“The Hayground faculty is wise, caring, and conscientious—an extraordinary group of educators delivering an extraordinary education.”   Jonathan Silin, EDD, Graduate Faculty, Bank Street College of Education


Hayground believes that great teachers make a great school. Our faculty is composed of teachers who are themselves lifelong learners, as passionate about a particular domain—history, art, science, literature, mathematics—as they are about the craft of teaching. 

Hayground teachers meet every week to reflect on the process of teaching and learning, and to participate in regular mentoring and professional development.  Faculty discussions are guided by the following goals and questions:

  • Are students learning about things that are important?

  • Are they seriously engaged with interesting, rich, and complex material?

  • Are they learning to think rigorously and adventurously?

  • Are they becoming literate in a deep, meaningful way?

  • Are they developing habits of self-restraint?

  • Are they learning to build community?

  • Are they learning to become citizens capable of intelligent action?

HG Faculty

Arjun Achuthan

Liz Bertsch

  • B.A. SUNY, Stony Brook

  • M.S. Ed, Bank Street College

  • Apprenticeship Group

  • Since 1996

  • Favorite Adult Book: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

  • Favorite Children’s Book: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

  • Favorite Hayground Meal: Hummus, Greek Salad & Pita

  • email: lbertsch@hayground.org

Perry Burns

  • BFA, Rhode Island School of Design

  • M.A., Columbia University

  • Art Studio

  • Since 2018

  • email:  pburns@hayground.org

Cheryl Buck             

  • Watterson College Pacific (Vista, CA)

  • Office Manager

  • Since 1996

  • Favorite Adult Book: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

  • Favorite Hayground Meal: Quesadillas

  • email: cbuck@hayground.org

Sabra Elliot

Julie Fanelli-Denny

Kevin Foran

Mbachi Kumwenda

Marcelle Langendal

  • B.S., Skidmore College

  • M.S., Dowling College

  • Faculty Chair

  • Since 1996

  • Favorite Book: Vindication: A Life of Mary Wollstonecraft, by Lyndall Gordon

  • Favorite Hayground Meal: Roasted Eggplant

  • email: mlangendal@hayground.org

James Lawless

  • Plant Manager

  • Since 2008

  • Favorite Adult Book: Dictionary

  • Favorite Hayground Meal: Alphabet Soup

  • email: jlawless@hayground.org

Helene Necroto

Erin O’Connor

  • B.A., Yale University

  • M.S., Johns Hopkins University

  • Early Childhood Group

  • Since 2008

  • Favorite Adult Book: Aimless Love, by Billy Collins

  • Favorite Children’s Book: Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for All the Letters, by Oliver Jeffers

  • Favorite Hayground Meal: Either Breakfast for lunch or Hummus with Carrots and Celery

  • email: eoconnor@hayground.org

Scott O’Neill

  • Culinary Arts

  • BFA, Rhode Island School of Design

  • Since 2012

  • Favorite Book: 100 Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  • Favorite Hayground Meal:

  • Early Fall - Our own fresh mozzarella, with a drizzle of our kale pesto, local amazing tomatoes, and a big green salad from the Hayground garden with a side of corn from Pikes Farm.

  • Winter - Escarole and white bean soup with winter greens from the Hayground greenhouse,

  • or toasted slices of our own sourdough bread and a big salad.

  • Who could ask for more!!

  • email: soneill@hayground.org

Marybeth Pacilio

  • B.A., Keene State College

  • M.S., CUNY Hunter College

  • Middle Group

  • Since 2004

  • Favorite Book: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith

  • Favorite Hayground Meal: Falafel with hummus

  • email: mpacilio@hayground.org

Richard J. Partington

Emily Smith

Jonathan Snow

  • Academia dei Belli Arte, Italy

  • School of Visual Arts, New York

  • Director of Admissions & Community Affairs

  • Art Studio/Gardening

  • Since 1996

  • email: jsnow@hayground.org

Faculty Reading List

Hayground’s philosophy is influenced by a long line of progressive educational thinkers.  Below is a selective list of works that shape our ongoing conversation about children, life, and learning:

  • The Child and the Curriculum John Dewey

  • Developmental Theories, 5th edition Patricia Miller

  • The Process of Education Jerome Bruner

  • The Power of Mindful Learning Ellen J. Langer

  • The Power of Their Ideas Deborah Meier

  • How Children Fail John Holt

  • The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and How Schools Should Teach Howard Gardner

  • The Book of Learning and Forgetting Frank Smith

  • The Having of Wonderful Ideas Eleanor Duckworth

  • To Teach, The Journey of a Teacher William Ayers

  • Horace’s Compromise: The Dilemma of the American High School Theodore Sizer

  • The Passionate Teacher Robert Fried

  • In Schools We Trust Deborah Meier

  • Learning Together:Children and Adults in a School Community Rogoff,Bartlett,Turkanis, and Goodman.

  • Your Child's Path: Unlocking the Mystery of Who Your Child Will Become by Susan Engel

  • Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom Lisa Delpit