Michelle received her undergraduate degree in Education and English from the University of Rhode Island. She pursued her graduate degree in Environmental Education from Antioch University New England because she believes, as David Orr does, that “all education is environmental education. By what is included or excluded we teach students that they are part of or apart from the natural world.” Before coming to Oak Meadow, Michelle taught English at Northfield Mount Hermon, was a Learning Specialist in the Massachusetts public schools, and worked as a Program Director for The Massachusetts Audubon Society. Michelle lives in Dummerston, Vermont with her family. Her interests include slow food, travel, parenting, yoga, and the literary arts.
Alan Fortescue holds a Ph.D. in Education and Leadership from the University of Virginia, and earned his undergraduate and master's degrees in literature. Alan has extensive experience in teaching and leadership in higher and experiential education. He was the director of education for Earthwatch Institute from 2005-2010, and has been a consulting editor for the Journal of Environmental Education since 2007. Alan has served as a consultant for UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) where he was also a co-founder and steering committee member for the North American Alliance for Sustainable Development and Education. He has consulted for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, Discovery Channel Education, and WGBH Public Television. Alan enjoys exploring new ways to empower and inspire students to gain awareness of themselves, others, and the world around them. In addition to his accomplishments as an educational professional, he is an award winning painter and skilled mountaineer.
High School Teaching Faculty
Sarah Baughman holds a B.A. in English and German from Grinnell College, and an M.A. in Education from the University of Michigan. She has taught English literature and writing at public schools in Michigan and at international schools in China, Bolivia, and Germany. Sarah enjoys creative writing, and her essays have been published in literary journals and in chapbook form. She also loves horseback riding, gardening, and getting outdoors as much as possible. She lives in Vermont with her husband and two children.
Sarah Boggia has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from St. Lawrence University and a Master's degree in Environmental Education from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. A naturally inquisitive person who is passionate about learning, her areas of expertise include biology, chemistry, physics, and Earth science. She taught high school science in public and private schools for the last seven years, and also served as an advisor to a chapter of the National Honor Society. She has worked as a field ecology researcher and as a horseback trail guide, but is always drawn back to the delightful challenge of teaching students. In her free time, Sarah enjoys hiking, cooking, art, and spending time with her family.
Jennifer Brunton holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University, where she wrote her dissertation on the creative process. Jennifer has taught courses in ethics, bioethics, comparative religion, and philosophy at the college level, and is always inspired by the dreams and ambitions of her students. Having grown up in a homeschooling family (though she herself was not homeschooled), Jennifer developed a deep understanding of the wide range of reasons students and families choose home learning. In addition to teaching, Jennifer has worked as an editor in New York City (at Random House and Mirabella magazine) and owned and operated Yoga Centers in the East Village and Brattleboro, Vermont. She still works as a freelance editor and continues to practice yoga. Jennifer has two wonderful children, with whom she enjoys spending time in nature, making art together, traveling, and cooking and eating vegetarian food from all over the world. In her free time, she is a writer, blogger and painter.
Lydia de Faveri Spiegel holds a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Francophone Studies from the University of Massachusetts. She previously graduated from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, with a degree in Human Geography. Lydia has taught French and Italian courses at the high school and university levels for the past twenty years. Of Italian and Swiss origins, and a native speaker of Italian and French, Lydia has always been intrigued by language and culture. She enjoys motivating and guiding students to make connections between their academic studies and life experiences. She takes great interest in collaborating with colleagues to provide an interdisciplinary approach that makes learning more dynamic and effective. Lydia lives in Amherst, Massachusetts with her husband and her two children, and she enjoys traveling, walking, and the company of friends.
Sarah Hoffman earned a Masters of Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and worked as a college and admissions counselor in a variety of academic settings, including Northfield Mount Hermon School, Newton North (MA) High School, Smith College, and McGill University. Her experiences working in college admissions offices have enhanced her understanding of how application materials are actually evaluated. Sarah particularly enjoys helping students who have chosen a non-traditional path in their education to navigate the college admissions process. At Oak Meadow her goal is to support college bound students, through webinars and individual consultations. She will be offering advice on topics like how to research colleges, getting the most out of college visits, and how to complete applications. In her free time, Sarah enjoys playing tennis and ice hockey, and sings in a gospel and world music chorus.
Kathy received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Irvine, in 1984. She also attended Bakersfield Community College and Cal State Bakersfield where she took upper division Math courses. In 1992, she earned her California Secondary Teaching Credential in Mathematics from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She worked as a math tutor and substitute Math teacher before joining Oak Meadow in 1997. Math has always been Kathy’s favorite subject and it is exciting for her to witness the evolution of learning as skills in logic and organized-thinking emerge and are refined. Kathy likes Oak Meadow’s emphasis on independent learning that asks students to dig deep within themselves which, in turn, inspires personal development and growth. Kathy resides in California with her husband, Ken, who is also a teacher, in a home they designed and built themselves. Kathy enjoys spending her free time walking and gardening.
Alex earned an M.A. in History from Smith College and spent most of his teaching career in experiential education: roaming the Northeast while building and facilitating ropes courses; guiding children to an understanding and appreciation for their environment; working with high school students at the Northfield Mount Hermon School Farm. Recently, he has taught writing and social studies—focusing on critical thinking and communication—to diverse students at the Northfield Mount Hermon School and to boys identified with language-based learning disabilities at Linden Hill School. Alex lives in Northfield, Massachusetts, with his wife, Sarah, and their three young boys. He loves to spend time helping his sons sell flowers from their garden and incubate chicken eggs for their burgeoning chicken farm.
Sara earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Sociology-Based Human Relations from Connecticut College and a Masters degree in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Vermont. She has taught social studies, Spanish, and ESL in independent, public, and university classrooms for many years. Born in Madrid, Spain, Sara grew up in a multi-lingual and multi-cultural home in Vermont. Sara's passion is travel and she has had the good fortune of spending extensive time in Europe and South America, including a month-long hike along the Camino de Santiago in Spain and three years living and working on the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. She hopes to foster this love of travel in her students.
Jacquelyn earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Arts in French from Plymouth State University. She has more than a decade of experience in tutoring students of all ages and has been teaching and creating mathematics courses at Plymouth State University since 2007. Jacquelyn particularly enjoys encouraging students to develop an appreciation for the beauty and relevance of mathematics in the world around them. Jacquelyn lives among the picturesque lakes and mountains of New Hampshire, where she homeschools her own children and creates fun scrapbooks of her family's adventures.
Lucie earned her undergraduate degree in Classics at the University of New Hampshire, and a Masters degree in Education from Cambridge College in Boston. Lucie has taught Latin, Italian, Classics in Translation, Classical Mythology, Humanities, and Spanish in independent and public classrooms for over 30 years. She coordinated and chaperoned several student study tours to Italy and Greece. Lucie encourages in her students a lifelong love of learning, as embodied in this quote from the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy: "When you set out on your journey...pray that the road is long, full of adventure, full of knowledge." Lucie lives in the Seacoast area of New Hampshire with her husband and Golden Retriever, Gracie. In her free time, she enjoys an early morning walk on the beach, traveling, a good book, or being creative in her kitchen.
Marnie holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Education from Smith College, and received graduate credit in English from the University of Kansas, doing her Master’s thesis in poetry. She has been teaching high school English at Oak Meadow since 2000. In addition, Marnie has worked as a classroom teacher, bookstore manager and school librarian. Marnie loves literature and believes that students can learn about themselves and the world in the pages of a book and through putting their own experiences into writing. Marnie is an avid bibliophile, gardener, cellist, and the mother of three grown boys.
Seal Rossignol earned her Master's in Teaching and Learning from the University of Southern Maine. She also holds a B.A. in English Literature from Wheaton College and a certificate in Outdoor Leadership from Greenfield Community College. Seal is passionate about being outside, and loves to incorporate experiential activities into learning—both her own and her students'—as much as possible. She enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, and making things with her hands. Seal lives with her husband and daughter in a timber frame, straw bale house they built themselves in a tiny patch of woods in western Maine.
Heide was born and raised in Germany and received her education at Stuttgart University, earning a Masters in English Linguistics and Literature, and another Masters in German Linguistics and Literature. Heide taught German at the Upper Valley Waldorf School in Quechee, Vermont, and now holds a position as head administrator for Vermont Law School. She began teaching German for Oak Meadow in the fall of 2008. The unique perspective Heide gained growing up outside the U.S. allows her to bring a special authenticity to the work she does with her world language students. She lives in Chelsea, Vermont, with her youngest of two sons. In her free time, Heide likes to practice meditation and yoga, take long walks, read, and dance.
Peter Siegel holds degrees in music and political science, as well as an advanced degree in environmental studies. His musical credits include publication in Sing Out! magazine and the fiddle tune compilation, The Portland Collection, Grammy award winning mandolin tracks on the Best Children’s Album of 2010 and a guest appearance on the nationally syndicated, Etown. He’s been privileged to have played venues around the country, including Newport Folk Festival, Clearwater Revival, Falconridge, Champlain Valley, Solarfest, The Iron Horse, and the Kennedy Center, and to have shared the stage with Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, Dar Williams, Bread and Puppet, and many more. Peter also often leads stringed and vocal workshops in Americana music. As a certified music teacher, he brings to Oak Meadow his musical expertise and his teaching experience in the Orff and Kodaly methods. When he’s not performing or teaching, Peter can be found making music with his two children in southern Vermont.
Cydney holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Environmental Science. She has earned additional certifications in permaculture design, Integrative Nutrition, and is a certified health coach. Cydney was a professor of environmental studies at Southern Vermont College. She founded an online health and lifestyle coaching service, and has experience teaching health and life skills, as well as coaching and mentoring teens and young adults. Cydney appreciates that self-reflection and personal application are integrated into the Oak Meadow health course, and she is happy to be supporting teens as they learn about health and fitness. Cydney loves adventure, and has taken extended solo backpacking trips in the wilderness of Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. She lives in southern New Hampshire with her two daughters, and they are always sharing adventures together.
Tara Sullivan received her BFA from the University of New Hampshire, her MFA from Southern Illinois University, and K-12 certification from Franklin Pierce College. Tara has taught art to students ranging in age from preschool to elders, and in a variety of settings from formal classrooms to camp sites. In addition to receiving a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation, she has done artist residencies at The Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and The Vermont Studio Center. Tara feels that her role is to share her knowledge of art and to facilitate students' discovery of the creative process. Learning to express one's self visually is both an adventure and a thoughtful process of discovery. Tara engages in the creative process in many ways, including drawing and painting, sewing, gardening, cooking and parenting. In the spirit of adventure, Tara has traveled extensively, lived in Alaska and Ireland, and now calls Brattleboro home, where she lives the adventurous life of a creative mom.
Ted Thornton holds a Masters degree in History from the University of Massachusetts and an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School. He also studied in Jerusalem and Cairo, and is a frequent lecturer and panelist on Middle East affairs and Islam. He has presented workshops on teaching about the Islamic world at professional conferences in Cairo, Montreal, San Francisco, and Boston. Ted specializes in the creation of online resources and web-based applications linking his students with other students and teachers around the world. He has led student travel-study programs to Egypt, Turkey, Portugal, Jordan, Brazil, and South Africa. Ted is committed to helping students understand the ways they can connect to the world through his teaching of history, philosophy, world religions, and world cultures. In his spare time, Ted enjoys hiking, cycling, singing in choral groups, and playing folk guitar and singing with family and friends.
Julia graduated from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science/Fisheries Biology. She has been with Oak Meadow since 1992, teaching high school science and Health and Fitness. She has strong interests in alternative energy, gardening, music, fitness, and outdoor activities, such as cross-country skiing, paddling, hiking, and biking. She is on the PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) Educational Staff, and has ACA (American Canoe Association) certification for whitewater kayak instruction. In developing our new health course, she was committed to integrating a fitness element because physical exercise is proven to enhance mental clarity and mental health, and is a vital part of any healthy lifestyle. Julia lives in North River, New York where she homeschooled her three children, two of whom have fledged the nest.
Antony received his undergraduate degree in Poetry and Theatre from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and his Masters of Science in Education and Waldorf Education from Sunbridge College, New York. Antony spent four years at the East Bay Waldorf High School in Berkeley, CA teaching poetry, photography, literature, and directing school plays. In 2009, Antony graduated once again from Sarah Lawrence College, this time earning a Masters Degree in poetry and creative writing. He encourages students to use writing as a tool for self-exploration, and to gain clarity and perspective on world events by examining issues from new angles. Antony currently lives with his wife and twin boys in Point Lookout, where he enjoys writing poetry and journeying into New York City for soul-inspiration.