campus news and events

Colby-Sawyer College Announces Changes to Windy Hill School's Leadership and Curriculum

The winds of change are blowing through Windy Hill School, Colby-Sawyer College's on-campus laboratory school that for almost four decades has offered Toddler, Nursery and Kindergarten programs as well as after-school and summer options.

New Director Named
Associate Professor and Director of Teacher Education Diane Edwards has been named director of Windy Hill School. Professor Edwards is an infant and toddler development specialist with teaching and research experience in preschool curriculum and child wellness. She will continue to serve in a teaching capacity for Colby-Sawyer students in addition to her new responsibilities. Prior to her arrival at Colby-Sawyer, Professor Edwards had extensive experience in New Mexico both in a faculty role and in managing a college lab school. She joined the Colby-Sawyer faculty in 2013 and holds a B.A. from Merrimack College, an M.A. from Lesley University, and an Ed.D. from University of Massachusetts.

“I am confident of Diane's ability to help us navigate the rapidly changing educational and regulatory environments that have an impact upon Windy Hill families and Colby-Sawyer College faculty and students,” said Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty Deborah Taylor.

Founded in 1976, Windy Hill was directed by Associate Professor of Social Science and Education Janet Bliss '71 for 37 years until she retired last June. Former kindergarten teacher Rachel Ensign '06 served as interim director.

Four years ago, Windy Hill School moved to a new LEED-Silver Certified $2.4 million facility designed to be environmentally friendly while meeting the early care and learning needs of children. Windy Hill is one of only a few lab schools in Northern New England and is an integral part of the college where Child Development and Psychology majors study and work alongside the teachers as well as participate in research initiatives. Windy Hill boasts Child Development faculty with doctoral degrees who integrate their curriculum with lab school experiences as well as highly qualified teachers for the children who hold a minimum of a four-year college degree and teacher certification.

New Public Options Lead to Curricular Changes
This academic year, the Kearsarge Regional School District began offering full-day kindergarten and a drop-in afterschool program. These new public options had a significant effect on Windy Hill's kindergarten enrollment, and as of fall 2014, Windy Hill will discontinue its kindergarten program. The toddler and nursery programs, however, will expand, and Windy Hill will prepare its four-year-olds for kindergarten.

“This academic year we created a Teacher Advisory Council made up of teachers and administrators from the school district and Colby-Sawyer,” said Professor Edwards. “As the director of both Teacher Education and Windy Hill, I'm excited to work with this group to develop a curriculum that will foster kindergarten readiness for four-year-olds while increasing our capacity to serve toddlers and three-year-olds.”

Under New Hampshire Child Care Program Licensing Rules 2008-2016, lab schools such as Windy Hill are not required to be licensed, but Windy Hill will pursue its license.

“As part of conceptualizing an increasingly stronger integration between the Child Development Program and the Windy Hill Lab School, Colby-Sawyer plans to seek licensing for Windy Hill School and to evolve its mission to add a Professional Development School component,” said Vice President Taylor. “These changes will provide collaborative and shared professional development experiences for Colby-Sawyer faculty and students, Windy Hill teachers, local private and public school teachers, and the families and children we serve. In short, Windy Hill will take additional steps to fully realize the goal of becoming a focal point of child-centered educational excellence in the community.”

More Windy Hill News
Windy Hill School will increase tuition rates, effective fall 2014. The increase will align tuition with other area early care and learning providers while remaining below the closest and most competitive lab school and non-lab school programs in the area.

This year's 11-week Summer Program will run June 9 through August 22. There are three registration options: the first five weeks only, the second six weeks only, or the full 11 weeks. Tuition is $190 per week.

To arrange a visit, request a brochure or make inquiries about Windy Hill's programs, contact Catherine Betz at or 603-526-3695.

Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Learn more about the college's vibrant teaching and learning community at

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000