Alumni Profiles

Hadley Warner, Class of 2001

Hadley in 1995
Hadley today!

Hadley grew up in Bridport, Vermont and went on to attend the University of Virginia. Hadley graduated in 2012 with a major in Political Science and Foreign Affairs.

After graduating from UVA, Hadley spent six years working for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) as an outdoor educator, field instructor, ranch horsepacker. She lead extended wilderness trips with 10-15 students for 30+ days  in Wyoming, Montana, Utah, AZ, Washington, Baja Mexico, New Zealand, Patagonia Chile. Now she is returning to school to become a Physician’s Assistant, and work in the medical field.

Bridge School impacted my life… by nurturing my life-long love of the outdoors, of experiential learning, of physically moving and examining things as I learned, of realizing that not all learning needs to be done from a classroom chair.

I still remember… how Bridge School introduced me to reading (from basic children books) to books about adventures and strong women and far off places that I never thought I would see. I often think my love of travel and cultures comes from this early experience, as well as my love of reading.

I have friendships from my Bridge School days that I cherish to this day. I felt loved, and valued, and never questioned that inclusion and kindness should be a part of everyday life.

I still remember exploring the fields behind the school during scheduled class time (not recess) and watching birds fly in and out of birdhouses we had built, exploring plants and drawing in notebooks, touching and smelling and feeling the sunshine. I am so thankful I spent seven years in a learning environment that allowed me to explore the world around me.

I remember baking bread during a class, and the smell of fresh baked bread still brings me back to tasting my first homemade loaf and being so proud of what I could accomplish with my own hands.

I think growing up with an education focused on experiential learning and the natural world gave me such a rich foundation for loving school and learning. I am happiest when I am learning and being challenged and I think Bridge School gave me the tools and background the develop that.

Fondest Bridge memory: Either skating around the homemade ice rink, building forts or playing capture the flag during recess. Or watching a monarch butterfly hatch from it’s chrysalis and grow big enough to be released.