Island Institute Fellow Alumnus, Mike Felton

Island Institute fellow Mike Felton worked with the Town of Vinalhaven from 2000 until 2002, where he worked with the public school on a variety of projects including:

  • Designing a college aspirations course that introduced island students to opportunities in higher education
  • Teaching American History to middle school students
  • Starting a soccer league for 3rd through 8th grade students where teams were coached by high school athletes

“Something I really enjoyed about being on Vinalhaven as a young educator was that seemingly small things can have a huge impact… when you come together as a community you can make a real difference.”  – Mike Felton, Island Institute Fellow Alumnus


Mike joined the Island Institute staff for two years after his fellowship and worked on the organization’s education programming. He then returned to Vinalhaven and stayed on the island for several years after his fellowship. He married another fellow, raised a family there, and became principal of the Vinalhaven School, a position he held until 2009. He then went to law school to further his own education.

Today, he is the superintendent of the Saint George Municipal School Unit, a job which he describes as the perfect intersection of his three passions: education, community, and policy. Mike has continued supporting the Island Institute Fellows program by serving as the advisor to Saint George fellow alumnus, Ellie Mason. He mentored her as she developed an after school program for Saint George students. The after school program remains an asset to the community.

Mike recently competed for the 2023 Yass Prize, winning $500,000 for his school to put towards the development of the nation’s first PreK-8th grade career and technical education program. It will include a makerspace with machinery for traditional trades like boatbuilding while integrating modern technology like 3-D printers. He currently serves on Island Institute’s board of trustees.

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