Faculty + Staff

Making the Connection

Our faculty love to teach. But more than that, they love to learn. Which is why our faculty bring that passion — along with months of rigorous planning and training — to EXPLO. In the end, what we care about is good teaching and if you can truly connect with high school students.

The Gold Standard

Time and again, the EXPLO faculty and staff have been described as setting the “gold standard” for summer programs. We are a mix of highly experienced educators and professionals that lead an enthusiastic staff of many talented teachers and mentors. Each summer we are joined by visiting scholars and professionals who provide an insider’s perspective into their fields. These experts help our students to see all of the possibilities their future holds, and how to pursue those possibilities — whether it’s majoring in a particular subject, completing internships, or pursuing other experiences that only a successful practitioner would know. It’s a dynamic combination that generates a vibrant and welcoming learning community.

At EXPLO, exceptional teaching is at the heart of what we do, and our talented faculty is required to complete a robust teacher development program at the start of every summer. Our results are so exceptional that schools across the world, nonprofits, and even leading corporations have asked us to develop curriculum and to train their professionals to be more engaging and creative teachers.

Incredible Mentors

Our student life staff is comprised of advanced college and graduate students. We intentionally hire staff of an adjacent generation to work with our students because they, too, are deeply engaged with learning and swimming in the same cultural forces. They can quickly break down barriers, and make authentic connections between classroom ideas and the world our students are navigating. They are the perfect role models to inspire and energize EXPLO students.

Plus, these aren’t just any college or graduate students. We are in the talent search business, hiring emerging leaders with incredible potential. Learn more about some of the movers and shakers out in the world who worked at EXPLO during college or graduate school.

Meet Our Heads of Programs

Sarah Ruter is a singing, dancing, English teacher who detoured into practicing law before returning to her first love: education. Sarah started her education career at EXPLO in 1996, where she’s held numerous positions including teacher, residential advisor, admissions officer, residence director, and Dean of Students, and returned as Head of Programs in 2010. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin — Madison, where she was a Robert C. Byrd Scholar. For years, she taught high school writing, public speaking, and literature at a public school in Massachusetts. She also headed the school’s Theater Society, where she directed three plays per year for the 100-member drama organization. Sarah attended the University of Minnesota Law School, where she earned her J.D. cum laude. She practiced general, commercial and employment law with regular appearances in state and federal court. Minnesota Law and Politics called her a “Rising Star” and Minnesota Lawyer named her to their list of “Up and Coming Attorneys.”

Andy Smith, Assistant Head of Programs, began his EXPLO career in 2007 and has worked as a senior administrator, including Director of Programming and Director of Curriculum and Instruction on various of our summer campuses. For five years, Andy worked during the academic year in curriculum development at the Exploration Center. While working in curriculum, you might have found Andy writing essential questions for a germ biology course, coaching a teacher on instructional techniques, or in EXPLO’s woodshop, experimenting with crafting a new putting green and hole for a physics-through-mini-golf course. He was a varsity swimmer in college and has coached several swim teams. Prior to joining EXPLO year round, Andy taught English in various New York state public schools. He’s also taught abroad, he was a teacher in Ghana and a literacy head teacher in Kenya. Andy earned his B.A. in English and education at the State University of New York, Geneseo and his M.A. in Critical and Creative Thinking from the University of Massachusetts with a focus on helping schools cultivate meaning and purpose in the lives of their students.

Join Our Faculty

Want to be a part of something amazing? If you think you’ve got what it takes to make a difference in the lives of our students – and you’re looking to grow professionally and personally in one of the most enriching and challenging experiences of your life – we want you to apply!


Watch the video for more information about what it’s like to work during the summer at EXPLO. Then, head on over to our Faculty Hiring page to find out how you can submit your application.