From Left to Right: Lynn, Leia, George, Leanne, Kim, Jessica, Sofie (and Delaney), Myra, Wendy, Shannon, Martin, Rise and Cathy
Rise Richardson Director
Rise grew up in Chicago, graduating with a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Illinois. After living in Israel for a year, and a year in England studying with J. G. Bennett, she settled in Massachusetts. In the 1980’s, Rise was part of a group of local parents that began looking at education, and serving the needs of both their own children, and the children in this area. They formed the Village School in 1989, and it has been a labor of love since. Rise and her husband John have a small farm, with maple sugaring, sheep, hay fields, pastures, woods and gardens. When not at the school, you can find her in the summer blissfully weeding in the garden, and in the winter, cross country skiing through the woods. Rise has three grown children, the youngest of whom was lucky enough to be the first Village School graduate.
Wendy Curriculum Director
Wendy spent her childhood in Connecticut and California and her adult life in Massachusetts. Her parents were both teachers and Wendy followed in their footsteps and began teaching in 1981. She has worked at the Village School since 1999. Her two children attended and loved the Village School- in fact her daughter was the Village School’s first (and only) Kindergartener when the Village School decided to expand from a preschool. Until recently, she and her family have lived at the Farm School, which was founded by her husband, Ben. In addition to working at the Village School, she teaches English at the Chicken Coop School and co-teaches a teacher training course at the Shady Hill School in Cambridge. She also serves on the Village School Board of Directors. Once the snow melts, you’ll find her in her garden.
Kim Preschool Teacher
Kim was born in New Jersey and studied meditation and education at MIU in Fairfield, Iowa. She received her B.A. in Education in 1981. She settled in New Salem, Mass. in 1989 with her husband and two sons. Kim has taught in the preschool since 1994 and helped develop the preschool curriculum as it exists today. When Kim isn’t at the Village School, she is likely taking a walk, taking a yoga class, cooking for friends and family or eating out. To date, being a parent and working with Leanne in the preschool are two of Kim’s most rewarding life experiences.
Leanne Preschool Teacher
Leanne grew up nearby, in the Pioneer Valley. After experience in day care and early childhood education, Leanne joined the Village School over 15 years ago. Both parents and children who have gone through the Preschool are grateful for the lifelong skills in conflict resolution, and communication with children, that they have learned from Leanne. Leanne loves cooking and gardening with children. Her two children, Dylan and Lindsey, are both graduates of the Village School.
Sofie Vieira Preschool Teacher
Sofie grew up in Lexington, MA and moved out to the North Quabbin area to pursue her love of farming. A degree in Early Childhood Education from Mount Wachusett Community College led her to The Village School as a practicum student and it was love at first sight! Sofie recently settled in Royalston with her husband and daughter Delaney, who is part of preschool daily life.
Martin Kindergarten Teacher
Martin grew up in a village in the southeast of England. After graduating from college, he traveled around the world and discovered the vocation of teaching. He returned to the U.K. to study a Post Graduate Certificate in Education then began teaching in central London where he taught for six years. Seeking a rural community life he moved to Royalston in 2007 to teach at the Village School. He is married with a young child. He especially enjoys reading and telling traditional folk tales and hiking around the local area with his class.
Myra 1st-2nd Grade Teacher
Myra grew up in a small Massachusetts town where she learned to look closely, listen carefully, and breathe deeply to find the quiet magic of the natural world. A lifelong interest in the arts brought her to the Maine College of Art, where she earned a BFA in painting. In Maine, Myra was an arts educator for the ICA at MECA, teaching children at local schools all about contemporary art and finding a million uses for recycled materials. She received her M.Ed. in Elementary Education from Antioch University New England, focusing on placed-based and integrated learning. Myra lives in Fitchburg with her husband and son, who both ensure that every day is full of exploration and adventure.
Shannon 3rd-4th Grade Teacher
Shannon was born in Worcester, Massachusetts and lived there for 30 years. She attended Middlebury College and Clark University. She graduated from Clark with a degree in teaching and a degree in English. She taught in Worcester for five years and also coached field hockey and softball. She spent five years at home with her children before joining the Village School as the 2nd-3rd grade teacher in 2008. Shannon and her husband Rich are the parents of two Village School graduates. Shannon enjoys spending time with her family, reading, gardening and hiking.
George 5th – 6th grade Teacher
George was born in London, England, and grew up in a spiritual community of fifty people. He studied history at university and took a master’s degree in American history and politics. George spent seven years as an international truck driver, driving from England across Europe and the Middle East, before becoming a journalist and editor of magazines written for the truck and transport industry. In 1990 he set up his own company to buy the magazines he worked on, and sold the business seven years later. After twenty years as a journalist, editor and publisher, George trained as a teacher at London University in 2000. He worked in a London public school for two years before joining the Village School in 2003. George is married to Ana – a U.K. trained osteopath – and has two adult children, both Village School grads, as well as three older ‘children’ living in England and Sydney, Australia. He has six grandchildren, and wishes they were at the Village School. George likes to travel as often as he can, and always with a book in his pocket.
Cathy Science Program Coordinator and Science Teacher
Cathy has taught science and coordinated the science/nature program at the Village School for 20 years. The program combines comprehensive science topics that dovetail with classroom themes, independent science projects (5th-6th grades) and nature study (such as Biodiversity Day). Cathy is also an aquatic biologist working primarily on biomonitoring studies of Vermont upland stream sites. Cathy graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.S. in Biology. She has managed a water quality laboratory and worked with an alternative energy firm. She is the mom of two thriving Village School alumni as well as a member of the Village School Board.
Lynn After School Program Director
Lynn was raised in New Hampshire, has been a Royalston resident for the past 20 years and a part of the school since 2003. Her daughter is a Village School grad and is now in college. Lynn loves the natural world and its never-ending magic. She enjoys creative endeavors that involve playing with color, especially as a life-long animal fiber artist, with a knitting focus. At home she loves to create soup and sometimes remembers to write the ingredients down! Lynn’s motto is “ancora imparo” (I am still learning), and discovering what she wants to do when she grows up. Because of this, she believes the Village School is a perfect match.
Katrina Preschool and Kindergarten Science Teacher
Katrina has a degree in microbiology. Her three children are Village School alums. Katrina loves teaching preschool and kindergarten science, focusing on hands-on observations and immersing in nature.
Loren Yoga teacher
Loren brings her longtime Iyengar yoga training to children. Starting with animal poses for preschoolers and moving on to work with attention with the older children, the children learn to listen and get in tune with their bodies . Loren has three children at the Village School.
Carol 2nd, 3rd and 5th Math Teacher
Carol spent her childhood in a rural northern N.H. She moved to Massachusetts in 2006 to pursue her teaching degree. She graduated summa cum laude from Becker College in 2010 and attained her elementary teaching license. She worked as an academic learning specialist at the collegiate level, assisting students with time management, study skills, organization, and coursework. After spending eight years in the city, Carol moved to Royalston with her husband and two children. She enjoys walking, spending time with her family, and traveling.
Isaac Music Teacher and After School Piano Lessons
Isaac Richardson is a music teacher, composer, and pianist working in the Pioneer Valley. After training in classical piano, he went to Berklee College of Music where he studied blues, jazz, world music, and film scoring. Isaac enjoys teaching music in a variety of different styles to all ages. He balances lessons with fun, enthusiasm, and a learning challenge. A Village School graduate, he is happy to be back at the school sharing his love of music.
Nathan Spanish Teacher
Nathan, parent of three Village School students, is a fluent Spanish speaker and looks forward to sharing his knowledge with grades K-6. He minored in Spanish at U. Mass. and he leads study abroad programs in South America through Worcester State University. He has lived in Mexico and Guatemala and has traveled extensively thru Latin America and Spain.
Leia Roberts Art Teacher
Leia was born and raised in Central Massachusetts, where she continues to reside, explore and enjoy the seasonal changes with her own family. She is the mother of two children who keep her busy and curious. She has been a maker and art enthusiast for as long as she can remember; nature and her love of outdoors have always been a source of inspiration. Leia graduated from UMass Amherst with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics, and clay is still her medium of choice. She continued her education to become an art teacher and has been teaching art for 13 years. She loves seeing children discovering new things through the art making process as well as using their imagination and creativity to express their ideas.
Jessica Schanz Office Manager
Jessica was born and raised in Royalston. She was in the U.S. Army in Germany for 7 years. She came back to Royalston in 2014 and worked as a park ranger in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Her favorite part of the job was providing outdoor education and activities for children. She received her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Franklin Pierce University. She enjoys yoga, skiing, hiking, or any adventure that takes her outdoors with her husband and son. She can’t wait till her son is old enough to attend the Village School.