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Education is not a one size fits all. Alternative schooling systems allow students that struggle in conventional school systems to work in a self-directed curriculum. Diane Murphy is a poet, gardener, singer, and lover of art, music, and dance. She believes self-directed education is the most authentic and innovative way for teens to learn. The BigFish Learning Community is her leap of faith and leap out of the public school system where she’d been teaching for many years. Previously a Maine public school English teacher, Diane ran after-school theater programs, playwriting classes, and a yoga club and also taught English at York County Community College.

Madison Person is a high school senior and artist. During her sophomore year, she withdrew from public school and registered as a homeschooler to craft her own education based on her interests and passion for art. Over the past two years, she has been building her academic and artistic portfolio by studying at a self-directed learning center, apprenticing with professional artists, conducting independent research, and selling/showing her artwork. She grew up on a small farm in South Berwick and enjoys kayaking and climbing trees.