Michelle Hughes

Head of School

Michelle came to High Meadow in 2002 to help create the middle school program. She was appointed Head of School in 2009. Her additional roles are parent and occasional substitute teacher. Michelle received a BA in Visual Arts from SUNY, New Paltz, and a MA in Elementary and Museum Education from Bank Street College of Education. She is certified by the New York State Department of Education (NYSED)

Doris Gonzalez Easton

Lower School Coordinator

Doris came to High Meadow as a parent of three children in 1986.  She soon found herself participating in school life in many capacities. Doris was appointed Teacher in 1988, and taught primarily in the first grade until she was appointed Lower School Coordinator in 2009. Doris received her BS in Educational Studies from Empire State College and is a Certified Language Therapist trained by Neuhaus Institute for Multisensory Learning.

Corinna Sutherland

Finance Director

Corinna came to High Meadow as a parent of two current HMS students. She is a former chair of the PTO, and began working at the school as a bookkeeper in 2013 before becoming Finance Director in 2016. Corinna has a BA from Vassar College.

Administrative Team

 Jodi Palinkas

Administrative Associate

Jodi Palinkas has been working in the main office at HMS since 2008. Aside from being the front desk secretary she also coordinates the after-school and summer programming.

 Leah Glennon

Administrative Assistant

Leah Glennon has worked at High Meadow since 2006. She assists Doris and Michelle with Admissions and general school wide operations. Leah has two sons who graduated from High Meadow School, has served on the PTO, and the Board of Trustees.

Classroom Teachers


Kathy Flannery came to High Meadow as parent and was quickly recruited to take over the After-Care teaching position, and then hired as a Pre-Kindergarten assistant in 2002. Kathy was appointed Lead Teacher in 2006. kathy@highmeadowschool.org

Lily Morgenstern assists in the Preschool Program. In addition to being a High Meadow School alumna, she has a BA from Clark University and MS in School Counseling from Brooklyn College. lily@highmeadowschool.org


Cindy McNabb began as Kindergarten assistant before being promoted to Head Kindergarten Teacher in 2009. Cindy is a trained Montessori teacher who has years of experience working with young children. cindy@highmeadowschool.org

Sandy Petersen joined Cindy as her assistant in 2010. Sandy has several years of experience working with young children in a variety of settings, including the Children’s Center at SUNY New Paltz. sandy@highmeadowschool.org

First Grade

Bridget Corso joined High Meadow in 2015 as the 3rd grade assistant. She received her BA in Education and MA in English Literature and Composition from SUNY New Paltz. Bridget also worked for several years as an outdoor educator at The Ashokan Center. bridget@highmeadowschool.org

Justine Benith joined High Meadow in 2016 as an assistant in First Grade and as a teacher in our after care program. Shas her BA in fine art from Alfred University and a MS in Childhood Education from Hunter College. justine@highmeadowschool.org

Second Grade

Amanda Mackler joined High Meadow in 2016. Previously, she taught language arts at a middle school in Bronx, NY. She received a BA in English from Skidmore College and a MS in Childhood Education from SUNY New Paltz. amanda@highmeadowschool.org

Third Grade

Patrick Linsey has a BA in Biology and MA in Elementary Education, with additional certification in Birth to Pre-School teaching.  Patrick spent many years as an environmental educator before coming to High Meadow in 2012. patrick@highmeadowschool.org

Reta Sorge reta@highmeadowschool.org

Fourth Grade

Jackie Katzen came to High Meadow in 1998, after working in the field of social work. Jackie received a BA in Psychology from Rutgers University and a MA in Elementary Education from SUNY New Paltz. She is certified by NYSED in French, Special Education, General Education, K-6. jackie@highmeadowschool.org

Lindabrook Guenther lindabrook@highmeadow.org

Upper School Teachers

Fifth and Sixth Grades Math/Science, Fifth Grade Homeroom

Marissa Ender marissa@highmeadowschool.org

Fifth and Sixth Grades Humanities, Drama, Sixth Grade Homeroom

Allyson Uzzle began as a Teaching Assistant in 2001 before becoming a 5/6 Lead Humanities and Drama teacher in 2006. Ally received her BFA from University of Connecticut in Drama and a Master’s Certificate from London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. allyson@highmeadowschool.org

Hollie Paynter joins the 5/6 team as assistant. hollie@highmeadowschool.org

Seventh and Eighth Grades Literature/Language Arts

Rachel Van Carpels joined HMS as an assistant in first grade in 2014 and spent a year in the 7/8 Humanities program before taking over as head Humanities teacher and 8th grade homeroom teacher in 2016. She is mother to two HMS students. rachel@highmeadowschool.org

Seventh and Eighth Grades Math/Science

Peter Laves has a BA in Physics from Rutgers University and a MA in teaching Math at the secondary level from Bard College. peter@highmeadowschool.org

Arts and Special Areas Teachers


Tracy Leavitt first came to High Meadow as parent and was appointed Visual Arts Teacher in 2003. Tracy has a BFA from Portland School of Fine Arts in Portland, ME. tracy@highmeadowschool.org


Molly Lugo is a dancer, teacher and performance artist from Woodstock, NY. She graduated as a dance major from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA). Molly teaches Preschool through 8th grade dance at High Meadow, as well as assisting the 7th and 8th grade classrooms.molly@highmeadowschool.org

PreSchool through Fourth Grade Music, Upper School Percussion/Instrumental Ensemble, Educational Technology Coordinator

Ike Shaw is a Renaissance man. He has a BA in Music Education, and is a founder of Wayfinder Experience. As Educational Technology coordinator, Ike supports the THEAMS initiative, provides direct technology instruction, and supports administrative operations with website maintenance and communications. ike@highmeadowschool.org

Third and Fourth Grade Instrumental Music, Upper School Guitar Ensemble

Ken McGloin is a professional musician who plays with bands in the Hudson Valley and beyond. He is co-founder of Face the Music, a company that uses music as a staff development tool for institutions and organizations. Ken has several years teaching experience, and was previously Music Director at Poughkeepsie Day School.

Upper School Choral Ensemble

Andrea Maddox is a classically trained singer and pianist, with a BFA in Theater from New York University. She has performed throughout the US and Internationally for multiple rock concerts and festivals including NYC’s Halloween Parade, Bonnaroo, Phish, and Bread and Puppet. Andrea also teaches piano and voice lessons at Poughkeepsie Day School and privately. andrea@highmeadowschool.org

Preschool through Eighth Grade Physical Education, Health and Safety Coordinator

Bill Brantmeyer provides physical and health education to our students and coordinates our Athletics program. As an Emergency Medic Bill brings his knowledge of human physiology to the Healthy Minds/Strong Bodies initiative, as well as to his role as on-site Medic. bill@highmeadowschool.org

Kindergarten through Eighth Grade Spanish

Amy Weiss brings a multi-sensory and project-based approach to the teaching of Spanish.  Songs, stories, games, and the celebration of holidays set the stage for the more formal Spanish learning as students progress through the grades. amy@highmeadowschool.org

Current Trustees 2016-2017

Stephanie Ellis, Chair
Sara Munson, Vice-Chair
Elizabeth Ellis, Vice-Chair
Pia Kelly, Secretary

Jessica Applestone
Caroline Crumpacker
Paul Rakov
Ari Rosen

Michelle Hughes, Head of School
Doris Gonzales, Associate Head of School
Corinna Sutherland-Roth, Financial Director


High Meadow School is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees which follows the protocols and guidance of the National Associations of Independent Schools (NAIS).  The Board of Trustees holds the mission of High Meadow School in trust. It is charged with hiring the head of school and ensuring the school’s ongoing fiscal health and well-being. Along with the administration, the board sets and monitors the strategic direction of the school.

The number of Trustees constituting the entire Board after the first annual meeting of the Board of Trustees shall be at least five (5)  but no more than eleven (11). Each Trustee shall be at least eighteen (18) years of age, and the initial term for Board Members is three academic years.  A Board Member may continue their term for as much as 12 years, with a review of each Board member taking place every three years.

Selecting Board Members

When the Board considers applicants for vacant positions, it seeks individuals who are:

  • In at least their second year at the school and in good standing, if they are a parent.
  • Have served on school or local committees or carried out projects and have proven themselves to be a person who meets commitments, interacts and collaborates well with others, believes in and carries forth the mission of the school.
  • Possess a particular skill set needed on the Board (ie: marketing, accounting, education background)
  • Board members do not need to be current parents at High Meadow School.

Once the nominees have been identified, they are invited to apply.  If they accept, they are interviewed by a member of the Governance Committee. In addition, individuals who are motivated to volunteer for the Board and feel that they possess the criteria listed above are encouraged to apply for Board membership when openings occur. The Governance Committee members then present the nominees to the Board for consideration and the Board members vote.  Please contact the Board of Trustees at board@highmeadowschool.org for more information.

Board Committees

There are four standing committees on the Board of Trustees:

  • Finance
  • Governance
  • Fundraising/Development
  • Continuous Quality Improvement Committee (CQIC)
  • Ad-hoc committees and special task forces on particular projects may also form.
    Some committees are open to non-Board members with expertise in the field.

To contact the Board of Trustees, please email:  board@highmeadowschool.org