Spanish Teacher and Language Department Chair
Open Soccer Head Coach
Latin Dance Evening Instructor
Noyes Dorm Faculty
B.A. Universidad Internacional UNINTER
M.A. Cleveland State University
Spanish Teacher and Language Department Chair
Open Soccer Head Coach
Latin Dance Evening Instructor
Noyes Dorm Faculty
B.A. Universidad Internacional UNINTER
M.A. Cleveland State University
College Counselor and Academic Dean
B.A. Smith College
Putney is a place deeply connected to the land and to making human connections. It is a place for young people to nurture their spirits as well as their minds. It has been a privilege to be surrounded by these seasonal forces of nature and human exploration; shifting and growing together.
Director of Admission and Financial Aid
B.A. Tufts University
M.A. Columbia University Teachers College
Ed. M. Columbia University Teachers College
Ed. D. Columbia University Teachers College
Putney is a community of learners that offers permission for us each to be ourselves and to pursue our best selves. Like the startling quality of the beautiful Vermont sky, I am often delighted and surprised when I run into this generous reality again and again
Before my service at Putney, I worked at Moses Brown School, Milton Academy, CITYterm at the Masters School, Miss Porters School, and The Independent Day School. They are all caring schools that pursue excellence in their work with children and families. And they deploy varied educational designs in their work. Putney’s difference centers on its purpose; we’re all about creating a space through which students can take substantive responsibility for themselves and their community. At Putney, leadership means actually participating and voting as members of our admission committee, or on our board of trustees. Most schools are afraid of sharing authority with students and we see it as a terrific vehicle for their learning and responsibility.
Gray House Dorm Faculty
Allison Baum, College Counselor, joined the Putney School in 2012. Her professional experience includes coaching rowing, managing a multi-year project for the U.S. Geological Survey, and many years as an environmental educator throughout the U.S. Allison holds a B.S. in biology from University of California, Davis, a M.S. in biodiversity informatics from University of Washington and a professional certificate in college counseling. When not in the office, she enjoys hiking, cooking, yoga and spending time with her husband and four children.
B.A. Marlboro College
M.A. Marlboro College
I graduated from Marlboro College with a Master’s degree in philosophy in 2009. I greatly enjoy working with material objects, attending to the nuts and bolts (literally) of the school, and helping whenever I can. For me, I consider every day Work Day.
The community at The Putney School feels like a large, extended family, with all the ups and downs, joys and sorrows that one would find in any large family.
Old Girls Dorm Faculty
B.A. Dartmouth College
One of my teachers described writing as “the act of making yourself sensitive to the world.” I’m so grateful to be in a community that values this kind of deep practice, from the classroom to the cow pasture.
Math Teacher, Math Department Chair, and Cross Country Coach
Huseby Dorm Faculty
B.S. State University of NY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
M.S. University of Massachusetts, Amherst
I came to Putney as a teaching intern out of grad school for civil engineering. Once I settled in here I fell in love with the school and the profession. Helping a student get past a math-phobia or to gain new appreciation for math is the BEST!
I haven’t taught anywhere other than Putney and I’m not sure I ever could. The way we approach teaching math is unique and challenging and I feel strongly that it is truly beneficial to the students.
I have a BS in Forest Engineering from SUNY ESF and an MS in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Water Resources Engineering and a certification in Fish Passage Engineering from UMass Amherst.
Director of Technology & Library Services, Co-Academic Dean
History and Humanities Writing & Research Teacher
B.A. University of Massachusetts, Amherst
M.L.I.S. University of South Carolina
I’ve been at The Putney School since 2009 leading the Library and Technology programs, teaching the junior year Writing and Research class and sophomore world history, coordinating the ninth-grade seminar, and overseeing the Pond Hockey afternoon activity. I am deeply dedicated to helping students learn how to understand history, pursue a research question, and create a well constructed argument.
I was born and raised in Eastern Massachusetts and spent my college years in the Pioneer Valley around Amherst. After working as a technical writer for an electronics company, I spent twelve years in Maine, first working as a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow for the Maine Folklife Center doing audio preservation, folklore and oral history work, and then as a Librarian and Technology Director at John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor. It was while at John Bapst, teaching economics and digital art in a very traditional environment, that I found myself drawn towards project based learning and progressive teaching methods. This natural inclination led me to The Putney School .
Outside of work, I hike, garden, play music on a daily basis and generally take advantage of the beautiful Southern Vermont landscape with my faithful English Setter Aesop.
Director of Counseling and Wellness
Susan is dedicated to the personal growth, identity formation and positive mental health of teenagers. She has spent her entire adult life working with adolescents, from teaching in traditional and experiential high schools to wilderness and international guiding to professional consulting with those who work with teens and now as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor specializing in adolescent issues. Her experience includes teaching in places such as Shady Hill School, The Athenian School, The Asheville School, Warren Wilson College and the Prison University Project at San Quentin State Prison, working at the North Carolina Outward Bound School as an Instructor, Course Director, and Education Director, guiding and managing risk in Southeast Asia for Where There Be Dragons, and building a Wellness curriculum in her tenure as the Dean of Students at the Outdoor Academy.
Susan is most interested in the transformation that occurs when adolescents discover their grit, creativity, and personal potential, thereby illuminating their authentic selves and their belonging as part of a meaningful community. Her clinical interests include healthy relationships and ethical sexuality, supporting LGBTQIA+ youth, developing post-COVID interpersonal and resilience skills, and trauma-informed care. Susan has great respect and curiosity for all the strengths and challenges that teenagers experience in their journey. While not working, Susan enjoys being outdoors rock climbing, paddling, and mountain biking, writing poetry, and spending time with her two teens. You will often see her around campus with her black-and-white therapy dog, Moonshine.
History Teacher, Long Fall Coordinator, and Rowing Coach
Keep Dorm Liaison
B.A. Mount Holyoke College
M.A. Michigan State University
I loved working with students at Michigan State, a massive university where I taught lecture classes with 100 kids, but I wanted more time to work more closely with students, so I thought about working at a boarding school. That’s when I found Putney – it had rowing and knitting and cows and I thought I’d found heaven. I’m continually surprised by the incredibly cool work I get to do with students. It’s so amazingly awesome to teach and create curriculum and work with students in surprising and super interesting ways.
English Teacher, Humans in the Natural World Teacher, Basketball Coach, New Boys Dorm Faculty
ESOL, French, and Spanish Teacher
Licence d'Anglais, Bordeaux University, France
Maitrise d'Anglais, Bordeaux University, France
I’m constantly impressed by how talented The Putney School students and faculty are. It makes it fun and inspiring to come to work everyday. Putney is also a generous community: we support students and each other in good times and bad.
I have had a lifelong love of languages and world cultures. I grew up in France, then lived in the UK for 4 years while completing my B.A. and Master’s degrees. In my mid-twenties, I moved to the US, traveled to over 20 countries for a total of 18 months, and eventually relocated to Vermont. I continue to travel as much as possible.
Director of Center for Teaching and Learning
A.L.B. Harvard University
M.Ed. Harvard University Graduate School of Education
I was attracted to the Putney School because I wanted to work in an educational community where differences are respected, embraced, and seen as resources to be used, not obstacles to overcome.
At The Putney School, we embrace and celebrate diversity, including neurodiversity – the idea that there is great variation in how we learn and process information. Here we know there is no average learner, there is no normal.
I have worked with students who learn differently for almost thirty years. The brain is a highly dynamic organ and I am fascinated by the neuroscience of learning. Adolescence is a critical stage of brain development. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to work with Putney students to help them understand how to shape their brains during this incredible period of neuroplasticity.
B.S. Johnson State College
After many years working in environmental consulting, mountain resort planning and permitting, and property management, it was time to put life behind a desk aside and take on a new challenge. The you-never-know-what-the-day-will-bring nature of maintaining The Putney School’s buildings and grounds has proved to be a rewarding change and a pan of the beautiful vistas all around campus is sufficient to alleviate the stress from most any day.
Being new here, my days are full of surprises. I’m currently enjoying to get to know the natural world here – mushrooms are abundant, birds are active, foxes are running around the fields.
As a teacher, I began as an environmental/outdoor/ecology educator working along the coast of Maine for nearly five years. I entered a more traditional classroom as math and science faculty at North Country School. After studying educational leadership with the Klingenstein Center (Teachers College Columbia University) last year, I just arrived at Putney eager to learn and teach alongside curious students and knowledgeable faculty. Outside of the classroom, I’m likely to be found riding a bike, running a trail or skiing in the backcountry. I’m chipping away at life goal to ride my bike 50 miles in all 50 states and hike all 115 peaks above 4,000 ft in the northeast.
I am a perpetual student, mom, gardener, home chef, athletic trainer, nurse, health coach and EMT. I love to travel, learn about different cultures, spend time outdoors and be active. I love Vermont and all the beauty that surrounds us here.
My first visit to The Putney School was in 1993 to visit my sister who was a student here. After that I lived in the area and had many friends that worked and lived at The Putney School. I was always amazed by how welcoming the community was and is. As someone who has attended and worked in schools most of my life, I have been intrigued by the progressive education model of Putney and the important role that the students play in running the school and making decisions about their education.
Tutor, Center for Teaching and Learning
B.A. Keene State College
After helping roommates, friends and neighbors with their math homework, I realized that I needed to become a math teacher.
I have a background in horse training and Centered Riding, I am bit of a horse whisperer… and a kid whisperer, too. My students say, “it just makes sense when you explain it.”
Whatever it is, I don’t scare my students, I make them laugh and they learn without fear of judgement.
I graduated from Putney School, and when I was ready to teach, I knew I didn’t want to teach anywhere else. Putney’s fundamental beliefs are my beliefs. I think that the Putney experience works because I see incredibly fine young men and women graduating off the hill, year after year.
Tutor, Center for Teaching and Learning, Girls Soccer Coach
B.A. University of Pennsylvania
The strong sense of community is what brought me to Putney, and the opportunity to work with such interesting students, and such a dedicated and competent team of faculty and staff is what keeps me here.
Putney embraces and celebrates students’ varied interests and diversity of learning styles, which I really appreciate.
I continue to be surprised by the beauty of this campus. As the seasons change each year I am inspired by this wonderful and natural setting. I am also continually inspired by the creativity of the students.
I grew up in Philadelphia and went to college at the University of Pennsylvania where I played soccer and got a B.A. in Environmental Studies in 2009. After college, I lived in Wyoming and worked as a tutor and soccer coach for some time before moving to Vermont in 2013.
I love spending time with family and friends, playing soccer, snowboarding, gardening, and finding other reasons to be outside. I live with my lovely wife and wonderful daughter in Westminster West.
Alumni Relations Manager
White Cottage Dorm Faculty
B.A. Kalamazoo College
J.D. University of Minnesota
I knew as soon as I discovered Putney that I wanted to work here: it’s the natural beauty of the place, the authenticity of the people, the combination of idealism and dirty fingernails of its educational vision. I stay because I continue to feel connected to all of those things. From the food to the reflective and educational conversations during our opening meetings every year, to the purposeful nature of our work with the students, Putney is exceptionally REAL.
This is a good life.
I’m a Michigander who has happily relocated to the welcoming hills of southern Vermont. I am most happy when I’m outdoors, whether moving through the world on a bike, on a surfboard, on skis, or in the water, thwacking a tennis or softball, walking with my dog, or simply reading and listening to the birds. The Putney students and alumni give me many things to love about my work, and because they are always changing and growing and asking good questions, they keep that work interesting and engaging, for which I’m very grateful.
Old Boys Dorm Liaison
B.S. Marlboro College
M.A. Marlboro College
I’ve spent my life looking for community and trying to build it; it brought me here as a student and it keeps me here as a teacher.
Everyone here, students and adults alike, wants you to to succeed. Whether you’re a kid or a teacher, everyone here is rooting for you.
Putney is different from the other schools where I’ve worked because at the highest level (administration, board) the school believes that the kids mean well, want to learn, and if we can mostly get out of their way and just offer some gentle guidance, they’ll do good things. Teachers often think that elsewhere, but it’s great to see it as a driving force in the institution.
I grew up in New Jersey and Israel. In my sophomore year of high school I came to Putney as a boarding student. After graduating, I worked at Mount Snow, attended Marlboro College where I worked for their Outdoor Program and completed a degree in physics with a focus on astronomy and computational methods. From there I continued to work in outdoor education for the better part of a decade before coming full circle. My old advisor from Putney helped me get a taste of classroom instruction, and after deciding that it was a good fit I completed my MA in Marlboro College’s Teaching for Social Justice program. My wife and I moved onto campus in the fall of 2015, and we now live in the same dorm as I did when I first arrived here as a 16-year-old student.
Mental Health Counselor
B.F.A. University of Delaware
M.S. Springfield College
I believe that our connections – to others, to our surroundings, to situations and events, and even to ourselves – are central in building foundations and nurturing our growth as individuals. It is my goal to support others in their own journeys, whether that is helping people learn to process things that are impacting their lives, learning new ways to manage their emotions, or discovering ways to express their feelings through talk or a creative process. As a licensed clinical mental health counselor and art therapist, I bring together my passion for art and providing mental health care. I am continuously seeking education and obtaining new knowledge within my field in order to better support the youth with whom I work. I have spent the last several years working with youth and adults in crisis in an inpatient psychiatric hospital setting, as well as working with youth in residential programs. I am thrilled to be joining the Putney community and to be supporting students in working toward their goals for their own well-being.
I love learning about people and hearing their truths. I enjoy getting people excited and educating them about new things, especially ideas that I am passionate about. I am an artist at heart, however my passion flows as I begin my journey here at The Putney School. So few individuals get a chance to experience their life’s purpose and walk the path of their soul journey. I am an exception. I did not search for Putney. Putney found me, presenting itself as an embracing community with a universal awareness of individuals authentically growing into themselves, a home away from home, and a space for all to continue walking their journey. It feels fulfilling to be on this path of uplifting philanthropy in service to The Putney School.
I was born and raised in Honduras, Central America. I graduated from the school of laws and practiced law prior to moving to North Carolina in 2002. I first began working with youth in the USA as an Americorps member working with College Foundation of North Carolina and minority groups to promote access to higher education. I came to live and love Vermont while studying at the School of International Training and graduated with a Masters in Sustainable Development with a concentration in Monitoring and Evaluation. I then returned to North Carolina and worked for almost a decade with youth leadership projects for a social justice organization and then made a career change into university research. After a few years of coordinating and assisting research at UNC Chapel Hill, I decided to go back to my loving roots: working with youth! I am very excited to be part of a very artistic and multi-talented community here at The Putney School.
Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life
B.A SUNY Stony Brook
I am excited to join the Putney School as the Director of Residential Life. I am drawn to a place where learning for the sake of learning is central to the community. Progressive education is the core of my belief that we can make our communities and the world better.
I came to Putney after more than a decade in boarding schools. I have held many roles including admissions, coaching lacrosse, dorm parent, and most recently Dean of Students at the North Country School in Lake Placid NY. I am here with my wife, son, and two dogs. I find great joy in the outdoors especially camping, fly fishing, and skiing.
Development Database Manager
bCRE-Pro Blackbaud University
A.S. Northwestern CT Community College
B.S. Southern Vermont College
Elizabeth’s fundraising career started in 1995, working with The American Chestnut Foundation. Her behind-the-scenes role in Putney’s development office has kept her quite busy since she started in 2006. She can be described as a passionate employee, wife, mother of a middle schooler, sister, aunt, friend, tree hugger, and fiber artist. Elizabeth loves sprinkling kindness while standing firm for justice. She is professionally certified in the use of Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge, a frequent presenter and one of four organizers for the regional RE user group that services northern New England, and is active in the Blackbaud Community.
She is grateful to help out where she can by sharing and absorbing knowledge with this amazing team. She finds working for a school that is changing the world by educating authentic individuals with a strong commitment to the well-being of the larger community incredibly satisfying.
Director of Theater and Director of Evening Arts
BS New York University
MA New York University
Ph.D. University of California, Irvine
I have worked as an actor, performance artist, playwright, director, and educator in New York City, Los Angeles, and Vermont. Before coming to Putney I taught at Temple University, Marlboro College, Neighborhood Schoolhouse and New England Youth Theater. I have been seen in local productions with Main Street Arts and the Wild Goose Players. I live in Dummerston with my partner and our adorable goats. I am excited to share my love of theater with the students here at Putney.
Dean of Faculty and English Teacher
B.A. Williams College
M.Ed. Teachers College, Columbia University
M.A. Bread Loaf School of English, Middlebury
I believe that experience is the best teacher. My classroom offers endless cycles of experience and reflection, practice and feedback. I am interested in how to cultivate both creativity and critical thinking as students find their authority as learners. Writing—the generating, exploring and constructing of ideas with language—is an essential tool for all types of progressive education. Agency is at the heart of happiness, so helping students authorize their own learning is joyful.
English and Media Studies Teacher
B.A. Trinity College
M.BA. University of Hartford
M.F.A. Vermont College of Fine Arts
“The answer I wish I’d given during my interview is very simple: This is the education I wish I had during my high school years. I came close to it, but what I appreciate most is that the education here at The Putney School expands beyond the classroom encouraging an ongoing learning among both faculty and students. Additionally, I’ve known about The Putney School for all of the years that I have lived in Southern Vermont and I’ve had nothing but deep admiration for the model and level of education here!”
Shanta Lee is a writer, photographer, journalist whose work has been featured in The Massachusetts Review, PRISM, ITERANT Literary Magazine, Palette Poetry, BLAVITY, DAME Magazine, The Crisis Magazine, Rebelle Society, and is one of the writers for the Ms. Magazine Blog. Shanta Lee’s photojournalism and art criticisms have been featured on Vermont Public Radio (VPR.org) and her investigative reporting has been in The Commons weekly newspaper covering Windham County, VT.
Shanta Lee is the 2020 recipient of the Arthur Williams Award for Meritorious Service to the Arts and 2020 and named as Diode Editions full-length book contest winner for her June 2021 debut poetry compilation, GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues which has received an honorable mention for the Sheila Margaret Motton prize and has been reviewed by the Poetry Foundation (written by Ryo Yamaguchi) and Seven Days (written by Skye Jackson). Her contributing work on an investigative journalism piece for The Commons received several New England Newspaper & Press Association (NENPA) awards for her journalism work.
Shanta Lee gives lectures on the life of Lucy Terry Prince (c. 1730-1821) — considered the first known African-American poet in English literature — as a member of the Vermont and New Hampshire Humanities Council Speakers Bureaus. She is the 2020 gubernatorial appointee to the Vermont Humanities Council’s board of directors and has a solo photography show, Dark Goddess, being featured in the Manchester, VT gallery, Southern Vermont Arts Center in August – September 2021.
Shanta Lee has an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction and Poetry at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has an MBA from the University of Hartford and an undergraduate degree in Women, Gender and Sexuality from Trinity College. To see more of Shanta Lee’s work, visit Shantalee.com.
More about why I create/artist statement:
“I love extending an invitation into my world and passions through my photography, poetry, and prose. Across my broad range of skills, I most appreciate surfacing the unseen.
What is someone’s story under the surface of their face and presentation? What is forgotten to human memory that should be reclaimed? Or, most simply, how can I share the sense or soul of a place with someone who may not ever travel there?
It comes down to nurturing my hunger for curiosity while encouraging others to dive down their own rabbit holes of curiosity.”
I came into school nursing about 7 years ago after a decade of hospital nursing. I was unsure where this path was going to lead me, but I am pleased to say I have never been happier. I grew up in Stockholm, Sweden and Putney is the first workplace that parallels my love and philosophies around the natural world, a holistic lifestyle, and adventure, much like my upbringing.
When I’m not working with Putney students and their families, I am usually found outdoors on top of a mountain, near the ocean, or in my kitchen with my husband and three children. We live on our family farm in Rockingham, VT.
Bachelor of Applied Arts in Ceramics
Program in Artisanry, Boston University
What brought me to Putney was a phone call in March 1998 asking if I would be willing to fill in for the ceramics teacher who got ill and had to stop teaching. I had been a full-time potter in Brattleboro and the idea of teaching ceramics to teenagers at this infamous progressive high school intrigued me so I said yes.
What keeps me here 25 years later is the rush that comes from facilitating the discovery of young people’s creativity, sharing my passion for clay, giving back what I have learned and accomplished, continually learning from my students, and being in a growth-ful, stimulating, challenging environment among vibrant young people.
In 1983, I co-founded the Brattleboro Clayworks, a potter’s collective in Brattleboro, Vt. Since then, I have been a professional potter offering a line of colored clay items. In 2004 I set up my own studio in my home in West Brattleboro where I currently do my clay work.
I have also taught a number of colored clay workshops at craft centers around the northeast where I have had the opportunity to share my enthusiasm for the unusual and exciting technique involving working with colored clays.
Keep Dorm Liaison
B.A. Temple University
M.Ed. Temple University
I’m a former dairy farmer, bicycle frame builder, art restorer and jewelry maker. I got an undergrad degree in physics with a math minor as an adult, followed by masters in teaching secondary school science and math.
I graduated with the Putney class of ’76, worked as the farm manager from 1986-1990, and have been teaching science here since 1998.
What surprises me about this place is its generosity of spirit.
Putney has the courage to do things differently. Placing importance on a wide range of endeavors, students work with their hands as well as minds, often integrating the two. Most importantly, students here are encouraged to develop genuine agency.
A.B. Princeton University
No amount of prose could adequately encapsulate the visceral joy I feel while in the Green Mountain State. And no place synthesizes and distills the ethos and practice of what drew me here quite like The Putney School.
Whether art, science, performance, introspection, exercise, leisure, work, support, or simply existing as a person in this world, The Putney School is a place where you can do it, whatever ‘it’ is, to the fullest extent.
I have spent time working with music, design, nature, policy, and governance. I now work in a place where I can, and must, do them all. It is truly a gift to work in the Development Office at The Putney School.
Huseby Dorm Faculty
B.A. Pomona College
From my first conversation with the Putney community, I could tell that it was a special place. I’ve always been a big believer in the power of relationships to transform both teacher and student, and Putney is a place where our humanity is not only at the forefront of our work but is the primary vehicle for learning to happen.
I grew up in a small town in central Pennsylvania before going to the West Coast for college. I graduated from Pomona College in 2023 with a B.A. in statistics and psychological science. I feel beyond lucky that my first full-time teaching position is with this community. I’ve previously worked with students in different capacities, from admissions and mentoring to teaching and tutoring.
I love spending time with my friends, following (and occasionally, playing) tennis, and reading or watching a variety of media forms in a cozy nook in my apartment. I am very excited to get to know everybody and experience this Putney adventure together.
Assistant Dean of Students - Director of Student Activities and Director of the Work Program
History Teacher and History Department Chair
Noyes Dorm Liaison
B.A. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
M.A. University of Montana
Ph.D. University of Montana
I came to Putney because the school embodies my core values as a teacher: trust in students, an emphasis on exploration, and a commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration. My goal in all courses is to help students pursue the big questions that matter to them. Along the way, they will begin the humbling, lifelong process of confronting history’s biggest questions: what suffering has engendered our privileges? What has been lost that cannot be recovered? What can we learn from the past to lead just lives?
Before I came to Putney, I taught courses on the history of capitalism, law and politics, and slavery and emancipation at the University of Montana. I have mostly focused on American history, but I am always pushing myself to learn about other areas and topics.
I began my career teaching secondary English, and I am delighted to work with teenagers again. When not teaching, you can find me riding my bike around town, baking bread, and listening to sad old country songs.
White Cottage Dorm Faculty
Putney believes in community and, therefore, every member of the community.
Hola, I’m Rosi, I’m Mexican. I’m a chemical engineer from Instituto Tecnológico de Zacatepec in Mexico. I’ve been at Putney for four years. I teach Math and Science. I’m also one of the New Boys dorm heads, and member of the Sustainability Squad.
I love weaving, traveling, and exploring different cultures and foods.
Improving waste management systems is one of my main interests. I’m a board member of the Rich Earth Institute, an organization that works with fertilizer from urine to create clean rivers and sustainable farms.
What keeps me here at Putney is the idea of learning new things and the possibility of implementing projects.
Director of College Counseling
Noyes Dorm Faculty
My name is Dan Raffety and I am the new Director of College Counseling. I attended Northfield Mt. Hermon, earned a BA in History from Connecticut College, and then completed an MA in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Santa Fe. I have eleven years experience in college counseling from two different schools: Olney Friends School, a Quaker boarding school in rural Ohio with a similar farm-work program as Putney, and Elgin Academy, a private day school in the Chicago suburbs. I have counseled hundreds of students from various backgrounds and parts of the world; they’ve matriculated to numerous colleges across the country and several international universities. I believe that each student should prioritize finding a college that will help them continue to develop their character, abilities, and passions; provide an environment that is as safe as possible for them; and encourage them to embrace new experiences and challenges. I am excited to work with Putney students and help them through this important odyssey!
Vermont will be the 8th state that I have resided in (CT, RI, MA, NM, OH, IL) and I am delighted to be back in New England. I started my career as an educator at Link Community in School in Newark, NJ teaching U.S. History to 8th graders. This will be the first time in 17 years that I am not teaching History, so I welcome any conversations about The Persian Empire, The Celts, Pancho Villa, Robert Smalls, Jeanette Rankin, Thaddeus Stevens, the 1830s, or any historical topics/eras. Outside of College and History, I enjoy working out, reading, comic books, horror movies, numerous musical genres (Metal, Ska, Hip Hop, Punk, Outlaw Country, etc.), and seafood.
School Store Manager
B.F.A. Massachusetts College of Art & Design
New Boys Dorm Faculty
B.A. Carleton College
M.S.Ed. St. John's University
I’m a mathematics teacher, advisor, and New Boys dorm faculty member. Before Putney, I taught in public and independent schools in New York City. I originally hail from Minneapolis, where I grew up biking in summers and alpine skiing in winters. After graduating from Carleton College with a degree in Sociology & Anthropology and dabbling in the non-profit world, I eventually found my way to education and back to my first academic love- math! After working as a tutor and paraprofessional, I enrolled in the NYC Teaching Collaborative teacher training program in conjunction with St. John’s University. I cherish the experience of teaching and living every day in Putney’s progressive, student-centered, and warm community.
Noyes Dorm Faculty
I’ve been teaching high school and college math for more than 20 years, and came to The Putney School in 2022. What I love about teaching here is that I am able, and encouraged, to teach the way I’ve always wanted to: strong connections with students, lots of student choices, a focus on learning over grades, and a deep understanding over superficial learning.
I love getting to know my students in and out of the classroom. I love challenging my students, and seeing them rise to the challenge. I love the ways students take ownership and leadership. Teaching here is so much fun!
Other things I think are fun: dancing (Morris, contra, tango, waltz, swing), learning circus skills, swimming (especially long open water swims), skiing, hiking, feeling useful, and playing strategy games with friends.
Assistant Music Director
B.M. & B.A. Keene State College
M.M. Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University
A.D. Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University
It has been really wonderful to work closely with some really gifted, self-motivated, and passionate young people. The students here keep me energized for music. Putney has a musical heart and you can see that in the sing program and in the flurry of daily life in the music building.
I am continually surprised by the down to earth traditions of Putney. From the farm to the costumed parade with a giant puppet to the hand-drawn diplomas… I anticipate learning of many more quirks in the coming year!
I grew up in New England and after spending some time away in Baltimore and Los Angeles, I was happy to return. I have been involved in music my entire life and have worked in classical and jazz, in concert and recording, performing as well as mixing and engineering, and the whole time I have been actively teaching and in education. I am so lucky to work in music that it is difficult to separate work from play. In my free time, I have an interest in literature and philosophy which I pursue as a hobby and have also been known to swing a ping-pong paddle from time to time.
Printmaking and Painting Teacher
B.A. Sarah Lawrence College
M.F.A. Vermont College of Fine Arts
Helen Schmidt is an artist-teacher whose work currently combines intaglio, artisan papers, and oil paint to create richly textured prints. Helen is interested in the possibility art has to effect personal and social transformation. It is her belief that learning to access one’s creative potential and then express it helps to bring about change in oneself and in the world. Helen received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, where she concentrated in Fine Art, Sociology, and Religion. She studied at The Lacoste School for the Arts in Lacoste, France, and in Boston at The Museum School. She began her career as a social worker in New York’s South Bronx as an advocate for unhoused women and children. Upon moving to Vermont, she got an M.F.A. in sculpture at Vermont College of Art and continued to explore her interest in art and social justice for the next twenty-five years. S worked as a legal advocate for women at the Women’s Freedom Center. She co-created an expressive art class for at-risk teenage girls called Expresso, and taught art classes to people experiencing homelessness and incarceration through a program called Tapestry at the Brattleboro Retreat. She facilitated paste-up installations on buildings comprised of student prints as part of an Art for Social Change program and facilitated the teaching of free classes at Art in the Neighborhood in Brattleboro. She taught at The River Gallery School for 24 years, and in addition to teaching adult studio classes, she served as the director of their Children and Teens Program. She taught printmaking at the Community College of Vermont and currently teaches printmaking and painting at The Putney School. Her sculptures and prints have been exhibited throughout the Northeast, and she has artwork in private collections in the United States and Europe.
B.A. Shanghai Theatre Academy
M.F.A. Vermont College of Fine Arts
I value Putney’s environment of learning. Teaching takes place by doing, everyone works to set a good example for themselves and for others around them.
This place is filled with love, caring, synergy and creative energy. There is room here for each individual to grow and shine. Creativity is fully supported and cultivated.
Assistant Head of School/ CFO
I came to The Putney School by chance, but the strength of the community has kept me here for nearly 20 years. People are really passionate about the school.
I was born in Seattle and lived in the Northwest most of my life. I graduated from the University of Washington, survived the DotCom boom, came to Putney for one year in 1999 and never left.
I live in Goodlatte with my wonderful wife Jenny, and amazing son Emmett.
Keep Dorm Liaison
MFA Vermont College of Fine Arts
Hallmark Institute of Photography - Certificate of Professional Photography
Zachary P. Stephens is an award-winning and internationally exhibited photographer, educator, and scholar in southern Vermont. Working as a photojournalist for over two decades, he has contributed to newspapers and magazines throughout New England while also serving as the Photo Editor of the Brattleboro Reformer from 2007 to 2013. Notably, his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and USA Today. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in galleries located in the UK, Germany, California, Virginia, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Massachusetts.
In 2017 he earned an MFA in Visual Art from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. His thesis project titled Are We There Yet? is an ongoing series of large-scale photographs exploring modern fatherhood.
Zach is the Photography Teacher at The Putney School in Putney, VT, where he shares his passion for all things photography and inspires young minds while continuing to work as a freelance photojournalist.
Communications and Marketing Manager
B.F.A. Maryland Institute College of Art
I originally came to Putney for an internship with Summer Programs. Immediately, I knew this was a place I wanted to continue to work at rather than just in the summers. I fell in love with the landscape, school, and community and ended up staying here.
Every day in my job is different, I am constantly moving around campus, working with faculty, staff, and students. I feel so fortunate to have a unique hand in documenting what goes on at the school from day-to-day.
Horse Program Manager
B.S. University of Vermont
I’m a lover of children and animals. I live for my family and the joy I get from sharing with students the physical and emotional bond that can exist between humans and horses, not to mention the amazing feel of connecting with a horse by riding it.
Girls' Basketball Coach
B.A. Union Institute and University
I was raised on a family farm in Saxtons River, and came to teaching mid-career. I enjoy the contrasts between the finite world of agriculture and the infinite opportunities in the classroom.
At Putney, I have the opportunity to work in agriculture within a vibrant learning community. My dreams have come true.
Lunch/ Dinner Chef
The captivating green mountains and the people brought me here, along with the farm to table attitude and the organic thought process brings a real community feeling.
I was born in a small town in southern Italy came to America in 1965, living in southern Connecticut until the mid-80s and working in restaurants, colleges, and institutions. I moved to Vermont in 1985 and have been at The Putney School since 2005.
New England Conservatory of Music
I am thrilled to have a chance to add my voice to the Putney community along with my son. William, Hercules (our Great Dane), and I will be on campus for the first time this fall term. Several convergences bring us to Putney. My sister’s children graduated from here, and I was very impressed to discover Putney’s progressive teaching approaches when I visited the campus for their dance recitals, art shows, and graduations. When I was teaching at Phillips Andover, one of my mentors, Sue Lloyd, was a graduate of Putney and author of The Putney School, a progressive experiment; we built our Andover world music curriculum with suggestions from Sue’s expertise. It is exciting to be at the source of her inspiration. Who wouldn’t want to be in a place where the entire community makes music together?
Old Boys Dorm Faculty
B.A. Union Institute and University
M.L.I.S. Simmons College
Our family was drawn to Putney 14 years ago just before my second daughter was born. We loved the idea of living in the hills of Vermont in an intentional, international community that focused on sustainability, the arts, and community.
I was born and raised in Vermont and while I’ve lived away at various times of my life, I have always returned. I am an avid reader and knitter. I have two children who are both students at Putney.
I just joined the Putney community this year, so I can tell you why I love Putney enough to move across the country to work here, but it is a learning journey for me just like it is for all our prospective families.
I’ve been working in admissions for five years – I love building and developing relationships with families and helping them navigate through what can be an overwhelming journey.
Putney is a unique and special place that finds the right people at the right time. I’m so looking forward to seeing these young, talented minds embrace rigorous academics and evolve within their passions. Students here are confident and lead with honesty and curiosity. Each individual at Putney learns and creates while feeling seen, heard, and appreciated. I was drawn to Putney by the chance to collaborate with dynamic professionals, contribute my experiences and perspectives, and share new adventures.
Director of Development
It is an honor to be serving Putney, a school I so deeply believe in, in this role, at this time. A previous Putney chapter included teaching dance, heading the arts department, and directing the evening arts program. Previous chapters have also included being director of the arts at another independent school, teaching dance in a multitude of settings (from colleges to community centers), as well choreographing and performing nationally and internationally. After years of inner-city teaching (in NYC and LA), it is a privilege to be on Putney’s bucolic hill working to ensure access for all who wish to call it home. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with and learn from all within the Putney community, to collaboratively lift up and support Putney into the future. Thank you.
Old Girls Dorm Faculty
BS in Applied Mathematics with a focus in STEM Education
I came to Putney from the mountains of Western North Carolina, where I taught all sorts of Maths at a small non-profit private school that focused on Integral Education. I love exploring the challenges of Mathematics from the perspective of logic, puzzle solving, and having fun with the mental exercise that comes with it. I have a deep love for board games, puzzles of all sorts, D&D, and have so much fun exploring challenges together like they are games. My recent background had me working with students as their mathematics teacher, but also as a mentor, coach, and outdoor guide. I find so much joy in watching students develop and grow in relationship to their mental, social, emotional, aesthetic, and physical strands of being.
When I’m not teaching Mathematics, you can find me playing music, dancing, climbing, running, playing volleyball, skiing, playing video games, hiking, backpacking, reading, or just relaxing with friends.
Science Teacher and Science Department Chair
Keep Dorm Liason
I love working with teenagers (especially Putney students) because they give me hope we are truly capable of “achieving a society worthy of the name.” My students push me to be a better teacher, but also a better person. One of the most important aspects of my pedagogy is that if you give students the proper resources, just a little guidance and a real sense of agency, then they are capable of way more than most adults would ever assume.