Jacquie was born and spent much of her childhood in the suburbs of Washington D.C. along the Potomac River. Her experience in an innovative ‘leadership’ program in high school inspired the beginnings of her interest in educational reform. She graduated from Franconia College in New Hampshire with an integrated major in literature, religion, and education. Following this she crossed the Connecticut River and fell permanently in love with Vermont.
Jacquie spent the first decade of her professional career teaching at the primary level, mostly at the Monkton Central School in Addison County, Vermont; doing graduate work at the University of Vermont; serving as a statewide literacy consultant to schools; and teaching graduate level classes to teachers in mathematics through the Center for Innovation in Education.
Jacquie founded Red Cedar School in 1989, seeking to realize her ideal vision of a school and create an alternative that would benefit her own children and other children in the community. She started the school in her home as an experiment, and was soon joined by two close friends and educators. Red Cedar is now celebrating its 23rd anniversary.
At Red Cedar Jacquie serves as the director, as well as the language arts and English teacher for the primary, upper elementary and middle school groups.
Jacquie lives in Bristol with her husband, Marc. She enjoys spending time with her grown daughters, Anneka and Lizzie, and son, Ari. Jacquie’s interests include contemporary literature and poetry, history and psychology. In another life, she will spend all her time outside. In this one she loves to read, hike and travel. She will take up gardening again when her life slows down.
Brendan Collins joined Red Cedar School after completing his graduate degree in conservation biology at Antioch University New England. A native of Massachusetts, Brendan grew up roaming the fields and woods near his house, gained a love of birding from his father, and pursued a passionate love of sports. He came to Vermont as a student at St. Michael’s (where he also played for the school's ice hockey team), and never left.
Brendan’s prior experience includes teaching and overseeing the gardens at the North Country School in the Adirondacks of New York. While at Antioch, Brendan became interested in Vermont’s montane bird population and the ecological impact of high elevation development and climate change. Partnering with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, Brendan focused his research on the rare and globally threatened Bicknell’s Thrush. His work has helped assess the conservation status of Vermont’s avian community while informing policy makers of best practices for high elevation ski and wind turbine projects.
Brendan’s love of wildlife biology and the outdoors is evident in his science and math classes at Red Cedar. His students regularly participate as “citizen scientist” in ongoing ecological research projects conducted by biologists throughout North America. Brendan’s students have collected and analyzed wildlife data for the USGS Bird Banding Laboratory, Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas, the Vermont Butterfly Atlas, Cornell University Feeder Watch, and Monarch Watch of the University of Kansas, to name a few. On any given day, Brendan and his students can be found examining the wetlands, forests and fields of Addison County, tending the Red Cedar School gardens, building the timber frame outdoor classroom and cob oven, or practicing telemark turns on the slopes of the Green Mountains. Brendan lives with his wife, Jan, and two children, Quinn and Maggie, in New Haven. Links to Brendan’s publications and reports: http://www.vtecostudies.org/reports.html
Bill was born and raised in Connecticut, and came to Vermont via Middlebury College. He graduated cum laude with a double major in history and Spanish. Before delving into the field of education, Bill supported himself as a musician, playing trumpet in bands including The New Nile Orchestra, So-Called Jazz Kwintet and Ensemble V. Bill also founded Vermont Dogsledding with his wife, Lissy. Bill worked with children in a variety of settings before coming to Red Cedar, serving as a community integration specialist, assisting in classrooms, and working with students with autism. Bill has a Masters of Education from Vermont College.
Bill lives in Shoreham with his wife and three children, Polly, Owen and Eliot. Bill specializes in building economical greenhouses, yurts, log cabins, small houses and barns. He and his family raise ponies, goats, hens, turkeys, beef cows, and, of course, sled dogs, and manage the forest on their land. Bill’s other interests include mountain biking, soccer, sugaring, gardening and reading.
At Red Cedar, Bill integrates all these interests and wears many hats. He leads classes that actively combine intellectual inquiry and hands-on exploration and building. He brings calmness and comfort to the youngest students as their core teacher, and leads their math, science and social studies classes. He teaches social studies to the upper elementary and middle school groups. He has taught Spanish. He is instrumental in the on-going development of the Outdoor Classroom project. He leads wilderness trips and plays mid-day games of soccer. He facilitates jazz and improvisational music groups. When not doing any of the above, Bill can usually be found with students in the work studio of his classroom or in the yurt, putting solar panels on a miniature futuristic garden city, tanning a hide, building a windmill sculpture, or creating a pulley system.
Greg graduated from Middlebury College with a major in Japanese, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, in 2010. He taught for a year at Phillips Academy. Greg has published several papers on education with Middlebury College professor Jonathan Miller-Lane. He has also worked in the technology field. He has a black belt in Aikido.
Becky has lived in Michigan, Mississippi, and Texas. For the last 18 years she has felt fortunate to make her home in the Green Mountains. Becky received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, where she studied sociology and classical archaeology. Her first experience as a teacher was as an adult literacy volunteer. Becky earned her M.Ed. at the University of Vermont. She concentrated in Curriculum and Instruction, with a focus on Reading and Language Arts. She also earned her recommendation for a Reading Specialist endorsement. Becky is an avid reader and enjoys cooking and crafting. She lives in South Starksboro with her husband and chickens.
Holly is a self-employed bookkeeper and gardener. She was a founder and former owner of Bristol’s Rocky Dale Gardens. She has a BS in Plant Science/Nursery Management from UC Davis, and a black belt in Aikido. Holly lives in South Starksboro with her Jack Russell terrier, Rudy.