Our Board of Directors

OUR 2021 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Kerri Dolce- President

My name is Kerri Dolce and I am honored to be serving on the Acorn Board.  My husband and I have three boys and feel fortunate to have found Acorn when our oldest son joined as a Chipmunk several years ago.  As parents, it is incredible to see how much our children have grown not only socially but also academically, all thanks to the wonderful people that make Acorn a remarkable school.  As a member of the board, I am excited for the opportunity to give back to a school that has meant so much to my family, as well as, helping to ensure Acorn is accessible and thriving for future generations.

Amy Mangano- Vice President

I joined Acorn School Board of Directors in January 2020. 

My family has been part of Acorn School since 2018 when our oldest started as a Chipmunk (3-year-old class). As a parent with a professional background in child development, I fully supported Acorn School’s philosophy of integrating play, nature and learning through a multisensory experience. I joined the board to support current and future generations of children at Acorn School. I feel honored to have the opportunity to give back to a wonderful school and community.
Kristin Larrabee - Secretary

I was honored to join the Board of Directors in April of 2018 to serve as the Secretary.  Acorn was an environment that my husband, Matt, and I knew we wanted our children to experience.  Addy rose through Chipmunk, Tadpole and Mighty Oak years to adore her time and wants to come back daily.  Drew is enjoying his Chickadee year after a great Chipmunk year last year. Friends made in these years have become our ‘tribe’, and solidified lifelong connections with others, nature, play, and problem solving skills.  As an upper elementary teacher, I strongly believe in the foundation that Acorn School, and now also the TimberNook experience, establishes in these little minds and bodies. We reside in Greenland, but have been volunteering for over 18 year at the Stratham Fire Department, in the town Matt loves and grew up in.  You can often find us spending family time anywhere out on the water. 

Debra Grott - Treasurer

My name is Debra Grott and I have been on the Acorn Board of Directors since September 2014 serving as Treasurer. Two of my three children who are now 28 and 23, were lucky enough to be Chipmunks and the Woolly Bears at Acorn School. Some of their closest friends were from their years at Acorn School. I am honored to be a part of the same strong traditions, educational concepts and loving environment which our  family experienced over 25 years ago. I currently work as a CPA in the Seacoast area, as well as, a Field Hockey coach at Exeter High School. I live in Hampton with my family and our dog, LuLu.

Maggie Basenberg

My name is Maggie Basenberg, and I am just completing my first year on the Acorn board. I live in Newfields with my husband and our three children, Connor, Molly, and Liam. Connor did three wonderful years at Acorn, and Molly is in her second year now. Liam is a future chipmunk. When I am not with my family, I spend a lot of my time involved with Irish Step dancing, judging competitions all over the country. What I love about Acorn is the community that surrounds this little school. I meet people everywhere who went to Acorn or who love it for one reason or another. My family has made wonderful friendships here. I joined the board to get involved, and it has been a fun wild year so far! I can’t wait to see what the next few bring for our wonderful little school. 

Rachel Bendroth

Rachel Bendroth is an Acorn School alumni, Acorn School enthusiast, and a future Acorn School parent. She just moved back to the Seacoast with her 3 year old son, Jack. She is passionate about trauma informed parenting, sensory development, and foster care. She and her son enjoy spending time with her family, playing outside (#1000hours), and traveling (pre-Pandemic). Rachel is a Nurse Practitioner at OHSU in Portland, Oregon, where she works remotely. 

Christina Connolly

I joined the Acorn School Community when my daughter Hannah became a Chipmunk in the fall of 2015.  My son Sam grew into a proud Mighty Oak in 2021 and my son Henry is looking forward to his second year there.  It has been such a joy to watch my children spend their precious first school years at a place that cherishes them almost as much as I do. We currently live in Newmarket and enjoy spending as much time as we can in my home state of Southern California (so we’re crazy for Disneyland).  I am honored to be a board member for Acorn School and to help carry on its wonderful traditions. 

Emily Donatelli

I was born and raised in Massachusetts and have happily lived on the Seacoast coming up on 5 years. Retired early childhood educator and speech therapist of 8 years – turned mama and network marker. I joined the board to have a hand in our child’s education and be a part of such a wonderful community. Becoming a Chipmunk was a big deal for our daughter as all the Donatelli cousins are Acorn graduates. Our 18 month old already can’t wait to join the team!

Alicia Jarvis

My name is Alicia Jarvis and I joined the Acorn Board of Directors September 2019. My oldest daughter had such a positive experience at Acorn, first as a Chipmunk and then a Tadpole, that it was the obvious choice to send my two youngest children there as well. I enjoyed watching all three of children benefit from all that Acorn has to offer, not only in the classroom but through their enrichment programs like TimberNook. I am honored to be a part of a school that is committed to doing what is best for young children with their play and nature based approach to education. I studied Early Childhood Education and have a background working with preschool age students. I live in Stratham with my husband, where I stay home with our three children and our cat, Reese.

Rachelle Merrill

My name is Rachelle Merrill, I have been on the Acorn board for the past year. I have three kids, Jaxson age 6, Mckenzie age 5 and Brielle age 3. Jaxson was at acorn for 2 memorable years, and Mckenzie is finishing up her very fun outdoor experience as a wholly bear. Brielle is my future chipmunk next year and she is beyond thrilled to be a part of Acorn. I work per-diem at Boston Children’s hospital as a registered pediatric nurse, I have been there for 15 years. I was on many hospital wide committees when working full time, but now that my main focus is on my children, I wanted to become more involved in their school and what they care about most! I love being part of the acorn community, we have made many great family bonds over the past years. It amazes me how Acorn as a community team has provided the best opportunity for these kids to learn and grow during this challenging time!

Sarah Renon

I joined this wonderful board in spring of 2021 during my daughter’s first year as a Chipmunk. We fell in love with this school as soon as we visited and I am so happy to give back to this community in some way. I live on the Seacoast with my husband and two daughters – the oldest going into her second year and the youngest very excited to become a Chipmunk in 2022! I’ve worked as a Business Analyst for the University of New Hampshire for the past 3 years. During my free time, I enjoy spending time outdoors with our hound shepherd mix, cooking and playing the violin. I look forward to seeing the Acorn students thrive over the next few years!

Gayle Vardakis

Hello!  I joined the Acorn Board in Spring 2019, and am honored for the opportunity to support such an amazing school.  My husband and I have two sons who have both thrived at Acorn School.  Our youngest is starting his Mighty Oak year this fall.  I am grateful for all that Acorn School and its amazing teachers have given to our children, and I am so happy to have a chance to give back to the Acorn community.