayak in my spare time and lounge with my cat Maverick.
Robert "Robb" Warren
863-4800 ext. 1217
Robb Warren was born on Vinalhaven in 1964.~ He received his Bachelors of Science in International Affairs with a concentration in Political Science in 1987.~ Soon thereafter, he received his K-8 teaching certificate.~ Since then, he has taught every grade between 3rd~and 12th,~both on and off island, with a brief foray into the world of administration.~ His son, Trey, is a civil engineer for the firm of Gorrill Palmer in South Portland, ME. Lily, his daughter, is a sophomore studying finance at Washington College in Chestertown, MD. Since March of 2020, she has been working remotely while home on the island. ~ This is Mr. Warren’s first year as a multi-age 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teacher of language arts and social studies.
863-4800 ext. 1224
Patricia Paquet started at the Vinalhaven~School in 2003 as the Middle School Math teacher. She taught middle school math until the 2010-11 school year when she moved to fifth grade. Originally from Coal Creek Canyon, Colorado, Pat received her B.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1992 with a major in Environmental Biology and minor in mathematics. She recently earned a Masters Certification in Proficiency Based Education and is working on a certificate in Mathematics Leadership. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, graphite pencil drawing, hiking, gardening, traveling and spending time with her grandchildren.
863-4800 ext. 1169
Carolyn has been serving at Vinalhaven School for over 15 years now. She has worn many hats at our school. She started in the Business program, became and Ed Tech, and then a Special Ed Teacher. She then moved on to Theater and Social Studies. She now teaches Title I reading. She has received many scholarships to attend conferences all across the country. Carolyn graduated from Vinalhaven in 1991 and her sons graduated from Vinalhaven in 2019 and 2021. She is the current Mrs. Maine International 2021 and Mrs. Northeast International 2022. She enjoys spending time with her family and her dogs, traveling, pageantry, reading, keeping books for the baseball team, and camping. She has 5 children and 11 grandchildren.
Patti graduated from Limestone High School in Aroostook County, Maine. She attended University of Maine at Presque Isle, majoring in Elementary Education. She graduated from Andover College in Portland Maine. She is married with 2 children and 1 grandchild. In her spare time, Patti enjoys baking and writing her blog called Aroostacook, where she bakes and shares recipes from her Northern Maine roots. She also loves to watch movies. She has been an Ed Tech at Vinalhaven School since 2016.
Heidi graduated from Vinalhaven School in 2015. She went away to attend Southern Maine Community college and returned 2 years later to work as an Ed tech. She continued her education while working and received her degree in Early Childhood Education. She began working 1 on 1 in the Discovery Room for 3 years and has now moved into the Kindergarten classroom! Outside of school you can find Heidi and her dogs hiking the many trials around the island. She also enjoys cooking, playing card games with friends and doing puzzles.
Daisy Morton received a BA in English from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She began working at the Vinalhaven School in the fall of 2016 and continues to enjoy and find her work at the school rewarding. She first came to Vinalhaven in 2005 to visit family who had recently moved to the island. After a second visit the next year, she decided to leave her hometown of Homer, Alaska and in the Spring of 2007 moved to the island full time. Between the fall of 2015 - spring of 2016 she temporarily left the island to take classes in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Maine in Orono so as to qualify for application to graduate programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders. During her free time, she enjoys taking her dog on walks and listening to podcasts or audiobooks.
Katrina Osgood graduated from Vinalhaven School in 2017. She then went on to Southern Maine Community College where she received an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Katrina is passionate about teaching young children and truly getting to know every child. In her free time, Katrina enjoys walking the island trails, traveling and exploring new places, spending time with friends, and going on boat rides with her family.
Derrick comes from Elizabeth, NJ. He graduated from John E. Dwyer Technology Academy. Before coming to Vinalhaven he worked as a youth leader for an outreach program for youth 3rd - 12th grade. He moved to the island to be a part of an amazing community. Outside of school Derrick likes to hang out with wife, Zoey, and his family. He also enjoys art work and talking to his mother and family on FaceTime. Derrick is excited to get know students and learn with students each day.
Bev graduated from Vinalhaven in 1993. She moved to South Portland to pursue her degree in Culinary Arts at SMTC. After graduation, in 1995, Bev moved home and married her husband Corey. Bev has two daughters, two yellow labs, and a soon to be son-in-law. Bev worked for eleven years as a cook in the school cafeteria. After a few years home with her family she decided she missed seeing the kids and working in the school. She began as a sub and decided that she loved working with the kids’ long term. Bev currently loves to cook, roam, camp, garden, and hang with her family.
Zoey Stout grew up on Vinalhaven, graduating from high school in 2016. Later pursuing her associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Southern Maine Community College, she graduated in May 2019. She has substituted at Vinalhaven School off and on since Winter 2016. She is excited to work and grow with the children at Vinalhaven School. During her free time, she walks her dog Nahla, cooks, spends time with her husband Derrick, and knits.
863-4800 ext. 1104
Taylor Leach graduated from Dordt University with a bachelors in Theatre Management. After receiving her bachelors, she worked with a children's theatre company in South Dakota and then later served as children's department lead in her home state of Illinois. She recently received her Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from Northern Illinois University. She has spent the past couple of summers working for Camden Harbor Cruises providing educational lobster tours on the M/V Lively Lady. When she isn’t in the school library Taylor can be found working through her constant pile of to be read books, on a walk listening to podcasts, or playing video games with her friends.
863-4800 ext. 1157
Heather White received her Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education from Keene State College. After teaching fourth grade for 2 years in New Hampshire, she and her husband moved to Vinalhaven in 2002. Heather started her time at the Vinalhaven School teaching 3rd grade, and is now the K-12 Visual Arts teacher. When it comes to student artwork, whether it be from a 5-year-old or an 18-year-old, she encourages students to see their growth in the process first, and then to examine the product. Heather White also coaches high school rowing, is a member of the VSEC team, and the visual and performing arts team. Heather enjoys gardening, inventive knitting, walking, and any type of art classes for further personal growth & just for fun.
Gifted and Talented
Thom Buescher, consultant for the GATE program, earned his undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Fine Arts, a Master’s degree in Special Education, a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, and finally an MSW in Clinical Social Work (Loyola University Chicago). He has many years’ experience working with gifted and talented students. Thom was professor of Gifted and Talented Education at Wayne State University (Detroit) and Associate Director of the Center for Talent Development, Northwestern University. For almost twenty years he was the Director of gifted and talented programs for the Five Town CSD and Camden-Rockport Schools. He was also a member of the high school faculty and taught in the GT programs at Camden Hills Regional High School until 2016. In addition, he has been the GT and curriculum consultant for the Monhegan Island School since 1998. He retired from his clinical practice with exceptional older children and adolescents in Rockland two years ago after 25 years.
Career Technical Ed
863-4800 ext. 1154
A Vinalhaven native, Steve moved off the island when he was just five years old when his family moved to northern Maine. He continued to visit the island every summer throughout his high school years. As an adult, Steve worked in construction for 32 years, initially starting in residential home building which later led to commercial construction. During these years Steve also served in the Maine Army National Guard, and retired after 22 years of service. In 2012 Steve went to work for the Loring Job Corps as a tradesman instructor. In 2015 Steve had opportunity to move back to Vinalhaven and take over the vocational education program -- he and his family jumped at the chance to come home. Steve and his wife, Patti have two children, Benn and Annie. In his spare time, he enjoys playing guitar, hiking, camping and fishing. Welcome home Steve.
863-4800 ext. 1103
Randy Pitts grew up outside of Detroit, Michigan. After graduating high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served his country for 23 years. While on active duty Randy earned a Technical Certificate in Management Information Systems and later a BA in Information Systems Analysis. He completing his undergraduate studies at University of Maine Orono in 1994 and graduated that same year from Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL. After retiring from the Marine Corps in 1999, Randy worked as an applications developer for Tidewater Telecom in Nobleboro, Maine. He joined the Vinalhaven teaching staff in 2001 and has been teaching a wide range of information technology classes since. Randy earned a graduate degree in Instructional Technology in 2009. He is the president of the Fox Islands Electric Board of Directors and enjoys restoring antique vehicles, traveling, and fishing and camping in his free time. He is married to Susie Warren Pitts of Vinalhaven and has two children and four grandchildren.
863-4800 ext. 1150
William Trevaskis teaches music and yearbook to grades K-12. He has a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in music theory and composition from Berklee College of Music, and his original compositions have been featured in recitals, workshops, and on television and can be heard on his web site, www.ofthelion.org. His award-winning photography includes aerial images of the Fox Islands and he regularly freelances for local and national publications with his images.