PERSIS buffum

Persis Buffum is a fifth grade teacher at the Joseph R. Pye Elementary School in Ladson, South Carolina. She and her co-teacher Natalie are thrilled to join the Charleston Antarctic Expedition and are eager to bring their experiences back to the classroom.

Persis has taught in the public school system for over eleven years—from Massachusetts to South Carolina—and has committed herself to creating a “classroom family where students build each other up, celebrate all achievements, no matter how small, and encourage others to accomplish things they never thought possible.” In 2013 Persis was named Teacher of the Year for her leadership in pioneering classroom programs that target at-risk and below-grade-level students.


Persis and Natalie have been team teaching for five years. Together, they strive to build strong relationships with their students, creating a safe and nurturing environment that instills in them a love of learning. They feel that being able to share with their students this journey to Antarctica will be life-changing for all.

Persis earned a bachelor's degree in environmental science at Hobart and William Smith and a masters degree in education from Lesley University. She enjoys time on the water and traveling with family. Persis recently became a foster parent, and says, “there are no words to describe the joy and wonder in witnessing a child experience things for the first time, whether it be traveling out of state, attending the Nutcracker ballet, or walking Honey, the family dog.”