Luke Byrnes’s journey to PFS probably traces back to sitting at the dinner table with his next door neighbors during elementary school, drinking Kool-Aid, and helping them with their math homework. He has been aware of his intrinsic interest in teaching, learning, and communication ever since. He has worked as an assistant teacher in a conventional charter school, as a youth ski instructor, and for several summers as an outdoor environmental educator. Despite his joy for connecting with people, he was consistently left with a nagging sense that the prevailing models of learning and education were causing more harm than the supposed benefits they provided. He became enthralled with the Sudbury Valley model of education after his own independent research on the model was confirmed through an open house and a tour at the Philly Free School and other Sudbury modeled schools.
Luke has spent the last 6 years exploring and building the radical land-based subculture in the Pacific Northwest, living on communal homesteads and supporting indigenous land reoccupations resisting industrial development. He spends his time away from the school with his family, in radical reading groups, and with non-humans. He is thrilled to be joining the vibrant Philly Free School community.