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Amelia Fontein


Amelia Fontein is thrilled to be a part of the Kindergarten team at Academy School. Before coming to Academy School, Amelia worked in a Lower Elementary Montessori classroom. She loves working with 5 and 6-year-olds, and enjoys watching their progress and confidence bloom over the course of their Kindergarten year!

Amelia attended the University of Vermont where she received her Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Studies. She enjoys bringing the outdoors into her classroom, and is even more excited about taking the Kindergartners into the fields and forest to do their own discovery and exploration. Last year, Amelia received a dual Masters Degree in Elementary Education and Special Education from Antioch University New England.

Amelia grew up in Vermont and has lived here her whole life! She enjoys going for long walks and canoes with her husband and dog, Mona. When she's not teaching, you can find Amelia contra dancing, gardening, and making art!

Amy Whaley


Amy is a Kindergarten para

Asma Akter


Asma is a Kindergarten para.

Brenda Wood


Brenda Wood is one of the three kindergarten para professionals at Academy School. She has worked in the Brattleboro Elementary Schools as a substitute teacher and para professionals for the past twenty years.

Brenda attended Bellows Falls Union High School and has since continued her education through many workshops and college classes.

Brenda enjoys working with students individually, in small groups and as a whole class.

Brenda grew up in Saxtons River, Vermont. When she’s not supporting students, Brenda enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Ellen Nam


Ellen Nam is part of the Kindergarten team at Academy School. She has taught in the Brattleboro Elementary Schools as a kindergarten teacher and as an enrichment teacher, and now she is an Academic Support Teacher!

Ellen attended Bates College, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology. After spending several years teaching English as a Second Language and working as an environmental educator, Ellen earned a Masters Degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Science and Environmental Education at Antioch University New England.

Ellen loves working with children and watching their progress throughout the year!

Ellen grew up on Cape Cod and has spent most of her life living in New England. When she’s not teaching, Ellen enjoys running, gardening, skiing, traveling and spending time with her family.

Emily Marker


Emily has been teaching for 18 years, the first 6 in New York City and the last 12 teaching Kindergarten at Academy school. Emily strongly believes in the importance of relationships and works both in the classroom and in the forest to develop children's sense of wonder and curiosity. She founded a Forest Kindergarten program at Academy and is committed to ensuring nature based, child directed, free play for all of her students.

Hannah Lindner-Finlay


Hannah Lindner-Finlay is delighted to join the Kindergarten Team at Academy. She is so pleased to have found a school that strongly supports nature- and play-based learning. Hannah observes her students closely, responding to their emerging interests while tying in the academic skills that are being practiced. She loves the way that Kindergarten students are developing a new sense of themselves as learners and members of a classroom community. Hannah strives to make her classroom a place where each child feels known and celebrated for who they are.

Hannah grew up exploring the woods and playing in the streams of Vermont. She attended Oberlin College and graduated with a BA in Visual Arts. After becoming a licensed educator through the Shady Hill School Teacher Training Course, Hannah worked for three years as a Kindergarten Teacher at the Gordon School, in Providence, RI. During her time there, Hannah helped to lead the yearly Multicultural Institute, and grew in her own understanding of what it means to educate for equity. Missing the nature-based component of her own early childhood education, Hannah completed her MEd in Nature-Based Education through Antioch University just before returning to Vermont with her partner, Jeremy. Since then, Hannah has had two children and has been in and out of teaching while balancing the needs of her young family. Hannah spent one year working as the Afternoon Forest Kindergarten Teacher at the Grammar School, taught one year of kindergarten at Dummerston School, and has collaborated with several schools as a nature- and play- based consultant. With her youngest child headed to preschool, she’s excited to return to the classroom again!

Maureen Parzych


Maureen has had the distinct pleasure of spending her entire teaching career at Academy School. She feels so lucky to be able to spend each day teaching and learning with such incredible children and dedicated colleagues. Her years in education have included teaching Kindergarten, First and Second grades. She received her teaching degree from Lyndon State College in the area of Early Childhood Education as well as a Masters Degree in the Foundations of Education from Antioch University. Everyday in Kindergarten brings new and exciting adventures. Maureen is living her childhood dream and could not imagine doing anything else. When Maureen is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family, kayaking, camping, taking long walks and traveling.

Welcome to Academy School! Kindergarten is such an amazing year filled with growth and learning. Adventure, exploration, discovery, creativity and academically rigorous experiences are what we are committed to provide our kindergarten students, so as to inspire a life long love for learning. We work together as a team to build a positive, emotionally and physically safe environment. We are committed to making children feel comfortable enough to take risks and stretch their thinking to reach their fullest potential. 

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