Meet Our Instructors

Abe Noe-Hays— In addition to being a VEEP Educator, Abe Noe-Hays also designs and manufactures educational equipment to use in VEEP presentations. He is a graduate of College of the Atlantic, with a B.A. in Human Ecology. To his work with VEEP, he brings a lifelong interest in science and electricity, a love of teaching and learning, and a passion for environmental conservation. He also is a consultant for Sustainable Harvest International's eco-sanitation program, designing and building waterless toilets in rural Belize and Nicaragua. Abe lives in Putney.

Adrienne LaPierre is a freelance technology consultant who specializes in the design and development of online educational content. She also works as a tech integrationist at Guilford Central School and Putney Central School. Adrienne holds a master's degree in Teaching with Technology from Marlboro College. She is passionate about helping people of all ages become more confident users of technology. Visit for more information.

Alan Berolzheimer received a Ph.D. In U.S. History from the University of Virginia in 1996 after working as a researcher at and eventually the editor of the Papers of Daniel Webster at Dartmouth College. Since that time he has made his career as a public historian and editor. He became the Project Historian for the Flow of History teacher education network in 2005 and has served as the managing editor for the Vermont Historical Society since 1998.

Alison Sullivan teaches second grade and coordinates the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program (PYP) at The Dover School in East Dover, VT. She holds a Masters Degree in Instructional Technology and has been integrating technology into her second grade classroom through the use of Google applications, Discovery Education and an array of other web tools. She focuses on innovative lessons that fit the fluid differentiated needs of her students. She has been teaching at The Dover School since 1999.

Allison Oswald is a School Guidance Counselor at Green Mountain High School in Chester, Vermont. Ally has received extensive training in collaborative practices and Critical Friends Groups from the School Reform Initiative and has been conducting collaborative practices seminars since 2012.

Amir Flesher has been teaching mindfulness classes, workshops, and retreats at Compass School (Westminster, VT) since 2007 where he was a humanities teacher, coach and adviser. In 2013 Amir was part of the first U.S. cohort certified to teach the .b mindfulness curriculum. Along with sixty other leading mindfulness educators, Amir completed the inaugural Mindful Schools Year Long Certification program in 2013-14. Recently, Amir has taught mindfulness courses or workshops to youth and educators in Vermont at Green Mountain Union High School (Chester), Guilford Central School, Vermont Academy (Saxtons River), and in Brattleboro at Green Street School and the Winston Prouty Center for Child Development. In Massachusetts he has provided sessions at Four Rivers Public Charter School and Deerfield Academy. To learn more about Amir’s practice, programs and background, please visit

Ana Rawson has been teaching pre-k through university level for 30 years. The first ten years were spent in Southern California working as a director for Head Start- Follow Through pre K through grade two, and later as a lead teacher in a dual bilingual program for 5 years. In 1988, she established the ESOL program for WSESU where she is currently directing the program, and teaching at BUHS. During these years she has been involved in acquiring grants to enhance the program, curriculum development, and state projects to meet the requirements of NCLB. Such projects have included writing standards, and test items for the ACCESS test, serving on bias reviews teams, working on standard test alignments at the University of Wisconsin, and developing Staff Development for teachers of ELLs. Ana is currently teaching at SIT in the Master of Teaching Program, and has taught SIOP classes for St. Michaels University. The All Kids class was developed especially for teachers in WSESU working with ELLs in order to meet the requirements of NCLB, and federal mandates.

Angela Berkfield is the Director of ACT for Social Justice, a collaborative of advocates, consultants, and trainers who support groups and individuals striving to reduce harm and to create safer, more equitable, and more just communities. In this capacity Angela has worked with groups such as, Groundworks Collaborative (formerly Morningside Shelter), the Immigrant Integration Initiative in Manchester, NH, and The Diversity Commission at Keene State College. She co-founded Cross-Class Dialogue Circles and The Root Social Justice Center. Originally from Minnesota, Angela worked for over a decade as a social worker in Minneapolis, Puerto Rico, and Refugee camps in Thailand. She received a MA in Social Justice in Intercultural Relations from SIT and has been working and living in Southern VT for almost a decade. Her work on food access, workers’ rights, and building sustainable communities has inspired her to support people in addressing taboo topics such as race and class. Angela believes that bringing people together to learn, listen, and connect is so essential to making the change that is needed to create a just world. You can learn more about her work at and

Annie Leonard is currently in a doctoral program in K-12 Educational Leadership at UMass Amherst. Previously she was high school assistant principal at the American School in London and at Amherst Regional High School. Annie has been an educator for more than twenty years, working as a teacher of history and social studies, a developer and teacher of experiential education programs, and in school-wide leadership roles in both public and independent schools. Annie began this work when she was introduced to the principles and practices of critical friendship and trained as a coach with Gene Thompson-Grove and Beth Graham in Massachusetts, and has been a facilitator for professional development for Brookline, MA for the American School in London Annual Professional Learning Institute, and at the European Council of International Schools Annual Conference.

Ben Lord came to the sciences by way of natural history. He holds a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic and a MS in Environmental Studies from Antioch University where he took course mainly so that he could learn more about the woods. Ben's other natural habitat is the library. (He has four librarian in his extended family.) While working the night shift in the library at Landmark College and completing a naturalist training course during the day, Ben decided to combine his two loves and become a science teacher. Currently, he teaches biology, chemistry, and Earth science at Brattleboro Union High School and writes for Northern Woodlands magazine.

Beth Roy is the Manager of the Valley Food & Farm Program and coordinates the Upper Valley Farm to School Network for Vital Communities. Before joining Vital Communities, Beth worked in the environmental and place-based education fields in various positions around New England including at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science and as the Director of Education at the Nature Museum in Grafton, Vt. Beth is also on the boards of the Vermont Science Teachers Association (VSTA) and the Vermont State-Wide Environmental Education Programs (SWEEP), a coalition of dozens of individuals and organizations promoting sustainability and environmental education in Vermont. Beth has a background in education receiving her teaching certificate and a BS in biology from Southampton College. Beth also has an MS in environmental science and policy from Plymouth State University where she researched the ties between sense of place and environmental stewardship.

Betsy Bennett Stacey has been leading professional development for educators in Nature Journaling and Nature Writing for the past 9 years. She is a Certified Master Instructor with the Vermont Northern Lights Career Development Center. She speaks about nature journaling and nature drawing at conferences throughout the region including Northeast Environmental Educators Alliance, Vermont Center for the Book, and the Vermont Art Teacher’s Association. Betsy has used nature journals in classrooms and at environmental education facilities for the past 15 years with K-12 students and teaches an online Earth Science course for high school students. Betsy has an undergraduate degree in biology and art from Bates College and a master’s degree in Museum and Field Studies with a focus on Education and Zoology from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Betsy is currently the Director of Afterschool Programming at the Brattleboro Area Middle School. She was previously the Director of Education and Curator of The Nature Museum in Grafton Vermont. Betsy loves to share her delight in the natural world and loves to help educators to feel comfortable teaching science, art, and writing outdoors with their students.

Bob Laird is a former mathematics educator for the Vermont Mathematics Partnership (VMP). Bob’s primary responsibility while at VMP was co-facilitating the Ongoing Assessment Project (OGAP) development and training. In this role, he assisted classroom teachers in implementing OGAP in their classrooms and worked with teacher leaders as they brought this formative assessment to schools and districts. In addition to his work with OGAP, Bob has assisted school districts throughout Vermont, has worked as a writer for summative mathematics assessments and has done a significant amount of work with teacher leaders in the area of mathematics. Bob’s teaching career spanned over 20 years, most of which were at the Danville School in Danville, Vermont. He taught upper elementary grades for many years before moving to middle school mathematics. Bob is a 2003 graduate of the Vermont Mathematics Initiative. When he has time, you’ll find him fly-fishing on a nice trout stream

Brian Buettner began his teaching career when he was a junior in high school and was able to work in his former kindergarten classroom with his former kindergarten teacher as part of a cross-age tutoring program offered by his school. Brian went on to pursue elementary education as his major at the University of New Mexico where he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and a few years later a Master's Degree in Special Education. Most recently Brian earned an Educational Specialist Degree in Language and Literacy from Simmons College . Brian has 14 year of teaching experience ranging from working as a classroom, special education and title one teacher. He is currently working as a literacy coach in Windham Southeast Supervisory Union.

Carla Zembal-Saul is a professor of science education, co-director of elementary teacher education, and Kahn Professor of STEM Education at Penn State University. She is a former middle school science teacher whose research and practice have focused on elementary teacher learning and development as it relates to supporting children's scientific discourse and practices for constructing evidence-based explanations. Zembal-Saul is committed to school-university partnership work, and several of her funded projects have involved digital tools for engaging teachers in video analysis of practice to scaffold their learning. She is the co-author of What's Your Evidence? Engaging K-5 Students in Constructing Explanations in Science (2013), and was recognized with the NSTA Fellow Award in 2015. She earned a B.S. and Ph.D. from University of Michigan, and an M.Ed. from University of Houston.

In these Vermont presentations, Carla will be aided by additional experts:

Casey Murrow is the director of the Southeast Vermont Learning Collaborative, one of Vermont's six education service agencies. He is the founder and Co-Director of Synergy Learning International, a non-profit organization assisting schools, teachers and families with science, math, and technology learning for children. Synergy publishes Connect, a national online magazine for K-8 educators. Casey has served as an elementary teacher in public schools in Washington, DC, in Vermont and in England. He is the co-author of Children Come First, author of Using Our Communities, and editor of several books in an early childhood literacy and science series funded by the National Science Foundation.

Crystal Griswold is a 10 year veteran at Dover Elementary School where she has served in many capacities including teaching Preschool, Spanish, and First Grade. She is the Dover School After-School and Summer Program Coordinator. She has participated in developing the Smarter Balanced Assessment and was a participant in creating the Digital Library. She has presented workshops and trainings in Response to Intervention and Digital Library use. She is a certified trainer for Differentiated Instruction. Her passion is teaching, inspiring and challenging children to love learning and is a life long learner herself. She holds a Masters Degree of Teaching and Learning with a concentration in Developmental Literacy from Bennington College.

Dana Lesperance is a full time Administrator for the Community High School of Vermont, an accredited independent school that operates within Vermont’s corrections system. Community High School is certified by the Institute for Habits of Mind as an International Learning Community of Excellence. Dana has been working with students who struggle through multiple barriers to learning using Habits of Mind strategies since 2003. Dana works to sustain a school culture that teaches students and teachers to become effective thinkers through the Habits. Dana has a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and undergraduate in Psychology, and is a certified Global Career Development Facilitator. He is a retired veteran having served in the Marines and Vermont Air National Guard. Dana works with public education and human services agencies as a Certified Institute for Habits of Mind Professional Developer bringing his mindful approach to Habits of Mind as a way to break through barriers to learning and dealing with unproductive behavior.

Deb Coombs has been teaching for over twenty years. She has specialized in teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) for the past 16 years. She continues to be inspired by learning from the students and teachers that she works with each year.

Donna McAllister is the Health Education Consultant for the Vermont Department of Education. A classroom teacher for 35 years in both health and family and consumer sciences, she has experience teaching middle through high school students. She is a graduate of Montclair State College with a BA in Home Economics and holds a Masters in Education from Southern New Hampshire University. Presently she is a Co-Chair of the Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force.

Doug Klette has been teaching graduate school courses focusing on communication, counseling, and conflict resolution skills through Castleton State College and The University of Vermont for the past 35 years. He also works as an independent consultant with school systems, as well as with business and medical jpersonnel. His message is simple. When people interact authentically, respectfully and courgeously, students, customers, and patients benefit.

Dr. Brad Witzel is an Associate Professor at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. His work on RTI is supported by the Regional Educational Laboratory for the Northeast and Islands.

Elizabeth Van Cleef has previously taught courses at the Collaborative to rave reviews. She has served as a classroom teacher, math coach and Title I specialist in several schools, including the Multicultural Magnet School in New London, Connecticut. More recently, she has been a Senior Research and Development Specialist for the highly regarded curriculum, Investigations in Number, Data and Space at TERC, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is a workshop leader for Developing Mathematical Ideas (DMI) and has presented this course for several school districts in the northeast US, receiving very high evaluations.

Emily Hartz, M.Ed., is Co-Director of the Vermont Learning Collaborative. Emily has worked in local public schools (shout out to the Academy Stars and Guilford Eagles here in Windham Southeast S.U.!) for seven years, as a Special Education Para-educator, Academic Support Teacher, and Classroom Teacher (3rd and 5th).

As Co-Director Emily draws both on her school experience, and previous kid and nonprofit experience at King Street Youth Center (Burlington, VT), Freshwater Future (Petoskey, MI), the Urban Ecology Institute (Boston, MA), and Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center (Brattleboro, VT). Passionate about high quality education for all children, Emily is excited to be serving a larger region and supporting teachers and schools through the Vermont Learning Collaborative.

Fran Barhydt is a graduate of the University of Delaware and Central Michigan University. Fran was awarded NSF grants to study biology and physics at Northern Arizona University and “Science A Process Approach” at the University of Delaware. She was recognized by the National Science Teachers Association and the University of Delaware's College of Education. She was a consultant for the Delaware Museum of Natural Science, Delmarva Power, and schools in Delaware, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Fran is the writer and on-camera teacher in Disney’s education video, “Chemistry Matters,” and has written science resource books for Prentice Hall, including The Science Teacher’s Book of Lists. Fran started with VEEP in 1989 and served as Director until 2007. Fran now serves as VEEP's Director of Curriculum and Instruction, and she has been awarded grants from US EPA and US DOE for developing VEEP energy resource guides for teachers.

Heidi Pancake received her BA in art from Wheaton College and her Master of  Arts in Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Spanish  from The School for International Training World Learning. She has been  teaching ESOL in the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union since 2009.  

Helen Rortvedt works with Food Connects’ Farm to School Programs, supporting schools in Southern Vermont to increase local food purchasing, school meals enrollment and participation and provide professional development for food service and teachers. She holds an M.A. in Sustainable Development from SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont. Her graduate work focused on policy advocacy and the local food system. She also has extensive professional background in experiential education and training design.

Hilary Kissel is a literacy coach and reading specialist who works with teachers to spread authentic, practical, best practices in reading and writing assessment and instruction using children’s literature as a springboard. Her background includes training in literacy intervention practices and cognitive coaching, an M.A. in Elementary Education from The Ohio State University, and an M.A. in Children’s Literature from Simmons College. She has worked as a classroom teacher, a reading specialist, a literacy coach, and a literacy consultant in Ohio, Washington, DC, Virginia, and Massachusetts, and is currently working as the District Literacy Coach for Essex (VT) Town School District.

Jane Wilde is a self proclaimed computer geek. She thoroughly enjoys technology and loves to teach people how to use it. Having the rare combination of technical skills and the ability to speak English (rather than computer-eeze) she can show you how to engage your students and enrich your curriculum with computers, the internet, and multimedia materials. Having begun her teaching career in Special Education, Jane enjoys working with even the most computer challenged student. A twenty-five year veteran educator, Jane has taught at every grade level from Kindergarten to Graduate School. She is currently on the faculty at Marlboro College Graduate School and is pursuing a PhD at the University at Albany in the field of Instructional Technology.

Jeanie Phillips has been a librarian for 10 years. She is currently the Librarian at Green Mountain Union High School. Jeanie has been teaching teachers, administrators and paraeducators to use technology for her entire career. Jeanie is a 2014-2015 Rowland Fellow.

Jennifer Stanchfield, MS: Jen's depth of experience, creativity, and knowledge of educational theory and practice is evident in her innovative yet practical workshops and publications in which she incorporates the art of facilitation and teaching with brain-based and pedagogical research. In her 25 years as an educator, Jen has worked as a classroom teacher, a clinician in mental health treatment centers for children, adolescents and adults, as an adventure educator, and in professional training, adult education, and organizational teambuilding. Jen earned her masters degree in Experiential Education at Minnesota State University, Mankato and continues to pursue the latest research on the brain and learning, pedagogy and the emerging field of educational neuroscience. Through these experiences, she has developed an extensive repertoire of evidence-informed experiential activities, tools and strategies she brings to her engaging and informative workshops, publications, and teaching resources. She works with schools, colleges, training and community organizations over the world — helping educators increase engagement, promote social-emotional skills and facilitate meaningful reflection and group dialogue to increase learning outcomes.

Jen is founder and director of Experiential Tools, an organization focused on helping educators fill their toolbox with quality, unique, and user-friendly methods to enhance learning, build community, and promote meaningful reflection and application of learning experiences. She is author of Tips and Tools: The Art of Experiential Group Facilitation, the new book Inspired Educator, Inspired Learner: Experiential, Brain-Based Activities and Strategies to Engage, Motivate, Build Community and Create Lasting Lessons, and co-author of A Teachable Moment: A Facilitator's Guide to Activities for Processing, Debriefing, Reviewing and Reflection She is also creator and regular contributor to the Inspired Educator Blog at

Jim Warnock is a consultant with the Boston-based consulting firm Research for Better Teaching and has 30 years’ experience in education. His consulting work centers on instructional leadership, teacher training, supporting districts in developing standards-based supervision and evaluation systems, and working with principals of underperforming schools. Jim also directs the Sino-American Seminar on Educational Leadership for the University of Vermont’s Asian Studies Outreach Program and has traveled and worked extensively throughout China. He has provided technical assistance to schools in Russia as part of a U.S. Department of State Community Connections program and has conducted teacher training in Australia. Jim was Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the city of Burlington, VT, and also served as a secondary principal, K-12 staff developer, and teacher.

Dr. James Wright, Associate Professor of Mathematics at Westfield State University-Dr. Wright spent 14 years at Green Mountain College before moving to WSU. He received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Washington with a specialty in probability. His passion about mathematics fuels his desire to help people see the beauty and utility of mathematics and to help develop mathematics courses for undergraduate elementary education majors. He has been teaching courses for the Vermont Mathematics Initiaitve since 2002.

Joan Carey has been teaching in the Brattleboro area since 1987. Prior to living in Vermont, she worked with youth in California and Rhode Island. She has taught in both traditional classroom settings and alternative environments. Currently she works for Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center (BEEC), collaborating with local teachers to design and implement science units. Through BEEC she offers professional development workshops for teachers of K-5 in both earth and life science studies. She has a BA in psychology/child development, holds a Vermont teaching license, pursued her MA in environmental education through California State University, and is presently a student in the MAT program at Marlboro College Graduate School.

John Minelli is in his twelfth year working with teachers on integrating technology in the classroom. He is currently the Curriculum and Technology Coordinator at the Marion Cross School in Norwich, VT. John has presented numerous programs and projects around educational technology at conferences such as VermontFest and the NEMLS Annual Conference. He was a member of the VTCite and VtLeadIT technology initiatives, and contributed to the 2009-2012 Vermont Educational Technology Plan. John has taught this, Integrating Technology In the Classroom course to several hundred teachers in Vermont. He is an adjunct professor for Southern New Hampshire University, teaching beginner and advanced technology classes on Web 2.0 Tools and using the Smartboard. On a personal note, John loves helping digital immigrants thrive in this brave new world of technology integration. He remembers well needing the help of 2nd graders (1992) in turning on and operating the classroom's Apple II computers. Currently, John is most excited about the Apple iPad and is alternately ashamed and proud of his vastly growing collection of this great new educational tool (current count is 10!)

Judy Laird, the Executive Director of the VMI (Vermont Mathematics Initiative), coordinates the development and integration of the four VMI program components: mathematics content, effective instructional practices, action, research and teacher leadership. Ms. Laird is a middle level mathematics educator having taught several grade levels in her 16 year teaching history. She received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and was recognized for her achievements in Washington D.C. Ms. Laird has been responsible for the development and implementation of a four-year initiative aimed at improved mathematics instruction in Vermont’s geographically largest and most rural supervisory unions. She has presented at numerous workshops and teaches graduate level mathematics courses to teachers through Lyndon State College and University of Vermont. She has been involved in stateside mathematics projects including serving as a network leader for the VT Portfolio Assessment System and as an Assessment Consultant for the Vermont Agency of Education, in addition to her VMI responsibilities. As a 2002 graduate of the VMI, Ms. Laird has a master’s degree in education with a specialty in K– 8 mathematics.

Judy Carr is an experienced educator, working in Vermont and nationally. She heads the Center for Curriculum Renewal. Judy provided a highly regarded multiday strand on the Common Core this summer at the VPA conference at Killington, along with several other Vermont PLN events.

Karen Reinhardt is currently the math coach at Jericho Elementary School in Jericho, VT and math coordinator for Browns River and Camel's Hump Middle Schools in Chittenden East SU. Previously, she served as math/science coordinator for CESU and for Grand Isle Supervisory Union, and has worked with many districts in Vermont on math and science curriculum projects and professional development. Karen's recent interest is in using lesson study to support teachers to strengthen their understanding of math curricula, pedagogy, and student learning.

Kate Hudson is a special educator at Brattleboro Union High School who teaches courses in reading and literacy.

Kathi Lengel is a former teacher and school principal who has, for the last 17 years, helped teachers and school leaders integrate technology into their work. Since October 2010 she has delivered more than 260 iPad for Educator workshops throughout the northeast, Asia and Europe reaching well over 4500 educators. In 2001-04 she managed the multimillion dollar Gates Foundation grant for MA. An author of dozens of teacher guides and online courses for Apple, Inc., she co-authored Integrating Technology: A Practical Guide, published by Allyn &Bacon. She holds a BS in Early Childhood Education and an M.Ed. in Administration and Planning from the University of Vermont. She holds adjunct professorships at both Hunter College and Fitchburg State University.

Kimber Hershberger recently retired from her job as a third-grade teacher at Radio Park Elementary School in the State College, Pennsylvania. She also was an instructor of Elementary Science Methods at Penn State and participated as a mentor teacher for the 16 years in the Professional Development School (PDS), a partnership between Penn State and State College Area School District. Kimber earned a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education from Juniata College in 1975 and in 2006 obtained a master’s in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in science education from Penn State. She helped to construct the teacher scenarios in the book: What's Your Evidence? Engaging K-5 Students in Constructing Explanations in Science.

Laura MacLachlan is the Farm to School Program Manager for Marble Valley Grows in Rutland County. She is also an energy educator for the Vermont Energy Education Program. Both roles allow Laura to explore curricula and engage students in hands- on learning with a focus on food, compost and energy and how are choices impact Earth. Involved with schools for over twenty years as a teacher, parent and volunteer, Laura embraces working and learning in community. Laura lives, grows and cooks in Brandon with her husband and three children.

Leigh Ann Haefner is an associate professor of science education at Penn State Altoona and co-director of the Childhood and Early Education program at Penn State University. She is a former junior and senior high school science teacher with experience teaching life, Earth, and physical science in grades 7-11. Her current research focuses on inservice teacher’s practices for supporting young learner’s talk and sense making in science, as well as the integration of the practices of science and engineering in STEM education. Haefner earned a B.S. in secondary education from Bloomsburg University and an M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences and Ph.D. in Science Education from Penn State

Liz City is the Director of the Ed.L.D.Program at Harvard. Liz has served as a teacher, instructional coach, principal and consultant. She combines the pragmatic “how can we do our work better every day for children now” with the imaginative: “What might learning and the systems that support learning look like in the not too-distant future.”

City fell in love with teaching in a closet-turned-classroom in St. Petersburg, Russia. She still loves teaching, and sees leadership as a continuous act of learning and teaching. From her early passion for adolescent literacy as a middle school Humanities teacher to her current work in developing leaders, common themes in City's work are collaboration, discussion, asking the right questions, thinking and acting strategically, and learning through doing. City's recent work in the field includes supporting instructional rounds networks, developing a statewide induction program for new superintendents, and helping to cultivate personalized learning across rural districts and schools
As a Harvard academic today, Elizabeth City knows schools intimately. She has served as:
 Faculty, Boston Public Schools Principal Fellows program
 Specialist in whole-school reform
 School change coach
 Literacy coach
 Led the establishment of a North Carolina charter school
 Middle/High teacher
 Overseas: teacher, Public School #30, St Petersburg, Russia

Elizabeth Mirra is the Math & Science Instructional Coach at Springfield High School. She also works with districts throughout the state providing professional development and supporting the development and implementation of science curriculum. She was the 2011 recipient of the prestigious President's Award for Excellence in Science Teaching. Liz was involved in reviewing and providing feedback on the Next Generation Science Standards throughout their development

Loree Silvis is an experienced primary-grade teacher who left the classroom several years ago to delve deeply into the cognitive research on how young children construct an understanding of important foundational mathematics concepts. In support of early educators, she led the development of several graduate level courses which focus on number, additive reasoning, problem solving and foundations for algebraic reasoning and facilitates these courses throughout Vermont. She also co-led the development of the Primary Number and Operation Assessment (PNOA) with support from the Vermont Agency of Education and continues to work with districts in the development of comprehensive assessment systems and in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in the primary and elementary levels. Loree Silvis can be contacted at Cornerstone Mathematics Consulting, 1519 Notch Road, Bolton, VT, 05465, 802-434-5080, or

Margaret MacLean currently provides professional development support to teachers and school leaders internationally. Margaret is an educator with 30 + years experience, equally divided between teaching and school administration. Margaret has been a practicing coach since 1998. Margaret’s work takes her to school districts throughout the US and Internationally to provide initial training seminars, follow up school coaching and to facilitate school planning sessions. Margaret has extensive experience working with small rural schools in Vermont and throughout the country. Margaret has also worked directly with a number of international schools to develop school wide systems for effective professional collaboration. More information can be found at

Marisa Duncan-Holley has been a teacher, early intervention provider, evaluator and administrator supporting inclusive education for children and young adults with learning differences and disabilities and their families. She has guided several large non-profits and public education to shift educational mindset from believing exclusive education is the best option for learners requiring education outside the culture of the institution to implementing supports and services within the typical education setting with a scaffold of supports and services to children and adults leading toward inclusive education.
Marisa has been a leader in special education in Vermont and Pennsylvania. She has chaired state councils to develop special education policy to improve access to education (Pre-K-12). In 2014, she was named Vermont Early Childhood Director and in 2016 named the Vermont Special Education Director by the Council of Special Education Directors.
Marisa provides professional development on a variety of special education topics, program evaluation and action planning for change and workshops on mindset changes to increase inclusive access for all.

Mary McLoughlin is a special educator and special education administrator who has worked in the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union for thirty seven years in varying roles. Currently she is an Out of District Case manager and Co-teaching facilitator for WSESU . Mary earned an undergraduate degree in Special Education from Kean College of NJ and a M.Ed. from The University of Vermont in Curriculum and Instruction:technology of Education -elementary and Secondary.

Mary Starr is honing her facilitator skills and thinking by working with teachers throughout the United States. For the last few years she has focused on developing and implementing professional learning experiences for teachers and administrators aligned with the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards. Embracing the instructional challenges and opportunities of these documents, many of these experiences focus on three-dimensional learning, including modeling and discourse practices. Mary is an author of Project-based Inquiry Science, a set of middle school, module, science instructional materials.

Matt Betz completed his BA in biology and geology from Antioch College and his M.Ed from Antioch University. After a cumulative 6 years of extensive environmental education in Maine and New Hampshire, he began teaching science at the Brattleboro Area Middle School where he has been for the past 13 years. Over the last few years. Matt has been focusing on NGSS implementation, working within WSESU, as well as participating in NGSS implementation with the AOE. This will be Matt's second year working with the NGSX system. He has found it transformative for his work in the classroom.

Matt Kolan is a lecturer in the University of Vermont 's Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, where he teaches courses in landscape analysis, natural history, educational design, environmental problem-solving, and power and privilege. His research explores diverse and innovative approaches to designing learning environments that attempt to reconnect and realign people with the wisdom of nature and the language of the land. Matt also works as an educational and ecological consultant for a variety of organizations.

Matthew Christen brings more than twenty-seven years of teaching experience, including both elementary and middle-level instruction, to the Developmental Designs workshops he facilitates. While teaching at Wisconsin Rapids School District, Matthew developed a student-centered classroom based on Brain Compatible Learning Theory. As an adjunct instructor at Viterbo University in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, he teaches graduate level education courses.

As Founder and Director of the Just Schools Project, Mel Motel provides training, consultation, coaching, and other support to people in schools who are using restorative practices to build community and respond to harmful behavior without relying on punishment or exclusion. Mel draws from a diverse background in both K-12 education and the prisoner justice movement, where she first learned to apply restorative justice over a decade ago. Since founding Just Schools Project in 2013, Mel has worked with more than ten K-12 schools and hundreds of students, teachers, administrators, and other school staff throughout New England. Mel is also currently on the faculty of the Community College of Vermont, where she teaches “Community and Restorative Justice” in the College’s Criminal Justice Department.
Mel holds a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin and an MA in Teaching for Social Justice from Marlboro College Graduate School. She is also a licensed Vermont Grade 7 – 12 English teacher.

Meredith Wade has been an elementary classroom teacher, science educator at Boston’s Museum of Science, and a curriculum developer and presenter with Mother Goose programs (Vermont Center for the Book’s early childhood initiatives). She has been a staff member on two National Science Foundation funded projects and has created many professional development programs in science, math and design engineering. Meredith has consulted with school districts on curriculum and has taught a variety of science courses for adults and classes for children. She holds a Master of Science Teaching degree from Antioch New England.

Michael Eppolito is the Coordinator of Program Effectiveness at the Two Rivers Supervisory Union in Ludlow, Vermont. Before that he was a middle school Social Studies teacher for 10 years. Michael has received extensive training in collaborative practices and Critical Friends Groups from the School Reform Initiative and has been conducting collaborative practices seminars since 2012.

Michel Moyse, artist, filmmaker and teacher, is Artistic Director and Co-Founder of the Center for Digital Art in Brattleboro, Vermont. Michel has an extensive background in film and experimental art. His multi-screen artwork has been shown in the United States and abroad. Prior to his position as Artistic Director of CDA, Michel was sound editor in New York City for such directors as Woody Allen, Brian DiPalma, Jonathan Demme,and Peter Yeates. Michel has a Masters in Art Education from New York University. After working for many years with oils, canvas, plastic and glass, in the mid 1980s Michel's work took a decisive turn toward what he now calls 'motionpainting' with the advent of computers and digital technologies. The result is a series of digital art works that explode the concept of traditional two-dimensional art through the inclusion of motion, sound and narrative elements. Michel lives and works in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Paul Bocko has been a dedicated professional educator since 1994, collaborating with teachers and administrators to develop curricula and meaningful learning experiences that meet standards. Paul received his Master of Education in Administration and Supervision with Principal Certification and his Master of Science, Environmental Studies in Environmental Education, both from Antioch University New England. His vast experiences include, among other accomplishments, curriculum coordinator, education consultant, instructor of education, Critical Friends facilitator, and developer of curriculum.

Priscilla White is the Child Victim Treatment Director and Co-Director of the Vermont Center for Prevention and Treatment of Sexual Abuse. She graduated from Johnson State College with a BA in Political Science and Secondary Education. She was the Prevention Educator/Outreach Coordinator for O.U.R. House of Central Vermont before stepping into the Executive Director position. O.U.R. House was Vermont’s first of nine Children’s Advocacy Centers. Priscilla worked closely with many community organizations within Washington County advocating for children and the prevention of child sexual abuse. She has worked for the Department for Children and families for 4 years.

Dr. Richard A. Villa has worked with thousands of teachers and administrators both nationally and internationally to develop and implement organizational and instructional support systems for educating all students within general education settings. Rich has been a middle and high school classroom teacher, special educator, special education coordinator, pupil personnel services director, and director of instructional services. Rich works with schools, governmental and non-governmental agencies, and advocacy organizations. He has authored over a hundred articles and book chapters regarding inclusive education, differentiated instruction, collaborative planning and teaching, and school restructuring. Dr. Villa has co-edited twelve books and developed three multimedia kits for teachers, administrators, and parents Rich is known for his enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and humorous style of presenting.

Dr. Rob Koegel has taught K-12 students, bullying prevention workshops, an anti-bullying curriculum in high school, and presented at conferences across the country. Rob’s expertise in skill-building, respect for process, and sense of humor are a combination that you don’t want to miss.

Ryan Snyder,M.Ed., BCBA, has spent the last fifteen years in a variety of direct care, supervisory, and consulting positions. Mr. Snyder has been accepted as a visiting instructor at Salem State University, Fitchburg State University, and Endicott College, with two courses currently running through Salem State and Endicott focusing on special education and Applied Behavior Analysis. Over the last 15 years Mr. Snyder has completed over 100 trainings, workshops and in-services for public and private school personnel covering a wide variety of topic including data based decision making, graphing/excel, Individual Education Plans, special populations, and Functional Behavior Assessment. Additionally, Mr. Snyder has presented as part of several data based symposia and poster sessions at both national and regional conferences focusing on Applied Behavior Analysis and special education.

Sarah Rooker has had a life-long love of history and craft, having grown up in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. She attended the College of William and Mary and went on to receive an MA in history and completed her doctoral exams at the University of New Hampshire. Sarah worked as a museum educator in Maine and Vermont. Formerly the Educator for the Vermont Historical Society, she also directed the Vermont Museum and Gallery Alliance and now directs the Flow of History, a professional development program for teachers.

Shana Frank is a math education specialist who has taught students in grades 4-12 and adults for over 20 years. Her professional development courses focus on rich mathematical tasks and classroom practices that enable students to learn mathematics with understanding. She earned a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Mathematics Education from Boston University and holds a Masters in Education from Keene State College. As an academic support teacher in Springfield for one of VSAC's Outreach Programs, Shana helps students in grades 7-12 develop skills and confidence by making sense of mathematics.

Steve Bogdanoff has been a passionate K12 educator for 40 years, 30 of which have been spent solving the data and decision-making bottleneck confronting educators. A specialist in information management and visual analytic resource design at the school, district and state levels, he is the creator of numerous analytic resources, including “MVAR”, a resource for interactive analysis of standardized testing data which the Massachusetts DESE recently approved for statewide use. Steve earned a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University and an M.A. in Education Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University. .

Susan Ojala is VMI’s lead course instructor. Prior to working for VMI, Ms. Ojala was a middle level educator for ten years and earned her master’s degree in education at UVM through the VMI program. Susan has written mathematics curriculum for two school districts in Vermont and has been a state portfolio scorer and a benchmarking assistant for 8th grade math. She has supported the Intel Foundation’s initiative to improve mathematics, having trained the first cadre of instructors for their Intel Math Program. Her love of mathematics inspires her students to stretch themselves to reach new levels of understanding and to tackle challenging problems.

Teri Young has served as a Co-Teaching instructor with Antioch's Center for School Renewal and as the lead instructor for several courses in Vermont in 2010. She is a doctoral student in Union Institute and University's Ed.D. program. Teri earned her M.S. degree in Educational Leadership from Bank Street College of Education, with a specialization in supervision and evaluation. She has a wealth of experience in school administration, classroom teaching, and special education.

Tina Shakespeare, M.Ed, is a veteran teacher with over 30 years of teaching experience ranging from elementary school to teaching graduate courses for the University of Vermont. Most of her teaching has been at the upper elementary and middle school levels. She was a Curriculum Coordinator and Title I program supervisor for ten years at Windham Central Supervisory Union. Tina has also worked for the Vermont Agency of Education as a Writing Portfolio Network Leader and most recently as part of the English Language Arts Literacy Professional Learning Team . Among other professional roles, she has served as a literacy coach at local schools and was a presenter of Writing Assessments in Vermont at the Department of Education in Beijing, China. She was the recipient of an Outstanding Teacher Award from the University of Vermont during her teaching years in Wilmington, Vermont. She received a Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholarship that allowed her to observe public and private schools in Japan. For the past six years, Tina has been happily working as a classroom teacher of grades 5-6, in Wardsboro, Vermont.