Dear Dummerston School Students and Families,
This is my second year as Dummerston School principal, and I am so honored to partner with all of you in support of the growth and learning of every member of our school community. The 2020-21 school year marks my 19th in public education. I have loved working as an educator since my very first day as a U.S. History teacher at Longmeadow High School in Massachusetts and have learned so much from the hundreds of families and students I have worked with since then. Locally, I taught English and social studies at both Brattleboro Union High School and Brattleboro Area Middle School and served as Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator for the district. I am passionate about schools and believe that students thrive when they feel a strong attachment to their school community, are challenged and engaged through relevant and exciting curricula, have plenty of fun, and develop a strong understanding of themselves as learners. In our school community, everyone is a learner--students, staff, and family members. We are all growing and changing all the time, and this is what makes school such an exciting place.
When I'm not at school, I spend most of my time in Guilford where I live with my two sons named Isaac and Sam, my young dog Stella, and my cockatiel Peaches. I love spending time outside with friends and family, reading, cooking, gardening, watching movies, and playing games. My favorite sport is long-distance running, and I have completed eight marathons and a whole lot of half marathons, too. I'm so excited to get to know all of the new students at Dummerston School this year and to welcome back our returning students. This year is presenting new challenges and opportunities, and I continue to be inspired by our students' commitment, creativity, resiliency, and care for their community. I love you, Dummerston School!
Hello Dummerston families! My name is Erica Garnett and I am so excited to be returning for my second year as the school counselor at Dummerston School! As school counselor, I view my role as being a safe adult in a student’s life. I value helping support student's positive development of self and their understanding of how to function as responsible citizens within the diverse, ever-changing world around them. Academic success and social-emotional development are interwoven processes that need to be equally addressed in schools. My approach to education is that it should be empowering, accessible, relevant, and fun for all students! Above all, I love being able to connect with students and lead my work with empathy. I was born and raised in Connecticut and have spent the past seven years living in Western Massachusetts where I attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I received a Bachelors of Arts in Journalism with a minor in Cultural Anthropology, a Masters in Education (M.Ed.), and an Education Specialist degree in School Counseling (Ed.S.) from UMass Amherst. I have always loved learning about people and hearing their unique experiences and stories. I made what felt to be a natural transition from Anthropology and Journalism to pursuing School Counseling because I desired to help people beyond just learning about their stories. I am also passionate about working with youth in educational settings. In the summer, I co-run a recreational summer camp program in Connecticut for children ages 3-12. We learn about teamwork, respect, and build community through time spent doing beach days, swimming lessons, baking lessons, group activities and games, and arts and crafts. In my spare time I enjoy being outdoors, traveling, writing, playing sports, and blue-point crabbing!
Mary Ann Runge