Faculty and Staff

School Leadership

MaryBeth O'Donnell Thumbnail.jpeg
MaryBeth O'Donnell

School Director

MaryBeth has been an active member of the educational world for the past 28 years. Directly after graduating from Fordham University with a B.A. in American History and minors in Education and Peace and Justice, she was a high school history teacher in the New York City public school system. She then went on to work as an Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions and academic advisor at Columbia University.

While she took time off of her career to raise four children with her husband, Mark. She served on several boards first in Scarsdale, New York and then in Manchester, Vermont. She returned to work as Dean of Student Life and Experiences at Long Trail School. In 2019 she joined the Red Fox team as a part time administrator. And now serves as the School Director. She believes that the progressive model and community base that Red Fox offers to its students is the key for students becoming engaged, creative, empowered learners that self advocate and are contributing members to their community. MaryBeth is an avid tennis and paddle player, enjoys golf and skiing with her family and loves to cook and dance.

Faculty & Staff

Dave Rodich Thumbnail.png
Dave Rodich

Eagles Head Teacher

Hello, my name is Dave Rodich, and I'm the new Eagles teacher at Red Fox. This will be my eighth year teaching. I'm originally from Northwest Indiana, a little corner of the state oriented to Chicago and Lake Michigan, and have lived in New York City for nine years. I feel very honored and grateful to become part of the Red Fox community, and I'm really excited to get to know all of the students and families. When I'm not teaching, I'm usually working on creative writing, grilling or doing something in nature with my wife, Sara, and our 5 year old son, Luka. We especially love hiking, fishing and foraging.

My approach to education rests on three core beliefs. The first is that I must facilitate holistic care and growth for each child. I work consistently to create and maintain a space that honors the students’ need for community, rhythm, autonomy and fun. This entails setting up student-created community norms, using Responsive Classroom protocols for social-emotional learning and connecting with a regular mindfulness practice. My second core belief is that academic lessons must be engaging, varied, interactive and meaningful. I believe I am a facilitator for students’ growth, not a dispenser of knowledge. It is a large part of my job to curate materials that spark the students’ natural curiosity and their desire to make their world a more beautiful place and then utilize protocols to help guide their interactions with the materials and with each other. My final core belief is that children must be given regular opportunities to meaningfully connect to the natural world around them - for their own benefit and the benefit of the planet.

Heather Munch Thumbnail.png
Heather Munch

Eagles Assistant Teacher & Music Teacher

Heather is a violinist and music educator, born and raised in Southern Vermont. She has been teaching the violin and music for about ten years, both privately and in the classroom. Her passion for teaching music stems from that moment when you discover music has the power to connect us to one another over a shared experience. Heather believes that music and the arts are a vital aspect to overall learning and can help a child discover more about themselves as individuals, members of a community and the world’s diverse cultures. Heather received a B.A in Music Performance from Castleton University and a M.M in Violin Performance from SUNY Purchase.

In addition to teaching music, Heather also guide’s yoga and movement classes, connecting people back to their bodies through natural strength and intuitive movement. Heather is a lifelong learner and loves cooking, hiking, mountain biking and taking care of her indoor plant collection! She is so honored to join the teachers, students and families at Red Fox Community School.

Sarah Post Thumbnail.jpeg
Sarah Post

Owls Head Teacher

Sarah has returned to teaching after raising two daughters with her husband, Lamont. She brings to Red Fox ten years of teaching experience in both independent and public schools where she taught preschool and grades one and two. Recently, Sarah has worked as a substitute teacher at area schools. She is also a dedicated community volunteer. Sarah believes that the early childhood years are a special time which require listening to and supporting children on their journey. Sarah’s goal is to help children find their voices and grow into independent learners. 

Sarah lives in West Pawlet with her family and their three cats. They’ve lived in Vermont for 15 years and love the area and community they’ve found. She has a passion for cooking and thinks it's important for kids to learn the process of growing, making, and enjoying food. Sarah also loves time spent outside, reading, doing yoga, and being with friends and family. She grew up in Kent, Ohio where she also attended Kent State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education.

Laura Pyles Thumbnail.png
Laura Pyles

Owls Assistant Teacher

Laura Pyles is passionate about Progressive Education, guiding students to become self-directed learners and making space for children to fully immerse in nature. Laura and her family have been involved with RFCS since its founding.  She has volunteered as a board member and in the classroom and has supported the Parent Association.

She has a Bachelor of Science in Ecological Education and Leadership and years of experiential education experience in and out of the classroom. She has mentored teenagers in farm and garden settings, directed environmental education camps for preschool and elementary students, and led middle school outdoor immersion programs. Laurabelieves a strong community is important for children and families and relishes in the opportunity to build strong community with good food, music, and seasonal traditions. She lives in Danby at Smokey House Center with her husband and three children where they help connect working hands and working lands.

Lisa Kelly RFCS Website Thumbnail.png
Lisa Kelly

Spanish Teacher

Lisa taught Spanish for many years at BBA and was the girls Varsity Tennis coach.  She is an outdoor enthusiast and athlete.  She owns and is a head instructor at  Zen Revolution, spin and yoga studio in Manchester. She founded Unplugged, an empowerment program for young girls to develop a sense of community,  self and strength through outdoor activities.  She is excited to return to the classroom at Red Fox instructing our students in the foundations of the Spanish language and culture.

Maria French Thumbnail.png
Maria French

Art Teacher

I’m an artist and Vermonter who, between growing up in Burlington and returning to live in Wallingford, has also been home in France, Maine, Cameroon, Eritrea, Italy, Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Georgia (USA), California, and Qatar. I have worked as an educator in a variety of settings, with youth and adults around the world. I believe deeply in the importance of exposure to and practice of artistic expression for all students, both individually and in collaborative projects, and how art can broaden and deepen learning in every area. I love drawing, exploring the woods, making bread, climbing mountains, photography, swimming in lakes, singing, messing around in brooks, all animals, and teaching art.

Daphne Kelley RFCS Website Thumbnail.png
Daphne Kelley

After School Program Coordinator

Daphne attended Vermont Community College and studied abroad in Paris at L'Institut Catholique de Paris.  She teaches at the Southern Vermont School of Dance. She has taught children of all ages in multiple disciplines of dance. She worked at the Southern Vermont Arts Center for 8 years and as a nanny for three years. And some of you may remember her from last year.  She was Winter’s amazing nanny. She is an avid cook and baker. Daphne is excited to work with our students this year.

Danielle.jpg
Danielle Zimmerman

Communications & Social Media

Danielle join the Red Fox community in 2020 to help with social media and website maintenance.  She has a degree in communications and film from Ohio University.  She spent years working in the field including a job in Los Angeles with a TV production company and working in corporate media in Columbus, Ohio.  She recently graduated with a certificate in Digital Media Marketing from UVM.

The Red Fox Community School mission and teaching philosophy speak to Danielle and it's what originally drew her to the school.  When she isn't on the computer making graphics or websites she enjoys being on her farm in Rupert, Vermont where she raises dairy cows and lives with her daughter and husband.

Board

Maxine Linehan Thumbnail.jpeg
Maxine Linehan

Board Chair

Maxine Linehan, an Irish native, is an international concert and recording artist. She travels the world performing her critically acclaimed concerts at renowned venues. Together with her husband, celebrated sound engineer and songwriter, Andrew Koss, she opened The Studio At Strawberry Field’s Lane in Manchester, a state of the art recording studio that has become a beloved destination for both national and local music makers. Maxine is also a qualified attorney and holds a Bachelor of Laws from The University of London and is a graduate Barrister of the The Inns of Court School of Law in London. She also studied performance at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA and is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Maxine is the proud founding Board Chair of Red Fox Community School and both of her children are Red Fox students.

AlleyMazzullo.jpg
Alley Mazzullo

Board Member

Alley Mazzullo is a co-founder of Red Fox Community School.  She believes in helping students become stewards of their own learning,  giving children time and space to try out big ideas and encouraging kindness and compassion.  Alley is happiest when she is outside and believes in giving children many opportunities to be immersed in the natural world.  When she's not teaching she manages a small homestead in Pawlet with her husband Elijah and son Caleb. They have dairy goats, pigs, sheep, ducks, chickens, dogs and cats! Alley has been working with children in educational settings for the last ten years both in schools as a classroom teacher and on farms. Before she was a teacher she was a farmer and brings this passion into the classroom.  Alley loves the green mountains and is so happy to be here in Vermont graced by them.  She holds a B.A in poetry and anthropology from Bard College and a M.Ed in elementary and early childhood education from Antioch University New England.

Matt Kolb Thumbnail.jpeg
Matt Kolb

Board Member

Matt spent the early years of his career with the Private Client Division of Alex Brown and Sons, a Baltimore based investment bank and brokerage firm. He comes to Red Fox Community School after 9 years as a middle school mathematics teacher at The Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York City. He has been an adjunct professor at Pace University in Manhattan where he taught the fundamental Business 150 course at the Lubin School of Business. He has developed and taught academic curriculum for New Rochelle High School in New Rochelle, NY, developed multi-topic curriculum for the Learning Annex in Fair Haven, VT, and written online courses for the I-Pace business curriculum at Pace University. Matt presented comprehensive learning projects to the MidSchoolMath National conferences in 2017 and 2019. He has also worked with the DeBridge School in Nairobi, Kenya to raise funds, advise on curriculum, and develop a strategic plan. He holds a B.A. Degree in Philosophy from Moravian College, an M.B.A. from Lehigh University, and an M.S. Ed. degree from Long Island University. Matt is new to Manchester but not to Vermont. He and his family have spent summers here for over 25 years. He is happy to be a permanent resident and excited to be a part of the Red Fox team.

Sara Garay Thumbnail.jpeg
Sarah Howard Garay

Board Member

Sara Howard Garay is a devoted mother who values independent education. She graduated from Lasell College as Valedictorian, with a B.S in Science. Sara serves as trustee on The Crawford Howard Private Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee. The Crawford Howard Private Foundation was established in 1997 by her father, Hal B. Howard, who instilled the guiding principles of philanthropy in Sara’s life. Providing educational opportunities to underserved youth, chairing fundraising events, and volunteering bring Sara joy and satisfaction carrying on her family legacy. Sara also works closely with the Maple Street School, Community Sharing Project, and The Summer Lunch Program.

Sara loves raising her ten-year daughter Izzy in Dorset, Vermont, which she has called home since 2005.  Sara enjoys skiing, hiking, gardening as well as tending to her parade of dogs, cats, goats, and a hen house of chickens.

Sara and Izzy split their time between Dorset, Vermont and Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Kristen Eckhardt Thumbnail.jpeg
Kristen Budlong

Board Member

Kristen is a 1989 graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, and has been teaching for 27 years. She holds a M.Ed in Early Childhood Education from Lesley University and in Curriculum and Instruction from UVM. She is also a licensed school librarian, currently employed by Kingsley Montessori School in Boston, MA. Kristen spent a number of years with The Aurora School in Middlebury, VT when it was a progressive grassroots elementary school similar to Red Fox. She is thrilled to have made a connection to us and considers it an important link for her to Vermont, where she raised her children and has many close ties. Kristen enjoys being outside every season, either on foot, a bike or her skis. She is also an avid reader whose favorite author is Willa Cather. She looks forward to contributing to the health and well-being of Red Fox Community School in all ways, believing that children learn best when they are offered generous playtime out-of-doors, lots of time to read and think, and ample opportunities to construct their understanding of the world.

Jim Thumbnail.jpg
Jim Johnston

Board Member

Jim graduated from the University of Virginia in 1991 with a BS in Commerce with Distinction and was commissioned in the US Navy. After seven years as a Submarine Officer and achieving a designation as Certified Naval Nuclear Engineer, he attended Harvard Business School from which he graduated in 2000.

He worked at Goldman Sachs until 2008 in Investment Banking when he joined Moelis Capital Partners (MCP) as an investor. MCP transitioned to NexPhase Capital Partners and in 2018 he left NexPhase to pursue independent consulting and investing opportunities and spend more time coaching and teaching his three sons and enjoying Vermont with his wife Alison.

Jim and his family recently relocated to Dorset from NYC after many years of coming to the area during the summer months and over breaks from school. He enjoys coaching soccer, basketball and baseball and is devoted to the education of his sons, currently age 13, 11 and 8. He also serves as a counselor to recovering addicts and has taken a hands on interest in furthering the Red Fox community and the promotion of the growth and importance of progressive education.