Welcome from Board Chair!
As Board Chair, I want to express the excitement that the Board has about our school. Hilltop’s programs and campus are growing, allowing the school to provide more opportunities for students and the community.
To start with, year two of Tamara’s term as Head of School begins with a new program that has been years in the making – the Toddler Program. This program makes Montessori education available to a wider group of young people. Tamara’s leadership enabled this goal to become a reality. Tamara and the faculty are also continuously assessing all aspects of Hilltop’s Montessori curriculum to constantly look to improve the education at Hilltop.
A major way that opportunities will be enhanced this year comes with the addition of the multipurpose building (the Barn) to the campus. The new facility will allow for expanded student learning that will enable students a greater chance to participate in the arts and athletics using modern facilities.
None of these changes could be accomplished without the support of the Hilltop community. I encourage everyone to continue contributing what you can – whether it be financially, volunteering your time, or simply as a voice of support in the community. The administration will be seeking volunteers for service at Hilltop throughout the year. Even if you are not asked, feel free to contact Tamara, Amelia, or anyone with Hilltop. Anything you can contribute will be greatly appreciated.
—Mark Loevy-Reyes, Board Chair
The role of the Board of Trustees is to determine and oversee policies that support the mission of the school and to ensure the school’s fiscal stability This includes the hiring and evaluation of the Head of School, appointing standing and ad hoc committees, overseeing the lease and facility use, fundraising and strategic planning. Equally important, Board members serve as ambassadors for the school community.
Mark Loevy-Reyes, Chair
Mark is a parent of Upper Elementary student Talia. He has served on multiple Hilltop Committees. Mark has over 20 years of legal experience, including litigating various school and employment related cases (school discrimination involving students and employees). Mark is also an educator (he currently teaches education law) and directs Windham County’s Court Diversion program.
Patrick Keppel, Past Chair
Patrick is the Chair of the Liberal Arts Department at New England Conservatory, where he teaches courses in Theater Arts and Dramatic Literature, directs the NEC Writing Center, and serves as president of the Faculty Senate Steering Committee and the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. From 2000-2010 he was the Institutional Advancement Advisor and Publications Editor for the Music-in-Education National Consortium, a national coalition of public schools, arts organizations, and institutions of higher education dedicated to creating authentic, interdisciplinary programs in music and the arts. Patrick is also a writer of fiction and plays, including Triangle, a puppet play with music performed at the Sandglass Theater in Putney in June 2013. Patrick and his wife, Serina, live in Brattleboro and are the parents of Emmanuel (Middle School) and Magdalena (Lower Elementary).
Linda Schmidt, Incoming Chair
Linda is an attorney with ten years of legal experience, including insurance, real estate, and regulatory and legislative matters. Linda is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A.); Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service (M.A.); and Columbia University’s School of Law (J.D.). She is fluent in German and has spent over four years teaching English and studying in Germany. She additionally has lived in Baku, Azerbaijan, where she investigated the political, social and legal challenges to freedom of association in that country. Linda joins the Hilltop Board of Trustees after having served on the boards of directors for several other non-profit organizations, including most recently Insulindependence, V.A. Kids Center and Dane County CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates). Linda and her husband, Todd Kammerzelt, live in Brookline and are the parents of Silvia (Lower Elementary).
Members at Large
Mark Anagnostopulos is the Chief Psychologist at the Brattleboro Retreat, where he has worked since moving to Brattleboro with his wife, Janet Zinter, DDS, in 1986. Their daughter, Claire, attended Hilltop from 1999-2002. Mark is a graduate of Duke University (B.S.) and the University of Nebraska (Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology). His work has involved psychotherapy and consultation, mostly with children and adolescents, he has been involved in training future psychologists, and he now specializes in psychological assessments. Mark has been a member of the Vermont Jazz Center Board of Directors since 2000 and performs with the Butterfly Swing Band.
Joan Bowman has over thirty-five years experience assisting others with personal growth goals and teaching how to be the change that creates good, as an executive in business, a lecturer, and as a writer. She received her MBA from the Eli Broad School at Michigan State University, concentrating on Change Management theories. She has broad experience in relationship building, business start-ups, executive search and international operations. Since 1980, Joan has enjoyed speaking tours on the subjects of empowerment and entrepreneurial growth strategies. Joan’s son, Christopher Gabriel, attended the Beatrice Ayer Patton School of Montessori in Bridgewater, Connecticut for many years. Joan feels that her son’s Montessori experience laid the foundation for his self-motivated approach to learning through high school, college and now as he builds his career. The joy he takes in creation was nurtured and refined so that today he is never afraid to tackle any project or problem. Joan is pleased to be able to give back to the Montessori community by supporting Hilltop as a board member.
Paul Capcara is Clinical Manager at the Brattleboro Retreat. Previously he served as Executive Director of the Morningside Shelter in Brattleboro. He has extensive non-profit board experience, including serving as Board President of the ReUse Center, Vice-President of the Lightstone Foundation, and a board member of Habitat for Humanity. As an E.D., he has worked closely with three other non-profit boards (two federally qualified health centers and the homeless shelter) and has participated in extensive board training and development activities. He has an undergraduate degree in economics (Georgetown University) and has directed a number of non-profits, so is familiar with financial management issues. As he has recently implemented an expansion of Morningside House, he has experience in contracting/architecture. Paul is also a Registered Nurse with a Master’s Degree in Public Health (Johns Hopkins University).
Kate Jellema Kate’s daughter, Eleanor, is a Lower Elementary student at Hilltop, and her son, Charlie, is in the Children’s House. Kate earned a Ph.D from the University of Michigan in History and Cultural Anthropology, and has taught courses in Anthropology, Asian Studies and Cultural Studies at Marlboro College. She researched refugee politics in Hong Kong, studied ancestor worship in Vietnam, and before that, worked for a human rights organization in Kampala, Uganda. Now transitioning back to the social service sector, Kate is currently Program Director of Non-Profit Management at Marlboro College Graduate School and Director of Benchmarks for a Better Vermont.
Robyn Ostrander is the Brattleboro Retreat’s Senior Medical Director, Medical Director of Child and Adolescent Services, and Vice President of the Medical staff. She is a graduate of both Smith College and Harvard Medical School, and completed post graduate medical training at Dartmouth Medical School. Robyn joined the Brattleboro Retreat in July of 2005 and assumed her current role as Senior Medical Director in 2012. She is also the attending psychiatrist at the Linden House adolescent residential program. Her clinical areas of expertise include suicide prevention, depression and bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and the treatment of transgendered youth. Robyn teaches psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School and Albany Medical College. She also teaches and coaches emerging business leaders through a partnership with Linkage Inc., at the annual Global Institute for Leadership Development in Palm Desert, CA. Her 2009 textbook, Neuroanatomy for Students of Behavioral Disorders, published by W.W. Norton & Co. was co-authored with Ronald L. Green. Robyn and her husband Jerry live in NH and are the parents of Ian (Lower Elementary) and Cinder (Labernese.)
Rich Wolfe, Board Treasurer, is a parent of a Middle School student Greta and is currently serving on the Hilltop Finance Committee. Rich is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley (B.S.) and has a variety of experience in business operations, finance, and non-profit. He is COO of EMCO Gears in Chicago, IL, COO of Jonathan’s Sprouts in Rochester, MA, owner of a Liberty Tax office in Warwick, RI, Executive Director and Treasurer of a non-profit the International Sprout Growers Association, Project Manager of the Narragansett Bay Coyote Study, and Treasurer of The Conservation Agency non-profit. Rich and his wife, Katy, just moved to Putney from Rhode Island after Katy completed her Masters program at Antioch and took a job at The Putney School. They also have a son, Robbie, who will be entering UVM in the Fall.