Recently, Ashwood had the pleasure of welcoming three new members to our Board of Trustees, Valerie Shepard, Lisa Newcomb, and Jessica Wheeler. Welcome all! In the coming weeks, we’ll be profiling each of the new members. This week, we’ll meet Valerie Shepard, who has a unique connection to Ashwood.

Valerie Shepard was a member of Ashwood’s first graduating class in 1998. She attended the local public high school (Medomak Valley) and Mount Holyoke College, where she majored in French and Studio Art. Her favorite college memories include junior year studying abroad in Montpellier, France, and competing on the college’s track and equestrian sports teams. Following college, Val returned to her life long passion for horses and has worked as a rider, barn manager, and instructor in both recreational and therapeutic riding programs. Currently, she is a trainer at Horses with Hope, a local program which provides training and rehabilitation to rescued horses.

Val recently married her longtime sweetheart Abe Stimson ’98, whom she originally met back in 5th grade at Ashwood. Together, Val and Abe love to hike, camp, and travel—most recently they renovated an old Winnebago camper and took a seven-month cross-country trip, with work exchanges on farms along the way. Both Val and Abe share a deep appreciation for the Waldorf education they received, and can vividly see the many ways in which it shaped their lives for the better. As an incoming board member, Val is excited to help out with alumni relations and looks forward to taking part in school events.