Friends of the Village School 2017-2018


Each year, FVS volunteers go above and beyond the organization’s Annual Activities to provide additional opportunities and enrichment for the school community. These activities are made possible because of the commitment of individual volunteers, whose unique talents and passion spark specific ideas and drive the efforts forward. Below is an overview of FVS-led activites that took place in 2017-2018. If you would like to play an active role in helping out with events such as these or initiating new ones, please contact


Volunteer Service Award Composite 2017-2018

Head of School Tim Newbold presents Jody and Matt Schade (left) and Katrina Hastings (right) with the Village School Volunteer Service Award for their longtime nad exceptional dedication to the Friends of the Village School.

Signature Events

SCREENAGERS: Thanks to the help of FVS volunteers Erin McKenney and Matthew Perry, as well as the support of Bennington College, the Village School presented a community viewing of the documentary film SCREENAGERS on March 30, 2018. It was followed by a panel discussion with Scott Burg, who teaches psychology at Southern Vermont College and practices clinical psychology with Bennington’s Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy Associates; Hannah Green, Mount Anthony Union Middle School Guidance Counselor; Jude Higdon, Bennington College Director of Information Technology; and Tim Newbold, Head of School at the Village School of North Bennington.


Mentorship Program: FVS members serve as mentors for families who are new to the Village School. They befriend a new family and form a connection, in addition to serving as a point-of-contact. The primary goal of this program is to help new families transition to the Village School and to feel welcomed in the community.

Staff Appreciation Luncheon: The FVS hosts this annual event on the last day of school by preparing a delicious and festive luncheon as a way to honor and celebrate the hardworking and dedicated Village School staff.

Family Nights

Cosmic Adventure: Village School students and families explored the winter night sky with Bennington College Physics and Astronomy Professor Hugh Crowl and Head of the Village School Tim Newbold. They enjoyed an evening of star stories and crafts, capped off with a visit to Bennington College’s observatory.

Duct Tape Crafts & Pizza Night: VAE teaching artist and Village School parent Katrina Hastings created a special evening for students and families to make flower pens, bookmarks, a bow and other crafty gifts ahead of Mother’s Day.

Outing Club

preparing pot luck

FVS preparing a Pot Luck meal after the hike

End-of-School Hike at the Mile-Around Woods: Families were invited to bring their students for a community hike the week before school ended. There were two trail options: one shorter hike, with a scavenger hunt geared toward younger kids, and a longer hike with John Ulrich for older kids. The longer hike was about 2 miles and included a reflective component. Following the hike, Marlene Driscoll organized a wonderful community potluck dinner, with a bonfire, s’mores and music at Lions Park.

Community Work Day

Playground Improvement Project: This year’s Community Work Day was all about shoring up the playground for our kids! Nearly 30 volunteers, and many enthusiastic kids, came out with shovels, rakes and hammers to help with the effort. A project we expected to take all afternoon was finished in half-time thanks to the great team work and effort of many. Thank you to:

Carrie Bond, David Bond, Tammy Carpenter, Bret Chenkin, Marlene Driscoll, Jeb Gorham, Kelly Hudson, David Jareckie, John Lamson, Terry Maher, Rachel Maher, Brian McKenna, Loni Myran, Nick Myran, Amy Newbold, Tim Newbold, Pete Niles, Ethan Olin, Matthew, Perry, Gabi Rynes, Sherry Schwarz, Burcu Seyben, Ozgur Seyben, Darrin Smith, Tiesha Sweet, Emily Thomayer, Jeff Thomayer, and John Ulrich

Home Depot generously donated all of the materials and supplies for the project. We appreciate everything that Home Depot Bennington Store Manager Jameson Dionne did to make this possible.

The Village of North Bennington was incredible in providing the support and equipment needed to make the project happen. Thank you to Zachary Bull, John Lamson, and Norman Leblanc.

Pete and Matthew working on playground 2018

Thanks to the Village for the use of their construction equipment and to Pete Niles and Matthew Perry for putting it to good use!

Matt Morse Excavating and Dave Dudley, of S.M. Gallivan, generously gave their assistance and dedicated resources to assist with this project.


FVS and the Board of Trustees organized a successful Outdoor Adventure Raffle. Congratulations to the winners:

1st Prize – Old Town Canoe: Sara McKenny

2nd Prize – Dion adult snowshoes and Lucky Bums youth snow shoes: Greg Maguire

3rd Prize – Orvis fly fishing books by author Tom Rosenbauer: Melanie & Don McKenna

4th Prize – Lake Paran annual family membership: Marie Mystrom

A special thanks to the raffle organizers: Judie Brower, Erin McKenny, Darrin Smith, and Jill VanOrden. We are grateful for the generosity of our raffle sponsors: Autosaver Group’s Bennington Subaru, Dion Snowshoes, Lake Paran, Orvis, and Old Town Canoe. The raffle raised over $1,300 to be allocated toward the school’s classroom experiences.

canoe raffle

Students encouraged everyone to purchase raffle tickets!

Chili’s “Give Back” Fundraiser: On Thursday, April 26th, Chili’s in Bennington hosted a “Give Back” event for the Village School. 15% of proceeds from meals purchased on this day went toward the Village School’s Playground Improvement Project when customers referenced the Village School.

Zem-Ben Road Race Fundraiser: The Zemianek family and Park McCullough generously provided the Village School with space for a refreshments and raffle table at the Zem-Ben Road Race. Donations from Battenkill Brittle and Thunderbird Real Food Bars were much appreciated. Many thanks to the volunteers who contributed refreshments and helped at the race: Judie Brower, Tammy Carpenter, Bret Chenkin, Pat Gibbons, Katrina Hastings, Kate Lamson, Sue Maguire, Jen and Brian McKenna, Erin McKenny, Maria Scully, Sherry Schwarz, Jill VanOrden, Meg Woolmington, and Laura Wright.