Moving On

Staff that are leaving BHS share their thoughts


Cecily Spence , Managing Editor



Clayton Hamilton: 

Clayton Hamilton has been working at BHS for six years. Following the end of this school year, he will be moving to Nashville, Tennessee with his wife for her work.

“I’ve learned a lot about myself being here, what I enjoy, and what I need to work on in terms of my professional career. [A favorite memory was] my first few years working with the jazz band and going to the Vermont Association of Jazz Educators competition,” Hamilton said. “And doing the world premiere this year, Symphonic Winds, that was a highlight for me too.”

Billy Ray Poli:

Billy Ray Poli has worked at BHS for eight years and has been living in Vermont for 10. He will be moving to Connecticut where he will be a choir teacher at a local high school, close to his family, New York City, and the ocean.

“I was only a third-year teacher when I got to BHS, and I feel like BHS taught me not only a lot about myself and who I am as a person but who I am as an educator as well,” Poli said. “I’ve learned how to work with nothing and make something amazing, and I think that [ability] will stick with me for a long time.”

Poli acknowledged that this is a time of transition for BHS, and leaving such a temporary space is difficult.

“I think teaching in this building is more difficult than people realize,” Poli said. “It takes a toll not only on your physical self, but also your mental self. … There has also been lots of turnover with administration, and I think people are looking for stability, so at some point, teachers need to move out as well.”

Poli fondly recalls memories from his time teaching.

“I think one of my favorite memories is when we would do concerts in the vestibule, right where people walk in,” Poli said.” I used to just randomly grab my choir kids and we would do an impromptu concert right in front of the theater. Those just stick out to me as special moments of bringing joy to people.”

Jen Richter:

Jen Richter has been a counselor at BHS for three years and will be moving on this fall.

“When I first started, [BHS] gave me a place to be where I felt worthy and included.”

Richter began right as the Institute Road location shut down, and so she was new at DTBHS with everyone else.

“Finding my footing at first was hard the first year, but BHS has taught me how to look for systems and policies to help
support students, which I will take with me into my next chapter.”

Richter plans to continue in school counseling.

“I hope to leave behind a group of young people who feel empowered to stand up for themselves and know how to find
advocates in the building that will support their voices,” Ritcher said. “I just hope that I leave behind a group of students
who feel safer being who they are, and who are more willing to speak up for themselves.”