Director of Stewardship & Outdoor Programming
I hold a Masters Degree in Education from Johnson State College, received my teaching license for K-6, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New Hampshire, where I majored in Kinesiology and Outdoor Education.
Since I moved to Stowe in 2001, I have immersed myself in teaching and coaching a variety of ages and subjects. Currently, in addition to my role at the Mountain River School, I serve as the Alpine Junior Director at Mount Mansfield Ski and Snowboard Club. In 2010 myself and some fellow ski coaches founded Rugged Adventures, an adventure-based educational summer camp in Stowe.
Previously, during my seven-year tenure with The Mount Mansfield Winter Academy, I was the Academic Coordinator and taught health, physical education, science, life skills and psychology. Prior, I conducted my student teaching at Stowe Elementary School in a multi-age classroom. I have spent many years working in outdoor, nature-based programs such as the Keystone Science School and Merrowvista Education Center.
I grew up in an active family of five where I spent most of my time exploring the outdoors, embarking on adventures and learning in nature. From a young age I have always loved being outside. As a child I was inspired by the beauty and adventure of my home state of New Hampshire. Today, I love seeing children’s awe and inspiration of nature and outdoor explorations.
As an avid skier, mountain biker, runner, and hiker, in my free time I am often found enjoying the outdoors. With an adventurous spirit I have embarked on numerous athletic endeavors over the years including cycling across the country, skiing some of the highest peaks in the United States and Europe, Running marathons, and instilling the love of all these sports to others.
As a fourteen year resident of Stowe, I live with my husband Igor and my children Sofija, age seven, and Hugo, age five, and Mala, my family’s beloved yellow Labrador Retriever.
Director of Admissions / Co-Founder
I am a native Coloradoan and, true to my roots, definitely a “mountain girl.” The mountains are a place of peace, joy and rejuvenation for me. It is my love of the mountains and the outdoors where I have found some of my most joyful experiences as a child, partner and mother.
I graduated from Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado with a double major in Psychology and Sociology. In addition, I completed a year of graduate school in Clinical Social Work in New Mexico. It was during this year that I discovered a very strong drive to explore some more entrepreneurial passions.
These passions led me to buy a restaurant in Leadville, Colorado. In time, I also added a yoga studio and organic coffee and juice bar. The town of Leadville inspired me as it was a training mecca for ultra endurance athletes and was also famous for its “Race Across the Sky,” and the Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike and Running races.
I have competed in a number of ultra races including The Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race,The Hemet Double Century Race and the Breckenridge Mountain Marathon which were all physically challenging and also great teachers in perseverance. It is this inherent love for the outdoors and my journeys as an entrepreneur that compelled and inspired me to help create a school where children can enjoy the outdoors while also developing a love and passion for learning.
My exposure to alternative education began when I was 4 years old and entered Kindergarten at Hilltop Montessori School in southern Vermont. I have such fond memories of my time at Montessori, where I learned through exploration and discovery. As a young adult, I was drawn back to Montessori programs as a camp counselor, art teacher and assistant teacher. My time with Montessori taught me the importance of a child’s sense of autonomy in his/her own learning process, and the importance of respecting a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development.
My exploration of these components of human development continued when I attended graduate school at Naropa University in Boulder, CO. There, I studied Transpersonal Counseling Psychology and began to dive into what it meant to be whole and balanced as individuals and within systems. As an experiential, holistic program, Naropa taught me the importance of integrating one’s mind, body, and spirit within a supportive learning community.
Drawing from these experiences of alternative education, being a parent, and as a mental health professional, I felt compelled to start a school in our community that created the space for nurturing each child as a whole. With the goal of affording children the opportunity to be balanced individuals that celebrate their innate passion for learning through curiosity and creativity, while also instilling a deep love and respect for our planet.
I have spent over 20 years working with children, adolescents, and adults as an educator and counselor. I feel honored to bring this experience to the creation of the Mountain River School. It is exciting to offer this alternative program that is dedicated to providing a safe, supportive and compassionate environment for intellectual, social, emotional, physical, creative, artistic and spiritual growth that celebrates all of the dimensions of being human.
Board of Directors