Catherine S

A Michigander at heart, Catherine grew up exploring and enjoying the beautiful outdoors of the Great Lakes state with her family. After graduating high school, Catherine decided to join a trail crew in Virginia. This began her love affair with manual labor and with the outdoors as a place of refuge and challenge. In the summers between years of college, Catherine worked on trail crews in Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks and Colorado. These experiences deepened her love for the West and her desire to intimately know the land.

Catherine received her undergraduate degree from Wheaton College, studying history, secondary education, and TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages). Catherine has always had a passion for watching people challenge their notions of themselves and the world and believes teaching provides a way for both teacher and student to co-construct ideas about ways of being together. She taught US Government and World History in West Chicago and loved the creativity, persistence, and empathy required to be an educator.

Catherine joined Elements because she wanted to be involved in the education of adolescents becoming “human beings” rather than “human doings.” She believes wilderness provides the space for people to confront their own limitations, develop authentic and vulnerable relationships with others, and be humbled by the vastness and interconnectedness of the natural world.

In her free time, Catherine can be found trail running, mountain biking, hiking, reading Wendell Berry and Terry Tempest Williams, and processing life in her many moleskin journals found shoved in the nooks and crannies of her backpacking backpacks.