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Teacher from Kenya Attends VT-HEC Training

VT-HEC’s Mission Investment Fund Supports Participation in Autism Training

Sellar Atieno, teacher and director of a small rural school in NW Kenya near Lake Victoria, attended a training focused on students with autism sponsored by the VT Higher Education Collaborative (VT-HEC).  Sellar traveled to Montpelier to attend this two-day workshop and course with her colleague Wanda Stellar, a speech and language teacher from Springfield, VT. Ms. Atieno intends to take the information she learns back to her small rural school in Mumias to support her students and train teachers in the school.

Wanda met Sellar on her first of many visits to Kenya where she volunteers with Yellow House, an agency that provides free speech therapy to children in Western Kenya. She was so inspired by the work of Sellar and others at her school she returned to Vermont and raised funds to build a classroom for the “Mumias Model School for Autism”.

The offering Sellar attended was Curriculum and Instruction for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders with Kathryn Whitaker which began on October 22. The VT-HEC is one of Vermont largest providers of professional learning aimed at benefitting Vermont’s children and youth.   The VT-HEC is providing Sellar her tuition for the course and workshop through its Mission Investment Fund.  Sellar will spend October and November visiting schools in Vermont to observe how Vermont supports students with disabilities.


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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