Our Schools

IGS works in all seven K-12 schools on the island and at nine pre-schools. While every school has its own garden, and every school meals program regularly uses locally grown food, each of our school communities are unique and integrate IGS programming in their own way. Please search our blog archives for more on the program at each school.

West Tisbury School, Oak Bluffs School, Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, Tisbury School, Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School, Chilmark School, Edgartown School, Grace Preschool, First Light Child Development Center, Vineyard Montessori School, Chilmark Preschool, Island Children’s School, Plum Hill School, MV Community Services Preschool, Rainbow Place & Project Headway

Our Staff

Our staff is responsible for leading curriculum-tied classroom lessons, maintaining school gardens, leading farm field trips, organizing taste tests and special events, and working with community volunteers to keep each school’s program strong and supported. They are a dedicated group of mothers, teachers, farmers, and gardeners, who use their shared passion for healthy kids and healthy food to bring the mission of IGS to life.

Noli Taylor


Noli graduated from Haverford College in 1999 with a degree in urban studies and environmental science. Since then, she has done environmental and agricultural advocacy and organizing work with non-profits and community groups from Philadelphia to Seattle, Albuquerque to Kauai. She began working on agriculture issues in Hawaii, organizing around genetic engineering and community food security, and helped launch IGS in 2007. She is also a mother of two young children and lives with her family in Aquinnah.

Contact: noli@igimv.org

Kaila Allen-Posin


Kaila received her Master’s Degree from Antioch University in Education for Sustainability in 2012, and brings her prodigious skills as a teacher, organizer, gardener, and her experience as a life-long islander to her work with her students, who range in age from 5-18. Kaila developed the FARM Project, a teen apprenticeship program based at the FARM Institute, in 2011, and has created a year-round youth apprenticeship program for IGS at MVRHS.

Contact: kaila@igimv.org

Sam Greene


Sam is a teacher’s assistant in the 3rd and 4th grade multiage classroom at MVPCS, a health teacher for middle school students, and a mother of 4 children, including Ada, a Charter School student. Sam leads her students in activities in the classroom, garden and greenhouse, and utilizes the Charter School’s special programs, including Artist in Residence, Project Period, and Offerings, to maximize opportunities for students to engage in agriculture-based learning at the school.

Scott Goldin


Scott Goldin is a Teaching Assistant and Advisor in the Middle and High School at the MV Public Charter School. He has spent several years in land management here on the Island and in the North West as well as helping facilitate further development of a Farm to School program in Washington State. Scott will be working at Mermaid Farm, supporting Sam Greene in her efforts at the Charter School while also working in the gardens at Pilot Hill Farm.

Meg Athearn


Meg is a farmer and a mother of three young children. She, her husband Dan, and their kids raise animals and a garden at their own home, and help run Dan’s family farm, Morning Glory.

Katie Ruppel


Katie graduated from Texas Christian University in 2010 with a degree in photojournalism. In her hometown of Fort Worth, she taught photography in an after school program and helped build community gardens around the city. After moving to Martha’s Vineyard to work for the Gazette, she has continued to freelance for several publications while also baking bread at Orange Peel Bakery and spending time in her garden. She enjoys sharing her passion for local food with students of all ages.

Contact: katie@igimv.org

Mary Sage Napolitan


Mary Sage is a born and raised Islander with a degree in Environmental Studies and Ecological Agriculture from the University of Vermont. Before joining IGS she worked as a farmer, nature sanctuary ranger, writer and gardener. She is now focused on encouraging people of all ages to connect with the earth, caring for gardens and animals around the island, and occasionally publishing environmentally related writing.

Contact: marysage@igimv.org

Robin Forte


Robin is IGS’s coordinator for the Harvest of the Month Program. She has always been in the food business,whether it be in kitchen at The Inn at Blueberry Hill in Chilmark, growing salad greens and edible flowers for the West Tisbury Farmers Market, or commercially fishing for scallops in Cape Pogue Bay. Robin lives in Edgartown with her husband Joe.

Ava Castro

Preschool Coordinator

Ava Castro grew up on Martha’s Vineyard and graduated from the Charter School. She attended Hampshire College where she created her own major in agriculture and alternative education, and wrote her thesis on the use of farming as an educational tool in schools. She has a background in early childhood education, has worked at two other island educational programs, and has experience with farming and gardening.

Contact: ava@igimv.org

Will Conway

High School & OB School Coordinator

Will Conway graduated from Skidmore College, and began working for FoodCorps (www.foodcorps.org) directly after graduation. He has spent the past two years working with Navajo and Hopi students in Tuba City, AZ, developing garden programs, building a community garden, and facilitating a local lunch program at their cafeteria. In fact, Will was responsible for bringing school garden-grown produce to be served in a reservation school cafeteria for the first time in history in Arizona!

At IGS, Will will be our coordinator for the programs at MVRHS and OB School. He will also facilitate our year-round teen program, the Farm Project and he will do monthly Harvest of the Month tastings at the Edgartown School alongside Robin. 

Contact: will@igimv.org

Emily Armstrong

Preschool Program Founder

Emily is a farm and garden-based educator who worked at the FARM Institute here on the Vineyard and at an educational farm in Watsonville, CA before coming to work with IGS. Emily led the launch of Island Grown PreSchools in January 2012 and has since installed and supported gardens at six island preschools, working weekly with 170 of the island’s youngest students in the gardens, on farm field trips, and doing local food taste testing.

Contact: emily@islandgrown.org

Advisory Committee

Our wonderful volunteer Advisory Committee members work regularly with our Program Leader on fund development, strategic planning, and staff support. We are grateful for their service!

Carol Kenney


Carol brings experience in early education, child development, as well as nutrition and preventive health to the Island Grown Schools Program Committee. She serves on the board of the Donors Collaborative, the Health Council, Mass in Motion, and the Healthy Aging Task Force. After retiring to care for her children, Carol led classes at the Early Childhood Development Center located in Harlem. Carol and her husband Jerry have two daughters whose hearts grew up on Martha’s Vineyard; both are now completing graduate degrees in New York City.

Nell Coogan


Nell grew up on Martha’s Vineyard, lived in Washington D.C. and Boston, and is back on the island with her family. She serves as the Director of Development and Community Relations for Martha’s Vineyard Community Services and practices law in her spare time. Nell’s love of healthy living and her strong desire for her children – and all children on the island – to grow up knowledgeable about nutritious food and agriculture has brought her to the IGS Program Committee.

Laury Binney


Laury has been a public schools educator for over 35 years, most of that as a school administrator. He began as a teacher in western Massachusetts and in the mid-80‘s he spent three years with his wife teaching at the international school in New Delhi, India. He moved to the island with his family in 1996 to assume the job of principal of the Oak Bluffs School, a position he held until his retirement in 2010. He currently consults with teachers and administrators at the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School.

Laury and his wife Marcy, who is a teacher at the West Tisbury School, have three children and three grandchildren, all live on the island.

Lindsey Scott


Lindsey is the Executive Director of MVYouth, a community fund established to support island organizations serving children and teens, and provide college scholarships to high school seniors. Lindsey brings a background in non-profit work, education and animal farming to IGI. Lindsey created Cinema Circus for the MV Film Festival, and established an elementary art program at the Charter School. She serves on the School Advisory Council for the Chilmark School and on the Board of the Chilmark Preschool. Lindsey and her husband Josh also run the animal enterprises of Beetlebung Farm with their two children. They raise local beef, pork and lamb.

Claudia Ewing


Claudia came to Martha’s Vineyard in 1980 and began working for Morning Glory Farm. This was during the farm’s formative years, when she and a handful of other employees worked in the fields and in the small farm stand, sharing responsibilities and a passion for farming with owners Jim and Debbie Athearn. After earning her teaching degree in 1984 from New York University, Claudia married Steve Ewing and began teaching at Island Children’s School. When her sons Niko and Arno were born, she enjoyed being at home with them, tending her small garden and soon enough working with a group of parents and educators as a founder of the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School. As an educator, gardener and former farmhand, Ewing has seen that hands on, project-based, experiential learning provides for some of the deepest kinds of learning.

Debbie Jernegan


Debbie is the Head of School at the Vineyard Montessori School serving children preschool through 4th grade, in Vineyard Haven. She has an Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Human Services and a Master’s Degree in Administration. She believes strongly in the positive impact that Island Grown Schools has had on the children in our community and cares about the continuation of it’s mission.

Debbie and her husband Cliff, have lived in Edgartown for over twenty five years and have three island born and raised children.

Ed Cohen

Ed Cohen has spent many years creating and supporting organizations that promote youth leadership, service-based learning, and social and environmental change. He is the Founding CEO of the Echoing Green Foundation, has served as the Board Chair of City Year, and is the Co-Chair of Green City Force, an Americorps program that engages young people from low income backgrounds in national service related to the environment. He received his BA from Amherst College and his law degree from the University of Virginia. He was the President of the New York State Urban Development Corporation, a Partner at McKinsey Consulting, and a Founding Managing Partner of General Atlantic Partners. Ed believes in gardening as a learning experience and tool for team building, and believes that IGS can serve as a state and national farm to school model.

Ryan Bushey, AIA

Architect and Co-Owner, South Mountain Company

Ryan left the hills of New Hampshire to study at Wentworth Institute of Technology, where he received his B.Arch degree in 1999.  Soon after, he continued south to Martha’s Vineyard to work for Breese Architects. In 2003 he joined South Mountain Company, an integrated architecture, engineering, building, and solar energy company in West Tisbury. Ryan is a co-owner and manager of the company, and is a registered architect licensed in Massachusetts. 

Ryan and his wife Katie are raising a son in Oak Bluffs, where Katie is also a teacher. 

Elizabeth Rothwell

A resident of the Vineyard since early childhood, Elizabeth Rothwell is Regional Director of Marketing for Scout Hotel & Resort Management, which includes Harbor View Hotel and Kelley House. Rothwell is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, with a BS in marketing and a BA in French. Her strong ties to the island community include roles on the board of directors for the Edgartown Board of Trade and Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce. Rothwell enjoys collaborating with other island businesses and events in an effort to promote tourism and enrich the community through the expansion of the shoulder season. When not working, Rothwell enjoys long dinner parties with family and friends and being outdoors enjoying the natural beauty of the island by hiking, biking, beach-going and boating.

Nicole Barlett

Edgartown School Nurse

Nicole grew up on the North Shore of Boston and moved to the Island in 1997 after marrying her husband Gary. They have two teenage children Ali and Richie both born and raised on MV. Nicole has her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master in Education with a school nurse concentration. Although she has worked in many health care settings her passion lies in health promotion and disease prevention. She is a strong supporter of farm to table, the work IGS is doing and the importance whole foods have on our overall health.