Snelling Center for Government announces the graduates of the VSLP Class of 2020

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Tue, 01/12/2021 - 12:59pm -- Denise Sortor

The Snelling Center for Government is pleased to announce the graduates of the Vermont School Leadership Project Class of 2020:

Stacy Anderson, Director of Special Services, Barre Unified Union School District
Brandy Brown, Co-Principal, Milton Middle School
Michael Clark, Superintendent, Grand Isle Supervisory Union
Ryan Dudley, 6th Grade Math/Science Teacher, Albert D Lawton Intermediate School
Jeff Evans, Director of Learning and Innovation, Champlain Valley School District
Heather Freeman, Director of Student Services, Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union
Ashley Hanlon, Director, Addison Wayfinder Experience
Jennifer Hulse, Director of Student Support Services, Lamoille North Supervisory Union
Alison Kidder, Director of Student Services, Orange East Supervisory Union
Alicia Kurth, Director of Special Education, Hinesburg Community School
Heidi Lague, Art Teacher, Kingdom East School District
Geoffrey Lawrence, Associate Principal/Head of Middle School, Otter Valley Union Middle and High School
Kara Lufkin, Director of Student Support Services, St. Johnsbury School District
Lynne Manley, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology, Milton Town School District
Rhoda McLure, Principal, Bakersfield Elementary and Middle School
Danielle Petralia, Algebra Teacher, Essex Westford School District
Scott Sivo, Lead Principal, Shelburne Community School
Jessica Spencer, Director of Student Services, Lamoille South Supervisory Union
Stephanie Sumner, K-4 Principal, Charlotte Central School
Maura Wieler, Proficiency-Based Learning and Technology Integration Coach, Lamoille South Supervisory Union
David Willard, 6th Grade Teacher, East Montpelier Elementary School
Michaela Wisell, Assistant Principal, Mary Hogan Elementary School

The VSLP Class of 2020 experienced many unique elements over the course of the 17-month program. Most notably, the program was interrupted by the COVID-19 shutdown in the spring, but associates soon adapted to new ways of meeting, both in-person and virtually, that allowed momentum to gather over the summer and fall. In addition, the Class of 2020 was the first to partake in a redesigned curriculum that featured a Capstone, which provided a platform and reflective lens for applying the session learnings within individuals’ school systems in real-time. As part of the final session and culminating celebration held November 13-14 at Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, associates had an opportunity to present their Capstones and share their growth, insights and next steps in their journeys of continual learning. Additionally, Helen Beattie joined the cohort to extend their call to leadership using Margaret Wheatley’s poem “Turning to One Another” as a guidepost.

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. Centered on a well-connected cohort model, participants build core leadership skills, analyze systems and organizational change, and explore how to articulate and engage others in a vision that moves schools and districts to greater coherence and leads to success for all students. The Class of 2020 is the 14th class since the Vermont School Leadership Project was founded in 1995, and these 22 new graduates now join 300 alumni who are making a difference in Vermont’s schools.

Recruitment for the Vermont School Leadership Project Class of 2022 will look a bit different this time around. Prospective candidates will be contacted in January as we seek input on possible starting dates with the goal of meeting in-person; the application process will then open in February. To learn more about the process and deadlines for input, 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. For more information, please visit our website at

Photo credit: Johannes Otter