VT-HEC Instructors, Presenters and Consultants
renda is an instructor in the VT-HEC Early Childhood Licensing Program and has been an early childhood educator for 31 years, 16 of those years as an early childhood special educator. She a classroom teacher and Preschool Coordinator at the Family Center of Washington County, a Montpelier EEE co-teacher, and most recently an itinerant EEE teacher for the Montpelier Public Schools. Brenda received a BA in Early Childhood Studies (1983) and an MEd. in ECSE (1998) from The University of Vermont. In 2012, she began teaching coursework, leading workshops, and mentoring new EEE staff in the Montpelier area as a way of building linkages, and supporting collaboration and ongoing professional development with people coming into the field.
rlyn Bruccoli is the Librarian and Technology Integration Specialist at East Montpelier Elementary School. Her love of dinosaurs, anthropology, and children led her to pursue a Master’s of Science in Education at Bank Street College with a concentration in museum education. After working for the American Museum of Natural History’s National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology, Arlyn joined the VT Dept. of Education as the Technology Integration Specialist. She still loves dinosaurs, but has found that being a librarian and technology integrationist allows her to explore EVERYTHING through the intersection of library resources, robotics, and the curiosities of elementary school students.
Cernosia is a presenter with VT-HEC. He is an attorney and education consultant from Williston, Vermont and he is also associated with the University of Vermont’s Education Law Institute. Art previously worked with the Northeast Regional Resource Center in Burlington, Vermont and served as an Assistant Attorney General assigned to the Vermont Department of Education. He provides training, consultation and other technical assistance services to state and local education agencies and advocacy organizations throughout the nation on disability law issues. Art has conducted numerous workshops and is a frequent presenter at state and local conferences.
hris CichoskiKelly is a technology instructor with VT-HEC. He is a Technology Integration Specialist for Chittenden Central Supervisory Union (CCSU) and has been working with students with disabilities, their families and educators for over a decade. Chris’ passion is teaching faculty and students about technology in education as a tool to help motivate students and to allow all students to show what they know. Prior to working at CCSU, Chris directed the Assistive Technology Center for Chittenden County Vermont as part of the Vermont Assistive Technology Program. More recently, Chris has expanded his teaching to include graduate technology integration courses for educators throughout Vermont. Chris has completed hundreds of assessments and implemented technology devices and strategies for students and families all across Vermont. He has presented frequently in Vermont, as well as regionally and nationally on various technology in education topics.
endy is a TASS Consultant and Instructor. She consults with educators on variety of topics: developing local standards and assessments; using backward design to plan and implement teaching and learning; and looking at student work to improve instructional practice. In addition, Wendy works with teachers and administrators to develop their leadership and facilitation skills, as well as building collaborative learning communities. Prior to her consulting work, Wendy coordinated the state-wide effort to write the Vermont Arts Grade Expectations. Projects outside VT have included: consultant to the state of Maine in the revision of their state arts standards; curriculum specialist for the National Endowment for the Arts New England Summer Institutes; consultant to the New Hampshire Department of Education in arts integration; curriculum specialist to the Massachusetts Cultural Council for their Springfield, MA summer institutes; and consultant to the Center for Curriculum Renewal on several curriculum audits in New York State and South Carolina. Prior to her work as a consultant, she taught for ten years at Hunt Middle School in Burlington, VT.
eg Dawson, Ed.D., NCSP, received her doctorate in school/child clinical psychology from the University of Virginia. She worked as a school psychologist for 16 years in Maine and New Hampshire, and since 1992 has worked at the Center for Learning and Attention Disorders in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where she specializes in the assessment of children and adults with learning and attention disorders. She has many years of organizational experience at the state, national, and international level, and served in many capacities, including president, of the New Hampshire Association of School Psychologists, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the International School Psychology Association. She is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on a variety of topics, including retention, ability grouping, reading disorders, attention disorders, the sleep problems of adolescents, the use of interviews in the assessment process, and homework. Along with her colleague, Dr. Richard Guare, she has written several books for parents and professionals on the topic of executive skills, including Smart but Scattered and Smart but Scattered Teens. Peg is the 2006 recipient of the National Association of School Psychologists’ Lifetime Achievement Award.
eather is an instructor for VT-HEC Early Childhood Licensing Program. Heather consults from home for the Vermont Community Preschool Collaborative and the Vermont Birth to Three Project. After graduating from the University of Vermont in 2000 with a Bachelors in Early Education, Heather spent time in the field teaching Kindergarten and Preschool aged children in California and Vermont. Before long she found herself back at the University of Vermont’s lab school mentoring student teachers and teaching Infants and Toddlers at the Campus Children’s School. At UVM, she completed a Masters degree in Educational Leadership and went on to direct NAEYC accredited/ 5 STAR Licensed Early Childhood Programs while consulting in Registered Family Child Care and Public School education settings. Heather soon was invited to teach different courses for the Vermont State College Network, University of Vermont and the Vermont Higher Education Collaborative. Her teaching and consulting has reached 307 venues and an estimated 2,435 Early Childhood Providers since 2007.
isa is a licensed clinical social worker who has worked in the field of social service and mental health, working with children, youth and families, for over 25 years. She is currently the Director of Therapeutic Education/After School Services at Washington County Mental Health, where she develops programming and provides support and supervision for the licensed tutorial and independent school programs. Through her vast experience working with children and youth, and as the parent of a gender creative child, Lisa is passionate about helping create a gender inclusive society where kids can be their authentic selves.
Melissa Farrall, PhD
elissa Lee (Dr.) Farrall is the author of the graduate level text Reading Assessment: Linking Language, Literacy & Cognition and is an adjunct faculty member in the Language and Literacy Program at Simmons College in Boston. With her strong interest in language, she has taught computers how to read and talk, provided specialized instruction in the public schools, and served as the Director of Assessment at The Reading Foundation, a business specializing in Orton-Gillingham tutorials. She also presently works as a consultant with parents and school districts. She served for several years on the board of directors of the New Hampshire Branch of the International Dyslexia Association.
ennifer Fitch is a first grade teacher at East Montpelier Elementary School. In her 20 years of teaching, she has taught every grade level except kindergarten. Her passion for early literacy and teaching children to read led her to complete her Masters in Education with a concentration in Early Literacy from the University of Vermont. After a hiatus from the classroom to serve as the school’s Literacy Specialist, Jennifer returned to the classroom full-time. She began working intensely with Arlyn Bruccoli to integrate technology into her teaching and to improve the digital literacy of her students. Jennifer has had wonderful success improving collaboration and problem solving skills in her class through the use of technology.
at Fitzsimmons is an instructor for the VT-HEC Early Childhood/EC Special Education Licensing program. She is currently the Common Core Implementation Coordinator at the Vermont Agency of Education. Previously, she worked as the Elementary Science Assessment Coordinator and the Assistant Director of the Research, Standards, and Assessment team at the Agency. Before moving to state-level work, Pat was the Science Specialist for both Barre Town and Barre City Elementary and Middle Schools. She fondly remembers her first position in public school as a kindergarten teacher which she thoroughly enjoyed for fourteen years.
Heather Flynn, PhD
eather (Dr.) Flynn is a licensed psychologist, certified school psychologist, and Director of Clinical Services at CCSN. Dr. Flynn provides psychological assessment for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities. She received her Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Connecticut. Prior to joining CCSN, Dr. Flynn worked as a school psychologist in public school systems in Newton and Needham, MA. Her primary responsibilities included completing cognitive and educational evaluations, providing individual and group counseling to students with a variety of emotional and behavioral needs, and consultation with teachers and families. In addition, Dr. Flynn served as Site Director for Aspire (formerly known as YouthCare, a therapeutic program affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital) where she supervised the administrative, clinical, and programmatic operations of the summer camp program for children and adolescents diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Flynn has also been an Adjunct Professor at Northeastern University and Suffolk University in Massachusetts where she taught graduate level courses in psychological assessment.
eather is a new graduate instructor for the VT-HEC. She has worked in public education in Vermont for the past 12 years. With her roots in early childhood development, Heather coordinated the Early Education and Early Childhood Special Education programs for Orleans SW for the past 6 years. Recently, she has completed her Masters in Education with a concentration in Educational Leadership at Saint Michael’s College. Heather is the Director of Student Services at Orleans SW Supervisory Union.
lena Frimerman is a presenter for VT-HEC on topics related to intervention for children with ASD. Elena began her career in a special education preschool in Brooklyn, NY. Since then, she has worked in various fully inclusive settings with preschool and elementary school age children. Her interest is in collaboration with other professionals to create comprehensive treatment programs using elements of structured teaching to improve the quantity and quality of human and object interactions children with ASD have throughout their school day, as well as at home.
Valerie J. Gardner
al is a TASS (Teaching All Secondary Students) Leadership Consultant and Instructor, and a long-time members of the TASS Steering Committee. Val is also part of the team offering the TASS Leadership WORKshops. She is a native Vermonter who was educated in the Vermont public schools. She worked at Champlain Valley Union High School for 32 years, as a teacher, athletic director, assistant principal, and principal. Her service to education has included roles as president of the Vermont Principals’ Association, chair of the Commission on Public Secondary Schools for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), and as Principal in Residence for the US Department of Education. In addition to her work at CVU she has contributed to a number of statewide projects include the Vermont Educational Leadership Alliance, High Schools on the Move, is the Director of the Snelling School Leadership Project, and Policy Governance. As an adjunct faculty member at St. Michael’s College, Castleton State College, Johnson State College and UVM, she has been involved in the development of aspiring administrators through the teaching of a number of courses. She continues to work with schools to help serve students in their learning. She has served on various boards including Snelling Center for Government, Vermont Youth Orchestra, Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together, and the Flynn Center Education Committee.
my Gregoire graduated from Boston College in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. For the first two years of her career she taught second grade in rural North Carolina. The following 19 years she spent teaching at the elementary level, primarily in second and third grade in Bow, NH. In 2012 Amy received her masters in math education from Lesley University. She has three teaching certificates, elementary math specialist, secondary math, and early childhood education. Amy currently works as the math specialist for Bow Memorial School in Bow, NH. Amy works with students, providing both tier 2 and tier 3 math instruction within their RTI program. In addition, Amy co-teaches with teachers and provides on site professional development. Amy presently serves on the board of the New Hampshire Teachers of Mathematics as their elementary representative.
ich Hanson is an instructor for the VT-HEC Driver Education program. He teaches both classroom and behind the wheel for Tigard High School and 9 years ago joined the Trainer of Trainers cadre for Western Oregon University. He has traveled the state of Oregon to teach driver ed teacher prep courses and has worked with numerous states including, Oregon, Washington, North Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, and New Hampshire providing teacher training, curriculum development and strategies for implementation of their new driver education curriculum. Rich is the president of Oregon Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association and currently serves as the Legislative Liaison for the association. He also has 32 years of classroom teaching experience in a variety of subjects.
Chris Jernstedt, PhD
hris has been a presenter and consultant working with the Teaching All Secondary Students (TASS) program since 2005. He began by presenting research findings about the brain and learning to TASS graduate students. Since then Chris has teamed with Bill Rich and Jen Patenaude to develop new presentations using that research to provide a foundation for school change in the TASS program and to help educators support struggling learners. He has also worked with the TASS Steering Committee in the development of their curriculum and learning opportunities. Dr. G. Christian Jernstedt is Professor Emeritus of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth College, Adjunct Professor Emeritus of Community and Family Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and Director Emeritus of the Center for Educational Outcomes at Dartmouth ([email protected]). He is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of acl systems. He offers seminars and lectures throughout the country on learning, teaching, and potentials of the human mind.
indy is an instructor for the VT-HEC Early Childhood/EC Special Education Licensing program. She is currently a Literacy Specialist in the Barre Supervisory Union. Over the years she has worked in education as a classroom teacher, Reading Recovery teacher, interventionist, district literacy coordinator, undergraduate and graduate instructor, and several years at the Vermont Agency of Education as a literacy instruction and assessment coordinator. Her focus has been on early reading and writing research and instruction to ensure that all children are engaged, lifelong readers and writers.
renda Kennedy is an instructor in the HEC Early Childhood Education program. Currently, she is an early childhood and elementary special educator in the Windham Southwest Supervisory Union. Working at Twin Valley Elementary in Wilmington, she serves on the pre-school multi-tiered system of support, the crisis team and leadership committee. She is a 2008 graduate of the HEC Early Childhood Special Educator program. Brenda is dual certified in early childhood special education and elementary special education. She received her bachelor of arts degree in psychology/education with a minor in children’s literature from Marlboro College in 1999. She earned her master’s degree in special education with a concentration in early childhood special education and emotional and behavioral disorders from the University of Vermont.
inda is an instructor for the VT-HEC Health Educator program. She has been a School Nurse and Health Educator at Harwood Union High School for 28 years. In addition, she has been the school health coordinator for the Washington West Supervisory Union, working with school nurses and health educators, leading the health services and health education coordination efforts for K-12 across the supervisory union. Currently she is co-coordinator of her district’s Sexual Health and Education Program in conjunction with the Agency of Education and a grant through the Centers for Disease Control. Linda has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Norwich University and a Master of Education from Cambridge College.
hris Knippenberg is a consultant for the VT-HEC Approaching a Solution to the Autism Puzzle (ASAP) program. She is a school-based occupational therapist whose focus is working with Vermont families and teams so that children can participate fully in their home and school life. Chris has 38 years experience as an occupational therapist, working in schools since 1977. She has extensive training in sensory integration, autism interventions, and is a certified assistive technology provider. She has done advanced training in structured teaching and applying the TEACCH model to children and adolescents. Chris was the Vermont representative to the IDEA partnership activities designed to facilitate collaboration and excellence in carrying out programming for students with special needs, and has served as a related service mentor through the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion. Chris provides direct services, consultation, and training activities on a range of topics in autism, sensory regulation, transition, and home-school collaboration.
oralyn LaBombard (formally LeBlanc) currently teaches LD 1, LD 2 and a Co-Teaching course for the VTHEC. She recently moved to Concord, NH where she works as an intensive needs special educator for Bow Memorial School. She runs a functional skills program for students with Autism. Prior to her move to NH, she worked at a variety of elementary schools as a special educator and also worked for Vermont Reads and the Stern Center for Language and Learning as a literacy consultant and professional development provider in literacy. Loralyn received her Ed.D. from the University of Vermont in Ed Leadership and Policy Studies in 2009 and her MA in Special Education in 2000 from Assumption College in Worcester, MA. Loralyn lives in Concord with her husband, Greg; and three kids, Camden, David and Libby and dog, Max.
ebecca Blazar Lebowitz is an advanced doctoral student concentrating in Human Development and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). Her research focuses on literacy development and teacher quality in early childhood. She has done research in elementary literacy practices and habits, early childhood achievement, and instructional coaching in early childhood settings. Rebecca is also a former co-chair of the Harvard Educational Review. Prior to doctoral studies, Rebecca worked as a third grade and special education teacher in a public bilingual school in Washington, DC. She holds an EdM in Language and Literacy from HGSE, with a license as a Reading Specialist, and a BA in Urban Studies and Hispanic Studies from Brown University.
Junlei Li is Co-Director of the Fred Rogers Center and Rita M. McGinley Professor of Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College, where he seeks to understand and apply Fred Rogers’ philosophy and approach to serve children and their helpers. We look for and communicate what is “simple and deep” and matters most in service of children and their families. With our many partners and students, we strive to enhance the quality of human relationships surrounding children, promote children’s “growing on the inside”, and give positive meaning to the use of technology in children’s learning and growing. Across all of our projects, we believe that real and lasting change start with finding what ordinary people do extraordinarily well with children in everyday moments. Our work respects, honors, and supports all of children’s helpers – parents, caregivers, teachers, and neighbors. Junlei has had the opportunity to learn from children’s helpers across many diverse and low-resource developmental settings, including orphanages, child care, classrooms, and community programs.
egan is an instructor for the VT-HEC Autism Program. She is also the director of ABA services at the Counseling Service of Addison County (CSAC). Megan is a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) and has a master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis from Johnson State College. Her interest in ABA began through an internship with a young child diagnosed with autism back in 2002 and has been a part of the Intensive School Supports team at CSAC since 2004. Megan has been an active member of the ABA community in Vermont, serving on the VtABA board for multiple years, providing trainings in applied behavior analysis to both her agency and the larger community, and most recently, working on a committee to create a regional research journal for community-based practice in ABA.
ave Melnick, LICSW is the Director of Outpatient Services at NFI, Vermont. For the past 30 years, Dave has worked with children, adolescents and families in a variety of settings including: outpatient, residential treatment, and schools. In addition to providing direct clinical work, Dave consults with and trains professionals and parents throughout Vermont, as well as in New York and British Columbia. His areas of expertise include developmental trauma, family therapy, adolescence, and attachment. Dave is trained in EMDR, DDP (Dr. Hughe’s attachment model), and a variety of family systems models. The Child Trauma Academy acknowledges that Dave has completed NMT Training Certification through the Phase II level. Dave is a graduate of UC Berkeley, and has been an adjunct instructor at the University of Vermont.
inda is a Consultant for the VT-HEC Approaching a Solution to the Autism Puzzle (ASAP) program. She is also one of the founding member of the VT-HEC Autism steering committee. She is an educational consultant who serves all of Vermont and northern New Hampshire. She received her Certificate of Advanced Study in Inclusion and Collaboration from the University of Vermont, her masters degree in education from Lesley College, and her BA in psychology from the University of Michigan. Early in her career, she was the recipient of both a Ford Foundation scholarship and a Rotary International grant. Linda specializes in the area of autism and, specifically, the development and use of literacy to promote communication and the acquisition of “difficult to teach” skills. She also has done extensive work in the area of collaborative teaming. Formerly, she taught for 6 years in the Department of Education at Dartmouth College. She is actively involved in training and has given more than 100 presentations over a span of 30 years locally and nationally. She now works in close collaboration with Chris Knippenberg and Kathryn Whitaker to bring autism information and structured teaching strategies to schools in northern New England.
Margaret Emily Murray
mily Murray is an instructor in the VT-HEC Middle School Program. She has been teaching Design Technology at Hartford Memorial Middle School for the past fifteen years. She earned her B.S. in Industrial Arts Education at SUNY Oswego in 1978, and taught in both New York and New Hampshire before coming to Hartford. She has experience in kindergarten through twelfth grade, but most of her thirty-four years of teaching have been spent in middle schools. Her M.Ed. from Southern New Hampshire University focused on integrating writing into her curriculum. In addition to her teaching responsibilities at Hartford, she has served as Teacher Leader in Math and ELA, been active in the mentor program and school improvement committee, and coaches Technology Student Association.
Tina Newman, PhD
ina (Dr.) Newman is a licensed clinical child psychologist who specializes in assessment and intervention with children who have individual learning needs. Dr. Newman received her Ph.D. in School/Applied Child Psychology from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and completed postdoctoral work at Yale University. She has held appointments as a Psychologist at the British Columbia Children’s Hospital, Sunny Hill Health Center for Children and as an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale University, Child Study Center. Her research pursuits included assessment and intervention with children who have individual learning needs, including multiple exceptionalities (e.g., areas of both strength and weakness) and circumscribed interests in autism spectrum disorders. Her clinical work included comprehensive assessments of children with complex learning profiles. She currently provides consultation and training for The Center for Children with Special Needs in Glastonbury, CT.
en is an instructor, presenter, a member of V
en is an instructor, presenter, a member of VT-HEC Sped Advisory Council, and leads the design and delivery of the annual Special Education and Support Services professional development Series. She has also served as an VT-HEC instructor and student supervisor and site coordinator. She has worked for North Country Supervisory Union for the past fifteen years as a special educator, evaluation specialist, and instructional specialist. She also serves as part time faculty for Lyndon State College.
eth is an instructor in the Early Childhood Special Education Program. She taught in public preschool inclusion programs in Williston and Fairfield before becoming a consultant and trainer full time in 2013. She is a past president of the Vermont Division for Early Childhood (VTDEC) and she currently serves on the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children (VAEYC) Board. She also works at both UVM and Champlain College as adjunct faculty teaching in both early education and special education courses.
atricia is an instructor and workshop presenter in the VT-HEC Autism program, and was one of the founding members of the VT-HEC Autism steering committee. She is Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders, and Professor of Pediatrics in the College of Medicine at the University of Vermont. Dr. Prelock coordinates the parent training programs designed for caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorders through the Vermont Interdisciplinary Leadership Education for Health Professionals (VT-ILEHP) Program, a Maternal & Child Health Bureau (MCHB) federally funded interdisciplinary training grant. She also serves as Project Director for a State Improvement Grant to facilitate the implementation of a distance education graduate program to prepare speech-language pathologists in rural Vermont communities to serve children with communication disorders in the schools. She has over 125 publications and over 400 peer-reviewed and invited presentations in the areas of autism, collaboration, language assessment and intervention, and language learning disabilities.
rin is an instructor for the VT-HEC Health Educator program. She has taught Health Education at South Burlington High School for 15 years. In addition to teaching Health at SBHS, Erin oversees the school’s garden, and teaches Sustainable Foods, Contemporary Health Issues in Fiction, and Peer Leadership classes. Erin has a Master of Arts in Teaching from UVM, and an undergraduate degree in Dietetics and Nutritional Education. In addition to working with teachers to incorporate nutrition education in their classrooms, Erin is also passionate about incorporating mindfulness education into classrooms everywhere.
ill is the VT-HEC TASS (Teaching All Secondary Students) Education Support Coordinator, consultant and instructor. He leads the design team of the TASS Certificate, Learning, Leading & Connecting and their related WORKshops. Bill is a long-time member of the TASS Steering Committee. A recognized expert in the area of differentiated instruction, Bill’s work is featured in Carol Tomlinson’s book, The Differentiated School: Making Revolutionary Changes in Teaching and Learning. More recently, Bill has been working with Dartmouth professor and cognitive scientist Chris Jernstedt, exploring the intersection of neuroscience and education, inspiring educators to imagine schools designed with the learner in mind. He has taught for 17 years in Vermont.
ate is an instructor for the VT-HEC Autism Program. She manages her own private practice as an Speech/Language Pathologist evaluating, diagnosing, consulting, and providing on-going educational assessment of birth to 12 year olds. She is a professional member of trans-disciplinary educational support teams. Her current licensing credentials include Certificate of Clinical Competence from American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) and Vermont state licensure for Speech/Language Pathology and Early Childhood Education. She is the director of and instructor within the University of Vermont’s Online Speech/Language Pathology Assistants training program. She is an adjunct professor for the University of Vermont (Burlington, Vermont), instructs for Vermont Department of Education’s Higher Education Collaborative (Montpelier, Vermont) in conjunction with Lyndon State College, and is a Master Instructor on Northern Lights Child Development Center Instructor Registry of Vermont. In 2007 she taught Child Development to adult students for Chittenden County Child Care Resources (Essex Junction, Vermont).
rin is an instructor for the VT-HEC Autism Program and a Behavior Specialist Consultant for the VT-HEC Approaching a Solution to the Autism Puzzle (ASAP) program. She consults with public schools and agencies and with families throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. She also conducts workshops for public school teachers eager to work more effectively with the increasing number of students with autism that populate their classrooms and works at Washington County Mental Health Services in a variety of programs, and in her own private consulting firm; Spruce Mountain Consulting, LLC. She began her career at Washington County Mental Health Services in 1998. Driven to acquire an even broader and deeper understanding of autism, she earned her M.A. in Education/Applied Behavioral Analysis from Johnson State College. She passed the BCBA Board exam in 2006, and was awarded the title of Board Certified Behavioral Analyst.
arah Schoolcraft is an instructor in the VT-HEC Special Education program. She is currently a third and fourth grade teacher in Williston, VT, and has taught grades 2, 3 and 4 in Massachusetts and Vermont. Sarah has taught as an adjunct on the graduate faculty at St. Michael’s College and the undergraduate faculty at Champlain College. She has her bachelor’s degree from the College of Education and Social Services at UVM and her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley University. She completed additional graduate coursework at Rivier College in fulfillment of her Special Education endorsement. Sarah is passionate about classroom and behavior management, working to meet the needs of all students in inclusive settings, and is the school coordinator for PBiS in her building. Sarah is an adoptive parent of two, one of which has a label of ED, and is married to a special educator.
athy Siggins is an instructor in the HEC Early Childhood Education program. She teaches public preschool in Windham Northeast SU, both in her own classroom and as a support teacher in community-based programs. She was among the first graduates of the HEC program back in 2007, achieving an initial teaching license in Early Childhood Special Education, then going to complete her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction with UVM in 2009. Cathy has been an instructor with CCV and a mentor for VAEYC and VB-5. Currently, in addition to teaching, she is mentoring and consulting for HEC and VB-5 supporting teachers seeking their initial early childhood licensure through peer review.
oree Silvis is and Instructor in the VT-HEC Early Childhood Program.She 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 school districts focusing on instructional best practices in mathematics and in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in primary and elementary levels.
ichelle is an instructor in the Early Childhood Program. She has spent 24 years in the field of early care and education as a family child care provider, preschool teacher, center director, trainer, adjunct faculty for CCV, UVM and the Vermont Higher Education Collaborative, early childhood advisory council director, Success by Six coordinator and public school administrator. She currently work for the Franklin County Early Childhood Programs, which is a public school early childhood collaborative covering two supervisory unions. Michelle holds an AS from Champlain College in Public Relations, a BA from Campbell University in Accounting, an MA Ed. from the University of Phoenix in Education Supervision and Administration and an early childhood and principal endorsement on her Vermont Educators License.
Dr. Jim Squires
r. Squires is a national expert on early education policy and practices, focusing on birth through third grade with an emphasis on sustaining early learning gains. His work at NIEER involves monitoring and shaping national trends in early childhood policy, regulations, and funding; serving as a liaison to state education agencies and organizations to strengthen early education programs; and developing leadership capacity for the next generation of early education champions. He also serves on the leadership team for CEELO, working closely with states located in the Southeast, as well as a coach for the CEELO Leadership Academy. Jim was formerly the early childhood programs coordinator at the Vermont Department of Education, past president of the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education, and president of VAEYC. He has taught and directed programs for young children in child care, Head Start, public schools, migrant education, and university lab schools, as well as serving as adjunct faculty at the University of Vermont, Champlain College, and Community College of Vermont. Dr. Squires received his Ph.D. in child development and public policy from the Union Institute in Ohio. Jim now resides between Charlotte, VT and Saint Simons Island, GA with his wife Debbie and faithful dog Obie.
tho is one of the Leadership Consultants and an Instructor for Teaching All Secondary Students program (TASS) and serves on the TASS steering committee. He served as principal of Peoples Academy, Peoples Academy Middle Level, and Morristown Elementary School—all in Morrisville, Vermont. While a classroom teacher, he taught upper elementary and middle grades. He served as an assistant professor of education at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, and taught in their lab school. Otho received his BA and MA in education from Michigan State University, with dual undergraduate majors in fine arts and elementary education; and dual graduate majors in curriculum development and philosophy of education. In 1993, Otho was named Vermont’s Elementary Principal of the Year. More recently, he was a member of the research team that produced Roots of Success—Vermont’s statewide study of high performing, high poverty schools.
on Udis has worked as a classroom teacher, public school principal and residential treatment educational director. In 1991, Jon started his consulting company, Vermont Schoolhouse Seminars. In addition to his teaching experience, Jon served as a Vermont State facilitator for the National Diffusion Network and directed several projects aimed at school climate improvement. He has presented workshops at educational conferences throughout the United States and Canada and has taught graduate courses for St. Michael’s College, University of Vermont and McGill University. Jon is well known for his passion for learning, his love of teaching and his commitment to helping every child receive the supports necessary for healthy development; he models mutual respect, warmth, active learning, and humor in all of his teaching. Jon lives with family outside of Montpelier, Vermont.
ndrea is an instructor in the Special Education Program, a presenter, and a practicum supervisor for VT-HEC. Currently, she is the Director of Special Services for the Barre City Elementary and Middle School. Prior to her current position, Andrea worked for the VT-HEC as an instructor and coordinator of mentoring programs for new special educators. As a special educator, Andrea focused her work on better understanding specific reading disability/dyslexia. She has worked in the field of special education in Vermont for 24 years in both the public and the private sector.
athryn is an instructor and presenter for the VT-HEC Autism program. She is an autism consultant for North Country Supervisory Union in Vermont. In her current position, she serves thirteen schools as a consultant and trainer for children with autism spectrum and other neurodevelopmental disorders. She is also the local alternate assessment coordinator and is active in a district assistive technology project. Kathryn has been involved in training Vermont educators in structured teaching with Linda Mulley and Chris Knippenberg and gives regular workshops on autism spectrum disorders, behavior interventions for autism, structured teaching and curriculum for students with autism. Kathryn earned her Master’s Degree in Special Education with an independent autism strand from Johnson State College of Vermont. Kathryn’s completed her B.S. degree in behavioral sciences and special education at Lyndon State College in Vermont. Kathryn also studied at Sonoma State University in California for certifications as learning handicap specialist, emotional disturbance specialist, resource specialist, assistive technology specialist and bilingual (Spanish) cultural linguistic academics certification.