Michelle Doney: Kindergarten, Bethel
headshot of a woman with long brown hair.

Michelle has been teaching at Bethel Elementary School since 2018. She has taught first, second, third, and fourth graders in her time at BES. Ms. Doney enjoys spending time with family and her two fur babies outside of school. You can reach her at mdoney@wrvsu.org.

Wendy Grunthal: Kindergarten, Royalton
teacher with arms out

Wendy is very excited to start teaching kindergarten at South Royalton in the Fall of 2023. She is coming from Colorado where, over the years, she taught fifth grade, fourth grade and first grade. When she started her own family, she opened an in-home childcare and enjoyed lots of outdoor time with young children. She is so excited to be back in the classroom and get to know her students and share her love for reading, writing, math, singing and playing with them!  When not in school, she loves to camp, hike and ski with her husband and two sons.

Hannah Thody: 1st Grade, Royalton
Smiling Hannah

I am Hannah Thody. I was born and raised in Vermont. I went to the University of New England where I graduated with a degree in Environmental Science and Marine Biology. I have been working with children for the past 12 years. I have worked at the White River Valley School for 4 years

I live in Pittsfield with my husband, our two children and our fur baby.

I enjoy reading, spending time with my family, gardening, cooking, and playing in the river.

I can be reached at hthody@wrvsu.org

Melissa Wilson: 1st Grade, Royalton
smiling teacher in front of window painting

My name is Melissa, and I grew up in the Hampton Beach area. I joined the Navy in 1996, and then moved to California in 2000. I remained in CA for the next 20+ years raising my two kiddos, Jazmyne and Jayden. During that time, I obtained my BA in ECD, and my MA in Teaching, and taught for Fresno Unified School District for the last 13 years. Currently, I am enjoying all the outdoor activities and sites to see in beautiful New England!! So, even though I am new to the VT area, I am so PUMPED to bring my big city knowledge to such an amazing school and community!!!


Stephanie Russ: 1st grade, Bethel
A woman dressed up, at night, wearing hearings and a black top.

Steph started working at Bethel Elementary back in 2004.  She teaches first grade.  She also works at the One Planet summer camp.  Steph has two children, Brayden and Greyson, who attend the WRVHS and WRVMS. She loves the game of basketball, loves to dance, and enjoys spending time with her family during her free time. Steph grew up in Tunbridge and attended high school in Bethel when it was Whitcomb High School before becoming WRVMS. She and her family have lived in South Royalton since 2006. Steph can be reached at sruss@wrvsu.org.

Gabriela Calderon: 2nd Grade, Royalton Campus
woman smiling with long wavy hair

Gabi will be entering her second year teaching at South Royalton. She previously taught kindergarten and is very excited to teach second grade now. Before SRES, Gabi was a long-term sub and taught fourth grade science. She attended Norwich University and completed her dual degrees in Elementary Education and Psychology. Gabi currently lives in Berlin with her family. In her free time, she enjoys yoga and reading. Please feel free to reach Gabi at gcalderon@wrvsu.org.

Alexis Stearns: 2nd Grade, Royalton
Photo of a woman with her arms around to others at a celebration.

This is Alexis' third year as a wildcat. Alexis began her teaching career working with infants and toddlers, then made the switch to SRES where she started teaching Kindergarten. After teaching kindergarten for two years she is moving up to second grade! Outside of school, Alexis loves to go camping with her husband, play with her dog, and most importantly spend time with her friends and family. You can reach Alexis atastearns@wrvsu.org

Libby Lane: 2nd Grade, Bethel
smiling blonde with pretty scarf in a car

I grew up in Richmond VT and I went to Champlain College. I have my bachelors degree in Elementary Education. I enjoy spending my free time outside, canoeing and kayaking! I have been teaching in Vermont for the last 6 years, and I had the opportunity to teach in Ireland as well. I am very excited to join such a great community!

Jaime Rainville: 3rd Grade, Bethel
Selfie of woman with golden wavy hair in car

Mrs. Rainville started working for WRUD in December 2010. She has taught in the alternative classroom, was a special educator, and now teaches 3-5 math.   Mrs. Rainville  lives in Bethel with her husband and daughter.  She has a love for cats, reading, swimming, and kayaking.  Mrs. Rainville  was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec and moved to the United States when she was 12 years old. In 2020, she became a United States Citizen. You can reach Mrs. Rainville at jrainville@wrvsu.org

Tiffany Bates: 3rd Grade, Royalton
teacher with goat

Hello, I am Tiffany Bates! I am a lifelong resident of Vermont with a great love of agriculture, hot air ballooning, Brook Trout, and Volunteer Fire Fighting! I have been a teaching for 7 years.

When I am at school I love sharing my interests and learning from my students! I’ve been participating in the Trout in the Classroom program for 7 years and look forward to bringing the program to the 3rd graders of South Royalton!

I am a mom to 3 girls.  I’ve been a Volunteer Fire Fighter for over 15 years.  When I’m not at school I enjoy spending time in my large vegetable garden, in the fields and barn with my 25 +/- goats, watching my children work their 4H animals, and crocheting!

I am very excited to be working for White River Valley School!

Kathy Fechter: 4th Grade, Bethel
Headshot of a woman in white with blonde hair with a big turquoise earring and a smile.

Mrs. Fechter has taught at the Bethel campus since 2019. She is the Literacy teacher for grades 3, 4 and 5. Creativity is important to Mrs. Fechter, both personally and in the classroom. Mrs. Fechter combines her love of drawing with her love of writing in her comic strip, "Only Human," which is published in newspapers and online. Mrs. Fechter lives in Montpelier with her family and two adorable pet rats.

Laura Leavitt : 4th Grade, Royalton
smiling lady in front of giant lilly pads

Laura Leavitt has been a high school science teacher on the Northern California Coast for the last three years, and recently returned home to South Royalton with her family. She is passionate about plants, insects, and the ocean. This year Laura is excited to transition to elementary school, and is looking forward to sharing her love of the natural world with her students. Laura can be reached at lleavitt@wrvsu.org

David DeSimone: 5th Grade, Royalton

David started working at the South Royalton Elementary School in 2012. He loves Alf and learning about Bigfoot, Snow Leopards, and other elusive creatures. David can be reached atddesimone@wrvsu.org.

Alyssa Castellini: 5th Grade, Bethel
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Alyssa Castellini grew up in Hartland, VT. She went to college at the University of Canberra in Australia and has a Master's in Science Education from Northeastern State University and a STEM leadership certificate from a NASA cohort. She has been a teacher in Vermont and Massachusetts for the past 11 years. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading and being outdoors. She is very excited to teach 5th grade and join the BES community!