Anyone who’s not interested in model airplanes must have a screw loose somewhere.
-Paul MacCready If you act just a little bit foolish, and let yourself go, better ideas will come.
Scobie Puchtler (he/him) began volunteering at PSCS 18 years ago, and joined the teaching staff two years later in 2007. He’d always considered becoming a teacher, but doubted he’d ever find a school sufficiently kind and student-centered, or one that gave teachers enough flexibility to genuinely teach to their strengths and passions. He was elated to have PSCS prove him wrong.
Scobie started life in Laos during the Vietnam war, where his parents served as aid workers. When he was 4, his family moved to central Alaska for the remainder of his childhood. There, his father worked with Alaskan native populations on water systems and health care, and Scobie helped his family build their own log home in the boreal forest north of Fairbanks.
Eventually his mother’s career as a science editor led Scobie to four different public high schools from Florida to New England, before attending Yale and graduating cum laude with a degree in Art and Graphic Design. As a college senior, Some of Scobie’s early teaching and mentoring began when he earned the highly selective position of Freshman Counselor, guiding new students through their first college year.
Scobie moved to Seattle in 1991 to co-found a kite design and manufacturing company with his best friend from childhood. Prism Designs is still in operation over 30 years later and offers high-tech, innovative kites worldwide. It was during his 5 years at Prism that Scobie continued his lifelong arc toward education, teaching thousands of people to fly kites, and producing all the company’s instructions and video education, as well as training and coaching employees.
In addition to his work as an entrepreneur, designer, and inventor at Prism, Scobie has also worked as a musician, voiceover artist, graphic designer, product designer, technical consultant to artists, fine woodworker, carpenter, and a designer of theatrical sets and museum exhibits.
Scobie also maintains a private pilot license with 1,300 flight hours in small aircraft, and is an EAA Young Eagles Flight Leader, having donated introductory flights in his own aircraft to many PSCS students over the years, as well as other youth and adults. He has built an aircraft from a kit with his former business partner, and modified his own aircraft extensively.
Having spent almost half his adult life involved with PSCS has allowed Scobie to forge and evolve a series of flexible, multi-age curricula in several major areas of study including developmental and creative writing, the intersection of structure, design, and craft, observation and representation skills for artists, the interweaving of algebra and geometry, the art and science of of flight and aviation, and the pursuit of compassion and justice in human challenges such as adoption and addiction.
Scobie has two lovely cats, a partner who inspired him to teach, and a son who’ll attend PSCS as a junior this year.