Director of Student Life and Learning
In 2020, Dan joined MWS as our Living Sciences Curriculum Coordinator and quickly emerged as an integral part of our administrative team. In 2021 Dan became our Director of Student Life and Learning. He is a leader in restorative justice practices in our community, mediating challenging situations with both students and families. Dan is also a systems wizard and plays a key role in developing the school’s daily schedule.
For as long as I can remember, I have been an educator, tutoring friends in high school, being a teacher’s assistant in college, participating in enrichment programs upon graduation. But it wasn’t until my early twenties that I realized I never learned where food comes from, or that people walk through the woods for pleasure, or how the mountains and oceans formed. As I connected more with nature I knew the most important thing I could be doing with my time was to share my passion with young people so they would understand and appreciate the natural world from a young age.
After earning my master’s degree in environmental studies from Antioch University New England, I joined the founding staff of New Roots Charter School in Ithaca. I had the opportunity to play a role in designing a school from the ground up, considering all aspects of what a school looks like and why. The famous gorges (waterfalls) became my classroom where I challenged students to “read” the landscape and connect with the local ecology.
Throughout my career I have worked at a variety of small schools that are grounded in developing meaningful relationships. Each young person is built with a unique nervous system, set of experiences, and habits. Knowing who children are is essential to engaging and challenging them. I am confident that the Middle Way School is poised to support students in these ways and beyond by helping establish positive habits that will promote a sense of personal well being. I love being a part of a community grounded in Buddhist values that align with my lifestyle, and believe that it is a great way to engage young people in essential inner work and to learn and advance my own personal journey.
Since beginning at the Middle Way School, I have developed close relationships with all the staff, students, and many of the families. This has become my community and I am grateful for the opportunity to be in a position to support all the members of this amazing place so that everyone can have a positive experience.
In my free time I can be found adventuring with my family. Hiking, biking, climbing, swimming, skating, and building unique things