Faculty: Kindergarten to 8th Grade

Our teachers love homeschooling! Whether motivated by their own homeschooling experiences, their belief in the possibilities and potential of distance learning, or their desire to support families from around the world, our teachers enjoy their work so much that a number of them have been with Oak Meadow for well over ten years.

Our teachers also walk the talk. Take Claudine Kaplan, for example. Besides teaching K-8 students with Oak Meadow, Claudine is founder of the aptly-named Pond Side Classroom, a supplementary program for homeschooling children that she runs out of her pond side home in New Hampshire. And there’s Leslie Daniels. In addition to working as an Oak Meadow teacher since 1986, she’s the founder, director and head teacher of the “Little Tree Education” program, which offers educational activities to groups of homeschooled students.  Her whole professional life has centered around guiding children toward the joy of discovery.

Meet our high school teachers, too.

Deborah Velto, K-8 Director

Deborah Velto earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Science in Education. She worked in several public schools before moving to the Navajo Reservation to teach high school English for three years. She has also worked as a middle school Special Educator at a small rural Vermont school and taught at a Waldorf-inspired homeschool program, where she became actively involved in the local homeschooling community. Deborah has homeschooled her own children and taught small group writing and reading workshops for homeschoolers. She greatly enjoys supporting students as individual learners and encouraging them to utilize their unique strengths and passions as tools in their academic growth. Deborah lives in southern Vermont with her husband, two young children, and their beloved dog. Her family loves to be active and spends a lot of time outdoors exploring the natural world. She also enjoys reading, painting, learning to play the mandolin, and writing.

Ragan Anderson

Ragan received her BA in English from Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, TN, and her Masters in Teaching English as a Second or Other Language (TESOL) from SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, VT. Ragan has taught both domestically and internationally in the public and private sectors, with students having ranged in ages from 6 to 60. She has taught within the framework of a variety of different subjects, including grammar, writing, reading comprehension, Algebra, Spanish, humanities, and health. She has lived in Honduras, Costa Rica, West Africa, Belgium, California, and Massachusetts, and now calls Guilford, VT home. Ragan’s love of teaching stems from her desire to learn something new everyday. She enjoys traveling, music, driving with the windows down, sunflowers, dark chocolate, and talking to people about anything and everything—especially her dog, Archer!

Sarah Antel

Sarah received her BA in Psychology from the College of Wooster and her MEd from Antioch New England. Her teaching career has taken her from the woods to classrooms to farms and into curriculum and program design. When working with her students, she speaks from her own experience and helps guide students toward their own personal discoveries. She understands that each child’s path is different and believes that adults can only use their knowledge gained to encourage students to make their own discoveries and be driven by inspiration to follow their own path. Sarah lives where her heart is, in the Green Mountains of Vermont. In her free time she enjoys gardening, baking, and sewing.

Lesley Arnold

Lesley received her BS in Education and her MEd in Curriculum and Childhood Development from Boston University. She also completed additional graduate level work in Movement Education and Outdoor Education, and she received her Waldorf Teaching Certificate from Antioch New England Graduate School. After teaching in the public schools for many years, Lesley was a class teacher at Monadnock Waldorf School in Keene, NH. In addition to being a K- 8 teacher for Oak Meadow, Lesley also works as a Youth Librarian at the Keene Public Library. Being both a teacher and a children’s book librarian allows her to combine her love of children with her love of books. Lesley resides in Keene with her husband, and spends her free time visiting her children and grandchild, knitting, hiking, biking, skiing, and, of course, reading.

Keri Arsenault, School Counselor
Keri has worked at Oak Meadow as an educational counselor, curriculum development assistant, and K-8 teacher working specifically with students at the Widad Center in Dubai, UAE. Now she’s added a new title to her name: school counselor. With a BA in psychology and an MEd specializing in school counseling from Keene State University, Keri will  create counseling policy and protocol and initiate support and intervention for students of all ages who need extra guidance. In her spare time she loves to travel (most recently to Argentina) and dance tango, do yoga, read, hike, boat, camp, and spend time outdoors.
Leslie Daniels

Leslie graduated from Indiana University with a BS in Outdoor Education and a minor in General Science. She also received a Teaching Certificate through the School of Education for Grades K-8, and took graduate courses in Alternative Education at the Waldorf Institute of Southern California and at Antioch College in Keene, NH. In addition to working as an Oak Meadow teacher since 1986, Leslie homeschooled her children with Oak Meadow’s K-8 curricula. She is currently the founder, director and head teacher of the “Little Tree Education” program, which offers educational activities to groups of homeschooled students.

Claudine Kaplan

Claudine holds an MEd from Antioch and a BS in Natural Resource Economics from the University of New Hampshire. She studied the Integrated Day curriculum and is Waldorf Certified. She has taught in an Outward Bound charter school as well as Waldorf schools around the country. After six years in the classroom, Claudine became passionate about homeschooling. She has helped others educate their children in her “Pondside Classroom” for over 10 years. An environmentalist, Claudine worked at Earthwatch Institute, which helps scientists around the world maintain their research projects. Claudine lives in Concord, Massachusetts, with her husband, while their two grown children roam the world.

Andrea Kilroy

Andrea Kilroy taught middle school history and English for 30 years at a private school in Massachusetts. Concerned that children are often underserved by mainstream institutions, she turned her attention to helping each child get the best educational support possible. Andrea is currently completing a customized hybrid BA/MEd degree in Educational Advocacy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She believes that parents often lack the confidence and guidance to embark on an alternative educational path that would better serve their children’s needs. She feels Oak Meadow’s goal of instilling a love of education in its students while gently guiding both student and parent provides the best of all possible worlds: a teacher (the parent) who is 100 percent committed to the student’s success paired with a curriculum that is solidly grounded in good pedagogical research and practice. Andrea is the mother of five and the grandmother of five. She loves teaching, reading, cooking, needlepoint, and being with her grandchildren.

Linda Kosiba

Linda holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York in Albany, and a Masters in Education from Western Maryland College. Her early years in education were spent as a speech and language therapist in Colchester, VT where she worked with children, preschool through high school level. After earning a degree in deaf education, Linda enjoyed working with preschool through middle grade students in private and mainstreamed settings. For the bulk of her teaching career, she has taught third grade in local public and independent schools. Her over 30 years in education have afforded Linda many invaluable opportunities to learn about learning and to gain respect for the diverse approaches that allow a child to thrive and evolve into an independent thinker. She lives with her husband and lovable rescue dog in Westminster, VT, in a home she and her husband built 30 years ago and where they raised their two sons and three Irish Setters. In her free time Linda enjoys being outdoors doing activities that Vermont seasons invite: skiing, gardening, swimming, kayaking, hiking, and, always, reading, as well as the year-round joys of time with family, friends, and volunteer opportunities.

Michelle Menegaz

Michelle Menegaz holds a BA in Psychology and Biology from Middlebury College, and a master’s degree in Environmental Science and Elementary Education from Antioch University New England. Michelle taught at Academy School in Brattleboro for 13 years and relished incorporating nature studies, gardening, movement, knitting and song into the curriculum. John Muir’s insight carries special significance for Michelle: “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” Michelle homeschools her daughter and runs a camp called Girls on the Farm from her home. These endeavors have strengthened her belief that relationship is an essential piece of learning. Michelle lives in Southern Vermont on a “farmette” with her husband and daughter along with a mixed menagerie of goats, sheep, ducks, chickens and one old demanding cat. In between gardening, homeschooling and animal care she enjoys singing, knitting, hiking, and biking.

Shannon Miller

Shannon Miller holds a BA in English from Penn State University and a Master of Arts in Teaching with Technology from Marlboro Graduate School. She taught grades 7 to 12 English in southern Vermont prior to moving abroad to teach middle grades at The American School in Switzerland. Shannon came to teaching after a career in camp-based, experiential education in New England. Her interests in education include project-based learning, student motivation, and technology integration. At home, Shannon stays busy with her three sons and a desire to cook everything in the King Arthur Flour Cookbook at least once.

Meg Minehan

Meg received her MEd with a concentration in Environmental Studies from Antioch New England and her BA from Bucknell University. She has taught in a variety of educational settings including alternative classrooms, outdoor schools, summer camps, and homeschooling cooperatives. For the past several years, Meg directed the children’s program at the Unitarian church where she engaged children and youth in a variety of social action projects. She is the founder and lead teacher of two summer programs that immerse children in the outdoors, and her camps serve to strengthen the child’s connection to the natural world through forest exploration, nature crafts, games, wild edibles, and nature journaling. Meg lives with her husband and three children off the grid in the hills of Andover, Vermont. Together they enjoy backpacking, canoeing, backyard birding, and back country skiing.  Meg and her family keep busy homeschooling, raising chickens and goats, and tending their vegetable gardens.


Gwen Trumbull

Gwen received both her BS in Nutrition and her MEd in Elementary Education (with a focus on teaching social justice) from Keene State College. Her varied educational background includes teaching regular and special education in public and alternative classrooms in Vermont schools. She also has eight years of experience as an individual and group tutor, working with students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Gwen loves helping students connect their own life experiences to the subject that they study, thus helping them to gain passion for their own learning. Gwen holds an associate degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University and loves using cooking to help teach all subjects, including math, reading, physical, and social sciences. Gwen lives in Western MA where she often can be found happily running, hiking, kayaking, or preparing meals for friends.

Jessica Zehngut

Jessica Zehngut earned her BS in Environmental Resource Management from Pennsylvania State University and her MEd from Antioch University New England. She served as head of the strings program at Juniata College before moving to Vermont and teaching K-8 science at the Mount Ascutney School. Jessica has taught courses at the Community College of Vermont and served as a science tutor for homeschoolers using the Oak Meadow curriculum. She is fascinated by the natural interconnectedness of educational topics and explored the synthesis of music and environmental education as a senior thesis project. Jessica loves to examine topics through many lenses, recognizing each student’s unique learning style, and watching the individual “a-ha!” moments. Jessica also teaches private violin/fiddle lessons from her home and plays with other local musicians. She enjoys spending as much time as possible outside with her husband, three children, and two dogs.