New Cornucopia Project director ready to dig in

  • Karen Hatcher of Peterborough begins her new job as executive director of the Cornucopia Project on Monday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

  • Karen Hatcher of Peterborough begins her new job as executive director of the Cornucopia Project on Monday. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, February 06, 2017 7:38PM

As the Cornucopia Project’s new executive director, Karen Hatcher is excited to continue with the nonprofit’s existing school programs. But what excites her most about her new position, she said, aren’t the programs that are there — it’s the holes she sees the opportunity to fill.

Hatcher has spent the last decade working to develop curriculum for students in coordination with schools. That background has made her a good fit as the new leader of the Cornucopia Project, which has school programs for early elementary students, teaching them the basics of where their food comes from and health eating, and on the high school end prepping students for careers in the agricultural field.

“Those are the two real anchors of this program, and they’re both great,” said Hatcher, who started in her new role on Feb. 6. “But it’s that space between the second and tenth grades that really excites me.”

Hatcher said one of her long-term goals for the Cornucopia Project will be to extend the teaching aspect through the grade levels to create a continuum of learning. Especially, she said, as much of the groundwork and relationship with the school district has already been laid by her predecessors.

“There is so much potential and so much to build on,” said Hatcher. “It’s great to step into an organization that already enjoys such a wonderful connection to the community and good reputation.”

Hatcher said she will start as part-time in the position for at least the next few months, while she transitions out of her position working for the Keene SAU. The intent is to be in the position full-time by around this fall, she said.

Her initial priorities will be to become fully trained in the coordination of the school programs, as the current coordinator will be stepping away from her position, and the eventual hiring of a new coordinator. Otherwise, she said, she’ll just be providing support for the Project’s existing programming and continuing the tradition of forging community connection. 

“I can’t wait to get my hands dirty, if you will,” she said.