Faculty, Staff & Trustees

Faculty & StaffTrustees

Academy Faculty and Staff

marco
Marco Almeida - Science
malmeida@mustarseed.com

Born in Portugal, Marco Almeida grew up in Newark, NJ. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College in Physics and Mathematics. He went on to obtain his Master of Science from Boston College in Physics, gaining valuable laboratory and teaching experience. The lure of education was inevitable: Marco went on to teach physics at Longmeadow High School for five years, where he was proud to support students not only academically but in all their endeavors. Marco joined The Academy faculty because he was attracted by the school’s close-knit community and the opportunity to support students’ curiosity about the world around them through authentic scientific inquiry. When not in the classroom, Marco can be found in the kitchen, playing tennis, or with his cats and dog.

IMG_5504
Katherine Anderson - Director of Admissions
kanderson@mustarseed.com

Born in Northampton and raised in Williamsburg, Katherine ’16 is an enthusiastic life-long citizen of western Massachusetts. A loyal and loving alumna of The Academy, Katherine completed her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Education & Child Studies at Smith College where she worked in the Office of Admission and swam competitively. During her time at Smith, she also spent a summer studying abroad in Denmark and another summer interning with the Development Office at the Commonwealth Honors College at UMass Amherst. Since joining The Academy’s staff in 2020, Katherine has most enjoyed welcoming new families into our community, connecting with alumni, and sharing fun Academy moments far and wide on social media. Katherine spends her free time biking, hiking, cooking, crafting, and skiing with her friends and partner. She is grateful beyond words to have her first “adult” job be at The Academy; it is nothing short of a dream come true. 

BatesZaleNora2023
Nora Bates Zale - Co-Head of School for Community; Title IX Coordinator; Photography
nzale@mustarseed.com

Nora Bates Zale ’00 earned a Bachelor of Arts with high honors from Marlboro College in Photography and Art Education, and a Master of Arts from NYU in Art Education, with a focus on using art as a tool for social justice. Nora has taught art and photography at all levels of the K-12 range in locales from New Zealand, to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, to the Museum of Modern Art and all five boroughs of New York City, and finally the hilltowns of western Massachusetts. She takes great joy in facilitating the sorts of encouraging yet challenging community experiences from which she benefited as an Academy student, as well as occupying the office with the most comfortable furniture on campus, perfect for all manner of conversations with Aardvarks and their parents. Nora lives in Conway, MA with her wife Synphany, their children Enzo and Symone, and their fur-children (canine Cleome Roux and feline Timecat), where she enjoys romps in the woods and tending vegetable and flower gardens.

IMG_4208
Mary Kay Costello - Math and Science
mcostello@mustarseed.com

Mary Kay joined the Academy after teaching biology, math, and chemistry at public and independent schools in New York, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. She earned a Biology and Environmental Studies degree from Wells College and a Masters in Neurosciences from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (2008). She grew up outside of New York City and moved with her family to Western Massachusetts in 1985.  She loves sharing her enthusiasm for science and the natural world with students and especially loves to create hands on experiences for students on field trips and in the school lab. She lives in Conway where she enjoys exploring the South River and woods with her two dogs both in and out of the water. She also loves to sea kayak, watch school sports, play games, read, and travel. She has three grown children and five grandchildren.

Aethena Enzer-Mahler resized2
Aethena Enzer-Mahler - Psychological Consultant
aenzermahler@mustarseed.com

Aethena Enzer-Mahler ’00 earned her Bachelors of Arts from Hampshire College with a focus on Education and Incorporation of Arts into the Classroom, and her Masters in Social Work (MSW) from Smith College. Aethena has worked as an educator in early childhood and elementary education supporting the growth and development of young children and worked clinically with children and families in outpatient and school settings. In her clinical practice Aethena brings a playful and grounded approach to her therapy, working primarily with adolescents and young adults. As a mental health consultant for schools Aethena is passionate about collaborating with faculty and caregivers to provide the best possible support to students and the whole school community. She was excited for the opportunity to return to the Academy in 2017 in the role of Psychological Consultant. Aethena is lucky to live on a farm in Northampton with her husband Nate, farm kids Noah and Asher, and lots of vegetables!

FAC_Fagan_Kara
Kara Fagan - Humanities, Athletic Director
kfagan@mustarseed.com
We are enthusiastic to announce the return of Kara Fagan to our faculty. Kara is returning to teach in the Humanities department and to become our new athletic director. Academy alums fondly remember Kara’s creativity in the classroom and dedication to her craft. Please join us in welcoming Kara back to The Academy family!
S9050841-Edit
Neale Gay - Co-Head of School for Academics; College Counselor; Humanities
ngay@mustarseed.com

Neale Gay has over 20 years of experience as an educator and advocate for his students. He joined The Academy in 2012 as a humanities teacher, the college counselor, and the theater director. Over time, he assumed more leadership responsibilities, and as of 2018, Neale functions as the Co-Head of School for Academics. He began his career as a public school history and English teacher while finishing his M.Ed from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. Previously, he earned a degree in Classics from UMass. Neale was drawn to The Academy because of its holistic approach to education, and because of its commitment to social justice, the arts, and music.  An avid reader and record collector, Neale resides with his family, cats, and dog in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

IMG-3325
Scott Hoffman - Music Director
shoffman@mustarseed.com
We are excited to welcome Scott Hoffman back to our faculty. Scott is returning to his familiar role as music director and has plans to continue to grow the program by tapping into the musical abilities of our students and expanding them with his oversight of music at The Academy. Academy alum fondly remember Scott and current Academy students will benefit from his stewardship of the music program. Welcome back, Scott!
Andrea Kelleher photo
Andrea Kelleher - Bookkeeper
akelleher@mustarseed.com

Andrea is a Western MA native, who grew up in the hills of Colrain.  She graduated from Greenfield Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Business Management in ’06.  Andrea married her high school sweetheart Devon and they have a wonderful son Deegan.  They live in Buckland with their dog, Luna and their kitty, Willow. She has worked in a variety of offices ranging from a vitamin manufacturer to a construction company to a local stone business.  She has now found her way to The Academy, which holds a special place for her because her grandmother-in-law Lucille Joy was a founder and bookkeeper here.

In her spare time Andrea loves to paint, make jewelry, read (especially about vampires), rock hound and hunt and fish with her family.  She is also a huge Patriots fan and can usually be heard yelling at the TV during games.

Screen Shot 2021-08-22 at 3.09.38 PM
Rafael Kelman - Art
rkelman@mustarseed.com

Rafael received a Bachelor of Arts in Art and Comparative Religion from Marlboro College as well as a Master of Fine Art in Combined Media from Hunter College in New York. Rafael joined the Academy in 2021 after five years at Phillips Academy Andover; he also previously taught art in various after-school programs and youth workshops in New York and Vermont. Rafael makes in a range of mediums, from sculpture to drawing to video. In teaching, he seeks to help students discover new materials and new strategies for making, looking, and thinking. Rafael currently lives in Northampton with his partner, child, and hound.

bio pic
Erin MacLachlan - Humanities & Spanish
emaclachlan@mustarseed.com
Erin grew up between Western Mass and Guadalajara, Mexico; she earned a B.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and began teaching in 2006, first at The Center School in Greenfield and then at Eaglebrook School in Deerfield. She joined the Academy community in 2022. Erin lives on a homestead in Heath with her husband Adam and their children, Charlotte and Sage, who are Academy students; she enjoys writing, traveling, art journaling, gardening, volunteering at the Heath Fair, cooking, and spending time with her dog Maya and many farm animals.
Sabine Mauri
Sabine Mauri - French, International Student Coordinator
smauri@mustarseed.com

Originally from Germany where she earned a Master’s degree in teaching French and English, Sabine has spent the last 20 years teaching both languages in the US. After a 12-year stint at Deerfield Academy teaching and running girls’ dormitories, Sabine has taught French at all levels at The Academy at Charlemont for the past eight years. Sabine’s responsibilities also include leading occasional trips to French-speaking countries, advising the Cultural Exchange Council, and administering the domestic exchange program, The Network of Complementary Schools.  Sabine serves as International Student Coordinator at The Academy, taking care of all aspects of the international students’ experience at school and with their host families. Sabine has two cute daughters and a tolerable husband. She travels through the local universe in a vehicle known as “Cosmic Blue.”

IMG_9035
Will Miller - Math and Science
wmiller@mustarseed.com
Will Miller began teaching high school math and science in 2007 and joined the Academy community in 2015 after a 1-year sabbatical working on a grass-fed dairy farm in Williamstown, MA. His love of teaching stems from his lifelong curiosity about the natural world and from the joy he finds working with other inquisitive learners. His love for the sport of Ultimate has led him to enjoy several years of coaching at multiple levels at the Academy. Hobbies and interests include board game design, 3D printing, gardening, cooking, and music. He lives in Greenfield with his wife, Madeline, and three kids, Owen, Dorothy, and Frederick.
Jen Rizzi
Jen Mitchell - Office Manager
jmitchell@mustarseed.com
Jen Mitchell is from Long Island, but moved to Western Massachusetts in 1999 where she planted her family roots. She and her husband Alfred have 5 children, one who is an Academy alum (Grayson ’18) She lives in Colrain and when is not at The Academy, you could probably find her in some body of water!
20220722_101152
Holly Neipp - School Nurse
hneipp@mustarseed.com

Holly grew up in Western Mass and has happily returned to the area to raise her family and embrace the Hilltown life. She graduated from Greenfield Community College with a Liberal Arts degree and continued her education at Salem State University where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications with a focus in Public Relations. After five years of living in New Jersey and working as an event manager, she decided to go back to school for nursing. She moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan and graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. In 2013, she moved home to the hills of Western Mass and has since been working in an emergency department at a local hospital. She is excited to be back “in school” as The Academy’s school nurse and looks forward to connecting with the community and its students. When she isn’t at work or taking care of her four kids, she enjoys yoga, paddle boarding, hiking the hills, and a wicked good cup of coffee with her husband.

Jeff Novick - Director of Finance and Operations
jnovick@mustarseed.com
DSC_5976
Kimberly Karlin - Mathematics
kkarlin@mustarseed.com

Kimberly came to The Academy as a 16-year teacher, mostly in independent schools. She earned a Mathematics degree from Bryn Mawr College and a Masters in Musical Theater from The Boston Conservatory. Having grown up in Texas, Kimberly moved to the Pioneer Valley in 2005 and as an Academy faculty member, she teaches mathematics and directs our theater program. She has taught math courses ranging from Inquiry-Based Algebra to Advanced Calculus and sees math as a universal language that is accessible to all. She was the Director of Theater Programs at The Ethel Walker School for 11 years, is founder of local theater company, Ghost Light Theater, and is actively involved in local community theater in Northampton where she now calls home.

IMG_9302
John Schatz - Co-Head of School for Operations; Math & Science
jschatz@mustarseed.com

John grew up in eastern Massachusetts, earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Environmental Studies from Bucknell University, and later earned a Master of Arts in Private School Leadership from Teachers’ College at Columbia University. He has taught math and science at Beaver Country Day School, The Academy at Charlemont, and Four Rivers Public Charter School, and he was a teacher and Head of School at The Island School, a high school semester study abroad program. As an avid runner, biker, and outdoors person, John has coached a range of sports and led cycling, backpacking, and wilderness sea kayaking trips for students.

LMS Headshot 23
Lauren Marie Schmidt - Humanities
lschmidt@mustarseed.com
Lauren Marie Schmidt is the author of three previous collections of poetry: Two Black Eyes and a Patch of Hair Missing; The Voodoo Doll Parade, selected for the Main Street Rag Author’s Choice Chapbook Series; and Psalms of The Dining Room, a sequence of poems about her volunteer experience at a soup kitchen in Eugene, Oregon. Her fourth collection, Filthy Labors, chronicles her volunteer teaching experience at a transitional housing program for homeless women in her native New Jersey. A teacher at the secondary and post-secondary levels for more than twenty years, Schmidt holds two writing-related Master’s Degrees: a Master of Arts in Writing and Rhetoric and a Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. She lives in Shelburne Falls with her husband, poet Martín Espada.
SmithEric2023
Eric Smith - Facilities Manager, Ceramics
esmith@mustarseed.com

Eric joined the Academy in 2018 teaching all levels of ceramics as part of the Studio Block program. He has created a vibrant and supportive space for countless students to express themselves through clay over the last five years. While he will continue to teach, Eric expanded his role in our community in 2023, assuming the position of Facilities Manager. Along with running a successful wood fired pottery business over the last 20 years, he has constructed new buildings and torn old ones down; renovated, expanded and reimagined spaces; and worked for and managed contractors as well. He is excited and optimistic to help support the Academy as it continues to move forward.

Hannah Headshot
Hannah Smith ’06 - Advancement Coordinator; Creative Writing Studio Block Teacher
hsmith@mustarseed.com

Hannah Smith ‘06 is excited to return to her alma mater as the Advancement Coordinator and a Creative Writing Studio Block Teacher. Hannah earned a Bachelor of Social Work from Skidmore College and a Master of Social Science with a concentration in Women and Gender from the University of Colorado Denver. She founded and runs the creative writing workshop Write Freely Listen Deeply and believes in unlocking her student’s voices, creative thought, and confidence. Her own business model serendipitously aligns with the Academy’s “Find your voice. Speak your mind” mission. Hannah has lived worldwide from New York City to Argentina, Costa Rica, Australia, and most recently Boulder, Colorado. Throughout her travels, she’s explored many career paths and has always dedicated herself to being in service of others. In her spare time, she teaches and practices yoga, runs 1 mile at a time, and slows down with her husband, Jesse, and her orange cat Janeway.

Donald Young
Donald Young - Latin
dyoung@mustarseed.com
Donald Young grew up in the vicinities of Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, DC, Columbus, Ohio and Coventry, UK.  He attended Xavier University in Cincinnati, where he studied Latin, Greek, Philosophy, and History, and earned an Honors Bachelor of Arts.  He earned his Master of Arts in Teaching in Latin and Classical Humanities from UMass Amherst. In addition to his academic interests, he is an Eagle Scout and has played percussion in a variety of ensembles. Donald also enjoys long walks in the woods, talking politics or philosophy, poring over maps, and listening to music.

 

image (7)
Alejandro (Alex) Zendejas P24, 26 - Spanish, Model United Nations
azendejas@mustarseed.com
The Academy is thrilled to welcome Alejandro (Alex) Zendejas (P ’24 and ’26) to our world languages faculty. Alex is a native of Mexico and most recently practiced law in Mexico City. At The Academy, Alex will teach Spanish levels I-V and advise our Model United Nations team. Outside work, he enjoys reading, going to the cinema, grabbing a cup of coffee and walking. He is a passionate admirer of cars and practically anything that flies. Please help us in welcoming Alex to our faculty!

Trustees

Nora Bates Zale

BatesZaleNora2023

Nora Bates Zale ’00 earned a Bachelor of Arts with high honors from Marlboro College in Photography and Art Education, and a Master of Arts from NYU in Art Education, with a focus on using art as a tool for social justice. Nora has taught art and photography at all levels of the K-12 range in locales from New Zealand, to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, to the Museum of Modern Art and all five boroughs of New York City, and finally the hilltowns of western Massachusetts. She takes great joy in facilitating the sorts of encouraging yet challenging community experiences from which she benefited as an Academy student, as well as occupying the office with the most comfortable furniture on campus, perfect for all manner of conversations with Aardvarks and their parents. Nora lives in Conway, MA with her wife Synphany, their children Enzo and Symone, and their fur-children (canine Cleome Roux and feline Timecat), where she enjoys romps in the woods and tending vegetable and flower gardens.

Paul Catanzaro, P21, 23, Assistant Treasurer, Chesterfield, MA

Catanzaro-Cropped

Paul brings his educational experience and passion for The Academy to the Board, along with a parent’s perspective. He is an Associate Professor at UMass Amherst where he teaches courses in the Forestry Ecology and Conservation program.  Paul is also the co-director of the Family Forest Research Center, a partnership of the U.S. Forest Service and UMass Amherst.  Paul’s research focuses on landowner decision making and forest resiliency. In his role as the State Extension Forester, he reaches out to the many families that own the forests of Massachusetts to help inform their decisions about stewardship of the land.  Paul and his wife Amy live in Chesterfield, MA with their two children.  Both are active in The Academy Parents Council (APC).  They can also be seen (and heard) ringing cowbells at The Academy’s cross country meets.

Bill Corwin, P19, 22, Chair, Leverett, MA

0

Bill Corwin is the founder of Mission Velocity, a consulting firm dedicated to helping nonprofits accelerate and grow their impact. He has more than 20 years of nonprofit leadership and consulting experience; most recently he was the Vice President of U.S. Programs for Save the Children, responsible for overseeing domestic programming for over 300,000 children annually in the U.S.

Prior to Save the Children, Corwin was President of Clarke Schools, an organization with several locations serving deaf and hard of hearing children. He also has been the executive director of two CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) programs in California and served for 7 years as the Chief Development Officer for National CASA. He has served on several nonprofit boards during the past 20 years.

Bill now advises a wide range of nonprofits on fundraising, strategic planning, and program development. Prior to his nonprofit work, Corwin was an attorney in private practice, the leader of a legal services program for homeless youth, and a Deputy DA with the Santa Clara County (CA) District Attorney’s Office. Corwin received his BA from Brown University and his law degree from Columbia Law School. Both of his children have attended the Academy; Sophia graduated in 2019, and Juliet is in the class of 2022.

Bart Doty ’00

Neale Gay

S9050841-Edit

Neale Gay has over 20 years of experience as an educator and advocate for his students. He joined The Academy in 2012 as a humanities teacher, the college counselor, and the theater director. Over time, he assumed more leadership responsibilities, and as of 2018, Neale functions as the Co-Head of School for Academics. He began his career as a public school history and English teacher while finishing his M.Ed from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. Previously, he earned a degree in Classics from UMass. Neale was drawn to The Academy because of its holistic approach to education, and because of its commitment to social justice, the arts, and music.  An avid reader and record collector, Neale resides with his family, cats, and dog in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

Tupshin Harper, '90, Guilford, VT

Tupshin Harper submitted 08 14 18

Tupshin is a Silicon Valley programmer and strategist who has moved to a cabin in the woods in rural Vermont. He’s currently taking time to work on a research project in the area of building complex systems. When not at his computer Tupshin is enjoying the great outdoors, hiking and biking – or from the vantage point of his tractor.

Dave Howe, P21, Greenfield, MA

DH Profile photo

Dave Howe attended a private school in Worcester, and then went on to Bowdoin College, Boston College, and Temple University to study philosophy. That, of course, led him to work in a family lumber yard for over 12 years. He was the technical support department, as well as purchaser. Dave and his family headed to Buffalo NY for a few years, where he worked for a technology distributor and a large bank. An opportunity to move back to Massachusetts came up, and now he works at Greenfield Savings as the Security Officer, Facilities Manager, as well as some risk management.

Dave enjoys working on building projects, occasionally ruining a nice walk by chasing a small white ball, and taking rides around the back roads of Franklin County with his wife and friends on motorcycles. Dave is an Eagle Scout, a Rotarian, and always trying to learn new things.

Shelley Borror Jackson, Chair, Winchester, NH

unnamed

Shelley Borror Jackson has been an educator for over thirty years, with 25 as head of school.  Recently semi-retired from the International Academy of New York in Manhattan, she looks forward to a new chapter in the Pioneer Valley, a place she grew to love while heading the Bement School in Deerfield, MA. She now offers independent school placement counseling to students throughout the world.  Shelley holds three degrees in English from Wheaton College (MA), Ohio State University, and University of Maine, and was a Klingenstein Fellow at Teachers College, Columbia University. She loves spending time with her four children, seven grandchildren, and beloved pets in Winchester, NH.

Hannah Lessels ’14, Clerk, Buckland, MA

1573146561858

Hannah Lessels, class of 2014, currently works as a public health consultant in the state of New Hampshire. Her subject matter background includes Substance Use Disorders, Equity, HIV and Emergency Preparedness. Over the past few years, Hannah has taken an interest in qualitative data collection/analysis and evaluation. She hopes to bring this evaluation perspective to the Academy Board along with her passions for racial equity and rural development. In her free time, Hannah continues her passion for the arts (which began in the Academy pottery studio, photo lab and art rooms) through textile arts, drawing and painting. She also assists with the Charlemont Forum Committee to offer the residents of Western Massachusetts and beyond the opportunity to explore topics of civic concern aimed at public enlightenment. Hannah received her BS from Amherst College in Art and the History of Art.

Will Paulding, Greenfield, MA

Screen Shot 2022-08-23 at 8.47.49 AM

My name is Will Paulding.  I was born in Maryland and raised in Queens, New York. I attended college at UMAss Amherst and have spent the past nineteen years at The Bement School.  I’ve spent the majority of those as a physical education teacher in addition to being a dorm parent and varsity basketball and lacrosse coach.  I have been involved with the school’s Diversity Committee and was a member of the recent faculty search committee for the current Head of Lower School.  Teaching young people to love activity and movement, as well as helping those learners in my classes to scaffold a journey of lifelong wellness has been the highlight of my career and what energizes me looking forward.  

Outside of Bement, the Pioneer Valley has become my home.  I live in Greenfield with my wife, who is a secondary educator and our two kids who are five and three years old.  Our oldest will be joining the Bement School this fall as a kindergartener and we are beyond excited for this new adventure to begin.  

As an active and invested member of our community here in the Pioneer Valley, I am humbled and motivated to contribute all that I can during my time as a trustee of The Academy of Charlemont.  

Cornelia Reid P01, Leyden, MA

Cornelia Reid

Cornelia Reid is a retired Classics teacher who taught Latin, Ancient Greek, and related subjects for 40 years in independent schools, including the Dalton School in Manhattan, Kent Place School in Summit, N.J,  Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Greenfield, and finally and most fortunately, The Academy at Charlemont (2001-2012).

She attended the National Cathedral School for Girls in Washington D.C., Smith College (A.B., Classics, 1965) and Columbia University (M.A., M.Phil, Greek and Latin, 1973).  She lives in Leyden with her husband Wallis, a retired professor of Linguistics and Language Education at Rutgers. She is on the board of Mohawk Trail Concerts and the Robertson Memorial Library in Leyden.  Besides Wallis, her family includes three sons, Simon (AaC ’01), Angus and Colin, a cat named Romeo, and, most years, a hive or two of honeybees.

Cornelia served as a trustee from 2000 to 2007; she rejoined the Board in 2012, and has been Chair since 2015.

Jaka Marie Conklin Saarony ’90

Jaka Saarony

Jaka earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from UMass, Amherst in 1998 where she was also President of Beta Alpha Si. She joined Arthur Andersen in 1998 and worked in the Forensic, Litigation Support and Valuation consulting division.

In 2001, Jaka was hired by PAREXEL International—a $1 billion life-sciences services company with offices in more than 50 countries. While with PAREXEL, her responsibilities included bringing financial reports into compliance, integrating financial data of acquired companies in line with accepted accounting standards (US GAAP), serving as the Controller of Netherland, the Baltic countries and Romania, fulfilling a role as the company’s budgeting and financial controls manager for the HR, Facilities, and Finance functions, and later, managing external Financial Reporting. While at PAREXEL, Jaka was a key leader in the implementation of the company’s Sarbanes Oxley Management (SOX) and Compliance efforts. During her tenure at PAREXEL, Jaka travelled extensively throughout Europe and Asia and completed a two-year expatriate assignment in Germany.

Jaka serves as Treasurer of Temple Emanuel pre-school and religious school and as Treasurer of the Mason-Rise elementary school. She is married, has three children and is an active member in her community. Jaka has been on the Board since 2010.

 

John Schatz

IMG_9302

John grew up in eastern Massachusetts, earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Environmental Studies from Bucknell University, and later earned a Master of Arts in Private School Leadership from Teachers’ College at Columbia University. He has taught math and science at Beaver Country Day School, The Academy at Charlemont, and Four Rivers Public Charter School, and he was a teacher and Head of School at The Island School, a high school semester study abroad program. As an avid runner, biker, and outdoors person, John has coached a range of sports and led cycling, backpacking, and wilderness sea kayaking trips for students.

Ryan Schiff, P23, 28, Williamsburg, MA

PXL_20211203_193018356.PORTRAIT_2

Ryan Schiff lives in Williamsburg and is the father of three children, two of whom attend the Academy. He is a partner at the Northampton law firm Elkins, Auer, Rudof & Schiff. His law practice focuses on juvenile and criminal defense, especially the representation of adolescents sentenced to life in prison. He previously was a public defender and an associate at a Boston law firm. In addition to the Academy Board of Trustees, he has served as an elected member of the Williamsburg School Committee.   

Lauren Marie Schmidt, Faculty Representative

LMS Headshot 23
Lauren Marie Schmidt is the author of three previous collections of poetry: Two Black Eyes and a Patch of Hair Missing; The Voodoo Doll Parade, selected for the Main Street Rag Author’s Choice Chapbook Series; and Psalms of The Dining Room, a sequence of poems about her volunteer experience at a soup kitchen in Eugene, Oregon. Her fourth collection, Filthy Labors, chronicles her volunteer teaching experience at a transitional housing program for homeless women in her native New Jersey. A teacher at the secondary and post-secondary levels for more than twenty years, Schmidt holds two writing-related Master’s Degrees: a Master of Arts in Writing and Rhetoric and a Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. She lives in Shelburne Falls with her husband, poet Martín Espada.

Elizabeth Slowinski ’98, Vice Chair, Shelburne Falls, MA

Elizabeth Slowinski

Elizabeth Slowinski is a Clinical Social Worker at the Austen Riggs Center. Elizabeth is a graduate from the Smith College School for Social Work, and is elated to be working locally in Franklin County. Her undergraduate degree is from Union College where she majored in Classics – a testament to interests cultivated while at The Academy. Elizabeth’s career prior to graduate school focused on international education and volunteer management, as she worked for a Swedish non-profit, allowing for extensive international travel and insight into education in other cultures.

Elizabeth has been a member of the Board since 2013.

Peter Stevens, Shelburne, MA

Peter Stevens

Peter Stevens has enjoyed a long history with independent schools. A graduate of Loomis School (now Loomis Chaffee) in Connecticut, he spent a year in England on an English-Speaking Union fellowship before earning his B. A. degree in English with an Art History minor at Williams College. The son of a New England independent school headmaster, Peter taught first at the Millbrook School in Millbrook, New York and then, after earning his M.A. in Education and Linguistics at the University of Chicago, Peter spent 27 months as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo.  There, Peter taught and administered a rural elementary school teacher training program, and researched and wrote A History of Kanowit District, for use by teachers. Five years of teaching English, coaching and counseling at Loomis Chaffee School followed.

In 1975, Peter, his wife and two small children moved to Lugano, Switzerland, where he became Headmaster of TASIS, the American School in Switzerland.  In 1978, he moved to England and took over the Head of School reins at the new TASIS England in Thorpe, Surrey.  Returning to the States in 1982, Peter served for eight years as Headmaster at Maumee Valley Country Day School in Ohio and then for seven as Head at Oregon Episcopal School in Portland, Oregon.  In 1999, Peter returned to the Valley and became Director of Academics at the Academy at Swift River, a therapeutic boarding school in Cummington.

Subsequent years have seen Peter working as an independent and school-based college counselor and as an independent consultant working with prep-school and college-bound students and families.  He serves on the boards of two independent schools, and various civic organizations.  Peter’s wife Linn, a former psychotherapist, is a well-known local artist in oils and water-colors, with a studio in Shelburne Falls.  Two grown children, both independent school graduates, live respectively in England and in Washington, D.C.

Peter has been a trustee since 2009.

 

Ellis Wahlstrom ’24, Student Representative

536A660C-4DA7-4401-B1FD-27725440CDEB

Ellis Wahlstrom lives in Whitingham, VT and has attended The Academy for six years. She has participated in a variety of studio blocks, usually by singing and playing guitar or piano. She has lead the Food and Gardens Council for two years and has also co-lead the fitness spring sport. She enjoys mountain biking, baking, and acting in the winter drama productions and is a committed and leadership oriented member of this years senior class.