The Willow Room

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Rebecca Baldini

Willow Room Director

Rebecca Baldini, a self-described Minnesotan/Montanan, settled in New England in 1998 and never looked back. She was a small business owner while she raised three Montessori children. Drawn to the Montessori materials and the philosophy, and ready for a career change, Rebecca received her AMS Early Childhood credential in 2009 and her MA in education with an emphasis on Montessori education in 2020. In the classroom, she is especially interested in music/literacy connections, peace education, and feeding children’s natural appetite for beauty in art, music, and nature. In addition to her role as a classroom teacher, Rebecca is an active musician who teaches and performs on harp. She enjoys teaching young beginning violinists and initiated Hilltop’s kindergarten violin program in 2022. When not thinking about Montessori, literacy, or music, Rebecca enjoys boating, paddle boarding, and time with her husband, especially in Italy.

Jay Cook

Music Teacher

Jay has been the school’s musical pied piper since 1996! He has a BA in Music from Middlebury College and plays an array of instruments. Jay enjoys instrumental and vocal improvisation, and plays bass, keyboard and sings with his bands, Jazzberry Jam and Hipfunk Associates. He introduces rhythm, movement and song to our youngest students; recorder, drums, ukulele, ensemble playing, music technology and collaboration to our elementary students; brings us all together for All School Gathering sings; and does everything possible to have music be integrated into the life of Hilltop Montessori School.

Megan Schrull

Willow Room Assistant Teacher

Megan grew up in Southern Vermont and is rejoining the community by way of Rhode Island. She originally left the state to volunteer with AmeriCorps in a service learning program at a charter high school in Austin, Texas. There, she started taking classes at community college with an eye toward education. She completed her associate degree when she moved to Rhode Island and then her Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies at URI. Since starting in AmeriCorps and moving beyond, Megan has worked in a range of learning environments with a diversity of populations and age groups. She is passionate about creating an environment for children that fosters their independence and curiosity.

But Vermont has always been Megan’s home. She returns to the community of Southern Vermont and of Hilltop, being an alumni of the middle school herself. The things Megan loves the most about Vermont, Texas, and Rhode Island have been exploring and being a part of the natural landscape. She enjoys hiking, swimming, camping, and especially gardening. She is a curious observer of nature and gets great satisfaction from witnessing the living things that inhabit her yard, especially hummingbirds.

Marco Yunga Tacuri

Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Director & Children's House Spanish and PE Teacher

Marco joined Hilltop in 2015 as an After Care and Children’s House assistant, after seeing what a positive effect Hilltop had on his two children, who are currently in the Lower and Upper Elementary Programs.

He moved to Brattleboro in 2014 from his home country of Ecuador. In Ecuador he taught language through music to preschoolers and cultural studies and art to high schoolers and since moving to Brattleboro has taught Spanish at Northfield Mount Hermon School and Four Rivers Charter School. He received his BA in Cultural Studies from the University of Cuenca in Ecuador, and his masters in Anthropology from the University of Lethbridge in Canada, where he studied, identity, ethnopolitics, and traditional music in the Amazon. He plays guitar and many traditional Ecuadorian instruments and was the director of a traditional Andean band for ten years. He also has a love for photography, woodworking, pottery, soccer, and mosaic-making. He is excited to bring his passion for social justice and culture, Spanish language experience, and creativity to Hilltop.