Abby Hood, Head of School, graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a bachelor’s in biology in 1999, after which she worked as a college laboratory instructor, sea turtle research technician, backcountry caretaker, wildlife rehabilitator, and advisor and work crew leader at a therapeutic work community located on an organic farm. Abby then returned to school and received her MS in ecological planning from the University of Vermont, studying the natural systems of New England.
It was during the summers, rather than the school year, though, that Abby first identified her passion for teaching science to high school students. During one intensive week each summer, Abby taught field science to bright and motivated high school students at the Governor’s Institute of Vermont, science and technology program. She loved it, and the next thing she knew, she was teaching science full time at Oliverian. Abby has had many roles at Oliverian over the last seventeen years, including science teacher, dorm parent, academic director, and college counselor. She currently serves as Head of School. She loves Oliverian — its beautiful campus, kind and brilliant faculty, and most of all the interesting and spirited students who inspire her to keep learning and growing. In her free time, Abby enjoys hiking, running, skiing, canoeing, gardening, and spending quality time with her husband and two children.
What do you love most about Oliverian?
“What I love most about Oliverian is that it is a community that simultaneously loves and accepts its students as they are, while also believing in their ability grow and change into better versions of themselves. Incidentally, in my Oliverian life I feel both loved as I am and challenged to improve. What more could I ask?”
What motivates you to work with kids?
“I didn’t particularly like being a teenager myself, so I was really surprised as an adult to discover how much I love working with teenagers. Perhaps it gives me a chance to relive adolescence without all the angst I felt during my own. And I feel really passionate about providing a setting for adolescents to fumble their way towards their identity in a lovingly supportive environment. Plus, they are really fun and funny and surprising and interesting.”