The members of the teaching faculty at The Renaissance School have earned a certification in early or elementary education and/or have comparable educational training and experience. Throughout the year, teachers and directors participate in professional development programs, both on and off-site, aimed at expanding and improving their teaching skills and enhancing the mission of our schools. We are dedicated to providing a program based on quality and consistency in all of the schools. All of our faculty and staff are asked to embrace a heartful and peaceful approach with children and to uphold the philosophies of the school.
Danielle has had many roles at the Heartworks and Renaissance Schools over the past since joining us in 1999. Danielle graduated from Johnson State College with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Education. After graduating, she worked at the Institute of Natural Science developing their summer curriculum. Later she was hired at Shelburne Farms where she worked in the farmyard as a farm educator. Her passion for the environment and children led her to the Heartworks and Renaissance Schools. Danielle began as an Assistant Teacher in a two year old classroom at Heartworks. She later taught Pre-kindergarten and spent 13 years teaching Kindergarten before becoming Assistant Director. As the Director, Danielle is excited to continue the traditions that make Renaissance a special place for children to learn and grow. When Danielle is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. She also enjoys spending time in the outdoors, hiking, camping, biking, swimming as well as spending time playing in her many flower gardens, baking and crafting.
French Teacher, Librarian, and Classroom Support
Being born in Northern Africa, growing up in France, and with grandparents from Spain and Italy, Caroline has always been surrounded by many languages and cultures. She earned an Associate in Applied Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie NY, and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems from Pace University in Pleasantville, NY. Throughout her studies in math, science and computer programming, Caroline pursued her strong interest in foreign languages and participated in the accelerated Spanish and English programs in high school, and took Japanese in college. Caroline was very active in her children’s education. She hosted a weekly bilingual playgroup during their preschool years, then, from Kindergarten to Fifth grade, she taught them to read and write in French following the curriculum developed by the National Department of Education of France for French families abroad. Caroline also volunteered in her children’s Kindergarten classrooms for several years, well after they had moved on! Outside of school, Caroline volunteers at the Huntington Public Library, and occasionally works with a teenager with autism. She enjoys reading, swimming in the lake and sewing, often participating in creating costumes for Renaissance performances as well as for The Very Merry Theater and Burlington High School. Caroline has three children. Alexander recently moved back to Vermont to attend college and is working with the Heartworks, Renaissance and Endeavour Schools. Mattison is attending Reed College in Oregon. Leena recently graduated from High School and is planning for a year in Europe. Caroline has been with us since 2003.
Melissa joined the Renaissance School in 2014. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from The University of New England and has held teaching licensure in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Florida. She has held positions working with students in Kindergarten through Sixth Grade. This experience gives her a breadth of knowledge about child development across grade levels. Prior to teaching at Renaissance, Melissa worked at a rural private school in Florida teaching First Grade. In addition to teaching, she had an active role mapping the curriculum and helping the school to achieve accreditation status from two regional accrediting bodies. She enjoys being outdoors and connects her student’s learning to their environment whenever possible. In addition to her passion for teaching, Melissa has a strong desire to help animals in need. She has rescued several pets of her own and continues to be an advocate for homeless pets. In her free time, Melissa enjoys reading novels, baking, and taking her two dogs for a walk.
Shannon joined Renaissance in 2015 after moving to Vermont from her native Alexandria, Virginia. Shannon holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from UNC Wilmington and holds a Vermont Teaching License. In addition to North Carolina, Shannon has taught in Ecuador, Belize, and Virginia. Shannon’s elementary classroom experience ranges from First through Fourth Grade. Additionally, she has taught English as a Second Language to students from Kindergarten through adulthood. Shannon brings her passion for mindful, nature-based education to the Renaissance School. Shannon’s love of nature drew her to Vermont, where in her free time she enjoys hiking, camping, knitting, and reading.
Marcela was born and raised in Colombia and has taught and volunteered in various learning environments in our community that involve Spanish tutoring, Hands on Nature, Destination Imagination, Emergent Readers and Zumba Kids®. She did her undergraduate and post-graduate studies in Industrial Engineering at Purdue University. Prior to starting a family, Marcela worked at IBM for seven years as a Supply Chain Capacity Planner. She enjoys staying active and spending time with her family. She loves photography, graphic design and learning new crafts in her free time.
Music and Drama Teacher
Randal Pierce’s first experience with professional teaching was the development of a jazz performance program for the Gailer School at the site of what is now the Endeavor Middle School. Since then, Randal has studied at Oberlin and at McGill University where he holds a degree in piano performance. On accordion and piano, Randal has performed with symphony orchestras, major international theater companies, chamber groups, avant-garde jazz ensembles, and festival headlining Eastern-European folk groups while premiering new music around Canada and the US. As a music educator and director, he has worked for the Flynn, Vermont Stage Company, St. Michael’s Playhouse, Lost Nation Theater, BCA and the University of Vermont. Randal has taught privately and in several school settings and is thrilled to be a part of the Renaissance and Endeavor community.
Nicole began working at Heartworks in January of 2014. In the fall of 2015, she began teaching art at Endeavour, while still working at Heartworks in the morning. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Lesley University. She is an accomplished artist and has much experience integrating her talents into her work with children. Her favorite forms of art are drawing and wood carving. Nicole is also an outdoor enthusiast, seeking adventure in rock climbing, biking and hiking.