Board of Trustees
The role of the Board of Trustees is to determine and oversee policies that support the mission of the school and to ensure the school's fiscal stability This includes the hiring and evaluation of the Head of School, appointing standing and ad hoc committees, overseeing the lease and facility use, fundraising and strategic planning. Equally important, Board members serve as ambassadors for the school community.
Kate Jellema, Past Chair
Kate Jellema’s daughter, Eleanor, is a primary student at Hilltop, and her son, Charlie, will be joining the Children’s House this fall. Kate earned a Ph.D from the University of Michigan in History and Cultural Anthropology, and has taught courses in Anthropology, Asian Studies and Cultural Studies at Marlboro College. She researched refugee politics in Hong Kong, studied ancestor worship in Vietnam, and before that, worked for a human rights organization in Kampala, Uganda. Now transitioning back to the social service sector, Kate is currently Program Director of Non-Profit Management at Marlboro College Graduate School and Director of Benchmarks for a Better Vermont.
Patrick Keppel, Chair
Patrick is the Chair of the Liberal Arts Department at New England Conservatory, where he teaches courses in Theatre Arts and Dramatic Literature and directs the NEC Writing Center. He is also the Institutional Advancement Advisor and Publications Editor for the Music-in-Education National Consortium, a national coalition of public schools, arts organizations, and institutions of higher education dedicated to creating authentic, interdisciplinary programs in music and the arts. Patrick serves as editor of The New England Conservatory Journal for Music-in-Education, and is a writer of fiction and plays. Patrick and his wife, Serina, live in Brattleboro and are the parents of Emmanuel (Upper Elementary) and Magdalena.
Mark Loevy-Reyes, Chair Elect
Mark is a parent of Lower Elementary student Talia. He has served Hilltop as a Children's House Primary Classroom Representative and as a member of the Buildings and Grounds Committee and the Diversity Committee. He has 18 years of legal experience, including litigation of various school and employment related cases (school discrimination involving students and employees). Mark is currently in a Master's degree program for education.
Members at Large
Paul Capcara is Clinical Manager at the Brattleboro Retreat. Previously he served as Executive Director of the Morningside Shelter in Brattleboro. He has extensive non-profit board experience, including serving as Board President of the ReUse Center, Vice-President of the Lightstone Foundation, and a board member of Habitat for Humanity. As an E.D., he has worked closely with three other non-profit boards (two federally qualified health centers and the homeless shelter) and has participated in extensive board training and development activities. He has an undergraduate degree in economics (Georgetown University) and has directed a number of non-profits, so is familiar with financial management issues. As he has recently implemented an expansion of Morningside House, he has some experience in contracting/architecture. Paul is also a Registered Nurse with a Master's Degree in Public Health (Johns Hopkins University).
Ariel Nelson is an independent Educational Consultant and a professor at the Marlboro Graduate School in Brattleboro. She provides Professional Development workshops and Instructional Coaching for teachers in public, private and tech schools. She has a MA from the School for International Training in Teaching ESOL and Spanish. Ariel’s son, Malick, is currently in the Upper Elementary and looking forward to moving into the Middle School at Hilltop.
Allan Stewart – bio coming soon
Jenny Smith is a parent of Lower Elementary student Emmett. She has served Hilltop as a Children's House Primary Class Representative and as a member of the TAG Sale committee. She has been a high school English teacher at independent schools for 18 years, lately at The Putney School. Prior to that, she worked for a small not-for-profit leadership school at Seattle University. Jenny offers an excellent knowledge of independent schools and skills in leadership training. She has a strong development background: she has written grants, fundraising letters, met with donors, and planned special events. As she has worked in college admissions and as a high school college counselor for six years, she also has a working knowledge of the admissions process.