Jon Pizzagalli, Board Chair of The Stern Center for Language and Learning, has announced that Laurie Quinn, PhD, will become the educational Center’s second President. Dr. Quinn, the recent Interim President and previous Provost and Senior Vice President at Champlain College, was selected as the organization’s next leader after a nationwide search. The non-profit’s visionary founder and President Blanche Podhajski is retiring after a pioneering 50-year career which included establishing the Center as a leading educational resource for children and adults and a provider of professional learning programs for educators across the country with proven, science-based strategies that get results.
“I am thrilled to be entrusted to lead and expand the vital mission and lasting impact of the Stern Center after more than three decades of its successful growth under founding president Dr. Podhajski. Bringing proven learning practices to engage students, and to empower their teachers and families, is work that I will be proud to champion as President,” Dr. Quinn said. “The pandemic has changed our world and presented both learners and educators with heartbreaking challenges, and expanding the Stern Center’s reach is more critical now than ever.” Dr. Quinn will bring her expertise in nonprofit strategy, educational leadership, and the innovative delivery of programs as well as her dedication to supporting an accomplished team of expert educators – all with the goal of helping every learner succeed. Dr. Quinn earned her Ph.D. in English Literature at the University of New Hampshire and her master’s and undergraduate degrees at Boston College. She serves on the Board of Directors and chairs the Education Committee at Generator. She lives in Burlington with her husband Peter Sutherland and their son.
Dr. Podhajski said, “It is with great joy that I welcome Laurie Quinn as the second President of the Stern Center in its 38 years. Her strong communication skills, passion for our mission, and excellence in leadership and technology make her the perfect person to take this amazing organization to the next plane. I am deeply grateful to all the dedicated people who have worked with me over the years to make this home-grown Vermont product a national treasure.”
An integral component of the Stern Center’s mission is to expand access to effective, research-based, literacy and social learning instruction through core services including student evaluations, scholarships, and professional learning programs, both in person and online. The Stern Center has developed an innovative program for educators, Lead to Read that delivers critical evidence-based literacy content through a combination of coursework, coaching throughout the school year, and analysis of assessment data to drive instructional decision making, all available online. Professional offerings in Orton-Gillingham, Wilson Language Training, MindPlay®, and Building Blocks are also available to support learners, families, teachers, and school leaders.
“I’m delighted that Laurie and the Stern Center have found each other at this singular moment in its history. Everyone here has been working hard to simultaneously prepare for Blanche’s retirement and create significant opportunities to positively impact the learning environment for students for many years to come. Laurie’s combination of personal leadership qualities, operational experience, and passion for what the Stern Center does is undeniable. Founded on the strength of Dr. Podhajski’s legacy and now with the innovative vision of Dr. Quinn, the Stern Center will continue to grow as an unparalleled educational resource for students, parents, and educators throughout the United States and beyond,” said Jon Pizzagalli, Chair of Stern Center for Language and Learning Board of Trustees.
About the Stern Center for Language and Learning
The Stern Center provides research-based learning evaluations, customized instruction, social learning and communication services for students of all ages. The organization designs and delivers customized, professional learning programs and system-change initiatives using current research and trends in education. A non-profit educational center dedicated to helping children and adults reach their full potential through high-quality direct service, professional development and research, the Stern Center is committed to enriching the lives of learners.
Since its founding in 1983, the Stern Center has grown significantly, currently providing learning evaluations and customized instruction services to hundreds of students and delivering professional learning programs to more than 1,000 educators annually. Last year, its Professional Learning programs were accessed from over 30 states and 4 countries.