Welcome from Board Chair!
It’s been a real privilege for me to serve on the Hilltop Board of Trustees the last six years. Hilltop has transformed itself in so many exciting ways during this time, from the creation of our beautiful new campus to the formation of a marvelously effective administrative team. We feel fortunate to have such an outstanding Head of School and, at the vital core of the school, such a terrific faculty and staff. Together they work very hard to maintain and improve the quality of education at Hilltop and to create a welcoming learning environment for both students and parents.
As a parent who has had one child proceed all the way through Hilltop’s programs from the Children’s House through the Middle School, I have seen first hand what a remarkable education the children receive at Hilltop. They not only learn the basic skills they will need to be successful when they leave Hilltop, but also, even more importantly, they learn to love learning itself; they gain confidence in their own voices and in their abilities to challenge themselves in areas they would not typically pursue.
To me, this is the quality that sets Hilltop apart, and in our board retreat this July, we all spoke about how inspiring this environment is for us as well. This year the board will be outlining a new Strategic Plan based on the community input provided last year. This Plan will help guide our decisions about how the school will continue to grow over the next several years. We will need a lot of help as we move forward and hope you will consider volunteering your time and skills to the various committees that will help us envision our future. Feel free to contact me, Tamara, Amelia, or anyone at Hilltop, and we’ll talk about ways you can lend your voice and expertise!
—Patrick Keppel, 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.
Patrick Keppel, 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 (Hilltop graduate, currently attending The Putney School) and Magdalena (Upper Elementary).
Mark Loevy-Reyes, Past Chair
Mark is a parent of former Hilltop 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.
Rich Wolfe, Board Treasurer and Incoming Chair
Rich is a parent of a Middle School graduate, 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, 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 attends UVM.
Steve Iams, Board Secretary
Steve Iams is an assistant professor at the SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, where he teaches linguistics and curriculum design courses in the MA-TESOL program and serves as the chair of the Academic Affairs committee. As an educator and teacher-trainer, he has worked with language students and teachers in Korea, Nepal, China, and Japan. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal and China. Steve holds an M.A. in TESOL from SIT and a B.A. in History from the University of Virginia, and is a doctoral student in language education at Ohio State University. Steve and his family live in Brattleboro. His son MJ is in the Children’s House.
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, graduated from Hilltop in 2002 and is currently at The University of Pennsylvania, in the BSN/MSN Nurse Practitioner Program in Philadelphia. 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.
John Barrengos is dad to Eliot Barrengos, in Upper El at Hilltop and he serves as Director of Admission at The Putney School, where his daughter attends and his wife Kate Knopp serves as Dean of Faculty. John earned his BA in International Relations at Tufts and his Ed. D. in Organizations & Leadership at Columbia’s Teachers College. After working as a commercial banker for schools, hospitals and other non-profits, John has, since 1990, served as a teacher and administrator in schools, most recently in service as head of school at a pre-K – 8 day school in CT. John has served on six non-profit boards; currently as a board member for the Stoneleigh-Burnham School and for the Association of Independent School Admission Professionals.
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.
Sarah Grasso has been in Brattleboro since 2001. Born and raised in Stamford, CT, she attended Columbia University as a Fellow for the Institute For Urban Education, and graduated from College of the Atlantic with a degree in Human Ecology. She received her Master’s Degree from Antioch University in Counseling Psychology and her Post-Master’s in School Counseling from Keene State. She currently serves as the school counselor for grades 9-12 at Leland & Gray Union High School in Townshend.
Adam Hubbard is a practicing landscape architect and project manager. He earned a B.A. in Geography from the University of Vermont and M.L.A. from the University of Massachusetts before returning to the area to raise a family with his wife Alison. Their son Ethan is a graduate of the Middle School and currently attends The Putney School. Adam’s daughter Anna is an Upper Elementary student. Adam’s work has included master planning, feasibility studies, environmental permitting, site engineering and construction oversight. He has focused on developing attractive, appealing and functional spaces at a human scale. His projects can be found across Brattleboro, Windham County and beyond including works at BMH, Windham & Windsor Housing Trust, The Brattleboro Retreat and the Hilltop campus itself. Adam adds planning, design and property management expertise to the Board of Trustees and the community.
Robyn Ostrander is the Brattleboro Retreat’s Senior Medical Director and Medical Director of Child and Adolescent Services. 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 her clinical areas of expertise include suicide prevention, post-traumatic stress disorder, and the treatment of gender nonconforming 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., in Burlington, Mass. Robyn and her husband Jerry live in NH and are the parents of Ian (Lower Elementary) and Cinder (Labernese.)