Board of Trustees
Welcome from Board Chair!
Welcome back to school, Hilltop families. I am the incoming Chair of the Board of Trustees. The Board is very enthusiastic to start this school year with a fine group of accomplished school administrators and teachers. In particular, we welcome Tamara Mount as the new Head of School. Tamara is an energetic leader who is well-versed in Montessori education. Tamara wants to meet and hear from everyone in the community. Please feel free to visit with her or to let her know of anything you would like to share about Hilltop.
In addition to the great people we welcome back to Hilltop this year, the Board is also looking forward to the new construction at Hilltop's beautiful campus. The construction will ultimately bring solar energy panels and a new multipurpose building to the school community.
The Board and administration have identified parent involvement as a key to help to make Hilltop Montessori School an even better experience for students and families. We hope to create an environment in which any parent can find a way to participate at Hilltop - whether it be from serving on the Board, a committee, or helping in the classroom. Through increased parent involvement, Hilltop will become an even stronger community in which to educate our children. Such a strong community will also contribute to the larger community.
The administration will be seeking volunteers for service at Hilltop throughout the year. Even if you are not asked, feel free to contact Tamara, Amelia, or anyone with Hilltop. Anything you can contribute will be greatly appreciated.
I am looking forward to a great school year.
Mark Loevy-Reyes, Board Chair
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 Theater Arts and Dramatic Literature, directs the NEC Writing Center, and serves as president of the Faculty Senate Steering Committee and the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. From 2000-2010 he was 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 is also a writer of fiction and plays, including Triangle, a puppet play with music performed at the Sandglass Theater in Putney in June 2013. Patrick and his wife, Serina, live in Brattleboro and are the parents of Emmanuel (Middle School) and Magdalena (Lower Elementary).
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).
Robyn Ostrander is the Brattleboro Retreat's Senior Medical Director, Medical Director of Child and Adolescent Services, and Vice President of the Medical staff. She is a graduate of both Smith College and Harvard Medical School, and completed post graduate medical training at Dartmouth Medical School. Robyn joined the Brattleboro Retreat in July of 2005 and assumed her current role as Senior Medical Director in 2012. She is also the attending psychiatrist at the Linden House adolescent residential program. Her clinical areas of expertise include suicide prevention, depression and bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and the treatment of transgendered youth. Robyn teaches psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School and Albany Medical College. She also teaches and coaches emerging business leaders through a partnership with Linkage Inc., at the annual Global Institute for Leadership Development in Palm Desert, CA. Her 2009 textbook, Neuroanatomy for Students of Behavioral Disorders, published by W.W. Norton & Co. was co-authored with Ronald L. Green. Robyn and her husband Jerry live in NH and are the parents of Ian (Lower Elementary) and Cinder (Labernese.)
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.
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.
Allan M. Stewart holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Northeastern University and an MBA in finance from Columbia University. He held variety of marketing and lending positions at Bankers Trust Company in New York for 26 years, and then at Deutsche Bank for 2 more years until retiring as a Managing Director in 2000. At his retirement he managed the group handling all corporate problem credits in North and South America. He is a past member and President of the Board of Governors of the Garden City Casino, Garden City, NY, and was a member of the Memorial Hall Board in Wilmington, VT. He and his wife, Lynn, live in Wilmington, and are the parents of Emeline (Upper El).