Chief Academic Officer
Middle school English teacher, fencing coach, outdoor educator, substitute teacher, para-educator, union president, adjunct professor, director of technology, interim principal — Brian Hill’s journey in education has given him some areas of deep knowledge and the opportunity to transfer skills learned, as well as a wide perspective in the field. Throughout the journey, he has tried to keep the perspective of a student, always learning. For that reason he enjoys most of all working with learners directly and not doing the same thing for too long.
Brian joined the Mill River Schools community in 2012, holding a BA in English from UNC Chapel Hill, and a MA in Education from Wake Forest University. He is excited about the prospect of proficiency-based learning and personalization shifting our whole system toward being learner centered.
Brian enjoys unplugging and spending time on Lake Beebe, snowboarding, and hiking the area with his wonderful wife, Johanna, and their too-adorable-to-scold-for-too-long puggle Tensleep who eats anything on which he can get his paws.
Director of Student Services
Coral began her career as a classroom teacher and after-school program director at Clarendon Elementary School. Born and raised in the town of Clarendon, she attended Clarendon Elem. School as a child and graduated from Mill River Union High School, before going on to pursue her Master’s Degree at Castleton University. She holds a Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction, and is licensed in the State of Vermont as a Special Educator, Elementary Ed. Teacher K-6, and a Special Education Director.
Coral has served as a Special Education Team Leader and Associate Director of Special Services, before becoming the Director of Student Services for the MRUUSD in 2016. Her areas of specialty include behavioral intervention and management, program design, and the treatment of reading disabilities.
Coral is a Mom to two little girls, Layla and Marlee and she is also an Adjunct Professor of Education at the College of St. Joseph in Rutland, Vermont.
Director of Curriculum
Born and raised in Washington State, Andrew Jones moved to Vermont in 2006 and currently resides in Lincoln. Prior to working in schools, Andrew spent several years as a mountaineering instructor and course director for Outward Bound in the Chugach Mountains of Alaska. From 2009-2017 Andrew worked at Mount Abraham Union High School in Bristol as a science teacher, department chair and instructional coach. In 2015 he was awarded a Rowland Foundation Fellowship and focused his efforts on the implementation of proficiency-based learning at Mt. Abe UHS. Andrew earned his master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from UVM and is nearing completion of a doctorate, also at UVM, in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, with a focus on proficiency-based learning. In his spare time Andrew enjoys relaxing with his wife and two kids, fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking and ice climbing.
Director of Personalized Learning
Jodie Stewart-Ruck began her career in education through a Fulbright ETA Award in Suncheon, South Korea. Jodie followed this with ten years in New York City public schools, teaching social studies, law, and conflict resolution and later serving as an assistant principal in a NYC Outward Bound school in the Bronx.
In her time at Mill River, Jodie has served as Dean of Students, Personalized Learning Plan Coordinator and Proficiency-Based Learning Coach. She holds a BA in World Politics from Hamilton College, an MST in Education from Pace University and an MEd in School Administration from The College of Saint Rose. Jodie is currently our Director of Personalized Learning.
Jodie lives in Middletown Springs, VT with her husband, Sean, children Sam and Eliza and a variety of pets the kids have brought home.
Director of Facilities
Gary Marcy has over 35 years of combined experience in the engineering and facilities management fields. With a BS degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Vermont, Gary’s past experiences include employment with consulting engineering firms in the Houston, Boston and Portland markets. During this early part of his career, he served as the prime technical engineer leading teams on complex design and construction projects for large-scale wastewater treatment and composting facilities. He has held past Professional Engineering registrations in the States of Texas and Maine.
Gary also served for 13 years as the Director of Facilities at Green Mountain College in Vermont where he was responsible for the maintenance and operations of 23 separate multi-use buildings including dormitories, offices, classrooms, science labs and mechanical spaces. He was responsible for all construction projects during his tenure at the college, including large renovation projects and new facility construction.
Gary joined the MRUUSD in July of 2016 where he is excited to continue in his role as a facilities director.
Gary lives in Poultney, VT with his wife Alicia. Daughter Brittany and son Eric each have started separate lives with wonderful spouses and Gary is blessed with his first grandchild Emmy Marie.
Stan Pawlaczyk began his accounting career in 1986 working for a large regional public accounting firm based in Albany, NY. He has been a licensed certified public accountant since 1990 and his thirty-plus year career included being a licensed stockbroker and insurance agent. He was able to provide financial services in tax, accounting, auditing, investment and insurance to his clients.
Stan joined the RSSU/MRUUSD as its Business Manager in January of 2010. He holds a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting and a minor in mathematics from Castleton University. Prior to joining our District, Stan’s experience with schools was providing audit and consulting services to districts throughout the State of Vermont for twenty plus years. He is committed to the District to help provide budgets that meet the needs of our students and is fiscally responsible to the taxpayers of our District.
Stan lives in Rutland, VT with his wife Lori and two children, Rachael and Joshua. Time spent with family is his priority but will try to find time to golf and watch the Red Sox.
Carrie is beginning her sixth year with administering afterschool and summer programs for our schools. A developmental psychologist by training, her passion for her position is fueled by a commitment to the multiple benefits to rural children of having diverse learning opportunities available outside of the traditional school day.
A native of upstate New York near the Canadian border, Carrie has lived in Pittsford for the past 26 years. Beyond her work locally, she has been actively involved with regional and state-wide afterschool advocacy, and was selected to represent the northeastern US as an Afterschool Ambassador in Washington DC in 2012.
Carrie has three adult children, Ashley, Abigail, and Erik, and plans monthly retreats to Cape Cod to enjoy “Grandma” time with her twin grandchildren Joel and Eve. She is also a voracious reader, active college instructor and mentor, and lover of newfoundlands.
Principal, Mill River Union High School
Todd Finn began his tenure as principal of Mill River Union High School in July of 2016. He came to Vermont via Metro Atlanta as the founding principal of Hampton High School, a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation personalized learning community. Finn also served as a turnaround principal at New Hanover High School in Wilmington, North Carolina, as well as West Bladen High School in North Carolina. Finn was named outstanding educator of the year by the North Carolina Parent-Teacher-Student Organization in 2012.
A Massachusetts native, Finn holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Fitchburg State University, and a Masters in School Administration from the University of North Carolina. A former collegiate level head mens basketball coach at Johnson and Wales University, Finn is actively involved in supporting the Arts and Athletics programs at MRU. Finn is a combat veteran of the U.S. Army’s 1/ 508th Airborne as well as the 101st Military Intelligence Long Range Surveillance Detachment special operations group. He resides in Rutland.
Principal, Shrewsbury Mountain School
Deb Fishwick began her career as a Title I math teacher before becoming a classroom teacher teaching at the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grades levels. Deb has been fortunate to teach in New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Georgia before moving to Vermont where she was hired to teach 4th grade at the Shrewsbury Mountain School. Deb has coach elementary girls basketball in the past and has served as volunteer and coach for the Girls on the Run Program for the past 10 years.
Deb joined the RSSU/MRUUSD as a teacher in 2000 and transitioned to the Teaching Principal in 2004. She holds a BS in Elementary Education from the University of Rhode Island, a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Castleton University and is currently a doctoral student at Plymouth State University. Deb is committed to the students, families and the community she serves and believe that all students are unique and have a their of ways of learning.
Deb lives in Wallingford, VT with her husband Bill and they have 2 grown daughters Emily and Madison. She enjoys spending time with her family, going to the beach, running, and cooking.
Principal, Tinmouth Elementary School
Maureen Fitzgerald-Riker began teaching in Jefferson County Public Schools in Denver, Colorado as a full time elementary teacher. She has taught every elementary grade level throughout her career but her focus has been primarily in grades 4 and 5. She was an ESL classroom teacher for several years during her Colorado tenure.
Maureen moved to Vermont in 2007 and worked for UVM as an educational consultant in the Bridging Project. She taught pre-service teacher candidates at UVM as a graduate student and at Marist College in NY as an assistant professor of literacy before returning to Vermont and joining RSSU/MRUUSD as a principal at Tinmouth School.
Maureen holds a BS in Business Administration, a BA in Behavioral Science, an MA in Curriculum and Instruction, and an Ed D in Educational Leadership and Policy from UVM. She has published a book chapter on literacy and research articles on educational policy. She believes that education is empowering particularly when students are given opportunities to think critically and independently.
Maureen lives in Brandon, Vermont with her husband Jack. She enjoys caring for her horses, dog, and bees.
Principal, Wallingford Elementary School
Helen Richards-Peelle has worked in the field of education for many years as an elementary teacher and in a leadership role for thirteen years at the Currier Memorial and Wallingford Elementary School. She also was the creator and director of the Barn Day Camp at the Farm & Wilderness Foundation for twenty years. In addition she served on the Shrewsbury Mountain School for nine years.
Helen was appointed the principal of Wallingford in July of 2014. She holds a BA in early childhood education and elementary education from the University of Maine and a MA in Educational Leadership from the Woodruff Institute at Castleton University. Helen has always had a belief that school should serve all students to reach their maximum potential and focus on the development of the whole child. Celebrating their strengths and working with their challenges to help them grow.
Helen lives in Shrewsbury, VT with her husband Andy where they raised their three children who are all graduates of the Mill River High School. She enjoys spending time with friends and families and especially doing activities outside; biking, kayaking in her husband’s hand build kayaks and spending time gardening.
Principal, Clarendon Elementary School
Mr. Valastro is in his fifth year as the proud principal of Clarendon Elementary. Fred is in education because he loves to work with children and hopes to improve the lives of each one. He is an administrator because he knows he can help other educators do the same for children and hopes to inspire all educators to be their best.
Fred is 17 years into his second and chosen career. His career commenced in commerce as a corporate employee and he spent many years as an entrepreneur. Fred earned his BS in Business from James Madison University, a MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from Plattsburgh State University, and his Administration Certification from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Fred taught High School Business, was a High School assistant principal, a 7-12 secondary principal and now enjoys being your CES elementary principal.
Fred recently moved to Vermont with his wife, Ann. They have three grown daughters, each of whom has a career helping children and/or adults. Mr. V loves spending time with his family and his favorite school family, the CES kids. He enjoys the outdoors and adores playing with his two grandchildren.
Assistant Principal, Mill River Union High School
Tyler Weideman began his formal teaching career in the school year of 2008/2009 at Rutland High School after spending several years coaching ski racing and running a junior sailing program in Erie, Pennsylvania. While at Rutland High School, Tyler taught several different classes within the social studies department. While completing his Master’s of Education at Castleton University, Tyler developed and implemented a tier one MTSS program that serves all children and creates opportunities for students to advocate for their own educational advancement.