Our People - Faculty & Staff

Staff members at Rock Point School are enthusiastic, educated, creative and fun people who are committed to spending time with young people and helping them to navigate the path to adulthood. Teachers, dorm staff and members of the administration strive to create a friendly and positive atmosphere where young people can thrive. Many of our staff members have been at Rock Point for years (some of them decades!) and their dedication and experience shines in the work they do with our students, while our newer staff members bring fresh ideas and energy to our school!

The faces may change over the years but the core characteristics of the students and staff members stay the same.

Administration and Support Staff

C.J. Spirito – Head of School

C.J. Spirito – Head of School

Came to Rock Point School in 1990

C.J. committed his professional life to Rock Point School. After graduating from St. Michael's College he has worn many hats at the school: Dorm Staff, Director of the Dorm, Dean of Students, Assistant Headmaster, and now Head of School.  He is starting his 30th year at RPS, 9th as the Head of School.  C.J. finds meaning in calling the community together and guiding students and families during the tender and vulnerable times in their lives.  He thrives on supporting the underdog and finding light wherever we can, whether that is helping struggling students find their voices, coaching families to improve communication, or creating Wiffle ball fields where people can play together. C.J. loves working with students to co-facilitate Reflections, a 45-minute student gathering to consider what we can wonder about and how we can best live our lives.

B.A. St. Michael's College
M. Ed. School Leadership St. Michael's College 
Ryan Weiland

Ryan Weiland - Dean of School

Came to Rock Point School in 2000

Ryan came to work at Rock Point School as a dorm staff.  After four years she became the Director of the Dorm and then in 2011 became the Dean of Students.  Ryan loves working at Rock Point School because the interesting, challenging and funny kids constantly keep her on her toes.  She especially enjoys helping young people to identify their passions and their strengths and to develop them.  Outside of RPS, Ryan enjoys skiing, playing and watching sports, listening to live music and being outside.  She lives on campus with her husband Bryan and sons, Isaac and Oliver.

B.A. Psychology with a minor in Sociology, Skidmore College

Hillary Kramer – Director of Admissions

Hillary Kramer – Director of Admissions

Came to Rock Point School in 2003

Hillary joined Rock Point School after working for years in the legal field and with youth in a social services setting. She has loved working with teens and families and is very pleased to be continuing that work here at Rock Point School, accompanied by her little dog Bosley – king of the admissions department! Contact her with any questions about admissions at hkramer@rockpoint.org.

B.A. Political Science, University of Vermont
J.D. Hastings College of Law, University of California

Laura A

Laura Abrams - Admissions Associate

Came to Rock Point in 2018

Laura earned her degree in Art Education after deciding that education was the perfect fit for her experience in art and her ambition to serve her community, particularly those facing challenges on their path to learning. Laura has years of experience volunteering in hospitals, helping families and individuals transition through difficult life situations, and worked as a camp counselor. Laura hopes to share her love of design, baking, humor, wellness, and Vermont nature and beauty with the Rock Point community.

B.S. Art Education, University of Vermont

Mary Hamilton

Mary Hamilton - Office and Systems Manager

Came to Rock Point School in 2020

Mary is joining the Rock Point School community having spent many years volunteering and working at Vermont Commons School. She left VCS to start a business, but ultimately determined this just wasn’t the right time. Having learned all kinds of wise and salient lessons, she is now really excited to have colleagues again and be a part of a community with high-school-aged students and their journeys as a shared passion. She hopes her experience and humor will provide opportunities for growth and laughter both for RPS and herself. When not in the front office, Mary is hiking with her dogs, cooking up a storm, hanging with her twenty-something kids, and reading. 

B.A. Northern Studies, Middlebury College.

B.S.R.N. University of Vermont

Meg Nurse

Megan Martin - School Nurse

Came to Rock Point School in 2022

Megan has practiced Emergency Medicine for 12 years in various settings.  In this capacity, she specializes in Adult, Adolescent and Pediatric forensic exams, as well as pediatric advanced life support. She also has maintained a 15-year military career. Currently, Megan serves as a Flight Nurse with the New York Air National Guard, providing aeromedical evacuation support worldwide. In the summer and fall, Megan enjoys is gardening. In the winter and spring, her passion is skiing and cozy nights with my family and beloved dogs.  Megan hopes to teach RPS students to care for their own medical and spiritual needs as they enter the adult world, including basic health hygiene, healthy eating, and healthy bodies.  

B.S. in Nursing

Certified Emergency Nurse

Credentialed Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner

American Heart Association Instructor: Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and Pediatric Advanced Life Support

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Charles Clarke – Director of Food Services (Chef)

Came to Rock Point School in 2022

Charles is a classically trained chef, a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, and a veteran of hotel, restaurant, food truck, and college dining operations. Most recently, he was the Head Chef at the renowned Single Pebble Restaurant in Burlington, followed by managing dining operations at the University of Vermont. Charles values a seasonal approach to cooking and using fresh, local, and minimally packaged ingredients. If at all possible, he likes to pick his ingredients up directly from the field! In the kitchen, he employs practical techniques to achieve approachable dishes.  He continues to experiment and grow his repertoire with a firm reliance on the disciplines he learned in his training. Charles lives in Burlington with his family and enjoys biking, running, home improvement projects, and reading.

B.A. Univesity of Deleware

New Engand Culinary Insitute

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Gibson Smith - Business Manager

Came to Rock Point School in 2021

Gibson is an ex-Peace Corps devotee, having served as a volunteer in Romania, worked at the headquarters office in Washington DC, and then at an administrative post on the island nation of Kiribati in the Pacific.  Since moving to Vermont, he has satisfied his affinity for mission-based organizations by performing financial management for non-profits and educational institutions.  Gibson enjoys the intimate and supportive community at Rock Point and looks forward to advancing strategic initiatives to ensure its growth and success.   Gibson also enjoys hiking, skiing, and sailing in Vermont’s great outdoors, as well as time spent with his wife and two daughters.

B.S., M.B.A Tulane University

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Molly Huddle Coffey – Director of Marketing

Came to Rock Point School in 2004

Molly started as a Residential Educator and became the English Teacher in 2006. After many years as a classroom teacher, Molly’s role began to shift and in 2014 she decided to take on Marketing and technology work at the school. Molly loves being outside and reading novels, often at the same time. She lives in Winooski with her husband, their two young daughters, and a sweet dog.

B.A. English Literature, College of William and Mary

Academic Staff

Abbey Baker

Abbey Baker – Academic Coordinator

Came to Rock Point School in 2006

Abbey started teaching English at Rock Point in 2014, and before that spent eight years working as a writing tutor. She has enjoyed bringing together her love of creative writing, literature, and working with young people. Some highlights of her job at Rock Point have included developing the Visiting Writer Series, running the school's Gender & Sexual Alliance, working with the Vermont Young Playwrights' program, and launching a zine-making elective for students to publish and showcase their creative work. As the Academic Coordinator, Abbey works with students on their Personal Learning Plans, helps them figure out life after high school, and works with teachers to support each student. Outside of school, she loves spending time with family, exploring Burlington, and trying to keep up with her students' pop culture recommendations.  

B.A. English, Rhode Island College.
MFA in Creative Writing, Lesley University

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Debra Blumberg - Special Educator

Came to Rock Point School in 2021

Debra has worked as a special educator for over 30 years in different settings, from large public schools to independent schools. She began her career in small, alternative schools and she is grateful for the chance to return to a supportive school community like Rock Point. The students and their families who have allowed her to share their high school experiences inspire her as she continues to support students to find their own paths. She is happiest outdoors, walking with her grandchild, and exploring the world through her eyes.
 
B.A. Women's Studies, Brown University
M. Ed. Special Education, University of Oregon
Mark Spigos

Mark Spigos – History Teacher

Came to Rock Point School in 2022

Mark Spigos is thrilled to be joining Rock Point School this year as a History Teacher. Having grown up attending a small, independent school in Columbus, Ohio, he personally experienced the benefits of learning in a tight-knit, inclusive setting. Before starting his teaching career, he worked at a farmstead goat creamery in Southern Vermont. After a three-year stint as a vegetable researcher, he decided that it was time to go back to school. Mark completed the Master of Arts in Teaching and taught at a large public school in Vermont. He enjoyed building meaningful relationships with his students and finding ways for their unique voices and perspectives to be clearly heard and seen in the classroom. Mark lives with his wife, and two children in Winooski, where he can be found taking daily walks along the river, tending to his community garden plot, or mixing dough for weekly family pizza night.

B.A.  History, Ohio State University

M.A. Teaching, University of Vermont

Marika-Dalton

Marika Dalton – Science Teacher

Came to Rock Point in 2014

Marika has taught science in many different venues, including teaching undergraduates at Bates College, Johnson State College, and Michigan Tech. She’s also taught summer youth classes in engineering and outdoor adventure. As a geologist and researcher, Marika has traveled all over the world visiting volcanoes, most recently to Iceland! She loves getting outside whenever she can, hiking, skiing, and kayaking. She can’t wait to get students outside to explore science in the natural world.

AB Vassar College
MS and Phd from Michigan Technological University

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Marsi Foster - Learning Specialist

Returned to Rock Point School in 2021 

Marsi has taught science at Rock Point, worked as a special educator in the Williston, Vermont public schools, and has tutored in schools and at the Stern Center for Language and Learning. In 2018, Marsi returned to RPS as a Special Educator and then took a brief break during the pandemic in 2020. We are thrilled to have her back! Marsi loves trail running, backcountry skiing, swimming, and spending time with her family and friends. She is looking forward to helping students feel engaged with their learning.

B.A.  Earth Science, Secondary Education, University of Vermont

M.Ed Special Education, Saint Michael’s College

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Kristy Lloyd - English Teacher

Came to Rock Point in 2022

Born in the Philippines and raised in New England, Kristy is excited to return to this part of the country after being away for so long. Kristy spent most of her 20s in Dubai and returned stateside when she figured out she wanted to be a teacher. She graduated from her MFA program, became a New York City Teaching Fellow, and taught in Harlem for five years. From there, she served a year in Vermont with AmeriCorps, then moved to LA and took a break from teaching by working as a personal chef for an amazing family. She couldn’t stay away from teaching for long so she jumped back in and taught at a specialized school for the last seven years. Kristy’s focus is strongly on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and she served as chair of the DEI committee at her LA school. She also ran an adoption affinity group which was an amazing experience for her and her students. Outside of teaching, Kristy is deeply “culinary” and loves nothing more than to gather people around a table for food, love, and laughter. She also enjoys playing tennis, boxing, the beach and generally flying along with a happy energy for life.

MFA Creative Writing, Leslie University

 

Hans Manske

Hans Manske - Math Teacher

Came to Rock Point School in 2019

After college at Dartmouth, Hans moved out West to begin a career in science education, which found him teaching field courses in Sequoia, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Redwood, and Rocky Mountain National Parks. Hans returned to New England for his Master’s, then moved to Burlington to help open Vermont Commons School where he designed the Environmental Science and Math curricula. After 13 years, he left VCS in 2011, after helping usher in a new leadership team. For the last six years, Hans has been the owner of SoYo Frozen Yogurt in Burlington’s South End. Outside of work, he loves skiing in the winter, paddleboarding in the summer, hiking all year, and watching his kids grow up.

B.S. Earth Science, Dartmouth College

M.S. Environmental Geochemistry, Dartmouth College

Jeannie

Jean Waltz – Art Teacher

Came to Rock Point School in 2000

Jeannie, an artist whose work has been well received in the greater Burlington area for over 15 years, teaches art history by introducing her students to prominent artists with colorful lives, and incorporates a hands-on art assignment, emulating that period in art history. A self proclaimed retro home and fashion aficionado, she also spearheads the set, props, and costumes for the annual play. Save the date for the Annual Rock Point Art Show, the first Friday in May!

B.A. Humanities and Fine Arts, Burlington College

Residential Staff

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Emma Cowper - Residential Educator 

Came to Rock Point School in 2022

Emma was raised in Connecticut and moved to Vermont for college. Upon graduating she settled in Burlington, where she enjoys engaging with the lively arts scene as a freelance costume designer and avid live music fan. Since 2019 she has spent her summers working in adventure education, leading outdoor trips around New England that encourage teenagers to explore environmental stewardship while developing resilience and self-advocacy skills. Emma is eager to reevaluate her role in our education system and explore the potential of holistic and equitable learning practices at Rock Point School while sharing her enthusiasm for outdoor adventure with her students. 
 
B.A. American Literature & Costume Design, Middlebury College
Sloan Collins

Sloan Collins - Residential Educator

Came to Rock Point in 2021

Sloan joined Rock Point School after years of working with youth in a variety of social service settings, most recently at an outdoor educational program in Scotland. Along the way, Sloan has been a coach, counselor, and youth mentor who carries a notorious reputation for telling bad jokes. As an artist and advocate for alternative education, Sloan hopes to encourage the creative spirit within each student at Rock Point School. In his spare time, Sloan is a passionate amateur archeologist who researches and explores ancient ruins around the world. 

Stan Eddy

Stanton Eddy - Residential Educator

Returned to Rock Point School in 2021

Stan has worked in the past as a Youth & Family Outreach Clinician for the Counseling Service of Addison County. He has also worked for Teen Centers in the Burlington area and spent eight years as a Residential Educator at Rock Point School.  Stan currently provides case management and supports for adults with developmental disabilities in Chittenden County.  Stan loves animals, chess, sushi, sports, music, comedy, and writing.  Returning to Rock Point after 10 years, Stan looks forward to the meaningful connections and conversations that are fostered here at the school and says he is determined to no longer take the keys to the school vans with him when he is done with his shifts.
 
B.A. Double Major in Sociology & Psychology, Wesleyan University
 
State of VT Qualified Developmental Disabilities Professional
Lucia

Lucia Liencres - Residential Educator

Came to Rock Point School in 2022

Lucia Liencres is a recent college graduate with a passion for empowering and teaching teenagers.  She finds strength in social justice advocacy and hopes to inspire and help youth in their fight for the change we so desperately need in this world. Lucia spends her summers working at a summer camp under the massive redwood trees in California where she grew up. She loves everything and anything that happens in the outdoors. After spending much of her childhood in California, Lucia moved to western Massachusetts where she attended a boarding school for high school. She credits the residential educators who worked at her high school with shaping who she is now.  Lucia also has a passion for art, specifically ceramics, and hopes to make and create with the Rock Point students.

B.A. Outdoor Education & Social Justice, UVM

Staff Directory

To email a staff member, please use their first initial and their last name @rockpoint.org. For example, Beth Anderson would be banderson@rockpoint.org.

The school phone number is (802) 863-1104. Below you will find extensions for various staff and departments. If the staff member you would like to contact does not have an extension, please leave a message at the main school number and we will be in touch ASAP!

Name Position Phone number
Laura Abrams Admissions Associate 802-863-1104 x 129
Abbey Baker Academic Coordinator 802-863-1104 x 125
Molly Huddle Coffey Director of Marketing 802-863-1104 x 128
Sloan Collins Residential Educator 802-863-1104
Emma Cowper Residential Educator 802-863-1104 
Charles Clarke Director of Food Services 802-863-1104 x 113
Mari Dalton Science Teacher 802-863-1104 x 114
Stanton Eddy Residential Educator 802-863-1104
Mary Hamilton Office and Systems Manager 802-863-1104 x 110
Hillary Kramer Director of Admissions 802-863-1104 x 112
Lucia Liencres Residential Educator 802-863-1104
Kristy Lloyd English Teacher 802-863-1104
Hans Manske Math Teacher & Tech Specialist 802-863-1104 x 120
Megan Martin School Nurse 802-863-1104 x 118
Gibson Smith Business Manager 802-863-1104 x 121
Mark Spigos History Teacher 802-863-1104 x 115
C.J. Spirito Head of School 802-863-1104 x 126
Jean Waltz Art Teacher 802-863-1104 x 127
Ryan Weiland Dean of School 802-863-1104 x 123