Degrees and Certifications:
Dear Hopkins School Families,
Welcome to Hopkins School and the 2016-2017 school year! It is an honor and a privilege to serve the community as we guide students to develop the respect, responsibility and resiliency they need to achieve success. I am excited to work in partnership with students, educators, and parents of Hopkins to provide an environment that supports growth and success for all. One of my priorities as the principal will be to foster a collaborative environment built through strong culture, clarity of vision, transparent communication, and commitment to excellence. I want to take this opportunity to share with you some information about my personal background, as well as my core beliefs about education.
As an educator, I have developed beliefs that guide my work as a teacher and administrator. The wealth of teaching and leadership opportunities I have had in my career, as well as my time as a parent, has confirmed my belief that passionate learning is built on a foundation of compassion. My dedication to this philosophy is at the forefront of my work as an educator. I care deeply about the physical, emotional, and intellectual safety and the well-being of every student. My interactions with parents, students and teachers here at Hopkins has affirmed that this is a place that shares this vision. Hopkins is a vibrant community of learners- students and adults!
I was born in San Francisco and raised in Barrington Hills, Illinois and then Mercer Island, Washington. My husband, Brian, and I have two daughters - Samantha (12) and Madison (10) - who attend school in Franklin and keep us very busy with taekwondo, soccer and lacrosse. Brian is the Team President for the New England Revolution, and we all enjoy cheering on the teams over at Gillette Stadium when we aren’t cheering on our girls. We also enjoy some very competitive game nights (Settlers of Catan!) and traveling the world together. This summer, we had amazing adventures in Alaska- including a dog sled ride on a glacier!
Professionally, I hold a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Wellesley College, a Master’s in Special Education from Boston College, and a Master of Education in Organizational Management from Endicott College. I have spent time teaching in Brookline, Palo Alto and the Franklin Public Schools. I spent my career as a K-8 Special Education teacher before becoming the Assistant Principal at Hopkins two years ago. I was thrilled to come to Hopkins because it is chockful of 9-11 year olds who have entered the “golden age” of education- filled with the drive and curiosity that 4th and 5th graders possess! Working at Hopkins returned me to my absolute favorite age of learners- with whom I can share my love of all things Star Wars, Lego and Harry Potter!
A strong partnership between families and educators results in an environment conducive for growth and learning. Open communication and a relationship built on trust are essential components to a successful school-parent partnership. I encourage you to establish a positive relationship with your child’s teachers and our Hopkins School community. Please feel free to contact me at any time should you have any questions or concerns. As Helen Keller so eloquently stated, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
I look forward to working with you all during the 2016-2017 school year!
Vanessa Bilello, Principal