In 2011, Stires founded Juniper Hill School for Place-Based Education in Alna. Stires was the Executive Director since its founding and has been a classroom teacher at the school. She is now the Director of Development, Outreach, and Advocacy and consults throughout Maine and beyond to support schools as they pivot to outdoor learning models. A graduate of Hamilton College, she also holds a master’s degree from Antioch University New England, where she teaches graduate courses as an Affiliate Faculty member. A classroom teacher in various schools, she has also worked at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center, Chewonki Foundation, Quebec-Labrador Foundation, and Tanglewood.
Stires grew up on Westport Island, where her retired-teacher parents still live. She is a dancer and skier, with “an abiding love for the ocean and the Maine coast.” For the past 20 summers, she has directed the Whitehead Island program for Pine Island Camp. She lives in Alna with her son, Eben, 14, a fisherman, hunter, skier, and history buff who attends North Yarmouth Academy.