Maine Coast Semester

Rachel Bouttenot

Math Teacher


Rachel Bouttenot

Most of my academic and post-graduate years were spent in laboratories. While I absolutely love the study, research, and surveillance of life, particularly on a molecular scale, I realized over time that it was the mentoring aspect of lab work that kept me coming back. I have been affectionately referring to myself as a science dork for decades, but my passion and excitement for science, math, or almost any given topic peaks when I am sharing my knowledge with others. I have now been teaching science and math to high school and middle school students for 6 years – with a small break in there when I gave birth to my daughter, Sylvie.

My family – three and a half year old Sylvie and my wife Katherine – fill my life with joy and new experiences and are frequently the subject of funny anecdotes if you happen to spend more than five minutes with me. They are my primary source of love and connection, and I cannot imagine two people I would rather see every single day – even during a pandemic when they were frequently the only people I saw every day!

I grew up in Lewiston, Maine, but moved away at 18 thinking I would only ever return to see family. After twenty years away, with time spent living in Washington, DC, St. Louis, Missouri, and Berkeley, California, as well as lots of international and domestic travel, I have fallen in love with Mid-coast Maine and have enjoyed these past 4 years back in my home state.

I consider myself to be an upbeat, energetic, open, queer, body-positive, social justice-motivated, intersectionality-focused, relationship-focused person, and I try to bring these values into my teaching. I am learning to be more intentional and slow, to be a better listener, and to lean into reasonable conflict that aids in growth. I love the energy and passion of middle and high school students, and I attempt to be the teacher, guide, and resource for my students that I would have wanted at that age.  

What Brought Me to Chewonki?

Chewonki specifically focuses on transformative growth for our students. We want our students to better understand self, place, and community. In my experience, this focus and growth has brought me the most meaning in my life.


B.A. in Biology, Georgetown University
M.A. with thesis in Molecular Cell Biology, Washington University in St. Louis

Select Publications

Dulle, JE, Bouttenot, RE, Underwood, LA, True, HL. J Cell Biol (2013). Soluble oligomers are sufficient for transmission of a yeast prion but do not confer phenotype.

Bouttenot, RE. Masters Thesis (2009). Identification of factors required for the propagation of the yeast prion [PSI+].

Hayton K, Gaur D, Liu A, Takahashi J, Henschen B, Singh S, Lambert L, Furuya T, Bouttenot R, Doll M, Nawaz F, Mu J, Jiang L, Miller LH, Wellems TE. Cell Host & Microbe (2008). Erythrocyte binding protein PfRH5 polymorphisms determine species-specific pathways of Plasmodium falciparum invasion.

Elmendorf, HG, Rohrer, SC, Khoury, RS, Bouttenot, RE, Nash, TE. International Journal for Parasitology (2005). Examination of a novel head-stalk protein family in Giardia lamblia characterized by the pairing of ankyrin repeats and coiled-coil domains.

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