I am overjoyed to announce that the Board of Trustees of the Oliverian School has unanimously and enthusiastically appointed Abby Hood as the fourth Head of School, effective January 1, 2022. Abby has served as Interim Head of School since May 2021, bringing stability, promise, and vision during a challenging time of transition and a pandemic. We have the utmost respect for her as a person, an educator, and a leader.
Abby earned her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College where she graduated summa cum laude in 1999. Her work there included a semester with the School for Field Studies in Kenya. She went on to study Ecological Planning at the University of Vermont, where she was awarded the M.S. degree in 2006. She was a Teaching Fellow at UVM, a Lead Faculty member at the Governor’s Institute of Vermont, and an Instructor in the Vermont Science Initiative at Johnson State College, before joining the Oliverian faculty in 2006.
At Oliverian, Abby first taught integrated science and field studies courses, and served as a dorm parent. In 2011, Abby became the School’s Director of Academics, overseeing curriculum development and implementation, faculty hiring and supervision, and the development of educational plans for students. In 2012 she was appointed as College and Transition Counselor, helping Oliverian seniors and their families negotiate the challenges of seeking and applying to colleges and other endeavors. Many Oliverian alumni, who at first might have dreaded or wished to avoid the college search and application process, look back with both fondness and gratitude at what they, with Abby’s tireless assistance and guidance, have been able to achieve. Abby has also facilitated sessions for board and faculty meetings and other groups, including SWOT analysis, visioning, and strategic planning. She acted as self-study coordinator for the school’s initial accreditation with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Abby’s colleagues call her “smart, caring, and compassionate,” and note that she “leads with integrity, steadfast in her own quietly effective style.” Her “love and enthusiasm for the school shine through in her successful efforts to make Oliverian a rewarding and comfortable place to work, live, and learn.” Another faculty member notes that she “knows better than anyone what Oliverian is and can mean to the students, and has a clear vision for the School.”
We on the Board of Trustees have found Abby to be a clear-thinking, dedicated, and inspirational colleague. We look to her with confidence for the leadership the School needs to continue helping young people “find their place in the world,” weather the storms of the pandemic, and face the challenges ahead of all of us in these uncertain times. The Oliverian community is so very fortunate to benefit from Abby’s talents, passions, and wisdom.
Abby lives nearby, in Fairlee, VT, with her husband Jesse Mohr, a consulting forester and wildlife biologist, and their two children, Theo and Elise.
Please join us in celebrating this joyous appointment.
With warm wishes to all for the holidays and the new year ahead.
Peter W. Stevens
Chair, Board of Trustees