Meet Our Team

Meet the team of professionals dedicated to promoting the mission of Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center

Jude Hamel

Executive Director

Jude was fortunate to make connections with nature at a young age through her experiences hiking the Long Trail, fishing, camping and cross country skiing with her family. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Southern New Hampshire University where she earned a M.S. in Community Economic Development, Jude has spent most of her career working in the nonprofit sector with a commitment to building community. Still an avid lover of the outdoors and nature, Jude enjoys beekeeping, gardening, raising chickens and goats, hiking, and spending time with her family.

Phoebe VanScoy-Giessler

Development & Communications Director

Phoebe joined the team in December 2018 and is thrilled to be able to tell the inspiring stories of Prescott Farm. She received her BA in journalism and politics at Ithaca College and completed Masters level work in Education at Plymouth State University. Formerly a classroom teacher and school librarian, she has previously worked at social services, environmental and educational nonprofits from Los Angeles, CA to Albany, NY. Phoebe lives in Tuftonboro with her husband and 3 boys. Her favorite way to enjoy the natural world is by running on the trails and roads of the Lakes Region.

Jake Newcomb

Camp Director

Jake hails from Norway, ME and received his BA in History from the University of Maine. He was camp coordinator on the coast of Maine before joining the Prescott Farm team in July 2018 as Camp Director.  Jake brings with him his love of the outdoors, and passion for summer camp. In his free time Jake enjoys hiking, backpacking, canoeing, camping, bushcraft, good books and his cats, Chloe and Mabel. Jake never went to summer camp as a child, but he is thrilled to be able to create enriching summer camp experiences for others.

Courtney Coppi

Preschool Programs Director

Courtney has been interested in educating children about nature since high school, when she completed an internship with the Director of Education at Massachusetts Audubon Society. She was subsequently hired as a teacher/naturalist, camp counselor, and Audubon Ark teacher where she traveled to area schools to teach students about imprinted wildlife. At Wheaton College, she earned her BA in English and Education. She has held various positions in the field of education, from teaching preschool, elementary school, and being an administrator and curriculum coordinator. Courtney raises goats, rabbits, and chickens and enjoys gardening, beekeeping, and spending time on the lake with her family.

Ashleigh Roberts

Environmental Educator

Originally from Ohio, Ashleigh joined Prescott Farm in 2020. Ashleigh began teaching outdoors as a summer camp counselor while earning a B.A. in Middle Childhood Education from Ohio Northern University. Since then, Ashleigh has worked as an outdoor/environmental educator across the United States from Virginia to California and earned an M.A. in Education from Muskingum University. Ashleigh enjoys hiking—with lots of stops to enjoy the tiny things, being curious, and learning about how people relate to the outdoors.

Debbie Dunn

Bookkeeper/Administrative Assistant

Debbie came to Prescott Farm in December 2013 having worked as a bank teller, office manager, bookkeeper, and customer service representative. She loves spending time in the great outdoors with her husband and little white dog, Lemonade. Originally from Portland, ME, Deb raised three children in Wells, ME and now resides in Gilmanton. She is a ‘fanatical’ recycler but when she is not ‘reducing, reusing, and recycling’ she likes to exercise, play racquetball, knit,  explore the White Mountains, and enjoy her grandchildren.

Mary Doyle

Environmental Educator

Mary’s nature connection journey formally began while studying at Tom Brown’s Tracker School. She was hooked and continued her studies with various Wilderness Awareness School and 8 Shields programs. Mary has worked as a classroom teacher and an environmental educator in public and private schools and nonprofit organizations. She holds English, Psychology, and Secondary Education degrees from Alma College and Central Michigan University and an M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction from Plymouth State University. She is also a NH certified ELA teacher. Mary lives on an old farm with her husband John and daughter Joanna. She loves to garden, cross country ski, listen to the birds, practice qigong, and discover nature’s stories.

Maria Sorensen

AmeriCorp VISTA – Volunteer Coordinator/Development Assistant

Maria holds a B.S. in Animal Science from the University of Connecticut. She has managed volunteers during her undergraduate career and has volunteered with various organizations as a teenager. Maria lives in Dover and is excited to get to know the communities of the Lakes Region. Maria comes to Prescott Farm through the Catholic Charities NH AmeriCorps VISTA program.  Maria’s favorite way to spend time in nature is through hiking.


Jeff Pearson


Jeff was born and raised in Massachusetts and spent every summer on Lake Winnipesaukee. He graduated from New Hampshire Vocational Technical College and New Hampshire College. Jeff worked at Stafford Oil Company for 32 years and retired as a partner/owner in 2014. He now enjoys working on engines, farming, fishing and spending time with family. He and his wife have 5 children and live in Laconia.

Christopher Connors


Christopher joined the Prescott Farm team in September 2020. He  lives in Gilmanton Iron Works where he cares for chickens, goats, and a dog named Rex. Christopher participated in the CRAVE (Centerplate Recruiting and Assistance for Valuable Employees) program at Gunstock. He has also worked at Shaw’s grocery store and the Common Man. When he’s not at work he likes to listen to ’60s music. His favorite thing to do in nature is go fishing.

Locate Us

Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center
928 White Oaks Road
Laconia, NH 03246
(603) 366-5695
(603) 366-5720 (Fax)

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