National Searches Bring "All-Star" Additions To Lyndon Institute Faculty

COURTESY PHOTO

New additions to the faculty at Lyndon Institute include, from left, Brendan Mold, Jason Westbrook, Jess Angell, Susanne Norwood, Sam Critchlow, Karen Kennedy, Dan Camber and Joseph Wright.

Lyndon Institute's policy of conducting national searches for all faculty positions has brought a diverse group of new teachers to campus this year, including two Lyndon Institute alumnae, one St. Johnsbury Academy alumnus, a University of Vermont valedictorian, and graduates of Amherst, Johnson State, New Mexico, Syracuse, West Virginia and UVM. They have taught in China, Colorado, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, New Mexico and Vermont.

LI Headmaster Rick Hilton explained the need for geographical diversity. "We are preparing our students for a necessarily global future. We also need to bring the best theory and practice to our classrooms. We therefore conduct national searches for every open faculty position. Frequently the best candidates have local roots. After all, Caledonia County is home to two of New England's best independent schools. Sometimes, though, professionals with special talents are attracted to this close-knit, supportive community from far away. Since we already have such a strong faculty, we choose additions with great care. That's why our teachers are in our view an 'all star' team of professionals proven in both public and private education."

Additions to the Lyndon Institute faculty this year include:

Alumna Jess Angell returns to the Lyndon Institute science department. After earning her bachelor's in wildlife biology and zoology at the University of Vermont, she worked as a field biologist for the federal government before receiving a master's in education at Johnson State College. She has taught at Lyndon Institute, Lyndon Town School, and Lyndon State College's Northeast Kingdom School Development Center, serving here as science department chair, as well as a leader in our new-faculty mentoring program.

Sam Critchlow joins our mathematics faculty after seven years of teaching at White Mountain School (NH), High Mountain Institute (CO), and Outdoor Academy (NC). An experienced wilderness trip leader, he has served as head guide at Alaska Crossings/F.L.O.A.T. School and as assistant director at Maine's Darrow Camp. Sam earned his bachelor's in Law at Amherst, where he won the Walker Prize in mathematics. He expects to receive his M.S.T. from UNH in 2014. He is a College Board AP Certified teacher in Calculus AB and Calculus BC.

Karen Kennedy joins our faculty as a special educator. An experienced special educator and English teacher, Karen earned her master's in Education from the University of Vermont. Since 1995, she has taught and managed cases at the Burke Town School, the Danville School, and the St. Johnsbury Schools' Living Arts Center.

Brendan Mold has been a member of the faculty in the Lyndon Institute dual-diploma program at Shaoxing Number One High School Branch in China. He now joins us in Vermont to teach Mandarin Chinese and "ESOL" English. Educated at St. Johnsbury Academy, University of Vermont, and Yunnan Normal University (China), he has taught at the Academy and at Chenggong College of Henan University in China.

Susanne Norwood will take responsibility for instrumental music, as well as choral music this year. Susanne earned her bachelor's in music education at Syracuse University. She has taught in Hawaii at Ho'okena School and in Vermont at Burke Town School, Danville School, Lyndon Town School, Newark School and Sutton School, in addition to Lyndon Institute. She is co-director of The Vermont Children's Theater.

Jason Westbrook will teach Latin and Greek at Lyndon Institute this year. Jason earned his B.A. in English literature (with a linguistics minor) cum laude at West Virginia University and his M.A. in comparative literature and cultural studies with a concentration in Classics at the University of New Mexico. He has taught at the University of New Mexico, at schools in Albuquerque, and as a tutor in Chicago. He is the winner of the 2009-2010 C.A.M.W.S. Award for Outstanding Accomplishment in Classical Studies.

Joseph Wright joins our Science Department to teach chemistry. The 2009 Valedictorian of the University of Vermont College of Arts and Sciences, he is the winner of numerous awards, honors and scholarships. He earned both his bachelor of science degree summa cum laude in chemistry (with minors in physics and pure mathematics) and his master of arts in teaching from the University of Vermont. His professional experience includes laboratory instruction at the University of Vermont, tutoring, and an internship at Burlington High School. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and several other academic organizations. He is an accomplished vocalist, as well as a scientist.

Hilton explained the power of people in a school like LI: "You won't hear us talking raw numbers very often," he said. "The strength of Vermont schools is not a matter of 'how much' the school has but of 'how well' its adults teach, coach, advise, and model behavior for its adolescents to emulate."

No school in Vermont can compare with the 'Select Sixteen' prep schools like St. Paul's, Andover and Exeter," said Hilton. "Their endowments are as high as a half-billion dollars or more, and even the 'richer' Vermont schools are poor by comparison. Where we can excel is in the human scale of our schools, the kind campus climate, and the sincere interest in each students' needs, abilities, and goals. Especially in adolescence, the mentoring -- even the inspiration -- possible in a school this size is a powerful factor in producing happy, successful adults."

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