VT-HEC Instructors, Presenters and Consultants
ichael is currently the Director of Curriculum, Communication and Innovation in MMMUSD-CESU schools. Previously, he had been the principal of Richmond Elementary School, and also at Underhill Central Elementary. Prior to being an administrator, he taught in the elementary grades in East Montpelier.
Michael has a degree in Children’s Literature and Elementary Education from Castleton State College, and a Masters degree in Educational Leadership from Union Institute and University at Vermont College.
Since growing up in a family where both his parents were educators, Michael is always eager to learn and has a hard time not reading educational blogs and articles around the clock. He lives in central Vermont with his wife, two daughters, a dog and one very grumpy cat.
renda is an instructor in the VT-HEC Early Childhood Licensing Program and has been an early childhood educator for over 30 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.
illian Boudreau is a licensed clinical psychologist and licensed school psychologist. She has spent years as a clinician in therapeutic and hospital-based schools in New York City and developed and directed a school-based initiative in Vermont providing intensive behavioral programming in public elementary schools. Dr. Boudreau is currently in private practice offering therapy to children adults and families. She provides extensive consultation and training to schools and agencies in Vermont and NYC in order to create environments beneficial to students with backgrounds including trauma and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. Boudreau’s approach to fostering resiliency and creating trauma-informed settings centers on addressing and reducing patterns of fear within individuals and systems in order to foster authentic connection and healthy learning and development.
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.
ori has been a Special Educator for over 35 years in the State of VT. She spent the first 4 years as an Intensive Needs teacher for adolescents and since then has served as an Early Childhood Special Educator. She has worked in a variety of settings and positions from being a classroom teacher/director to being a traveling special educator.
Lori received a Masters in Early Intervention from UVM. She is a VT AOE State approved Trainer and Coach for Early MTSS focusing on the Pyramid Model. For the last 10 years, Lori has taught the Fundamentals for Early Childhood class for Northern Lights Career Development Center. She has also taught the Curriculum course for the Higher Ed Collaborative and has presented trainings/workshops on a variety of topics.
rt 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.
Peg Dawson, PhD
eg (Dr.) 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 consultant 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.
rystina is currently entering her 7th year as the High School Health Educator at Springfield High School, in Springfield, Vermont. She received a BS in Health Science (2008) and an MST in K-12 Health Education (2011) from The State University of New York College at Cortland. In 2014, she earned a graduate certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University and is currently working on her Administration License for VT/NH from Upper Valley Educators Institute, set to graduate in June of 2018. She is passionate about improving health education across VT through classroom education, facilitating professional development of her colleagues; and looks forward to the unique opportunities to improve school wellness through the lens of an administrator.
ennifer Fitch is a first grade teacher at East Montpelier Elementary School. In her over 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.
ulie provides evaluations, consultation and instruction. She has a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Vermont and a Master’s degree in special education – developmental disabilities from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has extensive experience as a Special Educator and Autism Specialist designing and implementing academic instruction, proactive behavior intervention plans, and social thinking instruction for students who have Autism Spectrum Disorders. She has presented at local and national conferences and was published in the Autism Asperger’s Digest Magazine.
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 past graduate instructor for the VT-HEC. She has worked in public education in Vermont for over 10 years. With her roots in early childhood development, Heather began her career coordinating the Early Education and Early Childhood Special Education programs for Orleans SW. Recently, she has completed her Masters in Education with a concentration in Educational Leadership at Saint Michael’s College and is currently the Director of Student Services at Orleans SW Supervisory Union.
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 is also part of 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.
lise Hancock is a native Vermonter and currently lives in her hometown of Morrisville. She graduated in 2002 from Northern Arizona University with her master’s degree in Clinical Speech Pathology. She began her career in Wyoming working in a variety of clinical and educational settings before returning to Vermont. Since 2006, she has worked collaboratively with caregivers, parents, early childhood educators and special educators, and other specialists to support the developing language, literacy, and communication of children ages 0-9 years of age. Elise bases her teaching and therapeutic interventions on the growing body of scientific evidence showing the importance of responsive communication partners and language and literacy rich environments to the development of strong language and literacy skills in young children.
John Hornstein, PhD
ohn (Dr.) Hornstein has worked in the field of early child development for over 35 years. After 15 years working with children and families and affecting public policy in Maine he received his doctorate at Harvard University in Human Development and Psychology. His research focuses on the emotional development in young children with additional interest in cross-cultural issues, parenting, and creativity. He participated in the development of the AIMS Indicators of Emotional Health, and conducted research on its psychometric properties and application to families of children with special needs. John was on the faculty of the Department of Education at the University of New Hampshire for 13 years, teaching in early childhood education, special education, and undergraduate honors programs. As a research associate at Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston John serves as a faculty member of the Touchpoints Project. John wrote the initial training manual for the project, and continues to train community representatives both in Boston and around the United States. Areas of focus at Touchpoints include work with Native American sites and the development of training in working with families of children with special needs. His other scholarly interests include cross-cultural childrearing, creativity, and narrative.
oanna Hull has nearly two decades of implementing and overseeing applied behavior analytic services throughout the Central Vermont community. As the Clinical Director of School Based Services at Washington County Mental Health, a long time instructor for the Vt-HEC and Johnson State College and a former VtABA board member, she has worked with a wide array of both consumers and providers in the field. A few of her professional interests include using a trauma informed lens within the scope of ABA and using a behavior analytic approach in a supervisory capacity. She has recently begun to look at how she can merge two of her interests by using the principles of behavior analysis to increase participation and outcomes in group fitness classes, particularly in the area of powerlifting.
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 over 30 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 over 40 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.
Heather T. Lynn
eather Lynn counsels Vermont public school districts and supervisory unions, semi-independent schools and Vermont colleges and universities on a variety of issues including student discipline, student disability/special education law, and civil liability. She has extensive experience in the defense of school districts in cases brought under Vermont’s peer harassment statutes both before Vermont and federal courts as well as the Vermont Human Rights Commission and U.S. Dept. of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. She participated in the 2012 and 2015 updates to the Vermont Agency of Education Model Policies and Procedures related to hazing, harassment and bullying and provides training to school administrators and staff on those policies and procedures. Ms. Lynn presents at local sexual harassment, special education, and student discipline seminars. She also performs college level Title IX sexual harassment investigations.
Ms. Lynn also practices civil litigation in the state and federal courts. In addition to general civil litigation, Ms. Lynn’s practice focuses on the defense of school districts for claims arising out of student-on-student harassment/violence, teacher/employee misconduct and special education claims.
imberly is a Program Coordinator at CCSN. Kimberly is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and certified Special Education and General Education Teacher. Kimberly received her degree in education from Bucknell University, her master’s in autism and intellectual disabilities from Teachers College, Columbia University, and obtained her BCBA through The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Prior to coming to CCSN, Kimberly developed an early intervention program at Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, NY, for children with autism and communication disorders. Kimberly has additional experience providing direct instruction to children with autism and related disorders in their homes and a variety of educational settings, as well as providing family and staff training. She is a professional member of the Berkshire Association of Behavior Analysis and Therapy (BABAT) and the Connecticut Association for Behavior Analysis (CTABA).
udith has been an Essential Early Educator (EEE) in the Northeast Kingdom for 14 years, working with preschoolers in the surrounding towns of Newport. She has an Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Special Education as well as a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. In 2010, she completed a fellowship program through Vermont Interdisciplinary Leadership for Educating Health Professionals (ILEHP), focusing on autism spectrum disorders.
Her professional responsibilities currently include providing special education services for preschoolers with disabilities, supervising paraprofessionals, conducting case management and program development activities and collaborating with families, teachers and related service Bioproviders.
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 Northeast Family Institute (NFI Vermont), and is a ChildTrauma Academy Fellow and a Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) Trainer. For over 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.
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 has worked for North Country Supervisory Union for over twenty years as a special educator, evaluation specialist, and instructional specialist. She is also an instructor, presenter, internship supervisor and member of VT-HEC Sped Advisory Council (which leads the design and delivery of the annual Special Education and Support Services professional development series). Jen has also led professional development on a multitude of topics for both general education and special education teachers PreK-12 within multiple supervisory unions throughout the state and has served as adjunct faculty for Vermont State Colleges.
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.
atty Piotrowski is a presenter for VT-HEC providing a series of workshops that focus on developing early learning and language skills 0f young children with autism and other developmental delays. These workshops are co-lead with colleague Chris Knippenberg, OTR.
Patty received her BS (1974) and MA+ (1975) in Speech Pathology from Central Michigan University. Her work experiences span hospital, school and home –based settings. Patty currently provides direct and consultation services to early childhood programs, school districts and adult services up and down the Vermont I-91 corridor. Patty has a special interest in autism, ABA -based structured communication and language instruction, and speech disorders.
Patricia Prelock, PhD
atricia (Dr.) Prelock 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 a long-time VT-HEC consultant and instructor. He began in our TASS (Teaching All Secondary Students) Program, as part of the design team and 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. A lifelong learner himself, 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. His focus recently is on the many facets of Proficiency-Based, Personalized Learning. He has taught for over 20 years in Vermont.
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.
ayne (Dr.) Singer is Clinical Director of the Child and Parent Program in the Developmental Medicine Center at Children’s Hospital Boston, where she works with families of children aged birth through early childhood with a wide variety of medical, developmental, emotional, behavioral, and familial challenges. Dr. Singer is an assistant professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and is part of the faculty at the Brazelton Touchpoints Center.
Dianna (Dee) Smith
ee has worked with the University of Vermont’s Campus Children’s School since its inception in 1990 and taught in UVM’s Early Childhood Program for over 25 years. She is keenly interested in how the process of documenting children’s interests affects the quality of preservice teacher education, teacher’s practice in the classroom, the development of curriculum, relationships with parents, and advocating for children as competent members of their communities. Dee is interested in how the study of other disciplines can support the thinking of early childhood educators, particularly as they engage in conversations around children’s explorations. She has presented nationally and internationally, and written about the research that teachers have engaged in at the Campus Children’s School. Dee continues to work with CCS teachers as Pedagogical Director, and faculty supervisor of the student teachers in their classrooms.
ichelle is an instructor in the Early Childhood Program. She has spent over 25 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.
Jim Squires, PhD
im (Dr.) 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.
atty Thomas is a registered Occupational Therapist who is currently in her twentieth year of working with children in the pre-K -12 school. She has provided services to children of all ages with various diagnoses, including physical impairment, developmental delay, visual impairment, genetic disorder, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Patty is a “big picture thinker” who strives to help her students achieve meaningful participation in all of their roles. As an OT, Patty has provided years of Assistive Technology services to students as well as training and support for caregivers and teachers. She completed the Vermont LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) Fellowship in 2014-15 with an emphasis in improving the delivery of Assistive Technology services to students in Vermont.
tho is consultant with VT-HEC and was an instructor for our Teaching All Secondary Students program (TASS). 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.
oelle van Lent is a licensed psychologist with over 20 years of experience working with children, families, and child serving agencies. Dr. van Lent has expertise as a therapist, clinician, evaluator, consultant, and trainer. Her work focuses on child and adolescent mental health, family therapy, trauma, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. van Lent’s approach is geared toward fostering resilience and creating communities that support healthy development. She is currently in private practice based in the northwestern part of Vermont and works across the state with schools and agencies. The ChildTrauma Academy acknowledges that Dr. van Lent has completed NMT Training Certification through the Phase II level.
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.