Meet the Admission Team

To contact our admissions office: (802) 387-6201; acunningham@putneyschool.org.

Our team is an eclectic group with divergent backgrounds and histories. We all believe deeply in the value of progressive education and enjoy seeing its positive impact for Putney students every day. To learn more about why we love Putney, read on!

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John Barrengos

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

Why do you love working at Putney?

I have had a professional crush on Putney’s confident embrace of progressive education since I was in graduate school in the 1990s. I’ve always loved admission and seen it as an intersection of the present and future tense of a school community. The caliber of our students and parents and the mesh and match of our families with our aspirations defines the potential of our school.

Helping a family to choose the right educational community for their child’s next chapter asks that we carefully come to understand kids and their families, share our lenses with the family, and imagine a child’s learning journey through our school.

I get to live and work at Putney. My wife serves as our Dean of Faculty, my son just graduated after four powerful years, and my daughter, a member of the Class of 2018, just graduated from college and begins a directing fellowship this fall. I love being here because our values are fully invited into our community and our work. The physical setting is stunning. The community is grounded and suffers little pretentiousness. And adults honor students’ curiosities and passions in service of learning as our primary goal.

How do you continue to be a lifelong learner?

Learning is my fuel.  After college, I began working as a banker for hospitals and schools and social service agencies. I’d never taken a finance class, but my work asked me to design programs in Lotus 123.  When I left banking and began working in schools, I learned about educational design, teaching, admissions, fundraising, board work, and strategic planning. I’ve had the honor of working in nearly every job that helps schools operate, and I enjoyed investing five years in graduate study of schools and the organizational and group dynamics that animate them. At Putney, I get the pleasure of learning with each new student and family I meet. I get to (re)learn how to sing in a choral group as I join the Madrigals during most school years, and I get to (re)learn social psychology each time I recreate it with my students in class.

What’s your favorite season on campus?

My favorite is the change of most seasons.  I love the shift from summer to fall, because the start of school has always felt, deep in my bones, like a renewal of life.  The shift to winter is the coziest time to hang out with my family, and the shift to spring is vital and welcome after one or two more weeks of winter than I can tolerate.

Amara Cunningham

Admission Office Manager

Why do you love working at Putney?

My job at Putney puts me in a front-row seat for transformative educational experiences. Not only do I get to introduce visitors to the school for the first time, I also am afforded opportunities to see students progress throughout the course of their time here. It’s pretty affirming to see all of the beautiful things that happen here: shy students finding their voices; artists finding their medium; activists finding their causes, just to name a few. And to think it all starts in the Admission Office!

How do you continue to be a lifelong learner?

I’m a musician, so I’m always learning new music and technique. It’s hard for me to believe that I would still be growing and changing so much if I hadn’t found my place at Putney. Existing in this community has helped me realize that there are always opportunities for me if I’m willing to push and better myself, so I keep striving.

What’s your favorite season on campus?

I will always feel attached to summers at Putney. In my mind, summer on the hill is a singular expression of that season. I began working at Putney in mid-July and reveled at the sight of the morning fog as it lifted from the banks of the Connecticut River each day. The fondest place in my memories will always be reserved for those verdant, bright summer mornings.

 

Libby Holmes

Director of International Programs

B.A. Miami University
M.A.T. School for International Training

Why do you love working at Putney?

Putney creates and recreates a remarkable and compelling community each year, comprised of energetic new students from all over the world, seasoned returning students prepared to lead and contribute, and a generous-hearted, committed faculty and staff of able adults, some of whom are long-time friends and others who are more recent arrivals offering new ways to understand education and fresh camaraderie.  Together, we make Putney more than just a school.

How do you continue to be a lifelong learner?

Far from my earlier studies in literature and language teaching, I’m now learning about native plants, natural gardening, and other horticultural matters.

What’s your favorite place and/or season on campus?

I admit I love my office best.  It’s a place of both quiet focus and of close collaboration and conversation with students. What’s more, the location gives me a broad view of campus, and of the local ‘travels’ of student friend groups, teachers, the occasional horseback-riding, mountain-biking, or cross-country skiing group, campus pups, and other friends in the school community.

I love the first warm days after Spring’s new grass has filled the lawns, when first-year students finally believe what we’ve been telling them: winter and mud DO eventually give way to lilacs and apple blossoms and newborn calves.

Brian Quarrier ’05

Associate Director of Admissions

B.S. Bates College

Why do you love working at Putney?

After graduating from Putney in 2005, I have thought a lot about coming back to work here. It’s special when you find a spot that allows you to grow up and be who you want to be without pressure to conform to social norms. Being a student at Putney allowed me to follow my passions and pushed me to excel, and that is true for me as an adult now. I am very excited to help students find a place that will push them to be their best selves.

How do you continue to be a lifelong learner?

I have stayed in education my whole life because of all of the opportunities to continue to learn. Currently, I am on a creation kick. I love making things: wooden boats, bamboo bikes, leather shoes, sewing fleeces, blacksmithing, woodturning, ceramics, weaving, hide tanning, you name it I am excited to try. Making things forces me to think creatively and problem solve. Every medium has its own challenge and strength, figuring out what they are and how to use them to build something beautiful and functional is a joy.

What’s your favorite place and season on campus?

I love Vermont because of all of the seasons and the constant change, so I don’t think I can pick a favorite. I love the fall for the cooler weather, the beautiful foliage and makes me think of rock climbing. I always look forward to the winter for xc skiing, and by the time winter is over spring is so refreshing. Summer gets me excited about being on the water.

 

Hallie Flower

Admissions Counselor

Why do you love working at Putney?
Over the years, I have admired the Putney School environment. It’s an inspiring, intentional space where students can dive into their curiosity, discover a stronger sense of self, and trust that their contribution to the community is valuable. Being a part of transformative spaces that center the growth of young people is incredibly rewarding.

I love the work of admissions here as students begin to imagine what is possible. There is a thoughtfulness to understand students as whole people and best serve families that is a pleasure to be a part of. I enjoy the challenge.

The innate sense of community here is open, helpful, and honors individual contributions within the whole and makes it a good place to put one’s energy.

How do you continue to be a lifelong learner?

My personal work as a theater director and educator is a lifelong sandbox of exploring new ideas and developing skills. I love collaborating with others as we chase stories to share on-stage. Every production brings its own demands, obstacles, and revelatory confrontations to move through together. I particularly love facilitating young people’s discovery of themselves and their craft through theatre arts. It inspires and teaches me – and guides me in all my other activities.

Joining this great team is certainly a new learning adventure. It’s a feast of new ways to understand people and the places they create together. This is a fascinating place and I feel lucky to collaborate with folks who love young people and learning with such heart.

What’s your favorite season on campus?

Fall is alway a stunning season in Southern Vermont but it’s that first return of cooler breezes in the late summer that I’ve fallen in love with here at Putney. That exciting first promise of fall is all the more tasty in this beautiful setting.

 

 

Miyé Lampriere ’17

Admissions Counselor

B.A. Pitzer College 

Why do you love working at Putney?

Before the sun rises, most people are still tucked in their warm beds; however, the students doing barn chores head out to take care of the animals. It is not always fun or easy, but if they do not wake up, the animals will go hungry, and the pens will pile up with manure. Putney teaches us to care for each other and our environment. It is not only what is learned in the classroom but the curiosity that emerges from conversations with friends, faculty, and shoveling cow manure.

How do you continue to be a lifelong learner?

I grew up in many different places, moving every three years; I quickly realized that the best way to learn was through sharing conversations with people from different backgrounds. There is a saying in Japanese: Ichi go- Ichi e, which means one opportunity, one encounter. Encounters are always an opportunity for me to learn something new.

What’s your favorite place and season on campus?

 If I am not in the main building, people will most likely find me on Putney’s trails. It is a place where I can think about my day. The woods are constantly changing, and its transition reminds me of time passing (Turn, Turn, Turn by the Byrds).

I enjoy late summer when the students return with renewed excitement to be back on the hill. It is also when the tomatoes and corn are ready to be harvested which then the KDU staff prepare for lunch.

 

Our Admission Committee: Students & Adults

Students serve on our admission committee and help shape the future Putney School community.

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