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Maple Street School was founded in 1998 by Christina Crawford and Janet Turnbull Irving as an independent school with academic excellence and joyful learning at the heart of its mission. They envisioned a school where motivated students could embrace learning, be meaningfully engaged in the visual and performing arts, participate in athletics and develop individual and social responsibility.
Maple Street opened its doors in September 1998 with 37 students in grades Kindergarten through Grade 7. Founding Head of School, Nancy Holmes Calicchio, in keeping with the initial objectives, hired four full-time classroom teachers, three part-time teachers for art, music and French; an administration; and enlisted a Parent Association. In its second year, Maple Street’s enrollment grew from 37 to 63 students in Kindergarten through Grade 8, which required expansion of the campus and included leasing adjacent land and three modular classrooms. The faculty, staff, Board of Trustees, and Advisory Council grew as well to accommodate nearly doubling our enrollment. The academic year, 2000-2001, saw a further increase in the number of students to 80. This steady enrollment increase signaled Maple Street’s success, which forced the Board of Trustees to investigate options for a new campus to accommodate a total enrollment of about 110 students. The continued generosity of the larger community in supporting Maple Street’s mission resulted in a land gift of 23 acres in Manchester Village, where a new school campus opened in November 2003.
In 2006, Fran Bisselle was hired as the second head of school, and she transitioned Maple Street from a startup entrepreneurial school to one cultivating long-term loyalty and accessibility. Enrollment and endowment growth were two of Fran’s priorities, as well as strengthening programmatic and professional development programs.
In 2016, Fanning M. Hearon was hired as the third head of school, bringing significant teaching and administrative experience to his new position after having spent the previous 24 years at three of the country’s most respected independent schools. He is a compassionate and accomplished educator, a proven leader with an enduring commitment to academic excellence and joyful learning, and someone who is familiar with Vermont culture and politics.
One Maple Street priority continues to be a diverse student body. It is the intention of the School to remain affordable, to extend significant scholarships to worthy candidates, to attract and retain highly qualified professionals, and to provide meaningful benefits, including professional development, to all faculty and staff. Our program continues to focus on academic excellence with an enriched curriculum including language, music and arts for all, an integration of 21st century technology in all studies, environmental and experiential learning opportunities, and a foundation in civic and social responsibility. The enhancement of the School’s endowment for the building and scholarships remains a high priority.