Snelling Center announces graduates of Vermont School Leadership Project Class of 2018

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Snelling Center announces graduates of Vermont School Leadership Project Class of 2018

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 3:27pm -- Anonymous

Photo credit: Johannes Otter

Vermont Business Magazine The Snelling Center for Government is pleased to announce the graduates of the Vermont School Leadership Project Class of 2018. The culminating celebration for the Class of 2018 took place on November 10, 2018 at Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee. These 25 school leaders were joined by family and friends for the occasion, which included a keynote address by social entrepreneur and educator, Hal Colston. Colston shared personal examples of educators who had inspired him along the way and encouraged the group to work from their heart with compassion to help all students feel a sense of value and belonging. Colston’s message highlighted the important role educators fill in creating meaningful communities to improve not only the lives of students but also the needs of society. 

Class of 2018

James Avery, Principal, Otter Valley Union High School
Renee Badeau, Co-Principal, Williamstown Schools 
Kevin Barber, Physical Education Teacher, Albert D Lawton Intermediate School
Heather Baron, Principal, Colchester High School
Bonnie Birdsall, Director of Digital Learning & Communication, Champlain Valley School District 
Susan Bruhl, Director of Student Support Services, Mount Abraham Unified School District
Anna Couperthwait, Director of Special Education, Champlain Valley Union High School
Brooke DeBonis, Principal, Mettawee Community School 
Carolyn Dickinson, Assistant Director, Center for Technology, Essex 
Edorah Frazer, Principal, Robinson Elementary School
Katherine Grodin, Co-Principal, Winooski High School
Betsy Knox, Principal, Monkton Central School
Kathleen Legg, STEAM Teacher, Albert D Lawton Intermediate School
Suzan Locke, Co-Principal, Hinesburg Community School
Jessica Lynch, Curriculum Leader K-12, Addison Central School District 
John Meyer, Director of Educational Technology, Lamoille South Supervisory Union
Laura Nichols, Special Education Administrator, Orange East Supervisory Union
Carolyn Parillo, Principal, Currier Memorial School
John Pontius, Co-Principal, Hinesburg Community School 
Julia Pritchard, Director of Special Services, Washington Northeast Supervisory Union
Sara Raabe, Principal, JFK Elementary School
Patrick Reen, Superintendent, Mount Abraham Unified School District 
Joe Resteghini, Principal, North Hero School
Meagan Roy, Director of Student Support Services, Champlain Valley School District
Paul Yoon, Senior Advisor for Strategic Diversity Assessment & Research, University of Vermont 

The Vermont School Leadership Project, co-directed by Val Gardner and Peter Burrows, is a unique program that offers intensive professional development for superintendents, principals, curriculum and special education directors, as well as other education professionals who have proven leadership abilities and seriously aspire to leadership roles. The Class of 2018 embarked on their leadership journey in July 2017 and met for seven overnight sessions with a total of 18 session days over the course of the 17-month period. 

Through theoretical discussions, experiential activities and personal reflection, associates considered concepts related to leadership, education systems, organizational change and community. During the second half of the program, associates applied and integrated their learnings through a transformation initiative conducted within their schools. One graduate summed up the experience as follows: I loved the location, cooperative activities, peer feedback sessions, time to engage with a variety of educators, and having outside time to interact with others. When I look through all the documents, tools, reflections, and plans, I am so impressed that we learned so much. In every session I gained more skills that has helped me to become a better leader. I loved connecting with so many diverse educators from around the state.

The Class of 2018 is the 13th class since the Vermont School Leadership Project was founded in 1995 with its graduates joining over 250 alumni who are making a difference in Vermont’s schools. 

Recruitment for the Vermont School Leadership Project Class of 2020 is now underway. The Class of 2020 will begin its program in July 2019 and meet through November 2020. To learn more and submit an application, please visit or call 802-859-3090. 

The Snelling Center for Government is a non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to fostering responsible and ethical civic leadership, encouraging public service by private citizens, and promoting informed citizen participation in shaping public policy in Vermont. 

Source: December 10, 2018 – The Snelling Center for Government