Home / Hilary Downes-Fortune


hilary-downes-fortuneHilary has been the Navigators’ science and math teacher since 2005. She has an M.A.T. in Elementary Education from Rhode Island College, with middle school endorsements in science and math. In addition, she holds a B.S. in Geology from the University of Rhode Island, and an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, also from URI. After working as an environmental engineer and geohydrologist for 13 years, Hilary returned to school to pursue a career in education. She has developed and taught after school programs in earth science, environmental science, French, and robotics. With a lifelong interest in “all things marine”, Hilary has participated in Save the Bay’s Project Narragansett and the National Estuarine Research Reserves’ Teachers-on-the- Estuary programs. In the Summer of 2008 she went on a 2-week research cruise to Newfoundland as a Rhode Island Teacher-at-Sea on URI’s scientific research vessel, Endeavor; and in the summer of 2014 she spent a week aboard the schooner Mystic participating in a technology program for educators sponsored by OHPRI. In 2010 Hilary participated in Bryant University’s Startalk Program for Educators, studying the language and culture of China, and spent two weeks touring China with a small group of teachers and students. She has been a NOAA Climate Steward since 2013, and was selected as the Peter McWalter’s Professional Educator of the Year for 2013 by the RI League of Charter Schools. Hilary is the middle school representative on the board of RI Envirothon, and is a member of the National Science Teachers Association, the Geological Society of America, and several national and local environmental organizations. She and her husband and daughter live on a 94-acre Tree Farm in Foster. along with their dogs, cats, chickens, and assorted wildlife.


Contact Information

  • Position Title: Navigator Science Teacher (Grades 7-8)
  • E-mail address: hfortune@compassschool.org