Board of Trustees

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.

Alix Fedoruk, Board Chair, alixf@mac.com
Alix lives in Dummerston with her husband, Michael, and her children, Julia, in Middle School, and Annelise, in Upper El. She is a board certified family physician, currently taking time away from professional work. Prior to her medical career, she graduated from Harvard-Radcliffe with a degree in History and Science, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger (greet her in French, Hausa, or Tamacheq!), worked at the World Bank, and studied Public Health. At Hilltop, she has been a parent representative in all the classrooms her children have been in so far, and coaches Girls on the Run. Locally, she serves at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church both on the Schroeder Fund Committee, which supports SEVCA’s Help Fund, and the Outreach Committee. She also volunteers for Carry Me Home, helping refugees. She enjoys running, knitting, reading, cooking, and spending time with family.

Angela Yang-Handy, Incoming Chair, ayanghandy@gmail.com
Angela is the proud mother of Hazel (Middle School) and Iris (Lower El). She lives with her husband, Dan, and their children in West Brattleboro. Angela currently serves as the Dean of Global, Experiential, and Community Engagement at Northfield Mount Hermon, where she coordinates the school’s experiential programming in global travel and engagement, service-learning, the school farm, student work program, outdoor program, social entrepreneurship, and sustainability education.  Her diverse career has included prior work at higher education institutions (Clark University, Landmark College, Keene State College and UMass Amherst), serving as managing director of an international for-profit after-school tutorial franchise, and working with a range of other education and community-based programs in the U.S. and the Philippines. She holds a doctorate in education policy and leadership from UMass Amherst, an M.A. and B.A. in international development and social change from Clark University, and a graduate certificate from UMass Amherst in advanced feminist studies. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, spending time with her family, and making DIY crafts with her daughters.

Vanessa Long, Honorary Outgoing Chair and Secretary, vanessalong4881@gmail.com
Vanessa is the mother of Luci in Lower El and Uri in the Willow Room. She has a BA in Women’s Studies & Public Policy from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and a Masters of Science in Management & Health Care Administration from Marlboro College Graduate School in Brattleboro. Vanessa is proud to be part of Hilltop Montessori’s first graduating sixth grade class from the Austine Campus, and is even more excited that her children are able to enjoy the benefits of Hilltop as well.  She believes that her Montessori education strongly prepared her for her current profession as an independent employee benefits and human resources consultant, where she works with around 100 different organizations, businesses, schools, and municipalities in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In this job, she helps people in all areas of our community navigate health insurance, disability, and financial risk, while also providing comprehensive HR solutions at the organizational level. Prior to her work in New England, Vanessa worked managing clinical services for Planned Parenthood in Texas, developing a nationally recognized Teen Clinic and working to provide health care to marginalized communities. With her partner Ben, Vanessa loves to cultivate vegetables and fruits around their home in Putney, make delicious food, and enjoy science fiction and good writing.

Travis C. Shine, Treasurer, Travis.c.shine@ampf.com
Travis is a proud parent of two Hilltop students. His son Dylan is new this year (2017-18) to Lower El, and his daughter Kennedy is entering her second year in the Willow Room. Travis lives with his wife Sarah, two children, and their dog Higgins in Newfane Vermont.

In 2002 Travis received his BA in Economics from the University of Rhode Island with a minor in philosophy and business. In 2004 he began working as a financial advisor with Ameriprise financial and in 2007 he earned his Certified Financial Planner™ designation. He is currently a partner at Goodwin, Shine and Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. with offices in both Brattleboro and Greenfield.

Travis and his wife Sarah were both born and raised in southern Vermont and are very excited to be able to raise their children in this wonderful community.   Because of his families deep roots in the Newfane area Travis also serves in the capacity of treasurer for the Newfane Congregational Church, where Dylan and Kennedy are fifth generation members.  In his spare time Travis enjoys any type of outside activity including hiking, fishing, snowboarding, skiing or golf.

 

Members at Large

Marti Anderson
Marti is a parent of three Hilltop Alumni, Ian, Lyra and Andre’. Lyra and Andre’ both began their educations at Hilltop and graduated from the Middle School. Marti, Michael and family have lived in Botswana and Thailand, when not in Vermont.  Marti is a teacher educator who teaches teachers pursuing Masters’ Degrees. She also works independently as an educational consultant in the US and abroad.

John Barrengos
John 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.

Sandra T. Campbell
Sandy’s affiliation with Hilltop extends back over 30 years, when her son, Alex, attended the pre-school program, in the basement of Centre Church. She was an HMS board member then, when the notion of a middle school program was a quite remote but desirable reality.  Some years later, her daughter, Megan, had the good fortune to join the first middle school program, which she attended from sixth through eighth grade, still in the unglamorous but serviceable basement of Centre Church. With the likes of Kevin Campbell, Paul Dedell, Geordie Heller, Charles Crowell, HMS was a powerhouse of learning opportunity.  She benefitted greatly. Sandy’s three year old grandson, Bruce, is now attending the Montessori in Randolph, VT.

Sandy is a graduate of Northwestern University, Adelphi University (MSW) and Florida Institute of Technology (Psy.D.) After almost 30 years as a clinical psychologist at the Brattleboro Retreat, Sandy is now enjoying a small private practice, the pleasure of travel abroad, time with grandchildren, and again being part of HMS.

Rochelle Garfinkel
Rochelle first moved to the area to attend Antioch’s Environmental Studies program and never left. After earning her MS in Environmental Education, she became the first Director of Education at Monadnock Humane Society and helped design its renowned Adoption and Learning Center in 1999. After years of nonprofit management work, she earned her Master of Library Science at Simmons College and became a school librarian. She is currently the librarian and educational technology integration specialist at Marlboro Elementary School. She designed the straw bale house in Putney where she lives with her partner, Jessica Turner (former Hilltop Middle School teacher) and two sons, Morgon (Lower El) and Owen (Willow).

Heather Lesage-Horton
Heather is a pediatrician at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital’s Just So Pediatrics practice. She obtained her B.A. and M.D. degrees from the University of Vermont.  She then ventured to the Midwest for five years to complete her training at the University of Michigan.  As a native Vermonter she enthusiastically returned in 2014 and since has been an active member in VCHIP quality improvement projects and the electronic health record committee at BMH. Heather enjoys being outdoors, gardening, quilting and yoga. She lives in Brattleboro with her husband Mark and their children, Eleanor and Annabel in the Lower Elementary and Children’s House at Hilltop.


Kim Lier

Kimis the mother of Alex who is in the middle school at Hilltop. A bit of a nomad, Kim lived in Japan, Indiana, Vancouver (British Columbia), and the high mountains of Colorado, and worked in Maine and Alaska before moving to Brattleboro to attend SIT’s MA-TESOL program in 1994. Aside from two years spent working in Japan she has lived here ever since.

Kim earned an MAT in TESOL from the School for International Training and has dual BA degree in American Studies and Japanese from the University of Notre Dame.

Kim’s work experience has been primarily in the field of education. She was a Project Manager for SIT’s Center for Teacher Education, Training, and Research, taught Japanese at Marlboro College, conducted training for public school teachers in Massachusetts, helped develop a ESL teacher-training course for National Geographic Learning/Cengage Learning and is now the Teaching and Learning Specialist in the Center for New Leadership at the Marlboro College Graduate School where she coordinates the Nonprofit Management Certificate program, the Get On Board Fellows program, and the Board Leadership Institute.

Paul Lockyear
After leaving the Royal Air Force, Paul Lockyear has served on the boards of a number of Financial Institutions. His specialty is in governance, risk and compliance. In 1991 Paul founded an international risk management consultancy company which he ran until 2010 when it was acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Since that time Paul has focused his career on combating financial crime. Paul and his family live in Wilmington, Vermont and Paul’s son Harry is an enthusiastic member of the Willow class.

Stephen Lowe
Stephen lives in Spofford, NH with wife Liza, and his children, Hazael, recent Lower El graduate, and Carter, in Lower El. He currently works as an Engineering Tech for the NHDOT’s  Bureau of Construction, having spent the previous ten years with the Bureau of Highway Design as a Surveyor, and as an offset printer for the Keene Sentinel. Prior to his work with the NHDOT he attended The University of New Hampshire studying Marine and Fresh Water Biology, became a commercial lobsterman/fisherman in New England, worked on charter boats in the Chesapeake Bay, delivered sailboats along the East Coast and Caribbean, hiked the Appalachian Trail, built custom residential homes, and finally returned to school in 2007, graduating Summa Cum Laude from Allegany College of Maryland with a Degree in Forest Technology. He enjoys sharing the beauty and recreational opportunities of our area with his family, and of course an occasional nap.

Asher Pucciarello
Asher attended Antioch Graduate School where he received an MA in Counseling Psychology. He is currently co-director of The Children and Parents Project where he has been part of the team since 1995. At CAPP, Asher provides individual, couples, family, and group mental health counseling for children, teenagers and adults as well as individual, small group and larger system consultation for educational and mental health providers and organizations.

Asher lives in Westminster West with his wife, Re, and their three children. Finnegan, attends Hilltop’s Upper Elementary as of 2017. Oona and Esmé are attending Hilltop’s Lower Elementary as of 2018. Asher has been notably inspired by Hilltop’s demonstrated commitment to help children sustain their curiosity for lifelong use, to develop meta-cognitive skills so that their strong minds can be channeled, and to develop a solid sense of who they are in community. In order to further his mission to work with others to create and support healthy spaces for children’s minds, and out of gratefulness for his children’s education at the school, Asher has joined the board in hopes of giving back to the Hilltop community.

 

 

 

“The Hilltop experience prepared me for life long learning. The experience was invaluable.”
—Hilltop Alumnus
The Toddler Program
Ages 18–36 months
Children’s House
Ages 3–6
Lower Elementary
Ages 6–9
Upper Elementary
Ages 9–12
Middle School
Ages 12 –14