• "The lessons of life that I still carry today were taught to me at Kurn Hattin 50 plus years ago. Although many of my teachers who stood at the ‘fork in the road’ are gone, I carry on their legacy. And now I stand at the fork in the road to point the way for those who follow.”

    ~Jerry L. Bardwell, Class of 1973, Trustee

  • "Kurn Hattin gave me guidance and structure when I needed it most. Kurn Hattin was the most perfect support my parents could have asked for. As they say, it takes a village to raise a child. Kurn Hattin is that village”

    ~Gizenia Boyd, Class of 2005

  • "I love Kurn Hattin and miss it like crazy.  Kristi Lisai, thank you for being the BEST English teacher ever, being so easy to talk to, and teaching me how to be such a good writer!  Richard M. Long, thank you for never giving up on me when I would do so badly in social studies.  And to all of the other teachers and staff, just thank you for being my ... AWESOME TEACHERS!"

    ~ Chelsea Candello, Class of 2012

  • "I didn’t know how to make friends. I had a lot of problems. I felt like I was stuck in quicksand. Then I came to Kurn Hattin. It was a slow process, but I was given a lot of structure and I needed and responded to that structure.“

    ~Christiana Mylott, Class of 2018

  • "I was so proud of my girl, getting up on stage and singing her heart out. Kurn Hattin is building her up with so much confidence. I will be forever grateful for what you are doing for my little girl."

    ~ Brenda Boisjolie Arce, Mother

  • "Discipline, respect, loyalty, and love are what I learned from the houseparents. I have 3 older brothers and we all went there. Thanks Kurn Hattin–Always the place I call home."

    ~Stephen Smith, Class of 1994

  • "I’m grateful to have had the experience at Kurn Hattin Homes, which was my and my brother’s ‘village’ that made such a positive mark on our lives.”

    ~Rhonda (Gaudreau) Nolan, Class of 1977, Incorporator

  • "Kurn Hattin provided advice, support, and encouragement to pursue my dreams. The most important lesson I learned was to be humble, kind, and help those who were less fortunate. Because of Kurn Hattin, I have found my voice, my purpose in life, and my passion to help those who are in need.”

    ~Heather Kampfer, Class of 2001, Alumni Association President

  • “Kurn Hattin was the best choice my family ever made for me. When I was in the 8th grade I didn’t want to leave.”

    ~Kristen McDaniel, Class of 1991

  • "I still remember walking into Kurn Hattin. The scared little girl I was. Seeing myself grow over the years has been a blessing. But I never could have done it without the backbone of my forever home. Thank you, all of you. I really did it. I graduated high school!"

    ~ Makiah Curtis, Class of 2012

  • “Best years of my life. I’m now 36 married and have 3 beautiful daughters. Just wanted to say ‘thank you’ for everything this school did for me. Kurn Hattin definitely made me the man I am today.”

    ~Tom Adkins, Class of 1995

  • “I’m so proud to have been at Kurn Hattin. It turned my life around and put me on the right track. I’m not sure where I would have been otherwise. And I believe I was the only boy who made ‘Eagle Scout’ at that time.”

    ~ Peter Stavrou, Class of 1951

  • "Born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth. It’s a phrase I associate with my upbringing at Kurn Hattin. I attended Kurn Hattin from 3rd to 8th grade and was given security, consistency, guidance, and direction. The girls, boys, teachers, and houseparents became my forever family.”

    ~Kim (Sherrick) Dawson, Class of 1982

  • "My son has since graduated from high school and just turned 18! He’s an accomplished jazz musician and artist. Thank you Kurn Hattin for all you do for children.” 

    ~Chantal Paulino, Mother

  • "The area I came from wasn’t the best environment. Though I didn’t want to be here at first, I’d say my mom did the right thing. The houseparents are like family. They changed my life. I matured in all aspects from being a little kid to growing into a man.”

    ~Jacob Edwards, Class of 2018

  • "I can’t help reiterating my admiration and thanks to a wonderful haven for needy children and one which has provided guidance, education and encouragement to many, many children, who have gone on to lead meaningful adulthood lives, some who have become leaders in society.”

    ~James Barschdorf, Class of 1944

  • "I support Kurn Hattin partly for sentimental reasons and as a teacher, I know the needs of children who no longer can live at home. I like their philosophy—to return the children home to their families. The families are given time to strengthen and heal. The children are given every chance to succeed and find their own niche whether it is with music, sports, writing, or animals."

    ~ Carol Howe, Friend & Supporter

Kurn Hattin Homes Takes Graduation On The Road

June 17, 2020

How do we make this graduation really special for our students during this unprecedented time the Kurn Hattin Homes staff asked themselves. We miss the students and the students miss the staff and their friends. We came up with a unique plan to celebrate each graduate individually with a personalized ceremony to take to their homes throughout Vermont and New Hampshire—all while abiding by the current safety protocols. 

So how did we ‘pull’ this off? A miniature “stage” with the Homes’ banner, chairs, decorations and flowers was constructed on a flatbed trailer and  pulled to each graduate’s home.  Speeches, music, and recognitions played significant roles in the ceremonies incorporating many of Kurn Hattin Home’s traditions. The students were shown how much they are valued and loved.  Each was heartfelt and so appreciated.

From June 6-14, throughout Vermont and New Hampshire, staff set up and dismantled the moving parts between locations, as there were often two or more ceremonies per day. Graduation proceedings at each location began with Sue Kessler, Assistant Executive Director, welcoming everyone and reading a statement from Board President, Mark Bodin. He said, “You have shown you have what it takes in the classroom. More important than what you learned or what you can do is who you are. Despite the challenges of the times, the person you have become is ready for the challenge.”

Salutatorian Ben Robichaud shared, “My houseparents, teachers, and my family helped me shape my life to how it is now. Kurn Hattin has given me the home that has let me find out who I truly am.” Valedictorian Elizabeth Anderson shared the Kurn Hattin core values—“Perseverance: Never give up, and always give your best, Nurturance: Take care of yourself, Hope: Hope will carry you through the hard times and beyond, Compassion: Makes the world a better place, and Sense of Worth: Kurn Hattin has taught every one of us how to value ourselves. These are all examples of what makes Kurn Hattin the strong, friendly environment that kids are able to call home.”

Several students received one or more awards: The Residential Suitcase Award for 8th graders who show outstanding progress went to Tristan Caroll and Deeanna Nicol; The Maiola Athletic Award, for all-around athletic excellence went to Ethan Sumner and Denali Thorson; The Woodhull Music Award for Choir Award went to Deeanna Nicol, Jazz Band: Ethan Sumner, Most Overall Talented:  Benjamin Robichaud and Elizabeth Anderson; and the Instrument Award: Tristan Caroll. The Alumni Association Award for students who embody the spirit of Kurn Hattin through their kindness to others and their participation in all aspects of campus life went to Cameron Childress and Elizabeth Anderson; The Eleanor Ward Achievement Award, for the 8th grader showing the greatest improvement went to Tristan Caroll; The John P. Barry & Christopher W. Barry Award,  for the student who exemplifies the Kurn Hattin spirit and shows acts of kindness to staff and students throughout the school year went to Cameron Childress; The W.I. Mayo Memorial Award, for  outstanding all-around achievement by an 8th grader went to Benjamin Robichaud; The Vincenzo James Ruggiero Memorial Scholarship Award went to Ethan Sumner and Deeanna Nicol.  Four Kurn Hattin alumnae were awarded the Thomas G. Fahner Scholarship Award: Reginald Watson, Class of 2015, Jakobie Graves-Amidon, Class of 2019, Madison Ramos, Class of 2015, and Jessica Gibson, Class of 2016.

Principal Sergio Simunovic read heartfelt thoughts about each graduate from the Kurn Hattin community and presented diplomas. “It's amazing how quickly the Kurn Hattin community came together with the plan for our 2020 traveling graduation roadshow during this extraordinary time. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the graduates and the pride and love from their families at each of the ceremonies was a true joy to behold and a clear testament to the Kurn Hattin team effort that made this idea so successful. Taking the difficult circumstances that we've all been dealing with over the past months and turning them into such a wonderful, positive way of ending the 2020 school year shows the dedication and commitment of the KHH staff to our children and to our mission.  We are so proud of every one of them!” lauded Assistant Executive Director, Sue Kessler.   

Thank you to the staff whose vision and creativity made this special occasion one for the books. To Elizabeth Anderson, Emma Duckett, Topanga Town, Deanna Nicol, Cameron Childress, Tristan Caroll, Dani Thorson, Lexi Miller, Ethan Sumner, Ben Robichaud, and Maddie Farrar—Congratulations! You did it! 

After graduating, some of the students will attend their local high schools in the fall and others will move on to attend other private residential schools with a similar mission. 

Graduation Photo 1
Signs for each member of the Kurn Hattin Class of 2020 

Graduation photo 2
2020 graduation stage for the individual graduation ceremonies for each Kurn Hattin 8th grader.

Photo Credit:  Kristie Lisai