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Collaborating with experts to support schools and deliver professional development, ensuring the success of all students.


VT-HEC Staff

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Dennis Kane

Director

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ennis has been the Director of  the VT-HEC since it was founded in 2000. He spent 16 years at the Vermont Department of Education as Director of various teams  that included: special education, Title I, health and wellness and other family and education support services. Prior to that Dennis worked at the Barre Town School (VT) starting as a special educator and serving many years as the Director of Student Support Services. He attended Fairfield University as an English major, Philosophy minor.  After 6 years teaching grades 5-8 in Paterson NJ, he came to VT to attend UVM for a Masters in Special Education in the Consulting Teacher program.

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Patty Morgan

Program Director

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atty is the VT-HEC Program Director. She is responsible for the development and implementation of all pathway-to-licensing programs.

Patty’s involvement with the VT-HEC began in 2001 as a site coordinator and instructor for the Special Education Licensing program.  Prior to her work with the VT-HEC, Patty was a faculty member at the University of Vermont, in the Department of Special Education teaching, both graduate and undergraduate level courses and providing practicum supervision.  She has also worked on numerous federally funded grant projects including secondary systems change, transition, and supported employment.  Prior to her work at the University, she was a special education teacher in Vermont

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Wendy Cohen, M.Ed.

Wendy CohenDirector of Professional Development and Supports

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endy Cohen is the VT-HEC Director of Professional Development Programs and Supports. She is responsible for the planning and delivery of our workshops and related courses and supports.  Wendy began her work with VT-HEC in 2013 in our TASS (Teaching All Secondary Students) program as consultant, instructor and program coordinator.  She continues to serve as an instructor for VT-HEC, using her extensive expertise in a variety of areas including: Standards-Based Learning, Critical Friends, Building & Sustaining Leadership, Collaborative Learning Culture, Personalizing Learning, Action Planning and Program Evaluation.

Wendy began her career in education as a middle school teacher spending nine year teaching Language Arts, Science, Geography and History.  She then worked with the Vermont Institutes focusing on standards-based instruction and assessment of Visual & Performance Arts.  Since 2004 Wendy has worked with a number of entities across the northeast as a consultant, facilitator, instructor, presenter and coordinator.

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Julie Medose

Operations Coordinator

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ulie is the Operations Coordinator for VT-HEC and a member of the VT-HEC Operations Group. She is in charge of all registration, billing, and daily operations. She brings with her a wealth of administrative and coordination experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Her diverse background also includes firefighting, farming, outdoor education, and motherhood.

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Joy Wilcox, M.Ed.

Director of Special Education Endorsement Program, Autism Certificate Program

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oy has worked for the VT-HEC since its inception and is an essential member of the VT-HEC Operations Group.  She also currently coordinates the VT-HEC Special Education program and the Autism Program (see below). 

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Kim McKellar

Online Support and Resources Coordinator

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im is the Online Supstanding with greensport & Resources Coordinator for VT-HEC. She helps coordinate the VT-HEC’s online learning opportunities and provides technical support to our various programs, and is on the VT-HEC Operations Group.   She has been coordinating and developing non-profit educational organizations for over 20 years, and has been with the Collaborative since 2009, formerly as the Operations Coordinator. She is also the Work-based Learning Coordinator at U-32 Middle and High School, helping to coordinate U-32’s mentored and community-based learning programs.

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Jessa Loranger, Ph.D.

Operations Assistant

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essa Loranger (PhD Cultural Musicology, UCSC) began working with VT-HEC in 2017 as the Operations Assistant. She is responsible for assisting with workshops and daily operations. Jessa is passionate about intersections of culture and the arts. She has worked in elementary schools as a literacy tutor and as an aide to English language learners, taught college level music courses, and coordinated and promoted various arts events.

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Seth Marineau

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eth Marineau has worked with the VT-HEC since 2005. He helps coordinate the VT-HEC’s online learning opportunities and provides technical support to our various programs. Seth also teaches middle and high school French at Stowe Middle High School.  He has teaching experience at the middle school, high school and university levels and has served as a school administrator. His academic interests include second language acquisition,  rural education and the historical foundations of school change initiatives.

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VT-HEC Program Coordinators

 Manuela Fonseca, Ed.D.

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anuela is the Early Childhood Licensing Coordinator. She has had over thirty years of experience in the field of early childhood education as a teacher, professor, administrator, and researcher, including as the Early Education Coordinator at the Vermont Agency of Education. She is currently the TA Specialist for Preschool Development Grants at Applied  Engineering Management Corp.

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Donna McCallister, M.Ed.

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onna is the coordinator for Health Education program for VT-HEC, as well as one of our instructors.  She was a Family and Consumer Sciences and Health educator for 35 years in grades 5 – 12, but moved to state level work as the Health Education Consultant for the Vermont Agency of Education in 2007 until retirement in 2015. She received a BS from Montclair State College (1972) and a MEd. in education from Southern New Hampshire University (2007). She is passionate about providing opportunities for educators to improve health education in Vermont and looks forward in continuing to work with Health educators.

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Joy Wilcox, M.Ed.

Director of Special Education Endorsement Program, and Autism Certificate Program

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oy currently coordinates the Special Education Endorsement program and is an instructor of graduate courses in that program. Joy also coordinates the Autism Program,  and the ASAP program – Approaching a Solution to the Autism Puzzle.  She supervises practicum students and is a member of the VT-HEC Operations Group.  She has been a Consulting Teacher/Learning Specialist in Vermont schools for over 40 years.

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VT-HEC Board of Directors

Laurie Gossens Laurie Gossens

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aurie is currently the Superintendent for the Washington South Supervisory Union (WSSU) serving the Northfield and Roxbury communities. Laurie served as the Director of Special Services in WSSU prior to becoming Superintendent. She has worked in education for over 35 years; most of her career was devoted to special education. Before joining WSSU she was one of a team of administrators at Barre Town Elementary School serving as a Special Services Director and Grade Level Administrator where she was very active in developing a Unified Sports Program. She began her career in Vermont working as an Essential Early Educator followed by her role as a Special Education Consultant at the Department of Education. Laurie was active in the Early Childhood field for many years serving on the regional Building Bright Futures Council and State Interagency Coordinating Council for Families, Infants and Toddlers. She received her M.Ed. in Special Education from UVM and was a 1999 graduate of the Snelling Leadership Project. Laurie was born and raised in Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she received her B.S in Special Education. She and her husband reside in Montpelier and have two sons. They also have enjoyed being host parents for students from China during the summer.

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Alicia LyfordAlicia Lyford

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licia Lyford is currently the Principal of East Montpelier Elementary School where she has served since 2010.  Prior to that, she spent nine years as a Special Educator working with students in Grades K – 8 in the Montpelier School District.  She received her Master’s Degree through the Woodruff Institute at Castleton University, and is licensed as a Special Educator, Principal, and Director of Special Education.  Alicia lives in Orange with her husband, three children and yellow lab.

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Casey Murrow, M.Ed.

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asey Murrow heads Synergy Learning International, Inc, a non-profit specializing in science and math programs for schools and teachers. Synergy is the publisher of Connect magazine, which has focused on articles written by and for teachers, both in the U.S. and overseas. Synergy is also a partner organization in Vermont Learning for the Future, a statewide collective action project. As an elementary teacher in Washington, D.C. and in Vermont, Casey was active in place-based learning and was an advocate for expanded professional learning for all educators. In addition to VTHEC, Casey serves on the board of Shelburne Farms, the leadership team for the national project, Educate the Whole Child and two higher education advisory groups, among other endeavors.

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David Rice

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avid has been workiDavid Rice Pictureng in the education field for over 20 years. Starting his teaching career in science and special education, David soon realized his passion was in working with students who have significant social, emotional and behavioral challenges. He currently serves as the CYSF School and Tutorial Education Coordinator and provides educational oversight for Beckley Day Program (a short-term crisis stabilization program for students K-6)  and Ch.O.I.C.E. Academy (a therapeutic day treatment program and licensed independent school) in Barre, Vermont. David also provides leadership support for the Therapeutic School Leaders Group which is a cohort of mental health designated and special service agency school leaders. Through his work with this group, David helped to create a network of support within our school communities, advocating for our needs at the state level and organizing the yearly Therapeutic Schools Teacher Conference. David received his Master’s degree at University of Vermont in Curriculum and Instruction. A native of California, David received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Sonoma State University in Cotati, California. He has lived in Vermont since 1999, and when not indulging in his love of international food and travel he resides in Plainfield, Vermont with his wife, two dogs and two horses.

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Nancy Sugarman, M.Ed.

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ancy has been the director of Vermont Northern Lights Career Development Center for early childhood and afterschool professionals and is currently the Registry Manager for Northern Lights. The Center is the hub of the VT professional development system for students and professionals working in child care, afterschool programs, and other settings serving young children and their families.  Nancy has also been adjunct faculty at a number of colleges in Vermont, as well as working as a facilitator, workshop presenter, and assessor. For nine years she was the coordinator of Early Childhood CONNECTON, the precursor to the Chittenden County Building Bright Futures council. She has served on other boards, including president of the board of a HUD low income housing project.  She holds an M.Ed. in early childhood special education that incorporated an individualized program in creative drama with special populations. Nancy also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater from Boston University.  Before turning to education, her first career was in stage management, directing and acting with a number of theater companies.

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Sarah Tetzlaff, M.Ed.

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arah Tetzlaff is the Assistant Principal of Rutland Town School where she has served since 2012. Prior to that, she worked in the corporate world in Boston, MA before moving back to Vermont to teach Family and Consumer Sciences at Mt. Abraham Union Middle and High School and later at Rutland High School and Allen Street Campus (K-12). Sarah earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Castleton University and Woodruff Institute and obtained her health and special education endorsements from VT-HEC. Sarah lives in Orwell, Vermont with her husband and daughter. She is an avid horseback rider, enjoys many outdoor activities, gardening and cooking. Recently she has served as member and clerk of the Orwell Village School Board.

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Nancy ThomasPicture1

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ancy Thomas recently retired from her position as Superintendent of Schools for Washington Northeast Supervisory Union, serving the Twinfield Union and Cabot School communities. She serves as Vermont representative on the AASA (the national School Superintendents association) Governing Board and on the Northeast Rural Districts Research Alliance Advisory Board of the Regional Education Lab.  Prior to working at WNESU, Nancy served as Director of Special Services/Assistant Superintendent at Washington Central Supervisory Union and Special Education Director for Caledonia Central Supervisory Union.  During that time she was active in the Vermont Council of Special Education Administrators, serving as in leadership roles on the executive council.  Nancy began her work in special education working with students with severe disabilities while an undergraduate at UMass, Amherst and later at UNH where she received her Master’s degree.   She began her career in Vermont in the late 70’s serving in various roles with the Vermont Department of Education, including special education consultant, Director of the Educational Surrogate Parent Program and Interagency Coordinator.

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Andrea Wasson, M.Ed.

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ndrea is currently the VT-HEC Board Chair, as well as an instructor for graduate and undergraduate courses and a practicum supervisor for VT-HEC. She has worked in the field of special education in Vermont for close to 30 years in both the public and private sector. Currently, she is the Co-director of School Transformation for the Orange North Supervisory Union. As a special educator, Andrea focused her work on better understanding specific reading disability/dyslexia.

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Vicki Wells, Ed.D.

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icki has been Assistant Superintendent of Student Services in Addison Central School District for over 14 years.  Prior to that, she worked for the Agency of Education as a special education consultant for close to 10 years. Past positions include the Assistant Director of special education in Addison Northeast, a classroom teacher in Shoreham, a combined multi-age teacher and special educator in West Haven, and a paraprofessional in Williston.  Before moving to VT, Vicki was a self-contained teacher in Danvers, Mass for students identified with language-learning and behavioral disabilities.  Vicki graduated from Castleton State College in 1986 with a degree in elementary education and special education.  She received a Master’s Degree from UVM in Educational Leadership then went on to receive a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from UVM.  Vicki currently lives in Middlebury with her husband of almost 30 years. 

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Past Board Members

Michael Curtis – Former CYFS Division Director, WCMHS (Washington County Mental Health Services)
Peter Evans – Former Principal of Montpelier High School, Current VPA Mentor Co-Coordinator
Adrienne Fisher – Former Director of Special Services, Franklin West Supervisory Union
Jeff Francis – Executive Director of Vermont Superintendents’ Association
Ken Page – Former Executive Director of Vermont Principals’ Association
Susan Stitely  – President of AVIC (Association of Vermont Independent Colleges)