top of page

Catching Up with Alumnus Hannah Platter (Class of 2014)

Updated: May 22

“Middle school science with Mo Poxon was a turning point for me when I realized I really enjoyed math and science. Mo’s hands-on activities and passion for science and learning played a big part in that," says Hannah Platter.



Today, Marin Horizon Alumnus Hannah Platter (Class of 2014) is working as a Consultant at Energy and Environmental Economics (E3) based in San Francisco, focusing on clean energy and decarbonization modeling. Hannah was drawn to this work through a desire to make meaningful progress on the path to decarbonization. They are particularly interested in using their background in analytical problem solving to help find solutions to the big problems that E3 tackles.


Since they graduated from Marin Horizon School in 2014, their journey has taken them across the country and back. Hannah attended Marin Horizon from Toddler to 8th grade, with a brief hiatus in 4th and 5th grade when their family temporarily moved away from the Bay Area. They then attended the Urban School in San Francisco for high school and went on to Smith College in Massachusetts, where they received a Bachelor of Sciences with a double major in Engineering and Jewish Studies. 


We are thrilled to catch up with Hannah, and to ask about their experience at Marin Horizon. Here are some edited excerpts from our interview: 


What is your favorite memory of Marin Horizon School? Educational or otherwise?


Non-Academic: I have very fond memories of going on our annual camping trip, first to Camp Gualala and later to Redwood Glen. It was a place where my class bonded and created lasting memories. I’m still friends with a number of people I met when I was a toddler! 


Academic: I loved middle school science projects with Mo Poxon. In particular, I remember building catapults and Rube Goldberg machines with a team of classmates. Being able to explore science topics in a hands-on way is one of the reasons I went on to study engineering. 


Who was your favorite teacher and why?


I can’t choose just one! Joel Booth put so much effort into helping every student get excited about the outdoors. He is one of the reasons that I, and many of my classmates, love to spend time in nature. 


When I started middle school, I was convinced that I hated math (probably just because my friends did), but Mark Sherburne managed to install a love of math and analytical thinking that I use every day. He was also incredibly kind and put up with so many of our middle school antics. 


How did Marin Horizon prepare you for your next steps - high school and beyond? 


MHS taught me a lot of academic skills that helped me succeed in my first year of high school. More importantly, MHS taught me a lot about intellectual curiosity and loving learning which stayed with me for much longer. 


Can you share a bit more about your work at E3?


E3 works on a wide variety of projects that support the clean energy transition. Within E3, I focus on projects related to rate design and customer affordability, economy-wide decarbonization, and analyses of distributed energy resources (such as rooftop solar). Public examples of some of my recent work include the Hawaii State Energy Office's Pathways to Decarbonization Report, Priority Climate Action Plans for EPA Grants (multiple states), and the E3 Public Rate Design Tool, which was used in an ongoing rate design proceeding in California. 


When I was nearing the end of college, I realized I didn't want to become an engineer, but knew I wanted a job that would let me apply my analytical problem-solving skills to real-world issues. I was also interested in policy and environmental issues, which led me to my work in energy modeling and consulting at E3. One of my favorite parts of working at E3 is spending everyday with people who are smart, innovative, and passionate about the work they do. My coworkers care a lot about sharing their knowledge and supporting junior staff, and I am constantly learning about new things. Since joining E3 almost two years ago, I've found my role on projects to be meaningful and I am excited to continue to expand my knowledge and work to decarbonize our energy systems!  


With the benefit of hindsight, what do you think was unique about your education at Marin Horizon, compared with your peers in high school and beyond?


The teachers at MHS really care about their students as people and the topics that they teach. The passion for helping students become well rounded and well educated is incredibly apparent. 


Are there things you learned at Marin Horizon that stay with you to this day? 


During my time at MHS, I really developed a love for learning. This stayed with me throughout my education, but is still present in the work I do today. I spend a lot of time learning in my job, both from other people and by exploring analytic problems that might not have known solutions. My excitement about these sorts of opportunities stems from the open ended approach to learning that I was exposed to in elementary and middle school.

Comments


bottom of page