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Major Changes to the VT-HEC Board

The recent VT-HEC Board of Directors meeting saw the election of a new member and the departure of an original member of the Board.  Vick Wells, Director of Student Support Services, Addison Central Supervisory Union in Middlebury, VT was newly elected to the Board.  Vicki has been with the Addison Central SU since 2004 and prior to that worked for the VT Department of Education for nearly 10 years as a Special Education Consultant.

At the same meeting the Board bid farewell to Susan Stightly who has been a member of the Board since the VT-HEC first became a non-profit organization in 2010. Susan served as Chair of the Board for a number of terms and will be greatly missed. In real life, Susan serves as President of the Association of Vermont Independent Colleges, a voluntary association of 18 private colleges and universities in VT.

This caps a year of significant turnover for the VT-HEC Board.  Ken Page, Executive Director of the VT Principals Association and Michael Curtis long-time Director of Children, Family & Youth Service of Washington County Mental Health both retired from the VT-HEC Board this year. Michael was also a member of the original VT-HEC Board.

To fill these vacancies the Board welcomed three new members this past year:

  • Alicia Lyford – Principal of East Montpelier Elementary School
  • David Rice – School & Tutorial Education Coordinator at CH.O.I.C.E Academy, Barre VT. An independent school & treatment program operated by Washington County MH
  • Nancy Sugarman – Director – Vermont Northern Lights Career Development Center for early childhood and after-school professionals


Alicia, David and Nancy joined current members Lauire Gossens, Superintendent of Washington South SU, Nancy Thomas, Superintendent of Washington Northeast SU and Andrea Wasson, Special Education Director of Caledonia Central SU who is the current Chair.

In appreciation of their service to the VT-HEC the Board of Directors passed the following resolution:

By this resolution the staff and Board of Directors of the VT-HEC recognize and express appreciation for the time, work and support Susan Stitley has provided by her years of serving on the Board and for the leadership she has provided serving as Chairperson over multiple terms.   

The Board also wishes to express its appreciation for the service, time and support provided by Michael Curtis and Ken Page who also left the VT-HEC Board this year after serving multiple years.  

Without the guidance, expertise and support provided by these dedicated Board members the VT-HEC would not have been able to transition to an independent non-profit organization or have successfully pursued its mission over the past six years.  


Dennis has been the Director of the the VT-HEC since it was founded in 2000. He spent 16 years at the VT-DOE as Director of teams with various names 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 also spent 6 years as a classroom teacher grades 5-8 in NJ.

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