Colleen Parenteau

Colleen Guertin Parenteau, M.S.

After earning a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a concentration in Environmental Studies from UVM, I began teaching field-based science and environmental education as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Oregon. Since then, I have worked as a classroom teacher, science teacher, and advocate for nature-based learning. In 2010, I earned a Master of Science in Ecological Teaching and Learning from Lesley University. And, during the summer of 2012, I had an exciting opportunity to teach and conduct research at a rural primary school in southwestern Kenya.
Currently, I teach science at the Tower School in Marblehead, MA. I love learning alongside students and guiding them to find solutions to problems that interest them.
I particularly enjoy teaching and learning about gardening and permaculture, growing the juiciest tomatoes, and working with children to grow food.

In my free time, I love to ski, hike, practice yoga, and play with my kids. I am an avid bird watcher and naturalist. The Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Plum Island National Wildlife Refuge, and the Mad River Valley are some of my favorite areas to view migratory birds in the Northeast. ​


Russ Wells

Russ Wells, M.S.

I earned a B.S. and M.S. in biology, in my home state, at the University of Vermont. While I was keen to work in molecular genetics—first at Dana-Farber and later at B.U. Medical, my interest in teaching quickly grew.

My teaching experience includes a non-profit STEM enrichment start-up, the Museum of Science, and the Cambridge Montessori School. I joined Tower in 2007. Today, I teach 7th and 8th grade science and health. I am also an advisor to 7th and 8th grade students.

In the summers, I co-teach a boatbuilding workshop at Redd’s Pond Boatworks in Marblehead and spend more time outside with my wife and children.
I have been part of the mentoring group Big Brothers & Big Sister of Massachusetts Bay for many years, and have seen a once fifth grade boy become a fine young man – now adult. It’s this type of long-term relationship that I enjoy fostering the most.

Allison Dellner and Leilani McNeill

Allison Dellner and Leilani McNeill became friends while attending herb school at Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism in Montpelier, VT, where they studied the power & magic of plant medicine. Both Allison and Leilani graduated from the school’s Clinical Herbalist program, and continued careers in applied herbalism, while raising their families and operating small-scale herbal businesses.

Allison now lives in Moretown, VT with her daughter & husband, where she practices; seeing clients for herbal consultations, teaching, wildcrafting & harvesting herbs to make seasonal herbal remedies and herbal skin care products for her company ‘wild sings the bird’.

Leilani has devoted many years to her career at the Tata Harper Skincare company, and also has created and sold her own herbal wellness company, ‘Taking Root’. Leilani now lives on a beautiful piece of land with her family in Salisbury, VT, where she grows herbs and cares for her two small children, and continues to create high-end, botanical skincare through her work with Tata Harper.

Allison and Leilani are excited to share their love for plants & create a space for children to learn from the land; practice plant identification & botany skills, make art from nature, explore kid-friendly medicine-making and revel in unstructured forest play!

All camps take place on our permaculture farmstead in Rochester, Vermont.
Contact us at erica@wholesystemshealthvt.org with any additional questions.