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Snapshot: Maggie Gotterer



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Occupation: I’ve been the Executive Director of Two Coyotes Wilderness School since July 2018. It’s a dream job. Right now, there are a lot of exciting opportunities to grow our programs. We’d love to be able to reach more diverse populations. We’re working on improving staff training, marketing and communicating about our programs, and fundraising because we’re a nonprofit. Before Two Coyotes, I had worked for the last nine years as a freelance consultant with a number of nonprofits, mostly in the Bridgeport area.

Family: My husband, Jonathan Gotterer, and I have lived in Bridgeport about eight years. We just bought a house last year and renovated it. He teaches sixth grade literature at a charter school in Waterbury. We have a baby girl named June. She was born last September, so she’s almost four months old. I’m excited for her to grow up in the Two Coyotes’ program. My husband and I actually met in college as outdoor adventure guides, and it’s been an important part of our relationship and the family we’ve built.

Pets: We have a rescue dog, Barley. He’s been a good hiking and camping companion, but now that he’s a little older, we don’t take him on the same exact adventures.

What do you like to do in your free time? My husband and I share a love of hiking and, when we have more time, backpacking and exploring different parts of the country. I also like to garden a lot.

Do you have a favorite book? I love to read, but I don’t have a favorite. I do like historical fiction and memoirs a lot. Anything that captures your imagination and locks you into a place where you are fully emerged.

What is your favorite travel destination? Every year, we go up to Maine. My family has a summerhouse there, which is always a go-to favorite. In terms of other travel spots, we like to go to places we’ve never been before like different national parks, the southwest, and the White Mountains in New Hampshire.

What is the best part about Newtown? Sticks & Stones has been an incredible, unique property to get to know, and the community there is really special. The property is beautiful — like a lot of Newtown is — and open to the public.

What has been the greatest influence in your life? I have been lucky to have a couple of experiences living abroad that have had a big influence on me. After high school, I took a gap year and lived in Ghana for six months, and that was a really significant experience at the age of 18. When I was in college, I studied abroad in Syria, in Damascus, because I studied Arabic. Living with host families, you’re immersed in their day-to-day lifestyle absorbing their culture, language, and food.

If you could spend the day with one person, who would you choose? My husband and my baby. Them, one hundred percent.

What is your favorite food? My mom’s family is Middle Eastern, so I love Middle Eastern food. We love to cook Asian-style cuisine that’s very light and flavorful with lots of vegetables mixed with protein.

What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever been given? For the context of wilderness programing, like Two Coyotes, one of the ethics I learned in college was the “leave no trace principals” for being outdoors. It’s all about enjoying a place while you are there, but leaving it either as you found it or better than you found it, so the people coming after you can enjoy what you’ve seen. It’s about leaving a minimal impact to preserve it for future generations.

What is something you cannot live without? Having the time to be disconnected. When we go up to Maine, it’s a house with no electricity, so it’s a time to be present and ignore your phone. It’s about balance.

What is your proudest accomplishment? Our home renovation, the baby, and new job happening all at the same time — it’s been a trifecta of accomplishment.

Maggie Gotterer is this week's Snapshot profile.

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