The Liberi School
- Our vision for a contemporary and holistic education innovates the classic one-room schoolhouse model
- An integrated curriculum focuses on academic rigor, creativity, intellectual freedom, and the arts
- Children access the curriculum at an individual level and learning is personalized
- Opportunities for teaching and learning among children across age groups are myriad
- Mindfulness, metacognition, self-direction, and independence in learning is developed
- Free thinking, curiosity, questioning, and differences are valued and encouraged
- Teaching is creative, inspired, and free from dogma
- Knowledge and big ideas are ever present in the classroom
- Assessment is based on multiple measures of mastery
- Whole school community cultivates a culture of respect, commitment, and collaboration
Jennifer Wai-Lan Strodl, Director and Cofounder, Middle School Teacher
Born in Toronto, Canada, Jennifer Wai-Lan Strodl is a writer and educator who has traveled the world to teach children in China, Mexico, Canada, and the United States. Jennifer received her B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing from Princeton University. She holds an M.A.T. in Elementary Education from Smith College, where she was the Helen Donker Rives Fellow. She created and launched STORY, an innovative fiction writing workshop for teens, which is offered locally in diverse venues. She continues to teach with a specific passion for liberating children’s creativity through education. She and her husband, the visual artist Oscar Strodl, cofounded The Liberi School in September 2015.
Julie Milani, Director of Curriculum and Teacher Training, Lower School Teacher
With over twenty-seven years of teaching experience, Julie Milani offers the abilities of a practiced educator, demonstrated innovator, and experienced teacher of teachers. Julie received a B.F.A. in Dance and an M.A. in Southeast Asian Anthropology from Ohio University. After a career in dance and movement education, she received an M.Ed. from Bank Street College and started her elementary teaching career in 1988. In subsequent years, Julie completed the Reading Recovery Certification Program at Lesley University and the Administration Program at the Hampshire Educational Collaborative. Julie was the Kindergarten/First Grade teacher in the South Egremont School and First-Second Grade teacher at Berkshire Country Day School.
Suzi Kim, Lower School Teacher, Afterschool Care Director
Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Suzi received a B.A. in Philosophy with a minor in Spanish from the University of Arizona. Upon graduation, Suzi traveled to Wonju, South Korea, to teach English at Yonsei ELP Institute, where she discovered her passion for education and working with children. After returning to Tucson, Suzi continued to pursue her teaching career as an English Language Learners Instructor at Southside Community School, a progressive charter school, where she taught until relocating to Hudson, New York. At Southside, Suzi led her own multi-age full-time classroom, designing syllabi, assessing student progress, finding creative ways to meet state rubrics, and honing her classroom management skills. She also served as the school’s Afterschool Program Director. Suzi enjoys practicing yoga, painting, reading, and spending time with her dog, Elliott.
Steve Small, Middle School Teacher
Steve Small has been a passionate educator in New York City and then Berkshire County in Massachusetts for many years. He received his B.A. in Political Science and History and post-graduate certification in education from Fairleigh Dickson University. He went on to receive an M.A. in Education leading to certification as a licensed Reading Specialist from Manhattan College. He has brought his extensive training and experience in the fields of reading and writing to the classroom and to children of diverse abilities and interests. He practices mindful education techniques and values to create thoughtful, peaceful, and compassionate classroom communities. He employs performance-based learning for he believes that it is the emotional and expressive aspects of learning where children truly find their own authentic voice.
Dawn Breeze, Studio Art Director
Dawn Breeze is an internationally represented artist, living in Germantown, New York. Her interdisciplinary portfolio has won her recognition in experimental film, painting, installation, and socially engaged art. Breeze designed and currently leads the progressive arts program at the Liberi School titled Throwing Seeds. Throwing Seeds is rooted in the natural beauty of the Hudson Valley and its rich local art history, as well as current contemporary art culture. Breeze designed Throwing Seeds as an offshoot from her Creativity + Courage™ adult workshops. In 2016, Breeze founded Instar Lodge in Germantown as an opportunity to further embolden the artistic practices of other artists by providing inspired space to create, exhibit, teach and learn together with the motto, “Creativity, Courage and Community."
Juan Basilio Sanchez, Spanish and Music Instructor
Vladimir Nahitchevansky, Theatre Instructor