New Director of the Center for Academic Excellence Named

The Frederick Gunn School is pleased to announce that Kristin Hoins has been named Director of the Center for Academic Excellence. Her role in the community includes partnering with Human Resources and the Academic Office to develop personalized professional learning frameworks that include coaching and resourcing of teaching departments in their ongoing adoption of emergent and adaptive practices to meet the needs and interests of all students.

The center is also home to the Academic Support Department, which provides one-on-one learning support for students who meet with learning specialists throughout the year to develop study skills, strategies and techniques for academic success. Additional programming supported by the center includes Freshman Study Skills, student-to-student tutoring, and the eventual addition of content-specific learning labs and science of learning modules for all students at The Frederick Gunn School.

In addition to her role as Director, Hoins is teaching Honors Entrepreneurship, coaching girls soccer, and serving as a faculty advisor and a dorm parent in Van Sinderen. A native of northern California, she has worked across public, independent, and international education spaces with a focus on student-centered pedagogy as a K-12 special education specialist, National Board Certified classroom teacher, certified coach, and curriculum designer. Most recently, she served as Interim Academic Support Coach and a Learning Specialist at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Massachusetts. 

Hoins holds a master’s degree in education from Regis University with an emphasis on curriculum design and literacy development and a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in psychology from the University of California, Davis. As part of her degree program, she completed an independent study project focused on individuals who had suffered traumatic brain injuries and required the support of a residential treatment facility to regain daily life skills and transition back to their communities. 

Hoins spent 20 years in Telluride, Colorado, where she worked as a curriculum designer, classroom teacher, and special education teacher. Part of her work involved identifying local natural and historical resources and finding ways to incorporate place-based learning and the outdoors into the curriculum. This effort led to the development of a student-focused history website for local museums and notebooks about the geology, flora, and fauna along the rivers and trails of the San Juan Mountains and Uncompahgre Forest.

Hoins has lived on the east coast for the past 11 years. She previously worked at Riverdale Country School in the Bronx, New York, and as a leadership coach and consultant in curriculum design. She also worked on an international school project in Hanoi, Vietnam, and is currently a doctoral candidate in educational and organizational leadership at the University of Pennsylvania.

Outside of her work in education, Hoins spent two years in the Peace Corps as a child and maternal health educator in Niger, West Africa, worked as a rescue diver and dive guide in St. Croix, and served as a volunteer search and rescue responder, EMT-Intermediate, and ambulance driver. “I’m willing to try new things, humbled by the uncomfortableness of being a beginner again, and again,” she said, noting that she took up hockey as an adult while her sons were learning. Hoins also played NCAA soccer and badminton at UC Davis and in her free time enjoys skiing and cycling. 

“Mountains and forests are my favorite places to be. I either like to be at the top of a mountain getting ready to ski down it or hiking my way to the top,” she said.

Hoins has two sons, Emmett, 20, who is majoring in international affairs and economics at University of Colorado at Boulder, and Johno, 17, who will be a junior at The Frederick Gunn School. Her partner, Kathryn Barrows, works in the television industry and enjoys hiking and climbing. They live on campus with their Black German Shepherd, Gusto.