Four Rivers School Hires Full Complement of AUNE Science Teachers

Now that Andy Patari, MS ’12, has been hired by Four Rivers Charter School in Greenfield, Massachusetts, that makes all four of the school’s science teachers graduates of AUNE’s Department of Environmental Studies in the Science Teacher Certification concentration.

Patari started his new job this fall. He joins Laura Stamas, who teaches ninth-grade environmental science and tenth-grade biology; Niki Gilbert, who teaches eight-grade math and science and Amanda Locke, who teaches seventh grade science and math. Those three graduated with master’s degrees in 2005.

Four Rivers, a middle/high school serving Franklin County, has some of the state’s best test scores on MCAS, the standardized test. It was founded 2003.

“Antioch science teachers appear to be custom-trained for a school like ours,” said Peter Garbus, Four Rivers’ principal. “Because students learn through experience, the teacher’s job is to design and facilitate that experience, putting students in situations where they have to investigate, call on their knowledge, and think. Our Antioch teachers understand this.

“They also like to get dirty. If science has to be experienced, we want to get our students out into the field. Our science teachers take students to rivers, vernal pools, nuclear plants, wastewater treatment facilities, high-ropes challenge courses, local farms, and much more. If you want to see great science learning, come and see our teachers at Four River, educated, trained, and inspired by Antioch University New England.”

Patari joined the Peace Corps in 2008, after earning a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from University of Pittsburgh, with a certificate in Latin American Studies. He taught school in Guatemala, an experience he calls “heart-breaking and profound.”

“I enjoyed the job and saw very plainly the necessity for a good education, as I lived in a world where such a thing was nearly impossible to obtain.” At AUNE, he was a Summit Steward for the Monadnock Ecological Research and Education project.