Use this list to learn about our presenters and topic-based consultants. If your team is interested in meeting with one of the presenters or consultants during the Institute’s afternoon team time, please email them directly. Please note email addresses are provided for the individuals available to meet with your teams.
Chantelle Albin (Strand D) is an Implementation Coach and Trainer for Vermont PBIS. She is a school counselor for a pre-k – 6th grade elementary school. She has a Master’s in Education with a school counseling endorsement and has been working with children ages 5-17 for the last 16 years in residential and public-school settings. Chantelle has a passion for assisting schools in developing the PBIS framework with fidelity and in using data to make and support decisions. She enjoys supporting schools with Universal level implementation, including the creation of school wide expectations, school wide acknowledgements/celebrations, teaching expectations, creating PBIS leadership team agendas, and supporting PBIS school-based coordinators. [email protected]
Kym Asam (Strand D) is an Implementation Coach and Trainer for Vermont PBIS. She has been providing coaching support to three SU/SDs in their installation of the Interconnected Systems Framework which is designed to establish a single system of delivery across education and mental health by deliberately integrating mental health, families, students and other community partners into the PBIS system. In addition, she currently provides training and project support to NFI Vermont in the areas of trauma-responsive school practices, internship oversight, and the agency’s overarching framework. She has practiced as a licensed independent clinical social worker since 1992 and in addition to direct work with clients, provided clinical supervision to multiple staff and consultation to schools on complicated emotional/behavioral student needs. Kym has conducted numerous trainings for school personnel, both in and out of the state of Vermont, on resilience, empathic distress and developmental trauma. She also provides field placement supervision for MSW and BSW students from multiple universities. [email protected]
Amanda Babcock (Strand E) has been the Behavior Coach/PBIS School Coordinator at the JFK Elementary school in Winooski, VT for the past 6 years. Prior to that, she was the Behavior Specialist/PBIS School Coordinator at Swanton Elementary school for about 18 years. This is Amanda’s second year as a VTPBIS State Coach and Trainer working with schools implementing/ maintaining/assessing PBIS in schools.
Kristin Beswick (Strand E) has worked as an Implementation Coach and Trainer for Vermont PBIS for 8 years. She has worked in the NEK as a Behavior Specialist for 19 years. Prior to Vermont, she worked as a School Psychologist conducting evaluations, supporting school teams and consulting with administrators. She has provided Universal, Targeted, Refresher, and Expanding Targeted Trainings to school leadership teams. [email protected]
Marianna Donnally is the School Mental Health and Practice Development Coordinator for the Vermont Department of Mental Health. Marianna trained as a clinical social worker at NYU, and she spent the majority of her career providing support in schools across the country from coast to coast. She has worked in large traditional public schools in the Lower East side of Manhattan to tiny alternative schools in Portland, Oregon. For the last 10 years, Marianna has been working in schools across Vermont and has been inspired by the level of passion and drive that she has witnessed by our educators and support staff. [email protected]
Tom Faris (Workshop L) has worked as an educator in various Vermont schools and programs since 1978. He spent the first half of his career as a special educator in alternative programs as well as public schools. Tom entered school administration in 2000, first at Missisquoi Valley Union High School, then Essex High School. He has worked at the Vermont Agency of Education as a Multi-Tiered System of Supports Coordinator since July 2017. Tom works on a variety of projects and has particular knowledge of Educational Support Teams. Available to consult virtually: [email protected]
Tracy Harrishas been with the Vermont Agency of Education for seven years as Coordinator for Behavioral Supports. As a member of the special education team at the Agency, she provides professional development and technical assistance on an array of special education and general education topics, with an emphasis on social emotional learning and behavioral interventions and supports. Prior to that, Tracy was Assistant Director and Integration Specialist at The Baird School, an independent school that provides special education and therapeutic interventions for students with significant social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. Tracy’s career began in the Winooski School District, as a Speech-Language Pathologist, Service Coordinator, and Team Leader. She instructed a course at the University of Vermont’s graduate program in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Tracy has spoken at numerous conferences around Vermont and the Northeast and authored a chapter in a book for educators on collaborative teaming and co-teaching. [email protected]
Nancy Hellen (Workshop N) began her work at the Agency of Education as a Title I Educational Consultant for the Federal Programs Team with an emphasis on Parent and Family Engagement. In 2018, she joined the Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Team and continues to focus on Family Engagement as well as on trauma-informed practice and resiliency. She previously served in Vermont schools as an elementary teacher and toured Vermont as a puppeteer with Puppets in Education. Available to consult virtually: [email protected]
Dr. Toni Harrison-Kelly (Strand F) is a fifteen-year master teaching veteran and education consultant, having worked with a variety of community partners and trained over 1,300 parents and teachers to date. Dr. Harrison-Kelly earned her Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction degree from Texas A&M University. She is also the Co-Founder of School Leadership for Social Justice (www.SLSJ.us), an equity firm focused on changing the story for students and for society. She currently leads the collaborative community involvement efforts of Southern Methodist University as the Executive Director of The Budd Center at Simmons College of Education and Human Development.
Ali Hearn (Strand G) is a national keynote speaker, trainer, and coach whose mission is to shift mindsets and ignite fires within others to create sustainable change and impact. Throughout her career she has worked with thousands of educators across the country, emphasizing the importance of improving social/emotional skills, promoting the installation of Restorative Practices within school systems, and reinforcing MTSS frameworks to better support the current needs of students, staff, and families. Ali’s diverse experiences as a school-based social worker first sparked her passion for working with people, and her years working with the Midwest PBIS Network in partnership with the National Center on PBIS, honed her skills in strengthening school systems and culture to positively impact social, emotional, and academic outcomes. Ali’s balance of energy, humor, candor, and heart not only inspires educators to want to make schools better but empowers them to know they can. Her unique style and approach make her a sought-after leader in educational spaces and a dynamic catalyst for change. Ali received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois, her Master’s in Social Work from Loyola University in Chicago, is a certified Restorative Practices trainer, and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She shares monthly strategies, reflections, and resources with a growing online community through her “SPARKS.” Find her at heyalihearn.com.
Dr. Sharla Horton-Williams (Strand F) has a 20-year career in early childhood and PK-12 education and is committed to achieving educational excellence and equity for all students – especially Black and Hispanic students who have historically been underserved in education. She has served as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in private, public charter, and traditional public schools. Sharla earned a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Texas A&M University. Currently, Sharla is leading the collaborative academic recovery efforts to support 150,000 students across three Dallas-area districts.
Lauralee Keach (Strand D) has been working with children with a range of needs, including developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorder, for the past 21 years. She received her initial training in behavior analysis in Maine, where she was a member of a team who established a center-based program for students with developmental disabilities and emotional and behavior disorders. Since returning to Vermont in 2003, Lauralee has worked as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst consulting to regional school districts, and currently is a member of the South Burlington School District’s Interdisciplinary Team, which provides behavior, psychological, and communication consultation services to students and school teams. Lauralee’s education includes a BA in Psychology and a M.Ed in Applied Behavior Analysis. [email protected]
Jon Kidde (Strand P) has been exploring the concepts of restorative justice (RJ) for 21 years and has played a critical role in the conceptualization, application, and enhancement of restorative justice within different contexts—education, justice, and within organizations in several states. Jon is currently an independent consultant focused on restorative justice and school discipline and juvenile justice reform living in Vermont. Jon received an MSW degree from the School of Social Welfare at University of California – Berkeley. He co-authored Restorative Justice: A Working Guide for Our Schools with Rita Alfred during the initial implementation of RJ within Oakland Unified School District. He is a Certified Dialogue Education Teacher. [email protected]
Ken Kramberg (Strand C) is a founding member of the Vermont BEST Project and has been an active member since 1995. He is also a member of the VTPBIS State Team and provides training and technical assistance at all levels. Ken is one of a few internationally recognized Master Trainers in LSCI. Additionally, Ken is a master trainer in Crisis Prevention and Intervention (CPI) and provides technical support to schools who request assistance around students with significant challenges. Ken has approximately 40 years of experience as a teacher and director of programs for children with challenging behaviors. [email protected]
Rebecca Lallier (Strand B, Workshop D) is a TA, Implementation Coach, and Trainer for Vermont PBIS. She spent 11 years as PBIS coordinator at the Dothan Brook School, a nine-year exemplar school, navigating all aspects of PBIS from initial implementation through revitalization, full implementation at all three tiers, and continuous improvement. Rebecca has 23 years of experience as a school counselor and was the 2016 Vermont School Counselor of the Year and a 2017 National ASCA School Counselor of the Year finalist. She is passionate about the importance of building trust and relationships while helping schools and teams center equity for all students, build on strengths, and solve problems to increase fidelity of PBIS implementation. Rebecca is especially interested in how PBIS, SEL, adult resilience, and positive school climate support and strengthen one another. [email protected]
Toni Marra is an Education Quality Assurance Coordinator with the Agency of Education (AOE). Currently, she provides training and support to SU/SD’s for continuous improvement planning, comprehensive needs assessments and implementing their continuous improvements plans. She was formerly the Dual Enrollment and Early College Coordinator and worked in the Student Pathways Division of the AOE. In her free time, she loves to camp, fish, kayak, and spend time with friends and family. [email protected]
Jen McKusick (Strand D, Workshop K) has been working in Vermont Public Schools since 2001 as a classroom teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, and now as a Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Jen holds an undergraduate degree in Elementary and Middle School Education, a master’s in Public Administration, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership. She has training and experience as a PBIS Coordinator, instructional coach and mentor to both teachers and principals. Jen is passionate about building a strong, equitable school culture that supports students and staff. Her expertise is in leadership coaching and systems change for creating positive school communities. [email protected]
Howard Moody (Strand K, Workshop H) has been facilitating workshops for over 25 years with an emphasis on play, connection, and engagement. Howard has been a faculty member at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies for over 20 years and he is the co-founder of The Adventure Game Theater, an extraordinary improvisational learning process for teens that has been featured on PBS and NPR. Howard is also a certified Advanced Trainer for The Nurtured Heart Approach and has recently completed a book, Nurtured Heart Play, in collaboration with Howard Glasser, the founder of the Nurtured Heart Approach. Howard has also recently self-published The Heart of Play Games Manual, Over 200 Activities for Connection and Joy, which focuses on bringing Social Emotional Learning and Mindfulness into the practice of leading games. [email protected]
Annie O’Shaughnessy (Strand K, Workshop B) is passionately committed to supporting teachers and schools in creating more mindful and restorative learning communities. One of the greatest strengths of her seminars, identified by participants, is the broad collection of stories she brings from the front line as an educator, circle keeper, and now as a consultant who has been in over 60 schools state and nationwide, interacting and hearing from over 2,000 educators. She also brings the stories from the class journals of over 400 educators who have taken her 3-credit course where they have shared their stories about RA. Annie’s dedication to Restorative Practices began with her experiences with circle work 25 years ago. Having participated in and led circles personally and professionally since the 90s around the country and in the classroom, she has witnessed the tremendous impact of these experiences on her own and others’ lives, and the essential role mindfulness plays in successful restorative work. After five years as an independent consultant, Annie recently co-founded a nonprofit organization to support, Starling Collaborative, whole school and organizational change using a holistic restorative approach–weaving together the interconnected strands of SEL, Trauma Informed, Restorative and Equity Centered approaches. And in 2021 she launched the online Holistic Restorative Education graduate certificate program at Saint Michael’s College. The 180+ hours of clinical training she has received as a teacher at the Centerpoint School, alongside 80 hours of training in RJ and an M.Ed. in Mindfulness for Educators has prepared her well to be of benefit to schools and organizations. She lives in Underhill Center, Vermont with her husband and dog Molly. [email protected]
Meg Porcella is the Assistant Director of the Student Support Services Division at the Agency of Education. She is also the Act 173 project manager and a member of the Act 173 leadership team. Meg began her career in education as a secondary-level English teacher before leaving the classroom to work for a professional development agency in Connecticut. She has been with the AOE since 2015. [email protected]
Bill Rich, founder of Red House Learning, specializes in helping educators use what we know about the brain to inform what they do in the classroom. A great listener who poses helpful questions and shares timely resources re: a range of educational topics, Bill also teaches Learning Lab VT, a program that helps educators sustain their summer plans throughout the school year. [email protected]
Audrey Richardson (Workshop O) has been an educator for over 15 years as a high school English Teacher, literacy interventionist and literacy coach in Woodstock, Vermont. Currently, Audrey is a Ph.D. candidate at UVM in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program hoping to graduate in the Spring of 2022. Audrey’s central focus, in both her research and work with PLL, is the implementation of equitable systems that support literacy learning for ALL students. As PLL’s NEXIS coordinator Audrey is committed to bringing education stakeholders together from around the state to engage in actionable literacy change. Audrey lives in Taftsville, Vermont with her dairy farmer husband and two daughters.
Sherry Schoenberg (Workshop G) is the retired director of the Vermont BEST Project, which provides training and technical assistance to help Vermont schools address the needs of students who are at risk of or who have emotional and behavioral challenges. A significant focus of the BEST Project is the planning and implementation of PBIS. Sherry is a VTPBIS trainer at all levels and has provided technical assistance on PBIS to Vermont schools since 2007. Areas of interest include systems development to support effective practices, integration of mental health within PBIS, and the efficient use of data for decision-making.
Dr. Brandi Simonsen (Strand M, Workshop J) is a professor of Special Education and the Co-Director of the Center for Behavioral Education and Research (CBER; www.cber.org) at the University of Connecticut. She is also the Co-Director of the National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS; www.pbis.org), Co-Principal Investigator of the National Multi-Tiered System of Supports Research Network (www.mtss.org), and a Senior Advisor to the National Center on Intensive Interventions (intensiveintervention.org).
Evan Sivo (Workshop F) is the Coordinator of the ATLAS Program for the Champlain Valley School District (CVSD). Evan is a licensed special educator and a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Over the past 13 years, Evan has worked as a behavior interventionist (BI) within Howard Center’s INCLUSION Program, a classroom teacher at the Baird School, and a special educator at Hinesburg Community School. Evan enjoys consulting and supporting school teams in developing high-quality programming for students with significant social-emotional and behavioral challenges.
Carolyn Tatlock (Workshop C) has been a Vermont School Counselor for 27 years and is an experienced PBIS Coordinator at the Universal, Targeted, and Intensive levels in two schools. She is currently a school counselor and mentoring coordinator at Monkton School. Carolyn became a licensed SoulCollage® Facilitator in February 2022 and is delighted to share this creative and fun process with other educators for the purpose of supporting self-care and well-being through creativity and social connection.
Danna Thomas (Strand I) is a former Baltimore City Public School teacher turned founder of a global initiative to support the mental health and wellness of educators. Her organization, Happy Teacher Revolution, is on a mission to increase teacher happiness, retention, and professional sustainability by providing educators with the time and space to heal, deal, and be real about the social-emotional demands they face on the job. Danna served as the national spokeswoman for the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) Maryland and the “Music for Mental Health” campaign. She is the recipient of the 2019 Johns Hopkins Community Hero Award and the 2019 winner of the Johns Hopkins Social Innovation Lab. Danna’s favorite forms of self-care include reading, community hot yoga, and rocking out on the saxophone. [email protected]
Dr. Cassandra Townshend (Strand C, Workshop F) is the Co-Director of the Vermont BEST/PBIS State Team housed within UVM’s Center on Disability & Community Inclusion. Previously, she was the Director of Special Education at Charlotte Central School and Director of Behavior Systems for Champlain Valley School District and was the previous training and development coordinator for the BEST/PBIS Project. Cassandra has extensive experience training, coaching, and consulting with schools on special education service delivery models, program development for students with significant behavioral concerns, PBIS, and SEL. Cassandra has over 12 years of experience as a certified trainer in Crisis Prevention and Intervention (CPI). [email protected]
Jeremy Tretiak (Strand B) is an Implementation Coach and Trainer for Vermont PBIS. He has been working in the field for nine years, during which he has been a classroom teacher and worked in both direct service and consultation roles with children, families, and schools. Jeremy earned his BS from St. Lawrence University and an MA in Education from Johnson State College. He has been a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst since 2015 and is also a Licensed Behavior Analyst in Vermont. He has extensive experience training and supporting school staff in the theory and implementation of principles and practices of Applied Behavior Analysis and PBIS. [email protected]
Dr. Joelle van Lent (Strand L) 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. [email protected]
Tracy Watterson has been an educator since 1986, serving children as a K-5 teacher, para-educator, interventionist, and K-8 math specialist. Tracy joined the Vermont Agency of Education in 2013 and has worked as the Multi-tiered System of Supports Program Manager and VTmtss Team Lead for the past six years. Tracy is available to consult on the VTmtss Framework, the implementation of the goals of Act 173, continuous improvement, and systems change. Available to consult virtually: [email protected]
Amy Wheeler-Sutton (Workshop G) is the Co-Director of the Vermont BEST/PBIS State Team. Before joining the State Team, she was a school counselor at The Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston, MA. Prior to that, she was school counselor for three years at the Dothan Brook School in White River Junction, an Exemplar PBIS School. Amy trains and provides technical assistance on a variety of topics including PBIS, SEL, SWIS, data-based decision making, and alignment of initiatives. [email protected]