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

VT-HEC Partners with VPA on Year-Round Leadership Support

Using the Principles of Neuroscience to Lead in the 21st Century

The VT-HEC is partnering with the VPA to offer an array of coordinated leadership supports to help administrators and their leadership teams work through the ever-expanding list of requirements and initiatives to establish a clear direction tailored to their school and community and then maintain focus and coherence through the year. The supports include:

  • Learn Together – A strand at the VPA Leadership Academy titled: Who Are Our Learners? Using the Principles of Neuroscience to Lead in the 21st Century – with Bill Rich and Val Gardner on August 6 and 7. Participants will be using the principles from research on the brain and learning to make sense of the many competing demands that face school leaders to chart a coherent course for their school and staff.  (Register at 
  • Jump-Start the Year Planning Together This year we are adding the option for strand participants from 2013 or 2014 to participate in supported planning sessions on the afternoon of August 7 and August 8 following the VPA Leadership Academy. Strand participants can have members of their school leadership teams join them in applying the principles covered in the strand to their planning for the new year with the help of Val Gardner, Bill Rich and other TASS consultants. For more info contact [email protected]
  • Stay Together During the Year – There will also be sessions planned during the year to follow-up on the work done in strand and/or planning sessions to help leaders stay on track, share resources and solve problems encountered during the year. Dates and locations will be set depending on the participants.

We are very excited to be working with the VPA to expand this component of our program.  It is clear that many school leaders struggle to maintain focus given all of the challenges and demands they face.  It has been our experience that school leaders that can establish a clear direction based on common principles and develop a coordinated plan for the coming year have the best chance of hitting the ground running and making significant progress during the year.  We believe that these learning and planning opportunities will help leaders accomplish these goals.  These opportunities are also available to the schools that are working with our TASS, Teaching All Secondary Students, program.

One can’t do much better than having experts such as Val and Bill on hand to assist leaders in applying these basic principles of learning and behavior to the work of their schools and staff.  Val was the long-time principal of CVU and now is a TASS leadership consultant, works in the Snelling Leadership program, teaches graduate courses and has done extensive work with NEASC.  Bill comes from the teacher side having taught at Colchester and Montpelier.  Bill has been working with the TASS program since 2005 coaching teachers, teaching courses and designing a wide variety of professional learning opportunities, all based on the best research from neuroscience and education.  Bill has worked extensively with Chris Jernstedt from Dartmouth and Carol Ann Tomlinson.

Together Bill and Val make a powerful team that works to practice what they preach by designing learning opportunities that give participants  the content, coaching and feedback they need to apply the new learning to their own situations.

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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