Our Leaders

Outstanding leaders make extraordinary programs.

Putney Student Travel has been hiring exceptional leaders for the past 64 years.  Our leaders are chosen from a highly competitive pool of diverse and qualified candidates. We employ leaders with incredible experience in teaching, foreign language, international living, and world travel. They are graduates of the nation’s top colleges and universities, and come to Putney from prestigious positions with organizations like the Peace Corps, Teach for America, and other academic institutions. Putney only engages leaders who hold at least a bachelor’s degree, and in 2015 more than half of our leaders held or were pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees.

“I think the leaders had an optimal balance of being educators but also being able to form connections with the students as friends and people, as it should be for teens. I got the impression from Nathan that there was mutual respect among all and that he felt he earned their respect.”

– Erin Glasgow, mother of Nathan Smith, Westminster School, Edmond, OK

Our leaders distinguish themselves in fields ranging from teaching to the arts, athletics, journalism, law, medicine, and international development. Despite the diversity of their experiences,  they share a commitment to safety, a passion for exploration, and an enthusiasm for helping students make their own unique discoveries. They are not only advisers, guides, and mentors, but also good friends.

“Noah loved his leaders. Each played a different role and when he talked about the Foundations program, it was clear he bonded with each counselor. He knew personal facts about them and enjoyed their friendships. They were not like teachers with only rules and boundaries, but more like mentors.”

– Fonda & Charles Edelson, Beaverton, OR

Every year we receive close to 500 individual applications from candidates interested in spending their summer working alongside our students.  Since these positions are in such high demand, we are able to handpick the most qualified, charismatic, and passionate individuals possible.

“My daughter absolutely loved the staff. They were a lot of fun and knew what they were doing. My husband and I were happy with the level of supervision.”

– Kim Besen, mother of Danielle Besen, San Marino High School, San Marino, CA

Once leaders are hired, they are required to attend an intensive staff training. Training for Putney programs occurs over the course of four days at our offices here in Vermont while training for Pre-College programs occurs on site where the program is based. During their training all leaders participate in seminars, discussions, and activities that focus on trip safety, group dynamics, program logistics, overall leadership ideals, Putney Student Travel philosophy, and emergency procedures.

Meet our leaders by reading their bios and viewing photos.