Jacquie Werner-GavrinSchool Director
Upper Elementary Core Teacher
Jacquie spent much of her childhood near Washington D.C. in northern Virginia. Her experience in an innovative ‘leadership’ program in high school inspired the beginnings of her interest in educational reform. She graduated from Franconia College in New Hampshire with an integrated major in literature, psychology and religion, earned her certification in elementary education, and has done graduate work in education at the University of Vermont.
Jacquie spent the first decade of her career teaching at the primary level in local public schools, serving as a statewide literacy consultant, and teaching graduate level classes to teachers in mathematics through the Center for Innovation in Education.
In 1989 Jacquie founded Red Cedar School, seeking to realize her ideal vision of a school and create an alternative that would benefit her own children and other children in the community. She started the school in her home as an experiment, and was soon joined by two close friends and educators. Red Cedar is now in its 29th year.
Jacquie’s interests and areas of study include contemporary literature, U.S. history, child psychology and social justice. She teaches language arts to the primary, upper elementary and middle school groups. Her classes integrate social studies, literature and writing. Her focus in the school includes providing educational and community leadership.
Jacquie is an avid reader, hiker and traveler. She lives in Bristol with her husband, Marc. She loves spending time with her adult children, Ari, Lizzie, Anneka, son-in-law Dan, and grandson, Ellis.
Brendan CollinsMiddle School Core Teacher
Brendan Collins joined Red Cedar School in 2004 after completing his graduate degree in conservation biology at Antioch University New England. A native of Massachusetts, Brendan grew up roaming the fields and woods near his house, and gained a love of birding from his father. He came to Vermont as a student at St. Michael’s College where he also played for the school’s ice hockey team, and never left.
Brendan’s prior experience includes teaching at the North Country School in the Adirondacks of New York and overseeing the gardens there. While at Antioch, Brendan became interested in Vermont’s montane bird population and the ecological impact of high elevation development and climate change. Partnering with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, Brendan focused his research on the rare and globally threatened Bicknell’s Thrush. His work has helped assess the conservation status of Vermont’s avian community while informing policy makers of best practices for high elevation ski and wind turbine projects. Brendan continues to work as a conservation biologist in the summers.
Brendan brings his passion for wildlife biology and the outdoors to his science classes with the upper elementary and middle school groups at Red Cedar. His students regularly participate as “citizen scientist” in ongoing ecological research projects conducted by biologists throughout North America. Brendan’s students participate in bird banding studies, and can often be found examining the wetlands, forests and fields of Addison County. Brendan leads many projects at the school including timber frame building in the outdoor classroom, tending the school gardens, and maintaining the school’s ice rink. He regularly integrates the arts into his science and math classes, leads cooking and a variety of other workshops, and leads both wilderness and academic culture trips.
Brendan lives with his wife, Jan, and two children, Quinn and Maggie, in New Haven.
Bill HeminwayPrimary Group Core Teacher
Social Studies, Math, Music
Bill was born and raised in Connecticut, and came to Vermont via Middlebury College. He graduated cum laude with a double major in history and Spanish. Bill has a Masters of Education from Vermont College. He has been a member of the Red Cedar faculty since 2005.
Before delving into the field of education, Bill supported himself as a musician, playing trumpet in bands including The New Nile Orchestra, So-Called Jazz Kwintet and Ensemble V. Bill also founded Vermont Dogsledding with his wife, Lissy. Bill worked with children in a variety of settings before coming to Red Cedar, serving as a community integration specialist, assisting in classrooms, and working with students with autism.
Bill lives in Shoreham with his wife and three children, Polly, Owen and Eliot. Bill specializes in building economical greenhouses, yurts, log cabins, small houses and barns. He and his family raise ponies, goats, hens, turkeys, beef cows, and, of course, sled dogs, and manage the forest on their land. Bill’s other interests include mountain biking, soccer, sugaring, gardening and reading.
At Red Cedar, Bill integrates all these interests and wears many hats. He leads classes that actively combine intellectual inquiry and hands-on exploration and building. He brings calm and comfort to the youngest students as their core teacher, grounds their open choice and play time, and leads their math class as well explorations in science and social studies. He teaches social studies to the upper elementary and middle school groups. He teaches an introduction to Spanish. Bill is instrumental in the on-going evolution of the outdoor classroom project. He leads wilderness trips, plays mid-day games of soccer and facilitates jazz and improvisational music groups. When not doing any of the above, Bill can usually be found with students in the work studio of his classroom or in the yurt, putting solar panels on a miniature futuristic garden city, tanning a hide, building a windmill sculpture, or creating a pulley system.
Becky TrombleyLanguage Arts, Math
Becky has lived in Michigan, Mississippi, and Texas. For the last 18 years she has felt fortunate to make her home in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Becky received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, where she studied sociology and classical archaeology. Becky earned her M.Ed. at the University of Vermont. She concentrated in Curriculum and Instruction, with a focus on Reading and Language Arts. She also earned her Reading Specialist endorsement.
Becky’s first experience as a teacher was as an adult literacy volunteer. She has been the Learning Center coordinator, a math and literacy tutor, and a Math Lab assistant teacher at Mt. Abraham High School.
At Red Cedar, Becky teaches language arts for the primary and upper elementary groups, teaches an upper elementary level math class, leads word study groups for all levels, teaches health classes, and is a reading intervention specialist. Becky has been a member of the Red Cedar faculty since 2014.
Becky is an avid reader and enjoys cooking and crafting. She lives in South Starksboro with her husband, Henry, and chickens, and loves spending time with her college student daughter, Claire.
John AmoryAssistant Teacher
John joined the Red Cedar staff in 2016. He graduated from the University of Vermont in 2008 with a B.A. in biology and a minor in studio arts. John has traveled extensively and pursued his interests in many places. He has taught skiing in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and scuba diving at the Aquasport Red Sea Diving Center in Eiliat, Israel.
John has served as a mentor to a child with autism and worked as a para-educator in a kindergarten classroom with a student with special needs. John now leads the Expanded Learning after-school program at the Robinson School in Starksboro. He has led workshops for the Expanded Learning program at the Lincoln School as well.
At Red Cedar John leads a middle school math class, assists the primary math class, supports social studies and science classes, gives extra support to individual students, leads sports and games activities, and leads arts workshops. He also is an administrative assistant for the school.
John lives in Lincoln with his wife, Kristen, and baby daughter, Susan.