Katy Gautsch | Incoming Head of School
Katy joins the MVCS team with more than 13 years experience helping families navigate the complex systems of special education and the Department of Health and Human Services. As a coordinator for a diagnostic child development clinic in Central and Southern NH, she managed teams of providers, conducted home visits and observations, spent countless hours in classrooms all over the state working with students and school teams to ensure appropriate educational goals were being set and met.
Katy is a founding parent of MVCS and has worked diligently since 2012 to ensure the continued success of the school. Since opening, Katy has been closely involved in all aspects of the school’s operations, has authored many key policies, and consulted regularly with those serving in the Head of School position. She believes in the mission of MVCS wholeheartedly. Katy lives in Rumney with her husband, Josh, son Emmit (who is a MVCS student) and daughter Olive.
Alfie Eden Kerr| Interim Head of School
Alfie joins Mountain Village Charter School with 20 years of education experience. She holds a B.S. in Early Child Development and Young Child Education and graduated from the University of New Hampshire. Over the years, Alfie has helped develop education programs for Georgetown University, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Agency, National Science Foundation, and Head Start. Alfie believes in a shared vision of a world in which ” ALL children play, learn, and grow with nature in their everyday.” Alfie currently lives in Plymouth NH with her wife, their yellow lab, and cat. She enjoys rock climbing and skijoring with her dog.
Holly Furlone | Education Director
A NH seacoast native/White Mountain transplant, Holly Furlone joins us with over 15 years’ experience in the field of education. In May of 2002 she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education w/ a focus on Special Education and then, following an unexpected and transformative experience at a little Montessori school in Rumney, immediately began her journey toward becoming a certified Montessorian. Upon graduating from Plymouth State College, Holly enrolled in the Seacoast Center for Education Montessori training program where she went on to receive both her Upper and Lower Elementary (6-12 year old) AMS teaching credentials. Not long after, she earned a dual M. Ed. in Educational Leadership and Montessori Theory & Philosophy from PSU (2006). She began by developing and directing the Lakes Region’s first Montessori Upper Elementary program –and later went on to found and direct Plymouth’s first non-profit/ year-round Montessori Center for children from birth to age six. She has served as a co-director of the Upper Elementary level at The Cornerstone School in Stratham, NH and as a one-on-one paraprofessional at Plymouth Elementary. Holly’s approach to education–whether teaching with children or adults–is one of partnership and respect.
Growing up on the seacoast, Holly was introduced to surfing at a young age. While her favorite wave will always be right here on the East Coast, over the course of her life she’s been fortunate enough to have ridden waves in Ireland, Costa Rica, California and Mexico, and even worked as a surf instructor for the Atlantic Surf Company! She now shares this passion, along with her love of music and walking in the woods, with her daughter, Lily.
Amber Comtois | Upper Elementary Lead Teacher
Amber majored in Childhood Studies earning a K-8 teaching certification from Plymouth State University in 2005 and conducted her student teaching at Bethlehem Elementary School in Bethlehem, NH. She was honored to continue her work with students at Bethlehem for another 9 years; 2 as a Title 1 math teacher, and 7 years as a 4th grade classroom teacher. Amber, a passionate educator, is thrilled to embark on the unique opportunity of combining nature-based education and Montessori pedagogy in the upper grades.
Amber is a native of Vermont. She grew up along the banks of the Connecticut River, climbing trees and riding bikes until the sun set. Although she will always be a Vermonter at heart, she was lured by NH’s ski mountains and beautiful lakes. She now happily resides in Wentworth, NH with her husband and 2 young children. Amber chooses to spend her time trail running with her furry canine friend, Duncan. She and her family love to camp, hike, and canoe into swampy marshes looking for adventure.
Lauren Comis| Upper Elementary Classroom Assistant (Water Striders)
As a child rooted in the Boston area, Lauren had a passion for culture, traveling with her family, and spending summers on the seacoast of Massachusetts. Yearning for a change of pace, she transplanted herself to the White Mountains where she earned her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Psychology and Adventure Education at Plymouth State University. As an environmental activist, she led and pursued sustainability projects as an advocate and member of PSUs Eco-House and “Common Ground” group.
Applying her love for children and the outdoors, she lived and worked in the Green Mountains at Farm and Wilderness Camps. She has taught elementary and middle school children at Boston’s last working farm, Allandale Farm, and has facilitated the children’s love of nature on guided backpacking and kayaking trips. Lauren has spent time working with youth at Seattle Children’s Home where she mentored them through weekly mindfulness groups and yoga classes. She is grateful and excited to be a member of the team, assisting in creating an environment in and out of the classroom!
Brianna Frost | Lower Elementary Lead Teacher (Eaglets)
Brianna Frost grew up in NH and is a graduate from Plymouth State University. She earned a B.S in education and a New Hampshire teaching certificate for grades K-8. Brianna received her Montessori training at the Seacoast Center and is certified as a Lower Elementary teacher and is currently enrolled in a Masters of Education program at Plymouth State University. Brianna is a member of our founding staff, beginning in our inaugural year as an Assistant Teacher. Before coming to MVCS she worked at The Children’s House Montessori School in Littleton, NH. Brianna lives in Thornton NH with her husband Nick and their dog Moxie.
Dawn Grant | Lower Elementary Lead Teacher (Saplings)
Dawn is a New Hampshire native (hometown- Bristol). She has had a variety of experiences and several years of working with young children. Her passion for education was realized while teaching English as a Second Language in South Korea, where she lived for three years. Most recently, Dawn earned an Masters degree in Education from Antioch University New England. She has a passion for place-based and inquiry-based education, and will be continuing her Montessori training in the summer of 2016. When Dawn isn’t pursuing her love of traveling, she most enjoys cooking, vegetable gardening, and spending time with friends and family (which includes her 3 cats).
Liara Goldman | Special Educator
Liara grew up in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Liara comes to Mountain Village with four years of experience in Special Education and remediation in a variety of New Hampshire and Vermont schools, including Franklin MS, Bethlehem ES, and Lisbon RS. She is a NH certified Special Educator and has worked with both elementary and middle school age students with learning and behavior needs. She is trained in Critical Prevention Intervention methods and is also becoming trained in the Wilson Fundations Reading program. Currently, Liara is enrolled in a Master’s in Special Education teaching degree through Grand Canyon University, and has an interest in animal and nature integrated Special Education. Prior to teaching, she has had experience working with animals, including as an internal medicine veterinary technician, zookeeper of primates and other exotic animals, and as an adoption counselor and animal caretaker for the NHSPCA. She attended the University of New Hampshire and graduated with a degree in Zoology.
Allie Savage| Lower Elementary Classroom Assistant (Saplings)
Allie grew up in coastal Massachusetts exploring the ocean, tide pools and salt marshes with her two sisters. While attending PSU to study Environmental Science and Policy she found peace here in the mountains. She graduated with a focus on community engagement and has worked ever since as an environmental and outdoor educator in both New Hampshire and California with the Naturalists at Large Program. She is Wilderness First Aid trained and is an experienced first responder. After traveling and teaching across the state of California she is happy to return to the East Coast to hike, run and cross country ski. Her happy place is Squam Lake, where she spends summers helping children find a connection to nature through paddling, hiking and camping. Her passion for the outdoors and working with youth has driven her to pursue a career in education where she is inspired by the wonder that nature can provoke at any age.
Olivia Casey| Lower Elementary Classroom Assistant (Eaglets)
Olivia, a native to New Hampshire, grew up playing and traveling throughout the White Mountains. She is a graduate of Plymouth State University with a degree in Adventure Education and is a certified Wilderness First Responder. Having worked for various outdoor education programs, she has grown to love how rewarding the experience of learning in nature can be for children. Her most memorable teaching experience has been working for the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, making learning and adventuring possible for people of all ages and abilities, through adaptive recreation. Olivia currently lives in North Woodstock and in her free time enjoys paddling, climbing and hiking throughout her local mountains and rivers.