Leader Bios! Meet Red, Ariel, Sean, and Isa!

We can’t believe that this year’s Apogee trip leaders will be rolling into Brunswick in less than three weeks! We’re looking forward to sharing our daily apogees, perigees, and kudos with each other (traditions that those new to the Apogee family will surely learn this summer). And while not everyone may be well-versed in A’s, P’s, and Ku’s just yet, here are four spectacular returning Apogee leaders who will have no problem guiding the way!

Red Giuliano – Pyrenees Mountains & Coast, New England Mountains & Coast

Returning leader Red Giuliano has citizenship in not just one, not two, but three countries (USA, Italy, and Switzerland)! Red spent the first 13 years of his life in Milan, Italy, with his American mother, Italian father, and his younger brother. From there, Red moved to Portland, Oregon where he perfected his English before his mother’s work took the family to Manila, Philippines, when Red was 16. In Manila, Red emerged as an exceptional student athlete at the International School of Manila, where he broke two school records while Captain of the Track and Field team. Outside the classroom (and off the track), Red spent time at the Philippine Institute for the Deaf working with students K-12 to overcome communication challenges. Red also worked with kids age seven to sixteen when he taught basic English and Math to refugees at the ABS-CBN Eco Village, a center for families affected by the explosion of Mt. Pinatubo (a Philippine volcano). Red recently graduated from Cornell University, where he majored in Economics. When Red isn’t working on cost/ benefit analysis, he participates in Cornell’s Outdoor Education program and Outdoor Odyssey, Cornell’s wilderness-based orientation program for incoming Freshmen. In addition to leading Vermont to Montréal in 2016 and Europe Coast to Coast last summer, Red has led numerous camping trips for students at Cornell, including a six-day canoe camping trip in the Adirondacks. Fluent in Italian, English and Spanish, Red will be an excellent language resource for his Apogee groups on our Pyrenees Mountains & Coast trips – and he also can’t wait to meet his New England Mountains & Coast students this summer!

Ariel Potter – Pyrenees Mountains & Coast, New England Mountains & Coast

World traveler Ariel Potter spends her time bouncing from one beautiful outdoor location to the next – believe it or not, she’s already been to every continent except Antarctica! Growing up in Yarmouth, Maine, Ariel’s passion for the outdoors was sparked at an early age by making the most of Maine’s varied seasons – she’d often enjoy foliaged walks with her close-knit family in the summer and play ice hockey games in the winter. She has since traveled to many other beautiful destinations with her family, such as New Zealand, Ecuador, Switzerland, Egypt, and Israel (to name a few). Despite her cross-continental adventures, Ariel’s travel bug was not satisfied; so she headed south to spend time in the Dominican Republic. There, she earned a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (which she later put to good use, heading further south to teach English at a Bolivian university). Ariel eventually returned to her Maine roots, working at a boatyard as a dockhand and using her scuba diving certification before heading west to Colorado College (CC), where she recently graduated as a Psychology major. At CC, Ariel spent a semester abroad in Tanzania, Italy, and India. Despite her busy travel schedule, Ariel has still made time to focus on two of the things she’s most passionate about: working with youth and outdoor education. Now, after having led Vermont to Montréal in 2016 and Northwest Explorer last summer, Ariel can’t wait to return for her third year with Apogee as our New England Mountains & Coast and Pyrenees Mountains & Coast trip leader!

Sean Dunn – Scottish Highlands, New England Mountains & Coast

Sean Dunn enters his second summer with Apogee with an incredible amount of experience as an outdoor educator for youth. Having also spent last summer in the field leading our Northwest Explorer trip, Sean will be an exceptional leader on our Scottish Highlands and New England Mountains & Coast trips! Originally from upstate New York, Sean grew up with a love of adventure: he’s traveled to Costa Rica, Great Britain, Holland, and Germany, and he even spent a semester in Berlin while studying at Trinity College. At Trinity, Sean majored in English and was a Teacher’s Assistant and First-Year mentor for an English class and poetry seminar. He kicked off each school year by leading outdoor hiking trips for freshmen, during which they’d backpack 25+ miles along the Appalachian Trail together. Leadership roles are nothing new to Sean, who has served as a camp counselor for a day camp in his hometown, tutored high school students, and organized weekly literary skill development groups. He even spent a fall as an Outdoor Education Leader for a camp in New Hampshire, where he facilitated team-building activities, led day hikes and canoe trips, and oversaw the high and low ropes courses. Sean has also spent two summers working at a camp in Washington state for campers with life-altering medical conditions, overseeing a boys’ cabin his first year, and returning the second summer as a Lodge Leader. Since last summer with Apogee, Sean has instructed kids in experiential science and recreation while working as a Naturalist at a camp, served as a ski instructor for under-5’s, and officially decided to head to SUNY Cortland this fall to pursue a M.S. in Recreation. Sean is excited to watch his students develop “self-confidence in themselves and trust in each other” on their Apogee trips this summer. We certainly can’t wait for Sean to bring his love of hiking, baking, and banjo-playing back to Apogee!

Isa Caliandro – Scottish Highlands, New England Mountains & Coast

Veteran leader extraordinaire Isabella (Isa – “eeee-sa”) Caliandro, of Concord, Massachusetts is back to lead our Scottish Highlands and New England Mountains & Coast trips this summer! A fourth-year Apogee leader, Isa has led our New England Mountains & Coast, Maine Coast Junior, California Mountains & Coast, and Alps Explorer trips, and she was also an Apogee student in 2009 and 2010 on our Northwest Explorer and erstwhile Vermont Hiker. Wowza! After her two summers as an Apogee student, Isa spent her junior year of high school at the High Mountain Institute, a school in the Colorado Rockies that combines academics and the natural world. Her love for the outdoors and travel grew further after her high school graduation when she took a gap year before starting college. During her gap year, Isa rock-climbed in Chamonix, France, hiked the Tour du Mont Blanc, and traveled to Wales and England, where she worked on organic farms. Isa recently graduated from St. Lawrence University, where she was an Environmental Studies major and Vice President of the Outing Club. Her junior year, she participated in a semester of field studies in Montana, where she spent her time backpacking and studying the environmental, geological, and anthropological history of the region. Away from the books, Isa plays the ukulele, knits, and cooks up a storm in the kitchen! Isa has also had plenty of experience working with kids outside of Apogee: for years, she has taught pottery classes to kids and led cycling trips for the Long Island (Maine) Community Center’s Adventure Club. Isa is looking forward to sharing the “beauty and adventure of the outdoors” with her Apogee students in the Scottish Highlands and has her fingers crossed that they’ll spot the Loch Ness monster this summer!