Meet Our Team
Executive Director, Chris Getoor
Chris began working at Strong Wings as Director of Programs in 2008. He took on his current role as Executive Director in 2016. Chris earned his B.S. in History with a secondary education minor from St. Joseph’s College in 2000. Among other positions in education, Chris taught Spanish and Ecology at the Nantucket New School prior to his tenure at Strong Wings.
An avid surfer, bow hunter, outdoorsman, and adventure enthusiast, he has a true passion for working with children and sharing his love for nature and adventure with people of all ages.
Director of Programs, Claire Winship
Claire started her Strong Wings journey as a bike camper in 1996. After graduating from Warren Wilson College with a B.A in Environmental Studies, she returned home to Nantucket and to Strong Wings in 2011 to work as a group leader. Claire accepted a year-round position in 2012 and has been in her current role since 2014. A talented administrator and a gifted, caring educator; Claire is an invaluable member of our team and family.
Assistant Director of Programs / Aquatics Director, Andrew Trott-Kielawa
Andrew "TK" started his journey with the organization in 2011 when he worked seasonally as a group leader for Strong Wings. Years later; after graduating from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst, he returned to take a year-round position as the Assistant Director of Programs at Strong Wings. TK is an avid surfer, shellfisherman, and an outdoor enthusiast with a passion for working with children.
He loves helping them experience the island's beauty through outdoor education. TK holds certifications from the American Red Cross in lifeguarding, first aid, and is a water safety instructor. He has undergone training from Project Adventure in teaching social and emotional learning through adventure activities and team-building exercises which are currently being implemented in the Strong Wings curriculum.
Group Leader, Leigh Olson
Leigh Olson is originally from New Jersey but now lives on Nantucket year-round. Fortunately, both of her siblings are on island and affiliated with Strong Wings. Her older sister Kate, is a full-time employee of the Nantucket New School, while her older brother Christopher, will be beginning his first summer as part of the Strong Wings Staff. She graduated from Salve Regina University in 2020 with a degree in Studio Art and concentrations in illustration and painting. This will be Leigh’s fourth summer as a Strong Wings counselor. She loves to create art, spend time outside, and explore mindfulness activities. Fun fact, she spent the 2020-2021 school year as a Kindergarten TA at the Nantucket New School.
Group Leader, Christopher Olson
Christopher, the brother of Kate and Leigh Olson, both of whom have been connected to The New School, as well as Strong Wings for many years, is a New Jersey native. He has summered on Nantucket for over twenty years and lived here since 2017.
He attended The Gunnery boarding school in Washington, CT where he rowed competitively for eight seasons. He then went on to Rollins College in Winter Park, FL where he completed his bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Psychology. He has since been employed bySouth Eastern ABA as a behavioral therapist for mainly children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This will be his first summer working for StrongWings. Christopher enjoys long distance running, as well as all aspects surrounding health and fitness.
Group Leader, Heather Lappin
Heather Lappin is a senior at the University of Colorado: Boulder. She grew up on the Jersey Shore and in New York City. She is receiving her bachelor's of science in Psychology and her minor in Creative Writing. Heather has been vacationing on Nantucket with family friends since she was 12, but this will be her first summer living here! She loves all things funny and comedy so don’t be afraid to be silly with her! This will also be her first year at Strong Wings!
Group Leader, Scott Tanch
Scott is from Rowley, Massachusetts and a long time summer resident. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and math with a focus on Aerospace from UVM, where he will be returning for a Masters program in the fall. He is a former camper and this will be his 9th summer working for Strong Wings.
Group Leader, Claire O'Connell
Clare is from Charlottesville, Virginia. She will be starting her junior year at Hobart and William Smith Colleges next Fall where she is working on a double major in Environmental Studies and Sociology. Clare has visited Nantucket periodically throughout summers in the past but this is her first year as a counselor at Strong Wings; she cannot wait! In her free time Clare loves to be outside, especially by the water. She has grown up swimming and rowing competitively and also loves to sail. In addition to being active and playing outside, she enjoys painting, reading, and photography. One fun fact about Clare is that she is directly related to Lucretia Mott, a famous women’s rights activist who was born on Nantucket.
Group Leader, Rani Dey
Rani is German-American. She has just finished her 3/6 year of Medical Studies in Vilnius, Lithuania. She is a former camper and has been a counselor since 2016. Rani loves horseback riding, volleyball, skiing, and spending time with friends! Rani can't wait to meet both the new and returning campers this summer.
Group Leader, Jamie Rowley
Jamie is from McKean, PA and has grown up coming to Nantucket. He took this past year off of school to live and work in Big Sky, Montana. In the fall, he’ll be going back to Penn State as a sophomore with a major in finance. This will be his third summer as a counselor and he’s pumped to be back! He loves to fish and be out on the water in his free time.
Group Leader, Izzy Goldfarb
Izzy is from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She just graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, with a BA in Urban & Environmental Policy. While Izzy has spent time in Nantucket, this will be her first summer with Strong Wings. Izzy enjoys painting and printmaking in her spare time.
Group Leader, Jakobe Stevens
Jakobe is 20 years old and from Arizona, where he attends Mesa Community College. He has grown up vacationing on Nantucket with his family. This will be Jakobe’s third year as a group leader for Strong Wings. Since the COVID-19 pandemic Jakobe has learned to enjoy activities such as running, reading, gardening, and vegan cooking! If you see him around don’t hesitate to say hello!
Group Leader, Liam Cuddy
Liam is from the North Shore of Boston and studies Education at UMass Lowell. He is a former camper and CIT. This will be his 6th year on the staff. Liam is passionate about fitness, a wide range of sports, biking and is a lover of fine food. He lives for his time at Strong Wings and is so stoked to get back in the saddle.
Group Leader, Ava Blankman
Ava is from Omaha, NE. She is a senior at Arizona State University studying Biology and Sustainability. This is her 3rd summer working for Strong Wings. She has worked in both Bike Camp and Van Camp. She loves exploring the island with the campers and can't wait to do it all over again this summer!
Group Leader, Noah Bachner
Noah is from Weston Connecticut and just completed his senior year of high school. Next fall he will be attending Bates College and will be studying environmental science. This will be Noah's second year as a counselor after spending two years as a CIT and five as a camper. Noah enjoys spending time outdoors and is an advanced open water SCUBA diver and EMT.
Group Leader, Lucy Gund
Lucy is a rising Junior at Northwestern University studying Psychology with minors in Business Institutions and Spanish. In her free time Lucy loves working out, traveling, and spending time with friends. In addition to working at Strong Wings, Lucy is doing a marketing internship with Cisco Brewers. This will be her third summer at Strong Wings and she is so excited to be back.
Group Leader, Cole Dugdale
Cole is from London, England but grew up in the south of France. He will be a sophomore at Durham University, England studying Mathematics. This will be his 5th summer working for Strong Wings and his 2nd as a counselor. An avid surfer and sailor, Cole loves to spend time on the water.
Group Leader, Sydney Kasmer
Sydney was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA and has been a long-time summer resident. Sydney just graduated from Harriton High School and will be a freshman at the University of Vermont this upcoming fall. She plans to major in Environmental Studies. She was a three-sport varsity athlete in high school and loves to play basketball, soccer and lacrosse. She also loves to rock climb, surf, and mountain bike. She used to be a camper for many summers as well as a CIT. She is now looking forward to being a counselor this summer for Strong Wings!
Group Leader, Charles Davies
Charlie is a rising sophomore at Georgetown University in Washington DC and is from Short Hills, New Jersey. Charlie is planning on studying History and Government. This is Charlie’s first summer as a strong wings counselor. Outside of his academics, Charlie enjoys playing and coaching squash and spending time with his siblings and cousins.
Group Leader, Liz Giroux
Liz is from Cave Creek, Arizona. She will be starting senior year of high school this coming fall. Liz is a former camper and was a much-loved CIT. She is starting her first year as a counselor and is SO excited! Liz loves spending time with her friends, family and working with children.
Group Leader, Miranda Degen
Miranda is from Berlin, Germany and just graduated from the University of Glasgow with a BSc in Psychology. She will be attending the University of New South Whales for an integrated masters/PhD program in forensic psychology. This is her first summer with Strong Wings and she’s super excited! Miranda is a certified yoga teacher, loves travelling and her dog Ophelia.
Group Leader, Aiden Roberts
Aiden was born and raised on Nantucket and is a rising sophomore at the University of Massachusetts Amherst planning on graduating pre-med with a major in biology. Aiden is a former camper and this will be his 5th summer working at Strong Wings. When Aiden is not working he likes to swim, surf, watch movies, and play football, soccer, tennis, golf, lacrosse, and street hockey. A fun fact about Aiden is that he swam competitively on Nantucket for over 12 years but chose not to swim at UMass in order to focus on academics. He also can locate every country in the world and its capital!
Group Leader, Sydney Ryder
Sydney was born and raised on Nantucket and is a graduate of Nantucket High School. She will be attending the University of Miami this fall as a freshman and is considering architecture and interior design as a major. Sydney is a former camper and this will be her 4th year working at Strong Wings. She played lacrosse and field hockey in high school and was a figure skater on the Island Waves synchronized skating team. She likes going to the beach and spending time with her friends and family.
Group Leader, Julian Halpern
Julian is from Berkeley, California. He graduated from Occidental College in May of 2020 and continues to live in Los Angeles, CA. He completed a degree with a double-major in Spanish Studies and Critical Theory & Social Justice as well as a minor in Linguistics. It is his first year as a group leader at Strong Wings. He is a nature enthusiast who loves rock climbing, backpacking, birdwatching, and skateboarding! He plays the alto saxophone and is a lover of travel, smoothies, and spending time with friends outdoors. His favorite animal is the mountain lion.
Group Leader, Kayla Hudzik
Kayla will be a senior at Lynn University and is an elementary education major. She was born and raised on the island and is a graduate from Landmark High School. Kayla is a former camper and volunteered as a junior counselor before becoming a counselor. This will be her fourth year as a full-time staff member. Kayla brings her passion for working with children and her love of the island to Strong Wings.
Group Leader, Alec Vollans
Alec has lived on Nantucket for his whole life and is a proud former camper. He was a CIT and is now excited to start his third year as a group leader. He is a freshman at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. where he studies Classical Guitar. He loves traveling, music, and nature. Alec can’t wait to return to Strong Wings!