Co-Founder / Board Member / Director of Admissions
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.
Co-Founder / Board Member
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.
Co-Founder / Board Member
I spent my childhood in the woods. Whether I was building forts, tracking animals, or doing ŇexperimentsÓ, I was always in the woods. I truly believe in nature based learning because of the character it builds and impact it has on a growing mind. Kids today are very busy; too busy to get outside and be, which is one of the reasons my daughter attends The Mountain River School. I am a 4th generation Vermonter on both sides which qualifies me as native. When I left Vermont to further my education I didnŐt come back immediately; spending 15 yrs living in Boston MA, Santa Monica CA, Queens NY, Stamford CT, and Ridgewood NJ. Eventually my wife and I found a way to move back to the Green Mountains and my family now enjoys everything our community offers. I attended the Holderness School before going on to The Carroll School Management at Boston College. My career has always revolved around the food industry, working in many facets of the specialty meat and cheese industry which led me to building a company here in Vermont as a specialty foods distributor. I live in Stowe with my wife Maura and our three kiddos, Faye (6), Gwen (3) and Teddy (3). I am an avid skier and also enjoy mountain biking, skinning, hiking, camping, and walking in the woods with my kids.
Anna Barrett has been in the vanguard of non-toxic air care product formulation for over a decade. Since taking the helm of a 22-year old natural products company, she’s helped position Way Out Wax as the industry leader in manufacturing safe, botanically-derived candles and air fresheners.
A certified aromatherapist and mother of two young children, Anna understands the sophisticated interplay between natural ingredients and a healthy lifestyle. Her commitment to sourcing clean ingredients and creating standards where none exist drive her product philosophy of unwavering authenticity and purity. Anna excels in analyzing holistic product impacts, taking into account human and environmental short and long-term effects in order to arrive at a place where quality, innovation and safety intersect.
Anna holds a bachelor’s degree in archaeology from California State University, Chico, but credits the engineering department at Virginia Polytechnic Institute with instilling a love for the rigors of the laboratory. She is a member of Women in Flavor & Fragrance, as well as numerous environmental and women’s health advocacy groups. When she’s not formulating new products, you can find her playing with her children, visiting with her bees and taking note of every fragrant natural ingredient that crosses her path.
I live in Stowe with my husband Dan and our four children. We are outdoor enthusiasts and can frequently be found at Family Bike Night in the summer or up at the Mountain in the winter.
After spending a handful of years working in public accounting firms, I made the shift to non-profit accounting and finance. I love working with numbers, figuring out where everything fits, and the particular intricacies that come with running a not-for-profit organization. I spent many of my early adult years volunteering with organizations such as Vermont Adaptive, Special Olympics and Kid Safe Collaborative which made it only natural for my professional focus to gravitate toward organizations that are focused on nurturing and improving the lives of the children in our communities.
Coming from a large extended family, I have a deep appreciation and love for community. Everyone has a part to play, a skill set they bring to the table, and the ability to make the collective stronger with their presence. This sense of community is what I love about the Mountain River School. I am a numbers person and my non-profit financial experience is what I bring with me. I am thrilled to be a part of this wonderful group of people and to have the opportunity to help build a lasting institution for generations of students to come.