Bellwether Teachers

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“I love teaching at Bellwether because I love childhood. Participating in the lives of elementary aged students gives me inspiration and hope.”

Cynthia Clarke 

Elementary 1 Teacher

B.A. University of Vermont, Studio Art & Theater; M.Ed. Lesley University, Elementary Education; VT State Teaching License

At Bellwether since 2017

I was raised by educators, so it isn't surprising that I have spent my career devoted to education. Personalized and reflective learning has been my passion since I was a child, and it is a joy to share that passion with students, families, and colleagues. The philosophy of education that we embody at Bellwether is in-line with all of my idealistic notions of what education can be. I think of myself as a teacher/researcher, so when I am no longer learning new things about teaching that will be a heartbreaking day.

 

I've taught in public elementary schools, independent schools and in an alternative high school program. My diverse background in teaching and educational leadership has lead me to cherish the type of collaboration and discovery that is available at Bellwether School. It is a privilege and a joy to be encouraged to support young students in investigating their own learning in a play-based and child-centered environment.

 

My interest in teaching is woven into my experiences and hobbies. I love theater and singing. I am mystified by the wonders of nature, space, and science. I love math and learning how to be an advocate for the love and respect of mathematics. I have two dogs, a bearded dragon, and a fish; they teach me things every day. In my heart I am an artist, sometimes I enjoy creating visual art, or performing art, but no matter what I am always looking for a form of poetry in each moment.

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“I first came to Bellwether as a parent. Witnessing the transformation of my son in a school that nurtured his strengths and supported his challenges was a gift. I am grateful to be a part of this beautiful community where children are met where they are, where relationships are valued, and student voice is honored.”

Laura Hoopes

Preschool Teacher; mother, singer, gardener

B.A. University of Massachusetts, Art Education; M.Ed. Antioch University New England, Integrated Learning; VT Early Childhood Educator License; Certified Nature-Based Early Childhood Educator

At Bellwether since 2016

Laura has been teaching at Bellwether for six years. While her primary position is teaching in our Preschool Classroom, she has also served as art teacher and shares her musical gifts both in the classroom and in support of our community celebrations. Laura has been an educator for more than 20 years, teaching in both public and private school settings.

 

Laura is committed to educating the whole child and believes that relationship is the key to opening the door to learning. She is passionate about the social-emotional learning of children and feels that this is the most important work of the young child.

 

When she is not teaching, Laura enjoys cooking delicious food for her family and friends, cuddling by the woodstove with her two cats, and listening to music. She is an avid gardener and loves to spend time in nature.

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Angie King

Primary Teacher

B.A. Saint Michael's College, Elementary Education & English; M.A. Champlain College, Early Childhood Education 

At Bellwether since 2003

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Susie Merrick

Preschool Support

Education Information

At Bellwether since

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“I love teaching at Bellwether because it feels like home. It feels like family. Everyone, from students to staff to families, is encouraged to come as they are. There is space to flourish and shine, to fall and get back up, and to be cared for in such a unique community.”

Kaitlyn Miller

Preschool Teacher; intuition follower, quietly bold

B.A. University of New Hampshire, Child and Family Studies (Child Advocacy & Family Policy); M.A. Goddard College, Sustainable Business & Communities (Education for Sustainability)

At Bellwether since 2012

As the oldest of five, I grew up as a caregiver and followed that role throughout my educational and professional life. In fact, I've never had a paying job that didn't involve caring for young children in some capacity! My education and career interests have followed a guiding question: How can education systems best meet children's needs and play a role in sustainable communities? Perhaps by chance or perhaps by fate, I have always ended up in Preschool classrooms and find myself feeling more and more at home in the unique and beautiful chaos that is being surrounded by 3-5 year olds. I find joy in creating safe and autonomous spaces for them to explore and grow, and I have also, over the years, developed a passion for supporting parents and families of young children as well. When I'm not in the thick of it in my preschool classroom, I enjoy life at home with my husband, our son, and our cat in Winooski. We love outdoor adventures, travel, delicious food, camping, and enjoying the company of good friends. When I have a rare minute to myself, I love a good book, a speciality coffee drink, and a restorative yoga class.

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“Bellwether is a place of educational freedom, acceptance, and appreciation. I choose Bellwether because it fosters a love of education rather than forcing education.”

Kimberly Trenholm

Holistic Educator in Training; deep listener, artist, nature lover

A.A. in Early Childhood Education; Herbal Apprenticeship at Farmacy Herbs

At Bellwether since 2017

Nature is my home, my heart, and my teacher. Nature has inspired me throughout my life in many ways, but more recently I have felt the need to share my love, wonder, and appreciation of nature with children. My journey first began as a biology student, then led me to being a student of herbalism, and now a teacher. Our world is rich with stories and beauty and this is what lights me up as an educator. I want to share stories, but more importantly listen to the stories that children dream. From there, I can help them to gain the technical knowledge that will support their own stories and inspiration.

Bellwether Staff

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Morgan Donohue

Board Administrative Liaison 

Bellwether's Board President, Morgan stepped up in an official capacity to help the school navigate through a leadership transition this year. She is at Bellwether on a part-time schedule to support students, staff, and families, and to keep the school running until our new Head of School comes onboard this summer. Learn more about Morgan here.

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Lindsay Hay

Family, Admissions, and Programs Coordinator

Brief bio here for Lindsay - whatever she can provide. Does not need as much detail as teacher bios.