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 Teachers

They're dedicated, inspired, well trained, and experienced, and they're the heart of our school. Meet the teachers of River Rock School.

Teacher Bios

Allison Caldwell has been an educator since 1976. She received a B.A. from Wheaton College and an M.A. in Education from Goddard College, culminating with a thesis entitled: "Drama: A Powerhouse in the Curriculum." She trained, and then taught elementary and middle school for nine years, at the Prospect School in North Bennington; co-founded, co-directed and taught at the Southshire Community School and after-school program in Shraftsbury, VT. She founded and directed a children's theater program in Cambridge, NY for two years; was Program Director at Turtle Island Children's Center for four years; and taught at River Rock School at Turtle Island for three years. She has extensive experience in educational administration and supervision.

Allison's long history in alternative education combines with a deep commitment and enthusiasm to bring a high level of competence, integrity, and creativity to her work. Allison's gift for working with children in drama is immediately apparent to anyone attending a River Rock show.

Lisa Frost received a Master's of Education from Antioch University in Keene, NH and a BA in Environmental Science from Willamette University in Salem, OR. She is a licensed elementary teacher in VT and NH, with Highly Qualified status. She has been involved in youth education and development as a professional and volunteer over the course of her career.

Lisa worked in Utah as an outdoor educator in therapeutic settings for at risk teens, facilitating students' personal growth through physical and emotional challenges of rock climbing, backpacking, rafting, and more. She spent three summers as Department Head of Farm and Garden at Aloha Hive camp in Vermont, building the program into a flourishing, busy department with animals, large gardens, and honey bees. She developed curriculum and programming to engage the entire camp community.

While student teaching, she worked closely with her mentor teachers to create meaningful connections to content for students. She also offered forest recess and after school programming, in which students swung on grape vines, built forts, climbed trees, and explored the complex ecology of the forest on their own terms.

Lisa aims to foster a deep sense of place in her students, through a connection to the natural world as well as to the community of Montpelier. She is excited for the opportunity to be a part of River Rock School where students are actively directing their learning and are a part of a community in which we work together to communicate clearly and solve problems.

Lottie Maker has worked in the field of education since 2000. She received her B.A. in Elementary Education from Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina where she taught 2nd and 3rd grade at an arts-based charter school. She now holds a Vermont teaching certificate.

Lottie worked with both Allison and Shawnee at Turtle Island Children's Center where River Rock was born. She has stayed closely involved with the school's development over the years and is very pleased to be part of the teaching team.

Lottie has a strong commitment to alternative education. In her work she strives to create a dynamic and engaging learning environment in which students are valued as serious partners in their own education. Lottie often integrates her diverse interests and passions into the classroom. These include a fascination with the natural sciences and Spanish, as well as a love of sewing and fiber arts.

Shawn Perry has been working with elementary school aged children since 1992, at Turtle Island Children's Center and River Rock School. She received her B.A. in Elementary Education from Johnson State College with a specialized focus and certification in reading instruction for grades K-12, with post-graduate course work through Trinity College and St. Michael's College, and intensive seminars at Dartmouth College in the study of Reggio Emilia, focused on emergent curriculum and curriculum design.

Shawnee spent over a decade working during summers with high school students in the Upward Bound Program, and taught integrated high school coursework in biology, English composition and creative writing. Other teaching experience included working with migrant children through the Vermont Rural Education Project and volunteering for the Adult Basic Education organization.

Shawnee's strengths include teaching conflict resolution skills. Her patience, creativity and genuine respect of children provide a uniquely supportive and safe environment through which students can explore the often difficult techniques of compromise and negotiation. She brings a love of the "Old Arts" into the classroom, including storytelling, baking, gardening and weaving. Shawnee believes that learning is a lifelong experience and strives to instill respect and value in all aspects of a child's daily being.