Staff & Trustees

World Ocean School Board of Directors

World Ocean School Staff:

DwightCaptain Dwight L. Deckelmann
Vice President and Co-founder

Dwight started the World Ocean School out of a desire to use the sea as a way to teach students about responsibility and community building. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Principia College, in Alton, Illinois, Dwight has spent many years building boats, performing yacht deliveries, and expanding his knowledge of marine ecology and navigation. As a self-taught sailor, Dwight is passionate about education and learning. With his tremendous skills in carpentry and design, as well as his contacts throughout the marine world, Dwight managed the restoration of Roseway in 2002. Serving as Roseway‘s full time captain, he holds a 100-ton U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s License and continues to oversee the maintenance and operation of Roseway. When not on board, Dwight lives with his wife in Portland, Maine.

Abby E. Kidder, M.A.
President and Co-founder

Abby Kidder started the World Ocean School while working at the Institute for Global Ethics in Camden, Maine, where she joined the staff in 1990. Holding a master’s degree in Human Ecology and Environmental Ethics from College of the Atlantic, she has authored a secondary-school curriculum titled How Big is Your Backyard? An Ethics-Based Approach to Environmental Decision Making, published by the Institute in 2001. As a certified trainer for the Institute, she organized seminars for teachers in the United States and abroad, presented widely to educators using the Institute’s curricular materials, designed new products and services, and worked directly with teachers, administrators, and students. Whether on board the ship or working from her office in Boston, her time is spent overseeing the day to day management of the school, fund-raising and building long term capacity for the organization.

LizPhoto_edited-1Liz Kincheloe-Spain
Executive Assistant

Liz joined the World Ocean School in June 2014 to hold down the fort in the new Boston office.  Originally from North Carolina, Liz is excited to be back on the east coast after spending the past year, with her husband, in Northern California.  Liz brings a wide array of experiences to the World Ocean School, from time spent in museum education with the MonDak Heritage Center in Sidney, Montana and the Providence Children’s Museum in Providence, Rhode Island, to a background in sales and marketing with the PGA TOUR.  With a deep love of the water and an eagerness to return to the non-profit work she enjoyed after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Liz became a founding staff member of the community sailing school, Sail Nauticus, in Norfolk, Virginia in 2013.  Now with the World Ocean School, Liz is thrilled to again be a part of an organization based around the water, with youth education at the heart of its mission. 

PaolinoCaptain Aaron Paolino
Program and Port Captain 

Aaron grew up sailing in New England, and has voyaged as far as Nova Scotia and Honduras on traditionally rigged sailing vessels.  For much of the last 10 years he has captained wooden sailing vessels in Maine’s Penobscot Bay.  He taught navigation at Maine Maritime Academy while earning a Master’s degree in Maritime Management there.  Aaron holds a USCG 1600 ton Ocean Master’s license, and has recently spent time working aboard the most powerful emergency response tugs in the world, stationed in the Gulf of Alaska.  When not sailing, he spends his time with his family in Thomaston Maine.

tom2Captain Tom Ryan

Tom grew up sailing the waters of New England with his father and mother, and then started racing turnabouts, eventually moving up to 420′s, and then on to the cruising class. It wasn’t long before he fell in love with schooners and purchased his own 50 ft schooner in 2004 named St Brendan, and in 2005 sailed his schooner south. Tom lived aboard and chartered the vessel for a winter season in the Virgin Islands and then returned to New England to operate private charters aboard St. Brendan in Boston. In 2006 he was hired by the World Ocean School to serve as a part time chief mate aboard Roseway–-a job which quickly turned in to full-time captain. He has sailed Roseway ever since and now serves as one of her primary captains and educators. He holds a USCG 500-ton oceans license with a number of endorsements. Tom lives with his wife and son in Atlanta, GA. 

Elizabethe B. Silverio
Director of Finance and Administration

Betcie is an office generalist of the most diverse kind. She has worked for an assortment of non-profits with responsibilities ranging from Executive Assistant (including interface with board of directors) to Office Manager. Among other work, she has worked for a publishing house as an editor’s personal assistant; a PBS television series as Business Manager, involving event planning; and a rare-breed preservation farm with administrative, bookkeeping and desk-top publishing tasks. Most recently, Betcie owned her own public relations and administrative outsourcing business before her daughter was born. She has a BA in Communications from Principia College in Illinois and taught English as a second language in Taiwan. Working from the head World Ocean School office in Camden, Maine she is known as “Base-camp Betcie.” She lives with her husband and daughter in Lincolnville, Maine.

SamanthaSamantha Witkes, M.A. 
Education Director

Samantha joined the World Ocean School in August 2013 and spent her first 3-weeks living and working aboard Roseway. She quickly learned what the organization was all about and is excited to join as the Education Director. Samantha has a bachelors degree from Lafayette College and received her Masters in Teaching from Simmons College. She has spent the past 5 years immersing herself in the education of children in the Boston area. She has taught in elementary classrooms in Newton and Boston and was the Director of a Sylvan Learning Center south of the city. Samantha enjoys running in local local road races, spending time at the beach in Maine and snowboarding in the winter.