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Barbara Beckwith

Business Manager
802.257.0500 ext 111

Barb and her family made Brattleboro their home in 2019 after living 4 years on the beautiful island of Saba in the Dutch Caribbean. There she and her husband TJ owned and operated a successful small business where she managed the finance and office responsibilities. Barb was born and raised in Maine and spent 11 years working in the municipal offices of Naples and Gray before embarking on their island adventure. 

Barb and TJ have one daughter Reine, who is entering her third year at Hilltop. Barb enjoys traveling with her family, gardening, camping, and crafting. 

Malindi Chesnut-Tangerman

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Coordinator & LE Associate Teacher

Malindi (she/her) will be joining the Hilltop community for the second year as the Social Emotional Learning Coordinator and Lower Elementary assistant teacher. Born and raised in Vermont, Malindi was home-schooled until 5th grade and feels that many of the values of Montessori were integral to her early education. After graduating from Hamilton College with a degree in Anthropology and Education, she moved to Hong Kong to teach and travel. After six years teaching early childhood and Elementary students in Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan, she felt drawn home to Vermont to be closer to friends, family, and her home community. Malindi is excited to learn from the experienced team of Hilltop educators, to contribute her educational experience to the holistic support of students’ learning and wellbeing. Philosophically, Malindi has always believed that everyone can enter a classroom as both a learner and a teacher and is looking forward to all that the HMS students have to teach her. She is excited to continue in both of her roles and to be able to support students with all of their needs.

Malindi loves to play ultimate frisbee, spend time with friends, share good food, travel, and be in nature.

Laura Gypson

Early Education Program Partnership Director

When Laura moved to the Brattleboro area over eight years ago her goal was to teach at Hilltop Montessori School and her path led to our doors in 2020. As an early childhood educator of over twelve years now, she loves the respect that the Montessori model has for the work of every child and the independence which is fostered every day within our school. Laura has a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Northern Vermont University and holds a Vermont Early Childhood Education Teaching License.

Outside of teaching, Laura lives in Williamsville, Vermont with her partner Gabe. She has a deep passion for music across many genres and spends her time biking, cooking, reading, following baseball and caring for her dog, Percy and cat, Mya.

Tamara Mount

Head of School
802.257.0500 ext 110

Tamara Mount joined Hilltop as Head of School in the Summer of 2013 excited to combine her management and Montessori experiences. She began in Montessori as a two year old and attended through Lower Elementary at a school where her mother was the Head of School. After transitioning to a traditional school she then went to the University of Virginia, majoring in English and Environmental Science. After graduating, Tamara worked for a leading consulting firm in the Washington D.C. area providing environmental management consulting for ten years.

Once she and her husband, Brad, had children of Montessori age, she delved back into the educational system that had always seemed right to her. Tamara obtained her Montessori Lower Elementary credential in 2008 from the Princeton Center for Teacher Education. She was the lead teacher in a Lower Elementary class for six years.

Tamara’s son Darwin is a Hilltop graduate, class of 2016 and Huxley graduated in the class of 2018. Tamara is honored and enthused to be able to lead this quality school with a close knit community as it continues to develop and grow in bringing the best of Montessori to the Brattleboro area.

Desi Plumley

Administrative Coordinator

Desi joined Hilltop in 2021 after 14 plus years at Grace Cottage Hospital. A local Vermonter, Desi had lived in various towns throughout the state before settling in Brattleboro, where she is happy to be close to family. Although Desi has deep roots in Southern VT, she loves traveling both internationally and domestically. So far, Desi has a dozen countries under her belt, and has big aspirations for more adventures in the future. A self described “crazy cat lady”, Desi loves kayaking, spending time near the water, and burying her nose in a book.

Zoe Proctor

Admissions Director
802.257.0500 ext 101

Kegan Refalo

Facilities and Water System Consultant

Kegan is our resident Jack-of-All-Trades. His primary task is to manage all the behind the scene tasks so that the campus is a safe and beautiful learning environment. He will also be supervising the Middle School Student Building Projects and assisting with campus theatre productions.

Kegan has 5 years experience in remodeling and property maintenance. In 2003, Kegan helped design and build a youth drop-in center, then worked with the teens (11-15 yrs old) for 3 years. Kegan traveled across the east coast for 6 years as a theatrical tailor, after graduating with an A.A.S. degree in Tailoring from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2006. Interwoven with his time in the Theatre Industry, he graduated with a B.A. degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Appalachian State University, studied spanish in Rhonda, Spain for 4 months, and helped start The Jobs Project, a renewable energy focused non-profit, based in the heart of Appalachian coal mining communities.

Kegan moved up to Vermont in 2012 inspired by the state’s focus on local economies. His time in Vermont has been a patchwork of overlapping projects working with small Vermont farms, a local meat processing facility, a small bakery, timber framing with an intentional community, restoring and repairing residential homes and putting on firework displays for Vermont community celebrations with Northstar Fireworks. In his leisure time, you will find him deep in the woods and traveling the world. Kegan is here and ready to dig in and grow at Hilltop, where all his diverse skills sets can take root.

Ashlyn Stephens

Montessori Curriculum Coordinator

Ashlyn completed her BS in Environmental Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and her MA in Education at Loyola University in Baltimore. A world traveler who finally found her calling in a Montessori classroom, she then completed her AMI Elementary training in Portland, Oregon in 2015. Besides working with children, Ashlyn also enjoys any kind of adventure that gets her exploring the great outdoors, reading historical fiction, and playing her ukulele.

Travis Thiele

Facility Director & Athletic Director