Betsy Davis brings nearly 40 years of management experience in corporate, small business, and non-profit leadership roles to her service as Executive Director. Decades after graduating from Stanford University, she attended Seattle Central College’s boatbuilding program, then served for more than a decade as Executive Director of The Center for Wooden Boats, the Northwest’s hands-on maritime museum. She is the owner of a century-old wooden boat named Glorybe.
Education Director & Title IX Coordinator
Carolyn “Ace” Spragg grew up on the Chesapeake Bay, messing about in boats. Her first boat was a raft, which went through many upgrades over 5 summers of glorious adventures. Her love of the water became the basis for her teaching and camping career, which spanned 20 years as a camp Waterfront Director and Program Director. Relocating to the Puget Sound in 2000, she moved aboard a sailboat and found her way back to teaching – adults this time – who were afraid to dock their boat. This led to 11 years with the Northwest Maritime Center as an instructor, Sailing Director and Program Director.
Ace has her USCG 50 ton Master’s License, International Sail and Power Association Yachtmaster Offshore teaching certification, US Sailing teaching certification, and is a US Maritime Academy Captain’s License Instructor. She’s skippered her boat to Hawaii and back with all-women crews, and happily cruised the beautiful waters of the Salish Sea. She also speaks at various seminars on Docking, Anchoring, Navigation, Tides and Currents and Trip Planning. Somewhere in her twenties she ended up landlocked at Kansas State University and got a MS in Biomechanics (hurray for physics!), but has mostly stuck to the coastal waters of the continent, where her addiction to boats is understood and encouraged.
Deputy Director & Student Affairs Manager
Originally from Florida, Christina’s past professional life as a microbiologist contained fluorescent lights, white lab coats, and a mean knack for microscopy. She joined the Boat School team in 2015 as the Development and Communications Manager, focusing on donor relations, fundraising, and digital communications. She now enjoys problem solving and supporting incoming and enrolled students and graduates. Following her husband’s graduation in the 2013 boatbuilding program, they decided to stay in the area after falling in the love with the community and natural beauty of the Olympic Peninsula. Christina is passionate about horses and a lover of gummy bears. She is fairly new to off-grid living, chicken-breeding, and child-rearing.
Admissions & Student Services Manager
Heidi, a Pacific Northwest Native, grew up on boats, fishing recreationally with her family on the Columbia River and canoeing 120-miles down Utah’s Green River. She earned a BS in Mathematics from Colorado State University and led a diverse professional career, including a management role with Merrill Lynch and running her own productivity and organization business. After living abroad in Copenhagen and Prague she moved to Port Townsend in 2015 and began working with the school. Her expertise with data organization led to development of the school’s new online institutional archive and, in 2018, to her current role as Admissions and Student Services Manager.
Financial Aid Officer & Title IV Coordinator
Katie moved north from Morro Bay, California in 1991 with a friend who was attending the Boat School. She fell in love with the Pacific Northwest, transplanted, and built her own house through a cooperative neighborhood building program. Katie has more than 25 years of experience as Business/Finance manager for non-profit organizations. She is passionate about keeping the Boat School on an even keel and helping students live their wooden boat dreams.
Alle brings over ten years of experience working in diverse financial positions. She is a graduate of Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Marketing and Communications and a Certificate of Accounting from South Seattle College. She has a love for being on the water and has discovered a new passion through hand tools and woodworking by tackling new building projects at home.
Shop and Facilities Manager
Jim brings to the table 20 years of experience sourcing materials and equipment, researching suppliers, managing shipping and receiving, and overseeing daily financials for Pygmy Boats, a small boat manufacturing business. Before his management position, Jim successfully ran his own cabinet making business where he used a similar mix of knowledge and technical expertise.
Facilities Crew Member
Class of 2020 & 2021
Following six years in the U.S. Air Force, Mo worked as a kayak and SCUBA guide and purchased a Cape Dory 28 sailboat in Portland that he sailed down the Columbia River and up the coast, eventually ending up in the Puget Sound where he enrolled at NWSWB. “After finishing both the boatbuilding and marine systems programs, I wasn’t quite ready to leave the amazing community that revolves around the school,” says Mo, so he joined the Boat School staff as Facilities Crew Member. He lives aboard a 38′ 1968 wooden troller (Port Orford Cedar planking and White Oak steam-bent frames) that was converted in the late 90’s to a comfortable cruising boat by extending the cabin over the back deck.
Administrative Assistant and Visitor Services
Kristin grew up in New England and is a recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest, having relocated from Maine a few years back. She earned a B.A. from Connecticut College where she studied Theater, Film, and Marine Biology. She then joined a professional theater company on Cape Cod assisting with marketing, development, and event planning, and also supported theater productions backstage. She quickly learned that the magic that happens behind the scenes is just as important as what happens onstage. Her theater background has inspired her to find roles with organizations where she can be part of a team, meet new people, and bring folks together to share education and celebrate what inspires them. This has led her to customer service positions with varied organizations, including wineries, colleges, market research firms, and nonprofits, as well as another boatbuilding school on the East coast – which was her first opportunity to do a deep dive into the marine industry. She loves living near the ocean and the mountains, and feels lucky to be on the Olympic Peninsula and enjoy the best of both worlds.
Alum Services Coordinator
After earning her BA in environmental outdoor education from Western Washington University, Ginny enjoyed an eclectic array of mini-careers: retail manager, non-profit administrator, teacher, commercial fisher, and bicycle tour guide throughout the west. Following Boat School graduation in 2008, she was one of seven NWSWB alums chosen to represent U.S. boatbuilding at the 2019 Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart, Tasmania. She went on to work as a shipwright at the Port Townsend Shipwrights Co-op before striking out on her own as a shipwright and custom woodworker at Thorn Boatworks.
Beverly grew up on a small farm in Sequim, spending her youth riding horses in the foothills of the Olympics, and fishing and swimming at the family’s cabin on the beach near Mats Bay. A YACC job at the Visitors Center for Olympic National Park, which included sorting out the Park’s research library, sparked a passion for connecting books and people. Years later, after a move to Alaska, she was hired as the first paid “librarian” at the tiny Delta Junction Library. At that time the Alaska State Library, in conjunction with University of Alaska Fairbanks, offered a degree program for rural/bush “librarians”, which fit perfectly with her rural lifestyle. Moving “home” after 20 years in interior Alaska, a brief volunteer moment led to an opening at the Port Townsend Public library and 21 years of inspiring work of connecting people to books and so much more! She is now grateful for the opportunity to join NWSWB as librarian, and continue to connect students to resources that enhance and inspire their education.
Andrew is a researcher, editor, and writer whose love of the PNW and boats has brought him to the Boat School to learn and write about the wooden boatbuilding industry. He has a PhD in political science from Brown University, has edited various journals and books on Asia and U.S. foreign policy, and is the author of Boy on the Bridge: The Story of John Shalikashvili’s American Success, a biography of the first foreign-born chairman of the U.S. Joints Chiefs of Staff. In his spare time he lugs a telephoto lens around in search of birds and experiments with syphon-brewing methods in pursuit of that perfect cup of coffee.
Class of 2020 & 2022
Antonio grew up in northwest Washington and Southeast Alaska, where he was part of the Haida descendant dance group. After serving in the Coast Guard (he joined when he was 20) Antonio went to the Universal Technical Institute to learn auto/diesel computer hookups for diagnosing technical issues. “I grew up in a small community in Alaska with all branches of the military personnel living in our town. Military individuals from all over the globe trying to get along and find things to do. I do have personal experience both as an individual living in a new area as well as a Veteran fresh out of the service, living in completely new surroundings. I relocated to Port Hadlock area within the last year, moving from Minneapolis-Saint Paul, MN. The sense of community here is strong and I look forward to adding a positive contribution to making it grow.”
Rita is the Veterans Outreach Coordinator for Vet Connect, a local veteran service group associated with Olympic Community Action Programs. Rita has more than 30 years of experience as a vocational rehabilitation counselor working in medical, industrial, private, and non-profit settings. She is retired from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs where she counseled disabled veterans in their planning for education, training, and employment. Rita has an MS degree in Vocational Rehabilitation from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, and she is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.