Ann Marie

Learning and Landscape

Ann Marie Mahar

When Ann Marie Mahar isn’t enjoying the great outdoors, she’s in the classroom teaching about it. Some things have changed since she was a student at Rutland High School, like the new facilities where she teaches AP Bio. What hasn’t changed is the high quality of education that she remembers. Today, Ann Marie says she’s impressed and grateful for “the professional, child-centered teachers and other professionals that I work with.”

Ann Marie met Ryan Mahar, a native of Fair Haven, Vermont, while studying Wildlife Biology and Nutritional Science at UVM. After graduating, they moved to Lake Placid, NY, and thought about heading further west in search of a place to live with professional jobs and beautiful landscape all year round. When a job offer from Rutland High School came along and Ryan landed a physical therapist position in Fair Haven, they realized that the Rutland Region had it all...

Since moving back and settling in Middletown Springs in 1998, their two kids, Philip and Anabelle, have grown up on their beautiful horse farm on a maple-lined dirt road, and with a new activity every season. “We can ski and snowshoe, mountain bike, hike, and horseback ride right outside our door," she says, "It’s fantastic!”

The Mahars' outdoor endeavors go well beyond the stables. Ryan’s passion is for sugaring, which is no surprise as his family has had some kind of maple operation going since the 60’s. In 2002, Ryan and Ann Marie started the Mahar Maple Farm in Middletown Springs. Every season, the whole family pitches in, from sap collection to boiling, bottling, and selling. It started as a hobby, but in the last few years they’ve brought in about 1,000 gallons of syrup each season. Ann Marie’s favorite part of their maple sugaring business is being outside, working the sap lines. “It’s expanded from a small hobby to kind of a large hobby,” she says with a laugh.

Ann Marie and Ryan aren’t alone in their pursuit of active, outdoor living. In Rutland, the landscape they love has connected them to a like-minded community. “There’s a lot of wonderful people in this area that work hard and have similar lifestyle interests to ours,” she says of her neighbors, people “that are healthy and sustainable and like to live simply.”

What does Ann Marie want for Rutland County? “An indoor swimming pool!” she says with enthusiasm, but then becomes serious. She wants more young families to find the balance of profession and passion that she enjoys. “I guess that’s more important than a pool isn't it?”