About Us

Our Board

Village School Board 2013

Recent Village School Board Meeting at the School

Left to right: Nan Wolverton, Rise Richardson, Terry Briggs, Don Stone, Cathy Szal, Wendy Davenport and Walt Thornton. Absent: Cindy Savoy and Darlene Morrilly.

Terrence Briggs

Current parent of two Village School students. Partner in law firm, Bowditch and Dewey, specializing in executive compensation, ERISA and employee benefits.

Elizabeth W. Davenport

Wendy Davenport fell in love with the Village School when she visited as a prospective parent 15 years ago. Since then her two children have graduated from the Village School and consider it to be an integral part of their education. She has served on the Board for over 10 years and has worked as the Curriculum Director at the school for 9 years. She teaches English at the Chicken Coop School in Orange. She also teaches student teachers at the Shady Hill School in Cambridge and occasionally works with student teachers from Antioch New England University. She has a Masters in Education with an emphasis in English. She taught 5th and 6th grade for 15 years at the Shady Hill School in Cambridge and two years of 6th grade at Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC. Her husband, Ben Holmes, is the founder of the Farm School.

Darlene Morrilly

Retired Executive Director Mt. Wachusett Community College Foundation, Member Development and Planning Committee of Gardner

Rise Richardson

Rise Richardson has been Director of the school for over 13 years. She grew up in Chicago, graduating with a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Illinois. After living in Israel for a year, and then a year in England, she settled in Massachusetts. In the 1980’s, Rise was part of a group of local parents that began looking at education, and serving the needs of both their own children, and the children in this area. They formed the Village School in 1989, and it has been a labor of love since. Rise and her husband John have a small farm, with maple sugaring, sheep, hay fields, pastures, woods and gardens. When not at the school, you can find her in the summer blissfully weeding in the garden, and in the winter, cross country skiing through the woods. Rise has three grown children, the youngest of whom was lucky enough to be the first Village School graduate.

Cynthia Savoy

Cindy Savoy discovered the Village School when looking for a preschool program for her daughter Kelsey. After two wonderful years of preschool, Kelsey resolutely decided that she didn't want to leave "her school." She happily stayed at the school, graduated 6th grade, spent two fruitful years at the Chicken Coop School and is presently a student at Northfield Mt Hermon. Cindy Savoy has been a Village School Board member for two years. Cindy grew up in Athol. She and her husband Steve moved to Royalston in 1980. She is a member of the Athol High School Scholarship committee. Cindy has a Bachelors degree in social work, and worked in the health care field for many years. Fifteen years ago Cindy and Steve bought Athol Automotive Supply Inc., and she has worked there ever since.

Donald Stone Ph.D.

Retired Professor of Business (emeritus) School of Management, University of Massachusetts. Financial analyst and planner. Board member, Quabbin Mediation of Orange, Temenos Retreat Center 10 years, ret.

Catherine Szal

Cathy Szal has taught science and coordinated the science/nature program at the Village School for 11 years. The program combines comprehensive science topics that dovetail with classroom themes, independent science projects (4th-6th grades) and nature study (such as Biodiversity Day). Cathy is also an aquatic biologist working primarily on biomonitoring studies of Vermont upland stream sites. Cathy graduated from the University of Vermont with a BS in Biology. She has managed a water quality laboratory and worked with an alternative energy firm. She is the mom of two thriving Village School alumni. She considers it an honor to sit on the board of the school that has been such an important part of her children's rich childhood.

Walter Thornton

Walter Thornton has been a member of the Village School Board of Directors for the past two years. He is a structural engineer with 40 years experience specializing in the facade repair and restoration of historic buildings. He has been a resident of Royalston since 1981 when he and his wife moved there to build their home. He is the vice president of the Millers River Educational Cooperative, which founded the Village School in 1989, and was also a member of the Village School Board of Directors in the early 1990’s. Walt has been overseeing the renovations of the existing buildings at Camp Caravan, and he is presently overseeing the construction of the new Village School building at Camp Caravan.

Nan Wolverton Ph.D.

Nan Wolverton has three children at the Village School and has never had a day when they didn’t want to go to school. She lives with her family in Hardwick, Massachusetts. New to the Board in 2012, she looks forward to helping to support and sustain its unique learning environment. Nan grew up on an organic farm in Iowa. She is an avid gardener, enjoys growing food for her family, and loves to travel and read. She holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. She is currently the Director of the Center for Historic American Visual Culture (CHAViC) at the American Antiquarian Society (Worcester, MA), a national research library of American history. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in American Studies and Art History at Smith College in Northampton, MA.