Meet The Team

Charles H. Lagerbom received his MA in History/Archaeology from University of Maine. He organized surveys of ship remains in Maine lakes, the 1779 Penobscot Expedition and the 17th century English galleon Angel Gabriel off Pemaquid. Two field seasons were spent in Antarctica with University of Maine Quaternary Institute, now Climate Change Institute. He is author of Whaling in Maine and Maine to Cape Horn: The Most Dangerous Journey and writes a maritime column entitled Half Seas Over for the local newspaper Village Soup. In addition to AP US History, Charles teaches New England Maritime History and co-teaches the Marine Studies Class as part of the Belfast Marine Institute while also frequently speaking on Antarctica, Cape Horn, Maine whaling and New England colonial and maritime history.

Kimberly Baker is a New York transplant and grew up on the Long Island Sound. She has her BFA in Arts Education from the University of Southern Maine. Graduating from Belfast Area High School, she got to experience the rich art and marine culture that makes up this town. Having the privilege to teach art here, Kimberly enjoys watching students grow in their creativity and ability and is excited to be part of the Marine Institute.

Ryan W. Fitzjurls teaches various social studies courses at Belfast Area High School, enabling him to combine his passions for maritime and historical studies in the classroom. He holds a B.S. in social studies education from Thomas College, and aims to pursue further related studies. Ryan is a Belfast native, hailing from a town rich in maritime history and industry of its own. In addition to his midcoast Maine roots, Ryan is an avid Great Lakes maritime history enthusiast, and member of the National Maritime Historical Society. He is excited to join the Belfast Marine Institute and help grow the organization.

Christopher Audet PE, LATC  has been teaching PE and Outdoor education for the past 25 years in both Belfast and Camden. His goal is to help students have a voice and a choice in their learning and instil in them the tools to be life-long learners. When not teaching, he is a Master Maine Sea Kayaking Guide and a Registered Maine Recreation Guide. Chris is also an ACA certified Advanced Open Water Sea Kayak instructor and advanced white water instructor. He holds the British Canoe Union’s 4 star sea leader certification. -WFR certified; -Special Olympics certified track and field coach; -Former Manager of the Jackson Kayak Professional Exploration Team; -Current member of the P&H Custom Kayaks professional paddling team.He is also the lead singer in a Van Halen tribute band.

Genna Black has a BS in Marine Biology from Maine Maritime Academy and a MS in Sustainable Natural Resource Management from Unity College. She has been teaching in Maine for 6 years and before that worked at the Maine Department of Marine Resources in Lobster Science. Genna holds a passion for fisheries science, the lobster industry, and most things under the waves. She is very excited to be included in the mission on marine themed, cross disciplinary education!

 Marah Dahnczyk has a B.A. in Geophysics from SUNY Geneseo and a M.S. in Earth Sciences with a Geophysics concentration from Scripps Institution of Oceanography where she worked in the Marine EM (electromagnetism) Laboratory.  Marah is excited to bring her experience in oceanographic research to the Marine Institute!   Her passion for science was nurtured on the back deck of research vessels as a Marine Technician and as a sea-going Geophysicist for wind farm development.  She has had the opportunity to work in the Caribbean and Bering Seas, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and the Gulf of Mexico.  She knows firsthand the doors that a solid public education can open and is thrilled to be a part of the BAHS Science Department and Marine Institute to contribute to quality education in our community.

David Thomas has taught high school science in four public high schools in New York, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Maine for over 20 years. He holds a B.S. in limnology (the study of biological, chemical, and physical features of lakes and rivers) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.S. in science education from Cornell University. Dave worked for four years as a research technician in northern Wisconsin and Michigan studying ecological changes as a result of whole-lake fertilization and fish manipulation experiments. He has taught marine studies and environmental research courses at the high school as well as UMaine Hutchinson Center.

Lindsey Schortz has been teaching at BCOPE, RSU 71’s alternative high school program, for the past five years.  She has a BA in Biology from Colby College. After spending multiple summers hiking, biking, canoeing and sailing throughout Maine as a teen, she moved to Maine permanently twenty three years ago with her family.  Prior to teaching, Lindsey owned a wholesale baking business in Belfast, Let Them Eat Cake.  Her two daughters both graduated from Belfast Area High School.  An enthusiastic gardener and coordinator of BCOPE’s garden program, Lindsey became enamored with aquaculture after reading, “Eat Like a Fish”, with one of her classes.  She is looking forward to teaching and learning with students to farm both the land and the sea responsibly.

Jess Woods was born and raised in mid-coast Maine, and graduated from Belfast Area High School in 1997. From there she moved to the city of Boston to pursue an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology from Simmons College. After a few years as a professional in the field of Higher Education, she returned to Maine to pursue a Master's Degree in Counselor Education at the University of Maine. Jess spent the majority of her career as a School Counselor at Belfast Area High School and Islebsoro Central School, until she decided to launch her own post-secondary search consulting business, JessWoods Consulting, in 2019. JessWoods Consulting specialized in creating meaningful, personalized student-centered educational plans for students. In her career she has helped to send students to institutions close to home and most recently as far away as Scotland. Jess understands that each student and family have individual goals for post-secondary planning, and works to ensure the right fit is available for every student. In 2021 Jess decided to jump back into public education and embarked on a new journey in Secondary Administration, as the Assistant Principal at Belfast Area High School, a role she is finding her most challenging, and rewarding, yet.

And last but not least, our students!