“I spent all of my middle school years at Four Winds. I deeply enjoyed this time, bonding with my peers and creating lasting relationships.” ~ August

August Santos, 2021

Since graduating, I successfully transitioned from small Four Winds to Northampton High School, a large public high school in my hometown. Now, I’m involved in theater, working in my acting class, and performing in the school musical Mamma Mia. I’m also involved in SASH (Students Against Sexual Harassment), as a theater facilitator and co-communications director. Through this, I’m making plenty of new friends and reconnecting with old ones. In the first semester, I’ll finish with straight A’s in my new and much bigger classes. Four Winds helped shape this era of my life, introducing important time management skills that still help me today. (Updated: February 2022)

Since she graduated Four Winds, Jyn has won two blue ribbons at the virtual state fair, one for a quilt top and the other for a pair of knitted gauntlets.

Jyn Rankin, 2020

She’s on the Greenfield Library’s Teen Advisory Council, helping to design the teen space for the new library. She just won a Young Peacemaker Award from the Franklin County Interfaith Council and the Traprock Peace Center for her work in Long Line, a local group that promotes social justice for girls that has teamed up with organizations in Syracuse, NY, and Sierra Leone to combat sexual harassment of girls in Sierra Leone schools. She’s also becoming a regular volunteer at the Fiber College Maine, and she participates in a number of online social groups, where she actively promotes inclusivity. She’s been homeschooled as a high school student all year and will spend the fall transitioning to GCC. Her hobbies are painting and drawing, reading and writing fiction, and fiber arts, principally knitting and sewing. (Text by Jyn’s mom, Sarah. June 2021)

Greenfield Recorder Staff Photo/Paul Franz

“When you come to Four Winds, you don’t just come to a school. You come to a place where everyone is welcome, accepted, and loved for being themselves. The people that Four Winds has introduced me to have become some of my best friends. When you graduate Four Winds, that bond doesn’t lessen.” ~ Lydia

Lydia Helmstadter, 2019

Bard Academy at Simon’s Rock, 2021
Bard College at Simon’s Rock, 2023

“Four Winds School is the best! It is small enough that you constantly get one-on-one time with the teacher, you go at your own pace for most of your work, everyone is really supportive, and there is no bullying. It is like one big family, mainly because it is such a tight-knit community.” ~ Tevah

Tevah Rose, 2018

Bard College at Simon’s Rock, 2023

After Four Winds I attended the Williston Northampton School for a year before going on a journey of self discovery. That lasted a few years, in which I made a number of close friends and worked on bettering myself and my relationship with the world around me. After this I attended Bard College at Simons Rock, and am set to transfer for fall of 2023, graduating from the college I attend after in spring of 2025, with a dual degree in government and psychology. From there I hope to attend law school.

For now I am working hard at school, in addition to trying to stand up for what I believe in, and leave everywhere I go a little better than I found it.

(Updated: December 2021)

“Four Winds allows students to thrive in a way that larger academic programs could only dream of. This is a school that feels academically enriching and emotionally safe for all students. The program allows gifted students to accelerate as fast as they’d like, while simultaneously supporting students who struggle academically by moving at a pace that doesn’t overwhelm them and lets them feel accomplished.” ~ Sage

Sage Kampitsis, 2014

Marlboro College, 2019

I graduated with highest honors from Marlboro College in 2019 with a degree in Sociology: Education and Social Justice. While at Marlboro, I completed a two-year thesis project on how schools reinforce social reproduction through rewarding acts of dominant culture and punishing acts of nondominant culture. During this time I also interned as an academic and behavioral advisor at The Steppingstone Foundation, a nonprofit that provides programming for underserved students to support their preparation for college success.
Post-graduation, I’m living in Boston, MA and working as an Enrichment Educator at The Advent School, an independent school in Beacon Hill. When not at Advent, I’m volunteering as a youth worker with Sibling Connections, a nonprofit that provides programming to connect siblings that have been separated by the foster care system. Looking into the future, I plan on attending graduate school and earning a Master’s in Social Work.
Outside of work, I’m a competitive athlete in a number of sports, and I’m most commonly found training in contemporary skating under American Ice Theatre. When I’m not training, I enjoy traveling, reading, geocaching, or challenging myself to an escape room.

(Updated:11/15/21)

“My experience at Four Winds heavily influenced my decision to pursue teaching as a career.  At Four Winds, I learned to see myself in a new way, as a learner and as a person. Before, I had always seen myself as “stupid” in certain areas, and Four Winds’ individualized approach put an end to that line of thinking!  I hope to do the same for my future students.” ~ Lia

Lia Ashe-Simmer, 2009

UMass Amherst, 2018 and 2021

After Four Winds I went on to Northampton High School for two years before leaving to take classes at North Star and Greenfield Community College.  After GCC, I had a series of adventures, including but not limited to: a year at a small college in Indiana, stamping books at a library, 8 months teaching in Nicaragua, briefly au pairing in Spain, working at a YMCA summer camp, working at an after-school program, and being a PCA for a woman with dementia.  I eventually graduated from the University of Massachusetts in May 2018 with a degree in English and a specialization in creative writing. After gradation, I taught for a semester in the Chilean public schools, and then at a private school Ecuador for another four months. I then completed a Master’s program in Secondary Education at UMass and now work in the Holyoke Public School system. (Updated 2021)

Wes Mason, 2001

Northfield Mount Hermon, class of 2005

Wes graduated from UMass Amherst with dual Bachelor’s Degrees in Classics and Political Science. He currently lives in Somerville, MA and works as an IT Manager at edX, a non-profit MOOC (massive open online courses) platform that partners with colleges, universities, and businesses from around the world to make high quality education available for everyone, everywhere. (Updated: 5/8/19)

See a list of schools Four Winds Students have attended for high school and college!

After Four Winds