Faculty and Staff

School Leadership

Faculty & Staff

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Karen O'Neill Thomson

Head of School

A breadth of skills and experiences, both in education and business, combined with being a life-long learner, provides Karen with a strong foundation from which she draws on a daily basis to lead, evaluate, collaborate, and demonstrate empathy. Karen has spent over 15 years in education. Most recently she has been Head of School at a progressive holistic school in Williston, Vermont. In addition, she taught third and fourth grade in independent schools in the Boston area and here in Manchester. She developed outdoor classroom initiatives, worked collaboratively to design new programs that address diversity and inclusion, enhanced social emotional curriculum, and led community service trips abroad. 

 

Karen believes in the importance of building a community of care and encouraging the growth and development of the “whole child.” She enjoys the puzzle of determining how to help each individual trust and connect to their potential, and to help be part of building a pathway that helps them become their best self. She is committed to experiential student-centered and play-based learning. She recognizes the importance of cultivating an intentional culture that embraces social-emotional learning as well as the importance of academic inquiry and discovery. Her twenty plus years in the business world prior to becoming a teacher inspired her to help young people develop their inner resources for living in an increasingly complex and challenging world - preparing them to be world citizens.

 

Growing up in Idaho, Karen learned the importance of community involvement from her parents, and developed a deep appreciation for the outdoors while hiking, backpacking, fishing and skiing. She was a competitive alpine ski racer and headed east to Dartmouth College where she was a member of the ski team and discovered that for her, geography was the perfect liberal arts major. After graduating Karen worked as an entrepreneur and marketing executive. Her career took her west where she met her husband, Peter. They moved to Vermont and she worked with him developing a variety of food products including Trader Joe’s original Bold and Smoky BBQ sauce.

 

She has served on the Board of the Weston (Vermont) Historical Society, been a council member of the Vermont Women’s Fund (part of the Vermont Community Foundation), and completed the Snelling Center’s Vermont Leadership Program. 

 

Outside of work and community involvement, Karen takes great pleasure in Peter’s three daughters and her four grandchildren. She also enjoys traveling, reading and gardening, (especially the vegetable garden.) She loves food and cooking, and cherishes spending time with her grandchildren creating memories as they make and enjoy meals together.

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Dave Rodich

Eagles 4-5 Head Teacher

Dave is a teacher with 15 years of experience in the field of Education. Originally from the Midwest, Dave made his way to Vermont by way of New York City where he's worked as a tutor, teacher and freelance writer. Along with teaching at Red Fox, he's also a consulting teacher for Responsive Classroom, providing workshops for educators around the country. When not working, Dave enjoys creative writing, grilling or doing something in nature with his wife and son. They especially love hiking, canoeing and fishing.

 

 

His approach to education rests on three core beliefs. The first is that he must facilitate holistic care and growth for each child. Dave works 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 and using Responsive Classroom protocols for social-emotional learning. His second core belief is that academic lessons must be engaging, varied, interactive and meaningful, serving as a facilitator for students’ growth, not a dispenser of knowledge. His 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.

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Sarah Post

Hawks 2-3 Head Teacher

After teaching the Owls class for the past two years, Sarah will be moving up to teach second and third graders in the newly created Hawks class. She is excited to work with returning students and families this year as well as get to know families. Sarah brings to Red Fox twelve years of teaching experience in both independent and public schools where she taught preschool and grades one and two. Sarah believes that the early childhood years are a special time which requires listening to and supporting children on their journey. Sarah’s goal is to help children find their voices and grow into independent learners. Sarah is proud of her efforts, along with her colleagues, to create a play-based learning environment balanced with focused academics where children can stretch out, slow down, and enjoy childhood. 

Sarah lives in West Pawlet with her husband, Lamont, their two daughters, and their three cats. They’ve lived in Vermont for 17 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.

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Heather Münch

Owls K-1 Head Teacher & Music Teacher

Heather has been teaching violin and music for over ten years, but this year begins her journey in the Owls classroom as their lead teacher. Her passion for music correlates with her approach to teaching our youngest community members: connection, understanding and patience. Heather believes that these early years of learning should be a time for exploration and discovery. Heather’s goal is to get to know each of the Owls individually, culturally and developmentally, and to create a safe learning environment that allows students to comfortably take chances, express themselves and find their individuality. 

 

Heather is also the Red Fox music teacher. She 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 was born and raised in Vermont and after many adventures returned in 2020. She received her Bachelors of Music from the University of Vermont and Castleton University and a Masters of Music from SUNY Purchase. Being back home in Vermont, Heather has noticed there is something truly special about these mountains; they are a place that brings people together time and time again and provide our children an opportunity to learn how to appreciate nature and become independent thinkers and creators.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Courtney Callo

Board Member

Courtney Callo is currently the owner of Willoughby’s Depot Eatery in Manchester, Vermont, which she purchased in November 2021.  Prior to purchasing Willoughby’s, Courtney spent 33 years at Long Trail School in Dorset, Vermont.  She had both academic and administrative experience.  She taught German, spent the majority of her career in admissions and marketing, started the student life, international and LTSummer programs, coached and spent her final years at the school as the Director of Development.  Courtney is a native of Manchester and has a deep love of community and Vermont.  She lives with her husband Rodger and has three grown daughters.  When not making donuts and running Willoughby’s, you can find Courtney skiing, hiking, mountain biking and playing with her dogs in her beloved Green Mountains. 

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MaryBeth O'Donnell

Board Member

MaryBeth has been an active member of the educational world for the past 30 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. In July of 2020 she became 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. She is excited to continue supporting Red Fox as a Board member.

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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.

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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.

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Ryan W. Miosek

Board Member

Ryan Miosek, is a native of Cooperstown, New York and a practicing attorney in New York and Vermont. After graduating from Fairfield University in 2001 with a Bachelor's Degree in Arts he continued on to receive his Juris Doctorate from New England School of Law in Boston in 2008. Upon graduation, he was an attorney with Morrison Mahoney, LLP handling Products Liability Defense and Product Development for major sporting goods and heavy equipment manufacturers.

In 2009, Ryan returned to Cooperstown with his wife and two children where he opened and still runs a busy general practice office focusing heavily on Real Estate, Civil Litigation, Family and Matrimonial Law and Corporate Formation and Development, while also continuing his Products Liability and Product Development practice as General Counsel for The Hockey Equipment Certification Council Inc. Ryan's clients include corporations, banks, individuals and families.


In the Fall of 2021 Ryan established an additional law practice in Manchester, Vermont that concentrates primarily on Real Estate and general business consulting matters as well as estate practice.  

Ryan lives in Manchester with his wife Caitlin and two children, Madi and Luke. He is an avid mountain biker, skier, runner and enjoys playing golf and coaching his children in their various athletics.