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Juniper Hill School Board of Trustees


Helen Ayotte

Helen is the Director of Engineering at Summit Utilities, Inc. She has worked in the natural gas industry since graduating from Boston University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2005. She attended business classes at night and received her M.B.A. from Southern New Hampshire University in 2010.  Helen and her husband, Brian, welcomed their eldest daughter, Evie, into the world in 2012, then their second daughter, Flo, exactly three years later in 2015.  Helen is tremendously grateful to have access to the caliber of education available at Juniper Hill School for her two amazing daughters.  Evie started there at age three in the Nature Immersion Program, and is very excited to be a Root this fall!


Patti Bailie

Patti Ensel Bailie, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Maine at Farmington. She also served as Assistant Director of the Nature-based Early Childhood Education Certificate Program at Antioch University New England and taught the nature-based early childhood curriculum course. She has worked in the field of early childhood environmental education for 25 years at three different nature centers in the Midwest: as founding director of the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center Preschool in Milwaukee, WI, Co-Director of the Early Childhood Outdoors Institute at the Fontenelle Nature Association in Omaha, NE, and as an early childhood environmental educator at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes in Cleveland, OH. She has spoken and published nationally and internationally about connecting young children to nature.


Teresa Gandler

Teresa is a museum professional, artist and parent of a Juniper Hill student. She earned a degree in Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Certificate in Museum Studies from Tufts University. Teresa worked as an Educator for a nature/science museum in Rensselaer, NY; commanding large groups of children with reptiles, amphibians, mammals and random bugs but found her passion in public programs by connecting the community to places like The JFK Presidential Library & Museum, Acadia National Park and Maine Maritime Museum. As a parent at Juniper Hill she is excited to continue working to connect the community to the school and the children she has grown to love.


Jeannie Hamrin, Ed.D.

As an active retired “professor in recovery,” my motivation for Juniper Hill’s example of learning goes back many years when I spent more than a decade in Scandinavia and became a part of their outdoor education movement.   Being an idealist and a change agent, I wanted to bring this element of inspiration and my deep belief in these “nature schools for life” to USA.  Thus, I spent 30+ years as Early Childhood/Special Education/Experiential Learning faculty at several Maine colleges and universities and I led about 40 experiential study trips to the Scandinavian countries, Europe, Bermuda, Mexico, Greenland and Iceland for students to experience the nature, culture, education and social systems of these countries. 

I believe strongly in service learning through giving back and am thrilled to give back by become a board member for Juniper Hill.  I fell in love with Juniper Hill and their philosophy at the MEEA 2013 Conference when Anne accepted the award for having the best environmental school of the year.  Since I have taken college students to Juniper Hill where they experience the diversity, respect, awareness of self, sense of community and world.  They also see how children resolve conflicts, take risks, build teams, make decisions and play and work together as valued members of a community! 

In addition, I have many years of experience as a school board member, director of CDS, consultant for Expeditionary Learning, mediator for special education disputes and have been educator of the year three times as three different universities.


Kate Ziminsky

Both my life and career choices, have been rooted in and grounded by the natural world. As a registered Maine Guide, certified Wilderness First Responder and state Wildlife Rehabilitator; I have spent most of my career teaching and facilitating experiences in the “Field”. Presently, I am working at The Waynflete School, in Portland, Maine, where I am both an Early Childhood educator and working with students enrolled in grades 4-12, as an Academic Support teacher. Dovetailing nicely with my passion for Ecological study is my commitment to health and wellness. As the owner of “Wave of the Day” Wellness, I teach surfing lessons, fitness classes and promote healthy eating with Tower Gardens and whole food nutrition. Most importantly, I am the mother of a ten year old daughter and an eighteen year old son. My connection to Juniper Hill School is organic and clear. I have had the privilege to call Anne Stires my colleague and friend for the past twenty years.