Apple Gifford’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in Religious Studies from Yale University, as well as a Masters of Education and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Counseling Psychology for Educators, both from Lesley University. Apple has been an academic tutor in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a Sixth Grade teacher and Directing Teacher at Shady Hill School in Cambridge, and a Lead Instructor for Outward Bound. In addition to her teaching duties, Apple is the K-8 Program Director and Curriculum Director at Oak Meadow. She enjoys guiding students and families on their homeschooling journey, and is particularly interested in applying new educational technologies to enhance the experience of distance learning. Apple resides in Newfane, Vermont, with her family and enjoys knitting, quilting, and canoeing.
Julie Lavorgna was born in Malden, Massachusetts. She received a B.A. in English Literature from Mount Holyoke College and was employed for thirty years at Yale University (Assistant to the Master, Berkeley College; Assistant to the Director, Yale Center for British Art; editor and designer of publications, Yale Center for British Art) In 2000, she and her husband, Gary Lavorgna—a retired groundskeeper and locksmith at Yale—moved to Brookline, Vermont, where their home is off the grid. In addition to her volunteer duties at the Library, she is Secretary-Treasurer of the Brattleboro Branch of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and a member of the NewBrook Fire and Rescue Department. She and Gary have two daughters and a son. Her interests are reading, crossword puzzles, jazz, art, gardening, and her iPad.
Bobbe Nemes Ragouzeos resides in Newfane, with her husband, artist Leonard Ragouzeos since 2004. She has a BS in developmental psychology from Hunter College, an MSW in clinical therapy from the University of Iowa and an M.Ed in Educational Administration from Millersville University of PA. She has worked as a therapist with children, adolescents and families, was a college professor and worked in international adoption. She and Leonard are the parents of two adult children and their spouses, and are the proud grandparents of Avery Elaine with two more to arrive this summer.
Steve Squires has lived in Newfane since 1999, successfully transitioning from a long career in software development to a new life somewhere between retired and homesteading. Visible roles in the community include singing in a church choir and local choral groups, working or speaking as a UVM Extension Master Gardener volunteer, and as a working member at the Brattleboro Food Coop. Steve has served several terms on his church board, holding positions including treasurer and board president. He joined the library board in 2012. Steve is happily married to Kathy Squires, whose volunteer activities eclipse his by a wide margin.