Where are They Now? Alumni Snapshots…
Over the years we’ve heard from many of the students who received their elementary education in North Bennington, many of whom are eager to share stories and to update us on their whereabouts after graduating from high school. We’ll be adding to the stories below, and if you know of North Bennington alumi who would like to share their stories, please have them contact Sue Maguire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spotlight on Kim Hausmann Fish
Kim Hausmann Fish grew up in North Bennington and after graduating from Mount Anthony Union High School in 2001, received a degree in economics from the University of Rochester. She lives in San Francisco and works for Google as a project manager for recruiting.
Kim tells us: I feel fortunate to have learned in a tight knit community of North Bennington. I loved being in a school where administrators, teachers and parents knew my name – a place where I cold benefit from small class sizes and a diversity of arts and extracurricular opportunities. Two of many favorite memories are being greeted at the front door each morning, and learning how to play violin through the North Bennington Strings program.
Spotlight on Kindley Fagan
Kindley Fagan grew up in North Bennington, attending the North Bennington Graded School, and graduated from Arlington Memorial High School in 2007. She went on to the University of Vermont and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2012. She has a Masters in Organizational Leadership from Quinnipiac University, and is currently working towards her masters in social work from Columbia University’s School of Social Work. She also works full time at Community Mental Health Affiliates and serves as an Assistant Program Coordinator overseeing the operations of a 24/7/365 residential program for young adults between the ages of 18-25 with persistent and pervasive mental health disorders. Kindley currently lives in East Lyme, Connecticut.
Of her time at North Bennington she says: I am forever grateful for the diversification the North Bennington teachers foster in their teachings. Being an individual with a hearing loss, and dependent on a hearing aid; the administration and teachers supported me during my time at the Village School. Each and every one of them motivated me and pushed me in ways I never thought I could, despite having a disability. I have never felt more lucky for the small classrooms, and my teachers understanding and empathy in an educational environment. Partaking in special educational services, my teachers were always inclusive and ensured my peers understood my disability. My parents were spot on in sending me to an elementary school where my needs were always met. It completely defined my entire experience and I couldn’t be more appreciative of the services, the education, academics and enlightenment that came with being affiliated with the Village School of North Bennington.
Spotlight on Tom Fels
Longtime resident of North Bennington and an alumnus of the North Bennington school, Tom says: I spent three years at North Bennington: 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. For a kid from suburban New Jersey, North Bennington, the college, and the school were all a welcome change from urban to rural life. I went on to The Putney School, Amherst College, and later a Master’s degree in art history, becoming a curator and writer working for the Getty, the Metropolitan, and many other museums, in the process producing a number of articles and books. Most recently I’ve been writing on contemporary history and in my spare time making prints.
Today the Village School still maintains the high standards it has always espoused, and has added new programs encouraging creativity, initiative, and accomplishment. As a member of the North Bennington community, I’m happy to support these efforts which help to make the school a magnet for students and parents throughout the area.
Spotlight on Jordan Ware
Jordan Ware attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and is currently the chef at prestigious Hen of the Wood restaurant in Burlington, Vermont.
Jason remembers the Village of North Bennington fondly: The phrase ‘it takes a village to raise a child’’ now rings true for me as I think about growing up and attending school in North Bennington. There was a unique group of dedicated staff that had a hand in my growth and I hope that school is always preserved. I still think about many of the teachers that were so awesome and supportive. North Bennington is a special place.
Spotlight on Zack Kraenzle
After graduating from Mount Anthony Union High School in 2008, Zack Kraenzle earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Zack has worked for Cummins, Inc as a Diesel Performance Engineer doing calibrations for heavy duty diesel engines, and currently is an after-treatment Development Engineer for John Deere. Zack lives in Waterloo, Iowa.
Of his time in North Bennington, Zack tells us: I think one of the biggest advantages of attending a small elementary school is everyone knows you, and you receive more one on one support. That more personalized feeling helps you feel more recognized and safe, so there are no worries about talking freely and asking questions. One of the other key features of my experience in North Bennington is the opportunity to actually go and see and experience the things you read about in the classroom. Mr. Ulrich’s camping trips where we hiked and were responsible to set up camp as a second grader, as well as Ms. Gibbon’s trip to Buffalo (including Niagara Falls!), and our trip to the Mystic Aquarium and Seaport stand out as fond memories of learning.
Spotlight on Robert Silver
Following his 2002 graduation from Mount Anthony Union High School, Robert Silver received his Bachelor of Arts in Government and Economics, Magna Cum Laude, at St. Lawrence University and his Juris Doctor, With Distinction, at the University of Iowa College of Law. He currently is an Assistant Counsel in the Office of the Legislative Counsel of the United States Senate in Washington, D.C., where he provides legislative drafting services to committees and Members of the Senate.
About attending elementary school in North Bennington, Rob says, A small elementary school allowed me to thrive both intellectually and socially, providing me with opportunities for tailored instruction that suited my learning style and the ability to forge long-lasting friendships. I have many fond memories of learning outside of the classroom, especially the frequent nature walks in the Mile-Around Woods and the overnight trips to Merck Forest and Plimoth Plantation.
Spotlight on Allison Elwell
Allison Elwell, a 2008 Mount Anthony Union High School graduate, attended St. Lawrence University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology. After developing her clinical skills and knowledge in a two-year post-baccalaureate program in speech-language pathology and audiology, she earned a Master of Science degree in Communication Disorders from Mercy College, as well as a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Children with Special Healthcare Needs from New York Medical College. Currently, Allison is a pediatric speech-language pathologist in suburban New York City where she evaluates, diagnoses, and treats children ages 3-7 in the areas of speech sound production, language, fluency, voice, resonance, hearing, swallowing, feeding, and cognition.
About attending elementary school in North Bennington, Allison says: It provided me with many opportunities that I do not believe I would have been afforded at a larger school. Special academic and extracurricular programs allowed me to pursue my personal interests with support from faculty and staff. The small nature of the classes allowed for personalized attention, as well as the opportunity to form close relationships with peers and faculty. More broadly, the Village School was, and remains, the heart of the community where coordination with community programs and area experts is tailored to student learning needs and interests.
Spotlight on Jenny Lenkowski
After graduating from Mount Anthony Union High School in 1997, Jenny Lenkowski earned a BS in biology at Brown University and a PhD in biology at Tufts University. Jenny is a biology professor at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, where she teaches a variety of biology classes, and works with students in a lab researching zebrafish.
About her education in North Bennington, Jenny says: I think going to a small elementary school was great because the teachers had more time to personalize activities for students, and the teachers and staff got to know all the students, even if they didn’t work with them directly. I fondly remember our trip to Cape Cod in fourth grade with Ms Gibbons. It seemed so cool to travel with my teacher and class, sleep in a church, and visit all of the historical places as well as the ocean. I also remember listening to Mr. Vierick’s recording of Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. We were in his office, and I remember being in awe of that voice on the tape recorder.
Children are at the heart of all we do. We nurture a child's curiosity, ignite enthusiasm for exploring, develop tools for inquiry, for invention, for achievement. We welcome families into a community-wide collaboration to help our children grow into their best selves - responsible citizens and stewards of the greater world, makers of the future.