About our staff
All our sailing instructors are US Sailing Level
1, CPR, and First Aid certified. They come highly recommended with
a great track record of experience for hands-on instruction.
Program Director : Liana Folger
Liana is an avid sailor who has lived on MDI her whole life. She first started sailing at the Northeast Harbor Sailing School in 2000 in the Optimist class going on to race with the MDI High School Sailing Team, becoming a captain her senior year. She has just finished her last year as a varsity skipper for the Hobart William Smith College womens' sailing team. Having spent many summers coaching in Northeast Harbor, Liana is very excited for the opportunity to lead the program toward even greater heights. She hopes to create an environment where a love for sailing fosters lasting relationships and eternally fond memories of the Great Harbor and Northeast Harbor Fleet.
Head Instructor - Elliott Morrill
Great Harbor Dream & Head 420 Instructor
A graduate of Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Elliott grew up racing dinghies on Long Island Sound and in international events. His love and knowledge of sailing grew as a member of the HWS sailing team. Looking forward to his first time on MDI, Elliott hopes to explore the many awesome things the Island has to offer. In the fall Elliott will be moving to Miami, Florida, where he will be pursuing graduate studies in severe weather and atmospheric sciences.
Tyler Killion -420 Coach
Tyler is from Dallas, Texas, and started sailing at a young age during summers spent in Northeast Harbor. Tyler raced Optis from 2008 to 2010 and has both crewed and skippered in the C420 class since 2011. He has coached in the North Texas area for the past four summers and is a Level I US Sailing Instructor. Sailing highlights include C420 Nationals and North Americans, Chubb US Junior Championship qualifier for Sears and Bemis trophies, and participation in both the Neill and Brooke Gonzales Advanced Racing Clinics. Tyler has just finished his first year at Roger Williams University, where he was a member of the Varsity Sailing Team.
Joseph Kief - Head Opti Instructor / Assistant Head Director
Joseph first began racing sailiboats with the MDI High School Sailing team in 2008. Joseph has taught at the Northeast Harbor Sailing School for two summers previously, before going off to attend the University of New Hampshire. He has also spent a lot of time racing IOD's here at the fleet. Joseph is back this summer where he hopes to help kids create great memories of the Great Harbor.
Drew Hopkins - Assistant Opti Instructor
Drew grew up in Philidephia and has been coming to Mt. Desert from a young age. Drew learned to sail at the MDI community sailing center at the age of 7. Drew has raced all over the state in Junior olympics and Midget regattas. Drew has also raced on the island for a number of different boats, including the IODs for four years. This will be Drew's third summer at the fleet and he is excited to have a great summer.
Lily Lichtenstein - Head Mercury Instructor
Lily has been sailing and on the water most of her entire life. After spending lots of time on boats with her family she began sailing school at the Fleet the summer she turned 8 and has been at the Fleet every summer since, now sharing her passion by teaching. She has been a member of the MDI high school sailing team all four years and was a captain her senior year. She is an avid IOD and Luders sailor and looks forward to racing and teaching this summer as her first year as ahead instructor. She will be returning to college at Boston University in the fall, sailing on the Charles as a member of the BUDS (Boston University Dinghy Sailors).
William is entering his junior year at Colby College, where he is double majoring in Spanish and Economics. He began sailing at the Fleet when he was 8 years old and has been coming back ever since. He has been an instructor five summers and is excited to be back again. He too races in the IOD class, against some of our other instructors. He hopes to pass on his love of sailing and racing knowledge to the next generation.
Laura Madeira - Head Rowing Instructor
Laura has just finished her senior year and is excited to attend Richmond in the fall. She went through the sailing program herself and "loved every minute of it!". Additionally, Laura has been around boats her whole life and loves being on the water. Laura has been a rowing instructor for the past three summers and is very excited to return as Head Rowing Instructor.