Board of Trustees

Amanda Abraham

Amanda grew up in Garden City, NY and attended Connecticut College, where she received a BA in Classical Civilizations with a minor in Art History.  She has over 15 years of experience in the not-for-profit fundraising field.  Most recently, Amanda was the Assistant Director of the Annual Fund at Stony Brook University, and is currently the Director of Development at the Peconic Land Trust in Southampton, NY.  Her career has given her experience in all aspects of fundraising, including events, major gifts, planned giving, and annual funds.  She lives in Baiting Hollow with her husband Charles and two children, Peconic Community School students Maddy and Liam.

Barbara Butterworth

Barbara is an educator whose long career began in 1966, as a Peace Corps Volunteer science teacher in a Nepali village high school. She went on to serve as principal of three schools – a private and a public school in California and the American international School in Kathmandu, Nepal. Along the way, she has also taught at the college level, with a focus on science education, and has worked extensively in teacher education in Nepal. She holds an undergraduate degree in Astronomy from Wellesley College, an MAT from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in educational administration from Stanford University. A life long summer resident of Cutchogue, she and her husband have chosen Barbara’s family abode as their home base in retirement.

Elizabeth Casey Searl

Elizabeth holds a Master of Arts from New York University's GallatinSchool where she studied how drama and education can work to promote social change and empower young people. Working in the field of education and drama for over fifteen years, Liz creates programs that use theater games, movement, storytelling and drama strategies as vehicles for learning and discovery. Liz grew up on the North Fork and returned to the area in 2006 to raise her family. 

Kathryn Casey Quigley

Kathryn holds a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University. She has over 10 years of experience in non-profit management, program implementation and evaluation. Kathryn has worked as a community organizer, led civic engagement programs and taught courses on service learning at Pace University. In addition, a classically trained ballet dancer, she has over 25 years experience dancing and teaching ballet. Kathryn grew upon the North Fork and returned to the area in 2011 to raise a family. 

Phyllis Constan

Phyllis is a retired educator who has been a teacher and administrator at various levels. She began her career as a science teacher at Scarsdale High School.  A family move took her to Winnetka, Illinois where she was a middle school science teacher, curriculum coordinator, and assistant principal. Phyllis then became a principal, first at Miami Valley School, a small independent school in Dayton, Ohio, and then at Central School in Wilmette, Illinois. During her career, she focused on math and science education, gifted education, moral development and character education, peer counseling, and staff development. When she retired, Phyllis and her husband moved to Peconic, where the family had spent summers since the 1970s.  

Patricia Eckardt

Patricia's passion lies in education and teaching learners of all ages. Her doctoral research explored productive academic discourse and the implications of peer-to-peer scaffolding. Such research has informed Patricia's instructional approach as she strives to help children discover intrinsic inquiry. Patricia grew up in NYC and taught at Convent of the Sacred Heart in Manhattan. She and her husband later moved to the North Fork to be close to family, and she began teaching at Ross School in Bridgehampton. Patricia is a professor of education at Molloy College where she guides instruction on literacy development in inclusive classrooms. She holds a PhD in Language, Literacy, and Learning, a Master of Science in Teaching, and a BA in Literature from Fordham University. Patricia maintains her NY State permanent teacher certification PreK‑6th Grade, is certified by the Dyslexia Training Institute in the Orton-Gillingham approach (in progress), and received her Project Wet certification from the DEC. Her greatest teachers are her children: JP, Jack, and Therese.

Stephen Searl

Stephen has a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and a Master of Science in natural resources from the University of Vermont. He was a land conservation manager at the Peconic Land Trust (a local conservation nonprofit) where he built an expertise in land management, local real estate, farming and conservation until 2012. Stephen is currently the Director of Land Conservation at the North Shore Land Alliance, a conservation organization that serves Nassau County and Western Suffolk County, where he leads the nonprofit's conservation projects and initiatives. He was raised on a family farm on the North Fork and returned in 2006 to raise his family.

Barbara Shinn

Barbara Shinn grew up in Ohio, received a BFA from Miami University of Ohio and then an MFA from California College of the Arts. In the early 90’s Barbara moved to New York City and, with her husband David Page, opened Home Restaurant the first farm to table restaurant in New York City. They expanded their business by opening an additional restaurant and a prepared foods/catering company. In 1998 Barbara and David began planting Shinn Estate Vineyards a 20 acre vineyard and winery in Mattituck, NY where they currently reside.  In 2007 they opened the Farmhouse Inn on the property.

Barbara is credited with introducing a holistic and sustainable approach to winegrowing on Long Island. She regularly mentors winegrowers on the East Coast and believes in an open and enthusiastic approach to learning of any kind. She has a keen understanding that our younger generation holds the keys and resources to our planet’s health.

Having been a business owner since 1993 she enjoys creating and sustaining the economic viability of small businesses. 

Herb Strobel

Herb grew up on the family dairy farm in Center Moriches and graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. and M.S. in Animal Science and a Ph.D. in Rumen Microbiology. He was on the faculty at the University of Kentucky for nearly 20 years and published more than 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles in the field of anaerobic microbiology. In addition to research responsibilities, Herb taught undergraduate and graduate classes and helped establish a program in sustainable agriculture. He returned to Long Island in 2008 to become the Executive Director of Hallockville Museum Farm in Riverhead. Herb serves as a board member for the Peconic Land Trust and Long Island Native Plant Initiative and is a past member of the Cornell Cooperative Extension board. He also serves on the Agricultural Advisory Board and Open Space Committee of Brookhaven Town. He reside son the family farm in Center Moriches.