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McGillis Is Different: Meet Natalie Kaplan


Natalie Kaplan is a 3rd Grade Teacher, joining McGillis in 2017. Being open to new experiences has led Natalie on many adventures. After college she moved west from Memphis, TN to Washington state to work in experiential outdoor education working extended trips in the backcountry. Working for NOLS she had the opportunity to live in the Patagonia region of Chile and one summer drove from Chile to the US! While living in Wyoming her first classroom teaching position was at Fort Washakie Elementary on the Wind River Indian Reservation where she taught 3rd and 4th grade to members of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapahoe Indian tribes. Most recently Natalie, her husband, and daughter and took a year off and sailed in the Mediterranean Sea, across the Atlantic Ocean, and through the Caribbean Sea to Florida.


I am currently reading:
The Bookshop on the Corner


I am learning to:
Play the ukulele


Favorite McGillis lunch:
Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese


Favorite McGillis tradition:
Family Group - it defines McGillis as a place that wants to foster connections and community. 


Favorite McGillis moment:
Returning to McGillis after a year away and immediately feeling like I was home.


What is a powerful moment you experienced at school?
In my junior year of college, I was a student at NOLS in Wyoming. I had never slept in a tent and on the 4th day, it snowed 3 feet. It was the coldest I had ever been, but I was determined to learn how to be comfortable camping and living in the mountains. Refusing to give up to accomplish something difficult allowed me to discover that I was good at it and gave me confidence I had never had before. I knew then that I wanted to provide those types of experiences for students myself.