Staff

Tania Krumpak, Academic Director

Tania was raised in Vancouver, BC, where she completed her BA and her BEd, and began her Master’s degree in Curriculum Studies at the University of British Columbia. She began teaching English and Humanities in 2007 at a small independent school on Bowen Island, and continued her practice at Stratford Hall, a larger K-12 private school, in Vancouver. She has been a teacher, administrator, and coordinator in both schools over the past 9 years. She loves good food, good books, and is working on her first novel. She and her husband and two children relocated to Bellingham recently, and they live close to downtown with their puppy.

 

 

Kathy Weinkle, Business Manager

Connecting the various kinds of work she loves is what brought Kathy to Explorations early Summer 2015. Kathy has a passion for listening to people’s stories and helping them making connections to figure out what they want to do next. Kathy loves to hike in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, and in the winter ski any chance she gets. Gardening, making collages and hanging out with her very energetic almost-teenage daughter and her intrepid dog Biscuit round out daily life.

 

 

Frank Kuhl, Math Faculty

Frank was born in Baltimore, MD. However, circumstances took him to Pennsylvania and he never lived in Maryland again. Music was such an integral part of early life that he never imagined being without it. Early on, Frank took piano lessons. He was able to start playing trumpet and do lots of singing in high school. From then on it’s been pretty much an endless stream of lessons, courses, ensembles, bands, orchestras, liturgies, combos, shows, etc. Frank has a BA in Philosophy and Structural Linguistics from LaSalle University in Philadelphia. He also received a Masters in Education From Queens University in Ontario, Canada as well as a Masters in Music and Wind Ensemble Literature. He has taught math and music internationally, and currently teaches Integrated Math curriculum at Explorations Academy. Currently Frank plays trumpet in two ensembles at Western, and plays regularly with the talented people of Paul Sorensen’s Northern Lights Jazz Orchestra. He also directs the Bellingham High School Alumni Band. Mornings are spent teaching math and sometimes music at Explorations Academy. He enjoys reading, and teaching math affords him psychological grounding and mental balance.

 

Allie Mack, Science and Spanish Faculty

Allie grew up in Olympia and developed a love for the rain and the mountains. She graduated with a BA from Willamette University in both math and Spanish. She moved to Ecuador to study organic farming and fell into a teaching position at a small environmental school, which would set her on the path to a career in education. She ran a school program teaching science and gardening in a public bilingual school in San Francisco, and has facilitated summer leadership programs abroad for high school students for the past 3 years. Last year she was back in Ecuador investigating chocolate, fermentation, and gardening in the cloud forest. In her free time, you’re likely to find her either cooking, on the soccer field, or exploring the PNW wilderness.

 

 

Daniel Rommel, Math and PE Faculty

Daniel persued Mathematics & Philosophy at Western Washington University. Outside of EA, he loves spending time outdoors and enjoys making music as a hobby. His math classes are a blend of interactive seminars and real world projects that are reflections of the abstract numbers. Daniel’s foremost passion for teaching is to generate excitement for learning mathematics.

 

 

 

Marley Simmons-Abril, English and Social Studies Faculty

Marley earned her BA in Sociology from Mills College in 2002, and her MFA in multi-genre Creative Writing in 2017. Marley has done a lot in between, including loads of travel, running her own landscaping business, and performing with a local dance troupe. Prior to EA, she taught writing, research, and critical inquiry at Western Washington University. In addition to teaching English and social studies here, she is the Fiction Editor at Psaltery & Lyre.

 

 

 

Jenny O’Toole, Program Assistant

Jenny is from a suburb outside the Twin Cities, Minnetonka, MN. She grew up canoeing and camping in the Boundary Waters and swing dancing and singing in Minneapolis.
After returning from 3 years in China and Taiwan, where she was learning a third language while teaching English and outdoor education with Outward Bound, she has spent the last year in the North Cascades working at a learning center and studying a masters in environmental education through Western Washington University. She was in Mexico and Spain before that, traveling, teaching and practicing her salsa dancing! Though she’s loved every public and private school opportunity she’s had the privilege of teaching in, she’s eager to immerse herself in the possibilities of a healthier education: a combination of outdoor, environmental, experiential, cultural, and language-rich studies. Working at Explorations she is inspired, challenged and pushed to grow as an educator and advocate for the Earth and all young people, re-centering herself on what education is all about.

 

 

Bacchus Taylor,         Head of School

Bacchus was born in a small hidden village in Northern California, protected by a rogue border patrol that removed any sign that suggested such a place existed. He spent his early years there frolicking on the beach with the children of hippie rock stars until his family decided it was time to move to the Seattle area and give the public school system a go. Bacchus tried about as many schools as he could, including four different institutions during his high school years. He eventually earned a BA from the Evergreen State College and a Master’s in Teaching from Western Washington University. He found his way to Explorations Academy and learned more as a teacher than he ever did as a student. During his eight-year stint, he discovered a passion for backpacking, cooking, foraging, and finding the hidden connections that make any subject fascinating. He also started his thru-hiking obsession, hiking the Camino de Santiago four times, crossing most of Iceland, and completing the Pacific Crest Trail. He is excited to return to Explorations Academy in a new capacity.