Meet the Biology Institute Leadership

Katherine Hernandez, Institute Director
Phillips Exeter Academy

Kate Hernandez’s passion for Harkness instruction is rooted in the challenges and opportunities afforded by building a collaborative and intentional learning community around the Harkness table. Kate earned her B.A. in Biology from Mount Holyoke College and her M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She brings over a decade of experience as a biology and chemistry teacher in independent schools. Appointed as an Instructor in Science at Phillips Exeter Academy in 2015, Kate’s instructional approach elevates the student voice, encourages metacognitive development, and places science learning within a larger social and cultural context. In Kate’s classrooms, students are encouraged to leverage the diversity of experiences and perspectives in the room while actively attending to classroom agreements (norms), which seek to honor the fullness of self in each student. Outside of the classroom, Kate has supported the growth of her colleagues at PEA and elsewhere on topics such as developing a Mentoring Mindset among teaching teams, centering justice, equity, and inclusion in science curricula, and supporting educators in taking the Harkness approach back to their classrooms. It is with great enthusiasm that she looks forward to welcoming the Summer Biology Institute participants to campus this June!