Our History

The Heartworks and Renaissance Schools were founded in 1988 by Louise H. Piché and Diane Rooney, and by 2013 had grown to encompass three Heartworks Preschools, in Burlington, Williston, and Shelburne, along with the Renaissance Elementary School at Shelburne Farms. In September 2013, Lisa and Paul Zengilowski assumed ownership of the schools. 

Paul and Lisa have a long and rich history with the schools that began when their children, Gregory and Allison, enrolled in Heartworks in 1997 and continued through 6th grade at Renaissance School. 

Impressed with the philosophy and values of these programs, Lisa joined the Heartworks leadership team in 2002 as the first School Director for Heartworks Williston and held that position from 2002-2012; she was instrumental in growing the school from four classes to nine classes including expanding to Kindergarten through Second grade classes during 2003-2007.  In 2011, she assumed operational responsibility for all Heartworks Preschools, a role she held until assuming ownership in September, 2013.

In the fall of 2014, Paul and Lisa expanded the scope of programs to include infant and toddlers, six-weeks through 23-months old, at the Heartworks Shelburne campus, the Endeavour Middle School, a stand-alone program, grades six through eight at Shelburne Commons, as well as the Heartworks Stowe program.

As the schools continue to grow and thrive, the approach to education, including the Heartworks values that began with Louise and Diane’s vision, lives on.

Please read on to learn more about how the name our school reflects the educational and developmental approach at Endeavour Middle School.

Why We Chose the Name "Endeavour" for Our Middle School

The name “Endeavour” has a rich and important history; we believe makes it is perfect for your new middle school.

In 1768, Britain’s Royal Navy and The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge conceived a three-year scientific expedition to the Pacific on a ship named Endeavour. Endeavour’s captain was one of the world’s most renowned and capable 18th-century British naval officers,  Captain James Cook, who was known for his expertise in mathematics and cartography.

Cook’s main objective, established by the British Admiralty and the Royal Society was to observe the transit of Venus across the sun from Tahiti.  This reading enabled astronomers to find the distance of the Sun from the Earth, and in doing so, advanced the science of navigation immeasurably.  An additional expedition objective - kept secret from the crew - was to to search the South Pacific for signs of the continent Terra Australis Incognita (or "unknown southern land") that was the subject of much speculation at the time.

When Endeavour embarked on its historic voyage to the South Pacific, Cook commanded a crew of 93 men, including an astronomer, a botanist, naturalists from Sweden and Finland and two artists. The Endeavour expedition under Cook’s command, produced many achievements including the accurate charting of New Zealand and Australia and successfully navigating the Great Barrier Reef. Thousands of new plant specimens and animal species were observed and illustrated on this voyage, establishing forever the value of including scientists, naturalists and artists on voyages of exploration.  
So enduring, historic and important was the Endeavour’s voyage, that when it came time to replace the Space Shuttle orbiter Challenger, for the first time a national competition involving students in elementary and secondary schools took place to name the new orbiter.  In May of 1989, President George Bush announced the winning name, Endeavour. It was named after the numerous achievements made by James Cook on the Endeavour expedition. On May 7, 1991, The Space Shuttle Endeavour arrived at Kennedy Space Center’s Shuttle Landing Facility.
Space Shuttle Endeavour embodies many similar experiences as the Endeavour ship. In fact the mission patch for its first ever voyage celebrated the rich tradition of exploration and science conducted by these two ships.

Endeavour’s first launch began with a flawless liftoff on May 7, 1992 beginning with a journey filled with excitement, anticipation and many firsts. One involved three attempts to capture a satellite for repairs to be made. An unprecedented three-person spacewalk took place after the procedure was evaluated by the astronauts and ground team. During the mission, NASA conducted medical tests assessing the human body’s performance in microgravity, and recorded footage for an education video comparing Cook’s first voyage on Endeavour with the Space Shuttle orbiter’s maiden voyage.
Just as James Cook set the standard with his seafaring Endeavour expedition, the Space Shuttle Endeavour missions continued to uphold and surpass the standards set by its namesake, nearly 250 years later.
As you begin your expedition into middle school at Endeavour, we hope you will follow the historic legacy of the Endeavour sea and space crews in expanding your personal knowledge and contributing to the knowledge of the broader world community. As an Endeavour student, you will further develop your mathematic, scientific, artistic, and naturalist capabilities in ways that will allow you to build the best foundation for your future education and career. We’ve chosen the name Endeavour to both honor the accomplishments of Endeavour sea and space expeditions as well as in the spirit of navigation, exploration and discovery that will characterize your journey in life. We know the future holds no limits and that you too, will amaze and astonish the world in the same way that Endeavour crews have done for nearly 250 years.

Welcome to The Endeavour Middle School.  It’s great to have you aboard and we’re very excited about the expedition!