Beginning School Director
“My favorite thing is to spend time in classrooms and outside and observe the students talking together, sharing discoveries, asking each other questions, and explaining their thinking to their peers. Not only do these interactions build social and conversational skills, but these conversations help to form ideas and connections in young minds. When children cooperate and engage with each other, learning can go further than it can alone!”
Gretchen grew up in the Champlain Valley of Vermont. She attended the George Washington University for her undergraduate degree in International Affairs and returned to her alma mater for her first graduate degree in Elementary Education. She worked as a teacher in an independent school in special education and in public school in general education in Washington D.C. before moving abroad. Gretchen worked at the American School of Paris, in France, where she found her love of Early Childhood Leadership as the Early Childhood Coordinator, and then completed her second master’s degree in School Leadership at Lehigh University. Most recently, Gretchen was the Early Childhood Principal at the American School of Torreon, in Mexico. She is thrilled to join the Renbrook team this year!
Gretchen believes all education, and especially that of our youngest students, should be student-centered, active, inquiry-driven, and joyful! Gretchen believes in the power of play to inspire and engage, and she brings her experience in play and outdoor learning to the Beginning School. As a director, Gretchen believes in a culture of community and trust and works with individuals and teams towards collective goals with the best interest of Renbrook’s students always at the center of decision making.
Gretchen lives with her son, Dean, a charming blue-eyed baby, and her dog, Millie, an old lady King Charles spaniel. When she is not at school, she enjoys traveling, being near the water, and exploring Connecticut with her little family!
What makes the Beginning School so magical for its students?
“The magic of the Beginning School is centered around the special community of students, teachers, and parents! There is a warmth here that I have not experienced in any other school and that collective trust allows for incredibly rich, joyful experiences from which the children learn and grow.”