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 celebrating its 32nd 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 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 grandchildren Ellis and Frankie.
Middle 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.
Megg Del Giacco
Primary Core Teacher
Language Arts, Math
Megg graduated from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, NY as a 4 year basketball player with a major in communications and minor in political science. Upon graduation she began working for The Girl Scouts in Washington D.C. Part of her responsibilities were to design programming for girls. Her role afforded her opportunities that included leading fourteen teenagers on an expedition to the Galapagos Islands, editing The Teen Publication, and major event planning. Her passion for social reform, and enjoyment in working with the girls and their families, led her to pursue a career in education. Megg realized it was through teaching that she could make a local, lasting impact on the future, and also love what she was doing. After completing a Master’s degree in Education she worked as a 4th grade classroom teacher until her second son was born.
For the last several years, Megg has been home with her three children enjoying all the challenges, experiences and joys that come with being a full time at home parent. She stayed active as a volunteer for a variety of causes and loved every minute of it!
At Red Cedar, Megg serves as the core teacher for an elementary group. She teaches language arts for the primary and elementary groups, as well as math for the elementary group. In her spare time, Megg enjoys watching her kids do anything, being with family and friends, sewing, pottery, being on the lake, and spinning. She lives in Middlebury with her husband, Eamon, three kids, Rhys, Matty, and Maeve and their dog Dori!
Elementary Group Core Teacher
Language Arts, Social Studies, Math
Stacy was born and raised in the verdant shadows of Mt. Mansfield. Growing up in a family of educators with deep roots in Vermont, greatly influenced both her love of place and of learning. These loves stay with her today and provide a compass as she journeys on her path. She believes strongly in bringing these values to her work with young people and is honored to be able to do so at Red Cedar.
Stacy graduated from Beloit College with a degree in Literary Studies, Photography, and Women’s Studies. After pursuing a variety of work opportunities she went back to school and received her teaching credentials from the University of Vermont. Among her varied experiences in education are; over twenty years as an educator in both Vermont and California, creating numerous outdoor classrooms and gardens, working in place based programs with teens, growing mentoring programs, and participating in an international teacher exchange in Ethiopia. Locally she worked at Monkton Central School for over a decade as a teacher of grades K through 6, and was on the board of the Red Cedar School as well as the Willowell Foundation.
Summers for Stacy include spending time with her extended family, growing and putting up food (especially chimichurri, pesto, and pickles!), exploring the wonders of Vermont’s natural world, packing the perfect picnic and engaging in her endless quest for the ultimate maple creemee. Stacy lives in Bristol with her son Carter, a Red Cedar graduate, her tree loving husband, John, and her large and very sweet dog, Jaxon.
Administrative Coordinator & Primary/Elementary Teacher
Hannah Billian is a graduate student at UVM in the Masters in Leadership for Sustainability program. The focus of her studies is at the confluence of education, social justice, and land stewardship. She joined Red Cedar School as administrative coordinator in 2020.
Hannah’s undergraduate degree is in Sustainable Forestry and Biology from Warren Wilson College. After college, Hannah taught for many outdoor and environmental education programs in and around New England including the Chewonki Outdoor Classroom program and the Chewonki Wilderness Trips program. She was a Science Teaching Fellow at the Maine Coast Semester at Chewonki- a high school semester program for juniors, and she taught Kindergarten and Pre-K at the Juniper Hill School- a place-based, forest school in mid coast Maine. Hannah also worked directing the semester school for the Kroka Expeditions Semester Program in southern New Hampshire. In this position, she both ran the program and served as a lead guide on countless wilderness expeditions, including multi-month self supported backcountry ski expeditions in northern Quebec. Hannah is also an avid cyclist and mountain bikepacking guide and she holds certification as a professional mechanic from the United Bicycle Institute in Oregon. Hannah currently serves on the board at Earthwalk Vermont. Hannah spends most afternoons and evenings out on her gravel or mountain bikes, getting to know the plants and critters she pedals past while watching the seasons turn from behind her handlebars.
Hannah is a potter, basket maker, and woodworker, and enjoys getting covered in mud and wood shavings while crafting with the primary during free choice time. Hannah loves teaching natural history and botany to children of all ages, and in between supporting the school, reading to the primary and taking care of administrative tasks, Hannah most enjoys spending time out in the wind and weather of the outdoor classroom, making fires with the students and bearing witness to the magic of nature immersion.
Mary grew up the oldest of six siblings in the rolling farmland of northcentral Wisconsin. Her father was the editor of a small-town daily newspaper, and he frequently took her along with him on Saturdays while he investigated sources of news, thus instilling a love of research.
Her grandmother, a school principal, inspired her love of learning about other cultures through an old set of Lands and People books which Mary perused for hours as a child.
Upon graduating with a degree in sociology from St. Norbert College, Mary joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Liberia where she married her husband, John, and learned how to teach without books and with only a piece of chalk and a pockmarked blackboard. Upon returning to the U.S., she continued to teach and, with her husband, settled in Lincoln and raised four children.
Mary has been the director of the Lincoln Preschool, a public school teacher, special educator, and assistant principal. She loves to do research and has taken courses nonstop since graduating from college, stacking up several additional degrees along the way.
Mary is committed to volunteering and can be found picking up cans along the roadside, pulling poison parsnips in the spring, and working on a multitude of tasks as a member of the Lincoln school board. She also works remotely with schools in Liberia and has been the chair for the education committee of Friends of Liberia. In that role, she helped launch a family literacy program that serves over 500 children and their families in Liberia. Along with her work at Red Cedar, Mary is currently supervising student teachers for Northern Vermont University.
Mary’s interests include travel, gardening, reading, hiking, and just being outdoors. In her spare time, she loves playing with her adult children, their partners, and her dozen grandchildren.