Meet The Team

Founder & Executive Director

Co-Early Education Director specializing in Infant & Toddlers

Erica grew up in Upstate New York and moved to Vermont in the mid 90’s to pursue an early childhood education degree at Goddard College. After a pause to welcome her first two children (now ages 23 and 19) she got her BA from Sterling College in Circumpolar Studies and Early Childhood Ecological Education. Erica has worked with children and families in education, social work, counseling and coaching for 25+ years. Currently, Erica is working at NOW full time, working as a trauma-informed family coach, and homeschooling her younger 2 children (ages 11 and 14). In her free time, Erica enjoys writing, art, being outside with her children and 2 dogs, and restoring historic wooden windows.

Co-Early Education Director specializing in Preschool

Suzanne has a bachelor's degree in Education from East Stroudsburg University in PA. She is from the Delaware Water Gap region of New Jersey, and spent the majority of her childhood exploring the Appalachian Mountains and the Jersey shore with her family and friends. She's been Visiting Vermont since 1992, and became a "transplant" here in 2015. Suzanne moved here for a teaching opportunity, and that lead her to finding NOW.

Lead School Age Teacher & Social Media Manager

Lauren was born in Queens, New York and has lived in several states growing up including New Jersey and Tennessee. She traveled to Vermont to begin her education at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont where she also began working as a preschool teacher for the first time. She became a certified Pre-K teacher in Massachusetts while continuing to take classes at MassBay Community College. In her free time, Lauren loves to dance, play instruments, sing, do crafts, do yoga, and see live music.

NOW Commitment to staff: 

A livable wage for all employees  

A focus on the mental health and wellbeing of every employee  

A commitment to provide continued high-quality education and training

Chris Buckridge

Teacher

Chris moved to Vermont in June 2020 after completing an English degree in New Haven, CT. Previous to that, Chris had grown up in Ohio and lived in Brooklyn, NY for 15 years, where he worked as a musician and barista.

Patty Kirpan

Lead Teacher

Patty lives in Moretown,Vt.
After getting her Bachelor's Degree from Trinity College in Human Services/Early Education and Master's in Special Ed. from Johnson,
she has been a licensed preschool and Kindergarten teacher in local schools for years. After officially retiring in 2012 and raising 11 kids, she couldn't resist jumping right into the MECA program with Moie ( whom she has known before birth) because she knows Moie is awesome! Patty has never left. When not at NOW, Patty enjoys swimming, kayaking, downhill skiing and traveling.

Cathrin Denis

Trainee

Cathrin is currently a senior at HUSD. With plans to pursue Early childhood education after graduating. Cathrin has lived in Hancock, VT her entire life. She has 3 brothers and 2 sisters. In her free time Cathrin loves Norwich Hockey and Thunder road racing. 

Moie grew up in Vermont, and has a Bachelor's Degree in Education from Union Institute and University. She started the Neck of the Woods (formerly MECA) Program in 2012 and has absolutely loved watching the Program and families grow through the years. In her free time she loves reading, singing, playing soccer and spending time with her sweet family.

Cofounder & School Age Director

Katie grew up in Pennsylvania, and moved to Vermont 2 years ago. She has her Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education from Juniata College and is a licensed early educator in the state of Vermont. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her dogs, reading, and playing field hockey. She also coaches the Harwood High School Field Hockey team. She has worked for NOW for 3 years. Katie has a bachelors degree in early childhood education, a Vermont teaching license and 5 years experience working with children. 

Cofounder & General Manager

Catrina is a Michigan native who moved to Vermont at 12, where she attended Rochester High School. Being apart of NOW has transformed Catrina's life! She has 4 children who are currently or have been students within the HUUSD. Catrina lives in Moretown with her husband Josh. One of Catrina's favorite things is going to concerts in the summers. Catrina has over 10 years of business management experience. 

NOW Board Of Directors

JB Weir

President

Carrie Zeno

Vice President

Magge Stone

Secretary 

JB lives in Waitsfield, Vermont with his wife and two daughters, ages six and nine.  After graduating from Northwestern University in 2001, JB moved to Vermont and has never left.  A life-long competitive tennis player, JB became a USPTA certified tennis instructor and taught at various facilities across Chittenden County. 

in 2003, JB enrolled at Vermont Law School, receiving his juris doctor in 2006.  Subsequent to law school, JB worked in the insurance and medical malpractice field until moving to the Mad River Valley in 2008.  JB currently works for the Town of Fayston as Planning & Zoning Administrator and Assistant Town Administrator.  He also serves on the Waitsfield Development Review Board.

Carrie was first introduced to the Mad River Valley in 2003 while working at the Waitsfield Farmers Market for a local Bakery. She returned to The Valley often over the following years to hike, backpack, and to enjoy the many swimming and sunbathing opportunities along the Mad River. She and her husband, Bret, made Waitsfield their home in 2017 along with their two children, Miles and Aubrey.

A local REALTOR® with New England Landmark Realty, Carrie loves her work! Real estate allows her to connect with people in and around the community who she may not otherwise get to know. She finds it incredibly rewarding to help others unite with the home or property they’ve been dreaming of.

John and his wife Dana first visited the Mad River Valley to ski at Sugarbush in 1973.  After decades of moving around the country they moved to the Valley in 2001 following John's retirement after 33 years as a corporate attorney for IBM.  Since that time he has been active in community and non-profit organizations. 

John was on the Warren Planning Commission and currently serves on the Waitsfield Development Review Board.   He has been  treasurer of a number of non-profits in Vermont.  John currently is a substitute teacher at Harwood, and drives for Meals on Wheels and Freewheelin'. 

Magge grew up in the real flatlands of Illinois. She moved to a ski house in Vermont in 1999, and has lived in the state ever since.  She worked for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports before deciding to attend nursing school at Norwich University. She lives in Moretown with her husband and two daughters. Currently, she works in Nursing Education at the University of Vermont Medical Center where she has worked in various positions since 2008.

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David Green-Leibovitz

Director of Equity, Culture & Belonging

David believes deeply in creating an environment where children and families are nurtured in all areas of their being. A place where there is a realization that in order for all people to truly learn and engage at their deepest levels they need to feel safe, welcomed and unafraid to fail and learn from their mistakes as well as engage in sometimes difficult and uncomfortable conversations.

David also believes that NOW is a place that grows and embraces the ideas of empathy, collaboration, community, giving and joy. A place where there is a continuous flow of ideas and conversations that become integrated into the community.

Some of the things David loves are family, friends, being a librarian, being a firefighter, music, photography, libraries, both Star Trek and Star Wars, SCUBA diving, (Marvel and DC, but Marvel a bit more), laughing, games, trees, furry animal family and potato chips (to name just a few).

Linda has been coming to the Valley from Lexington, MA, since 2001 first to ski with her husband and their 4 kids. Linda taught fourth grade in Concord, MA, for 15 years. Now mostly here full time Linda is committed to giving back to this wonderful Valley. Linda has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance - not sure how that EVER happened - as well as a Master’s degree in Elementary Education. When her children were young, she volunteered at her children’s pre-school, their elementary school and eventually became a PTO leader. When she is not volunteering her time, you can find Linda on the tennis courts in summer, the ski slopes in winter and hiking with her dog and husband in between.

Rob was first introduced to the Mad River Valley in 1978.  Visiting the valley from the Boston area to ski, bike, and hike for over 40 years.  He remains active in both the life sciences industry fostering new companies focused on developing therapies for rare diseases while also working with local groups/non-profits to support sustainable businesses.  Rob lives in Warren with his wife Liz and their dog

Ally Shea grew up in Waterbury and still lives there. She loves being involved in this amazing program that provides such incredible programming for children. She teaches PE and health at the Moretown and Waitsfield elementary schools, and in her free time she enjoys skiing, hiking with my dog, and spending time with friends and family.

NOW Committees 

Finance: John Donaldson, Catrina Brackett & Betsy Jondro.  Responsibilities include creating budgets, IRS compliance and taxes and reporting finances to the Board.

 

Buildings/Grounds/Construction: Carrie Zeno. Catrina Brackett, Matt Blood. Responsibilities include ongoing renovations, upkeep of grounds including handling mowing/plowing bids, and any rental agreements. Long term planning and going out for construction bids.

Community Connections and Development: Linda Levin, Rebecca Baruzzi and Roy Rose.  Responsibilities include, community outreach, fundraising, grants and development of future events. 

Licensing / Compliance: Moie Moulton, Erica Gongloff, Katie Alexander, Suzanne Milnick and David Green-Leibovitz.

NOW Board Meeting Minutes

Community Partners

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Neck Of the Woods

1673 Main Street

Waitsfield, VT 05660

PHONE NUMBER (802)496-6689

info@neckofthewoodsvt.com

501c3# 85-0536359

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