Meet Alden Smith

Alden Smith

Article By Dean Whitlock, Woodstock Magazine
Photography by Lynn Bohannon

When Tennessee native Alden Smith graduated from Davidson College, he took an unexpected journey north. “Unexpected” because he planned to return south after a few years. Instead, he discovered a rewarding career, fell in love with Vermont, and now, three decades later, has become the new executive director of VINS, the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, in Quechee.


Alden studied literature in college, but nature has always been his passion. His first job was a five-year teaching stint in Connecticut, where “I was inspired to teach outdoors whenever possible.” That led him to the Mountain School in Vershire, Vermont, where he spent the next 23 years as both teacher and school director.

At the Mountain School, Alden and his family (wife Missy, daughter Ellicott, and sons Alden and Henry Atticus) lived in a avocation. “The VINS mission is right at the heart of both.”