River Rock School Logo

@ The Center for Arts and Learning

46 Barre Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
Phone: 802-223-4700

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River Rock Board and Advisors

River Rock is governed by an active group of volunteers serving as its Board. It includes parents, teachers, and friends of River Rock, many of whom also chair or serve on volunteer committees, and meets monthly throughout the school year, drawing on the guidance of River Rock's Advisory Board.

Board Member Bios

Allison Caldwell Allison Caldwell is a teacher and co-director at the River Rock School.

Samara Mays graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in Environmental Studies and from the University of Arkansas with a M.A. in Rural Sociology. She is currently the Director and Head Teacher at the Montpelier Children's House, an early childhood education program for pre-school aged children. She is the mother of two sons, one a current River Rock student and one a recent graduate.

Jennifer McMahon is a New York Times best selling novelist and the proud parent of a River Rock student. She attended Goddard College and believes strongly in progressive education. She facilitates a weekly writing workshop for North Group, and is constantly amazed at the creativity and insight of these kids.

Jen Pia-Needleman has had three children attend River Rock from K-8 including her oldest daughter who is currently in FL for college, her son who is attending Montpelier High School, and her youngest daughter who will finish up at River Rock School this year. Jen is a Goddard graduate twice over holding an MA in Ed. Her education in and commitment to alternative education led her to RRS. Jen owns her own business and works as a busy homebirth midwife. She enjoys camping, snowboarding, the ocean, babies, summer, live music, and coffee.

Shawn Perry is a graduate of Johnson State College with a BA in Elementary Education. She is a teacher and co-director at River Rock School.

Julie Robichaux, Secretary, is a writer with a focus on digital communication. She holds a B.A. in English from Miami University. Her older son is a student at River Rock.

Leslie Roth graduated with a BA in Anthropology from McGill University and later earned a graduate certificate in Conflict Studies from Woodbury College. She currently works as a knitwear designer. Her two sons are River Rock students.​

Ruth Ann Sullivan, Treasurer, is the proud parent of two River Rock graduates. She is a Nichols College Cum Laude graduate with a BS in Business Administration and a 2010 class graduate of the Vermont Leadership Institute at the Snelling Center for Government. Ruthann is employed by the Vermont Mutual Insurance Group as the Director of Information Technology Infrastructure in Montpelier, VT. Ruthann serves as board chair for the Center for Arts and Learning acting as one of two liaisons from the River Rock Board.

Mandi Titus is the proud parent of a River Rock student (and future student). Mandi has a Master's in Organizational Leadership from Fort Hays State University focusing on organizational culture and change management and works for the State of Vermont. Previous work has centered around management of non-profit health care and human services organizations. Hobbies include trying to find time for hobbies.

Nicole Westbom is the mother of two River Rock Students and is a librarian. She graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Vermont in 2007, followed by a M.S. in Information Science from Drexel University in 2014. She works at Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier in the children's library.

Elly Wood, Chair, mother of an enthusiastic River Rocker, is a graduate of Goddard College, where she was given the resources to explore her own philosophy of education, one in which humans are instinctively life-long learners who learn by necessity and driven by interest in themselves and the world around them. In addition to working full time on the management team at Hunger Mountain Coop (proudly, for 17 years), she also enjoys paddling, biking, having a positive outlook, laughing a lot, and coloring.

Advisory Board Members

Katherine Fanelli, Montpelier, VT
Jeanne Haskell, Marshfield, VT.