It’s that time of year: back to school season. As fall descends on Maine and the weather becomes cool and crisp, kids (and adults) all over the state are readying themselves for tests, quizzes, homework, and all the other measuring sticks we use for learning. However, while traditional education might look a certain way, going “back to school” doesn’t necessarily mean returning to the classroom, just as “learning” doesn’t necessarily mean receiving points and grades. In our latest episode of the Dr. Lisa Radio Hour, Bates College president Clayton Spencer and Derek Pierce, founding principal of Casco Bay High School, explain how learning takes place on many levels, and how understanding this contributes to a richer existence for us all.
Clayton Spencer became the eighth President of Bates College, in Lewiston, Maine, on July 1, 2012. She came to Bates from Harvard University, where she served for 15 years in a succession of leadership positions, culminating in the role of Vice President for Policy. The daughter of a president of two liberal arts colleges, Spencer grew up in a household where, as she says, “Education was the family business.” Her own education was at Phillips Exeter Academy, Williams College, Oxford, Harvard and Yale, where she earned a law degree. She practiced law with a private firm in Boston before becoming an Assistant U.S. Attorney there. She subsequently served as Chief Education Counsel in the U.S. Senate, staffing Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, before joining Harvard.
Derek Pierce is the proud, founding principal of Casco Bay High School for Expeditionary Learning and was formerly the principal at Poland Regional High School. He has taught English, theater and American Studies in schools from Los Angeles to Gorham. He has lived in Portland with his family since 1993. He remains, some say tragically, a Mets fan.