The Pathfinder School: Traverse City Community School

Jill Vigenski


Jill grew up in an educator family. After graduating from Caro High School, she continued that tradition at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI. She earned her Bachelors in Elementary Education with a Learning Disabilities K-12 endorsement and Physical Education K-8 endorsement. She began her teaching career at Kenowa Hills High School immediately following college. There, she taught high school special education in the areas of math and social studies. While teaching, she perused her interest in coaching. Her evenings were filled with freshman basketball, middle school volleyball, or freshman softball.  While she loved her students and peers at Kenowa Hills, in 2007 she was presented an opportunity to move north and teach 2ndgrade at Northport Community School. The city was fun, but Northern Michigan was where Jill wanted to be.  It was time to return! Northport provide more opportunities as Jill finished her Master’s Degree from Grand Valley in Administration with an emphasis in Special Education. Teaching at Northport provided an elementary experience and general education (vs special education) experience. In 2009 Jill married Ryan Vigenski and they bought their first home together in Suttons Bay. The 2010-2011 school year was a big one for Jill. She began her first year as a Special Education Supervisor at Traverse Bay Area ISD and welcomed her first child. Jill loved the 8 years she served the students, families, and staff in the Traverse City region. While growing her skillsets in that position, she also grew her family to three children and moved her family to a home in Traverse City. In the winter of 2018, Jill felt it was time to get closer to teaching and learning. She pursued the Pathfinder Head of School Position and was hired in the Spring.  Jill loves the way The Pathfinder School strives to enrich a child’s educational experience with creativity, exploration, mother nature, and hands-on, child-centered experiences.  She will officially join The Pathfinder School learning community July 2018.  



(Photo Credit - Nicole Martin Photography)