Mountain School at Winhall names new Head of School, Assistant Head


The Mountain School at Winhall, an independent school serving the communities of Winhall, Stratton, Bondville and other southern Vermont communities, has appointed Margaret Schlachter as the school’s new Head of School and Joseph Frigo as Assistant Head of School and as Upper School Math and Science teacher. Both assume their new roles in July.

The appointments mark a return to the Southern Vermont area for both educators, who attended high school and college in Vermont and began their education careers here.

Schlachter brings nearly two decades experience in education, and comes to MSW from Wasatch Academy in Utah, where she leads development and alumni relations. She also held administrative and coaching roles at The Killington Mountain School, Stratton Mountain School and Skidmore College. In addition, Schlachter founded and built a globally recognized sports media and experiential brand and competed as a professional athlete.

She is a graduate of the Stratton Mountain School, earned a Bachelor’s degree and competed as an Alpine ski racer at Babson College and earned a Master’s of Education in Education Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Vermont. Schlachter is part of the Pathways to Leadership program, a two-year leadership initiative of the Northwest Association of Independent Schools that prepares women independent school educators for Heads of School roles. She will succeed the current Head of School, Dr. Colleen Palmer, who is retiring at the end of the 2023 term.

Frigo currently serves as a middle school mathematics and science teacher at The Shipley School in Pennsylvania and brings classroom experience teaching math and science in the Springfield, Vt., school system as well as at Stratton Mountain School. In addition to serving as Assistant Head of School at MSW, he will teach Upper School math and science classes.

Frigo holds a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies from Keene State College, dual Masters in Conservation Biology from Antioch University New England and Teaching for Social Justice from Marlboro College. Additionally, he has earned a Graduate Certificate in Strategic Leadership from Rosemont College. He will succeed Erin Harris, who has served as Assistant Head of School for the past two years while also carrying a part-time teaching load. . Harris plans to return to the classroom full-time.

The school’s Board of Trustees thanked Dr. Palmer, who joined the school in 2020, citing her “remarkable and effective job leading our school through the pandemic and beyond. We are forever grateful for her leadership and her efforts during this transition.” They also thanked Harris “for her outstanding work in the classroom and supporting Dr. Palmer as Assistant Head of School these past two years.”

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