The faculty and staff at the Susan Odell Taylor School are passionate about teaching. The joy and energy teachers and students share each day is the backdrop for our curriculum and school activities. Students know their teachers go to extraordinary lengths to engage and motivate them and ensure each week of learning builds upon the week before. In turn, our students learn extraordinary things and come to expect the very best of their school and themselves.

  • Head of School: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • Office Manager: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Business Manager: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • PreKindergarten Teacher: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • PreKindergarten Teacher: Ansley Chlastawa
  • Kindergarten Teacher : Anna Harrington
  • 1-2 TeacherThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • 3-4 Teacher: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • 5-6 Teacher: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • 7-8 Teacher: Shawna Norton 
  • Math and Literacy Support: Kay Lindsay
    Sage Math and Science Teacher: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • Music Teacher: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Art Teacher: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • Physical Education Teacher: Patricia Ackner
  • Spanish: Sara Ackroyd
  • Pinewoods Yoga Teacher: Toni Smith


To contact any of our teachers or faculty, please call the school at (518) 274-4994, or email them at their above email addresses.

 

Meet Our Teachers

PreKindergarten Class

Meagan Duncan

My name is Meagan Duncan. I have been working at the Taylor School for 9 years.

A little about myself: My favorite children's book is The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf. In my free time, I like to run, spend time with my family, read and bake.

My favorite quote is "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose." - Dr. Seuss

Kindergarten Class

Anna Harrington cropped

My name is Anna Harrington and this is my first year teaching at the Taylor School. 

I am thrilled to be joining the Susan Odell Taylor School as your kindergarten teacher. The goal of teaching kindergarten initiated my career path to become a teacher and this new position is a dream come true! I am filled with anticipation of the extraordinary growth that will take place within the four walls of my classroom.

My education and professional reputation has prepared me to earn your trust and confidence. I obtained my undergraduate degree from the Sage Colleges and a Masters with honors in early childhood education from The College of Saint Rose. I am fully New York State certified in childhood education. I have been a teacher for three years in both lower and middle school. All my teaching experience (as well as my own education) has been in an independent school environment, therefore I know and understand what will be expected of me as a teacher and colleague at Taylor School. Thank you for welcoming me into this special academic community. I am eager to begin and look forward to getting to know you all.

A little about myself: My favorite children’s book is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our puppy, Lucy.

My favorite quote is, "When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind." - R. J. Palacio 

1-2 Class

Reinisch

My name is Melissa Reinisch and I've been teaching first and second grade at the Taylor School for 8 years.

A little about myself: My favorite children's book and read-aloud is The One and Only Ivan. I love to spend time with my family. I have three children, Jake 16, Sydney 15 and Cooper 13. My teaching philosophy can be summarized with this one quote from Teddy Roosevelt, "They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."

In my experience, children, especially young children, can sense when they feel cared about. When that strong personal connection is made then wonderful things can happen in the classroom!

 

Math and Literacy Support

Kay Lindsay portrait

My name is Kay Lindsay and I will be teaching Grade 1 Math, Literacy Support.

I first set foot on the Pinewoods campus on March 27th of this year. I spent the morning observing the 1/2 class, meeting teachers and talking with Kelly in order to learn more about Taylor’s approach to mixed-age grouping. Within only a few hours, I knew that I had discovered a truly special school. On my way home I stopped to send a text message to my husband telling him how much I loved everything about Taylor. Jump ahead to June, and I was thrilled when Kelly offered me a position on the Pinewoods campus.

After graduating from Wheaton College (MA) in 1987 with a BA in English literature and creative writing, I accepted a position as an assistant Pre-K teacher at Renbrook School in West Hartford, Ct. I spent the next seven years teaching (Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Grade 1) while also coaching middle school field hockey, basketball and lacrosse. In 1994 I followed a colleague to Town Hill School where she became Head of School and taught first grade at for four years before choosing to become a full-time mom to two daughters, Amelia and Eliza, now 20 and 18, respectively. My husband and I were fortunate to raise our girls on the campus of The Hotchkiss School where he taught math and coached for 32 years. For several years I worked in the Alumni Development Office at Hotchkiss, but the call of the classroom persisted. In 2015 began teaching in a Grade 1/ 2 classroom at Berkshire Country Day School. Over the past four years, I have developed a special appreciation for mixed-age groupings. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join your community.

3-4 Class

Hotaling 2

My name is Lara Hotaling. I have been a teacher here at Taylor School for 18 joyful years. My favorite subjects are math and science, and I have a passion for writing. I have been described by my students as enthusiastic, fun, innovative, challenging, and kind-hearted.

A little about myself:  My favorite book is My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, swimming, and going on adventures discovering new places and new people!

My favorite quotes are: "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Suess and “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” - Albert Einstein

 

5-6 Class

Adams

My name is Lianne Adams and I have been teaching at Taylor School for 13 wonderful years.

A little about myself:  My favorite children's book is Wonder by R.J. Palacio. My favorite subject is social studies. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family in the Adirondacks, cooking and going on long walks.

My favorite quote is, "The best way to measure how much you've grown isn't by inches or the number of laps you can now run around the track, or even your grade point average-- though those things are important, to be sure. It's what you've done with your time, how you've chosen to spend your days, and whom you've touched this year. That, to me, is the greatest measure of success.” - R.J. Palacio

7-8 Class

Norton

 My name is Shawna. Norton, and this is my second year teaching at the Taylor School.

A little about myself: My favorite children's book is The Hobbit. I love to garden and get my hands in the dirt in my free time.  I also write poetry when I'm not reading or grading papers. I am very excited for the year ahead!

Dan Shepard

My name is Dan Shepard and I've been teaching Math and Science at the Taylor School for 5 years! A little about myself:

My favorite book is The Power of Myth  by Joseph Campbell. I love to golf in my free time! My favorite quote is "Breathe in, Breathe out, Move on!"