Our Schools

IGS works in all seven public 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, 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

Tim Connelly

Island Grown Schools Program Manager

Tim graduated from Union College in 2011, and began splitting his time between farming and outdoor education programs around Massachusetts. He moved to Martha's Vineyard in 2013 to become a Farm-Based Educator at The Farm Institute, and served as TFI's Education Director through 2016. He has worked on a variety of farms around the island, and is excited to continue his work connecting the island's youth to their food. 

Contact: tim@igimv.org

Ava Castro

Preschool and MV Public Charter School Educator

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

Suzie Brown

Down-Island Educator

Suzie is the K-12 Farm to School Educator at Oak Bluffs Elementary and Martha's Vineyard Regional High School. She was born in Sudbury, Massachusetts, and later moved to Georgia. After graduating from Boston College's School of Education, she worked on and ran Farm Camp at a grass-fed beef and vegetable farm in Connecticut. She then assistant managed an herb and flower farm north of Boston. Suzie loves working with kids outside - getting them growing plants and seeing the great things we can do with all their hard work!

Contact: suzie@igimv.org​

Olivia Rabbitt

Tisbury School Educator

Olivia spent time learning about agriculture, food, regenerative design, and community in New Zealand, Hawaii, and Costa Rica. After graduating from Connecticut College with a major in Environmental Studies and a minor in Economics, she moved to Martha’s Vineyard. Olivia worked at the Farm Institute and at Tea Lane Farm before finding her way to the Island Grown team. She believes in the healing power of food as medicine and that every person should have access to healthy, affordable food and the knowledge of how to nourish themselves and the Earth!

Contact: olivia@igimv.org

Brandee Kitzmiller

Up-Island Educator

Brandee was born and raised in the Blue Ridge mountains of the Shenandoah Valley. She graduated from George Mason University in 2015 with a degree in Community Health and Nutrition. She then accepted a position with FoodCorps, an Americorps partner program, and served two years in New London, CT. During this time she helped develop and implement a district wide farm-to-school curriculum for K-8 teachers. Brandee especially loves to teach hands-on outdoor lessons in the garden space, and is excited to work with the teachers and staff of the West Tisbury and Chilmark Schools.

Contact: brandee@igimv.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.