Sarah Gerome, founder & director of Hillside School, brings 40 years of experience to her teaching. With an emphasis in early childhood education and art, her repertoire of teaching experience includes elementary and middle schools, childcare co-ops, summer camps and the homeschooling community. When she returned to her native Virginia in 1999 she spent ten years at North Branch School in Afton, where she was the main teacher for K/1 and the lead art teacher for all students, K-8. She started Summer Art Camp at North Branch in 2006, a program that continues to thrive in 2018. With a deep connection to and reverence for our planet and all its inhabitants—plant and animal alike—Sarah brings a wealth of botanical/gardening knowledge and experience to her teaching. Sarah has also taught for Charlottesville Parks & Recreation as well as volunteered for C'Ville's Festival of the Book and the Sabroso Festival. A lifelong activist championing social justice and community-building initiatives, she has been involved in the workings of several homeless shelters in the span of her career. To learn more about Hillside, and why Sarah founded the school, you can listen to a public radio interview here.
Cynthia Dyer came to teach at Hillside School in 2016. She has been working with children, with an emphasis on those with special needs and chronic/terminal illness, since she was a teenager growing up in Charlottesville. As a horse enthusiast, she chose her specialty in equine therapy, educating children and adults from a wide socioeconomic range. Her experience with the underserved population in the inner city helped to shape her philosophy of making children feel safe and valued as a teaching foundation. She has worked one-on-one and in small groups with children and adults with both physical and developmental challenges in her capacity as teacher and caregiver.