Workshops occur on Wednesday morning from 8:00 - 9:30. Please indicate your first, second, and third workshop choices on the Individual Registration Form.

Workshop A: Teaching Social Cognition and Self-Regulation Strategies to Improve Social Skills in Early Elementary

Presenter: Judy Houde-Hardy

This workshop will focus on Intensive Level groups for early elementary students experiencing social deficits that interfere with success within the school setting. Participants will learn about integrating social cognition instruction with explicit coaching of self-regulation strategies in highly structured social settings to support student success. Structures and plans for groups will be shared with a goal of providing participants with a template for groups with resources and tools to use within groups. Practices that will be covered include personal goal setting, building and rehearsing strategies for self-regulation, peer support and problem solving, positive reinforcement and celebration methods, explicit social scripting, teaching and encouraging socially curious questioning, and building empathy for others. The process of determining and measuring target behaviors identified by SWIS data, IEP goals, and Intensive Level Behavior Support Plans will be discussed. Methods for follow-up and generalization of skills as supported in both the general education and home setting will be outlined.

Intended Audience: All are welcome, although a basic understanding of social cognition and self-regulation instruction will be helpful. This workshop will be focused on early elementary education.


Judy Houde Hardy, M.Ed., is a special educator at Dothan Brook School in Hartford working with young elementary students who experience behavioral and emotional challenges. Partnering with wrap-around teams, Judy provides interventions targeting problem-solving, self-regulation, and social competencies to help improve both academic and behavioral outcomes for young students. Lunch time is a favorite - perfect for building skills and having fun.

Workshop B: How do the PBIS Framework and Trauma-Responsive/Informed Practices Align?

Presenter: Kym Asam

Have you ever left a training feeling excited about the content and the potential for implementing new practices only to find yourself unsure of how it complements or competes with what you are already being asked to do?  There is considerable research and knowledge about the efficacy of the Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) Framework and of Trauma-Responsive/Informed practices. We know that classrooms are the primary context where students should receive a seamless system of social/emotional supports. However, without the important information educators need to intentionally integrate practices so they align and merge with one another, success is compromised and educators are at risk of experiencing “initiative fatigue,” resulting in confusion and dissonance.

In this interactive workshop, participants will examine key elements of alignment, and explore how the key principles of trauma-informed care complement the primary ideas behind PBIS. and They will also understand how knowledge of trauma-informed practices can be applied to schools implementing PBIS to strengthen their capacity to be healing organizations.

Learning Objectives:
• Identify core elements of aligning social emotional programs and practices
• Utilize data to enhance integration of PBIS components and trauma-informed practices.
• Learn how the key elements of both the PBIS framework and trauma-informed/responsive practices allow for contextual teaching and learning of social/emotional skills.
• Examine how the PBIS framework supports the integration of practices from multiple experts in the field of childhood trauma.
• Utilize practical resources for integration and alignment.

Intended Audience: PBIS coordinators, school counselors, mental health staff, teachers, special educators, administrators


Kym Asam is the Regional Director of Schools and Clinical Programming for Northeastern Family Institute (NFI) Vermont.  She earned her Master’s degree from the University of Hawaii’s School of Social work and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICSW).  She has been practicing in the mental health field since 1992 and has extensive training in multiple, evidence-based methods for working with and treating children and adults who have experienced developmental trauma as well as delivering training to public schools on becoming trauma informed.  She is designated as a lead ARC (Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency) trainer for the state of Vermont and is process of being certified in the Neuro-Sequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT).  In addition to providing oversight and developing clinical programming for trauma-informed, day treatment schools, Kym is also a Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) coach, consultant and trainer with the Vermont BEST (Building Effective Strategies for Teaching Students with Behavioral Challenges) project.

Workshop C: Blazing a Trail to Academic and Behavioral Success in the Classroom: Overview of Positive and Proactive Classroom Practices

Presenter: Brandi Simonsen

This workshop provides an overview of positive classroom behavior support practices to enable teachers to set students up for success.  During the workshop, we will review critical practices, supporting evidence, and a data-driven decision-making guide to support and respond to student behavior.  Among the critical practices, we will consider foundational practices (e.g., classroom design, routines, and expectations), positive and proactive instructional strategies (e.g., active engagement, prompts and active supervision, and specific praise), and strategies to respond to student behavior (e.g., specific error corrections).  In addition, we will preview resources developed by the National Technical Assistance Center on PBIS to support teachers’ implementation of these classroom practices and data-based decision-making.

As a result of attending this workshop, participants will be able to (a) describe the critical features of positive classroom behavior support, (b) identify a range of examples and non-examples of empirically-supported classroom practices to promote contextually appropriate implementation, and (c) use a decision-making guide to evaluate and select appropriate classroom practices in their own classroom (or a classroom with which they are familiar). 

Who should attend: Teachers and others interacting with students k-12.


Dr. Brandi Simonsen is an associate professor of Special Education with tenure in the Department of Educational Psychology at the Neag School of Education and a Co-Director of the Center for Behavioral Education and Research (CBER; at the University of Connecticut. She is a partner of the National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS; Dr. Simonsen is currently the Vice President of the Association for Positive Behavior Support (  In addition, Dr. Simonsen serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Positive Behavioral Interventions.
Currently, Dr. Simonsen conducts research, publishes, teaches, and provides training/technical assistance in the areas of (a) school- and class-wide PBIS, (b) positive and proactive professional development supports for teachers, and (c) applications of PBIS in alternative education settings.  In addition, Dr. Simonsen coordinates UConn’s Graduate Certificate Program in School-wide Positive Behavior Support.

Before joining the faculty at University of Connecticut in 2005, Dr. Simonsen was the director of a non-public (alternative) school for students with disabilities, who presented with challenging educational and behavioral needs. In addition to serving as an administrator and clinician, Dr. Simonsen has previously been certified as a teacher of elementary general education and middle-secondary special education.

Workshop D: De-Escalation and Relationship Building Skills

Presenter: Ken Kramberg

This workshop will provide an introduction to the foundational skills of Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI). Participants will have an opportunity to learn and practice a basic corrective and relationship building script to use with children with who demonstrate self-defeating and challenging behaviors.

Who should attend: Anyone engaged with students from kindergarten through 12th grade


Ken Kramberg is a member of the Vermont PBIS State Team and is one of a few internationally recognized Master Trainers in LSCI. Ken has 30 years of experience as a teacher and director of programs for children with challenging behaviors.

FULL! Workshop E: Mindfulness Practices for Educators

Presenter: Rhiannon Kim

The workshop will introduce educators to quick, simple, and effective evidence-based mindfulness and movement practices to support social-emotional development as well as strategies to mitigate the effects of compassion fatigue as educators. This workshop will also provide educators with strategies for assessing student growth and understanding of the practices.

Who should attend: This introductory session is suitable for all grade levels.


Rhiannon M. Kim is a licensed Speech Language Pathologist and 500-hour yoga instructor working on the interdisciplinary Clinical Team in the South Burlington School District. She is currently serving on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee in SBSD. In the Fall of 2019, she will begin the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies - Ed. D. program at the University of Vermont. She currently teaches both at the University of Vermont; a D2 Course blending mindfulness practices with understanding bias and the implications of systemic issues of racism, sexism, and other-isms, as well as courses through Saint Michael’s College: Mindfulness Based Practices for Educators. Her areas of study include: Social-Emotional Learning, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Systems-Lens, and supporting the social and emotional health of educators. Rhiannon draws on professional development experiences as well as personal experiences of growing up in Vermont as a multi-racial Korean-American.

Workshop F: Using Data for Decision Making within a PBIS Framework

Presenters: Sherry Schoenberg and Amy Wheeler-Sutton

The purpose of this session is to support participants to feel more competent and confident in using data to make effective and efficient decisions. We will review the big ideas about data, including why it’s important and strategies for accurate data collection. Participants will also learn about and engage in a problem-solving process for using fidelity and student discipline data to guide action steps for positive change. Included will be a discussion about the need for someone to fulfill the role of the “data analyst” on the leadership team. Strategies and examples for sharing data to gain momentum will also be considered. Participants will walk away with the steps needed to facilitate data-based decision-making processes back at their schools.

Who should attend: Individuals from VTPBIS schools who are SU or school leadership team members and who want to deepen their knowledge and practice around using PBIS data for decision-making.


Sherry Schoenberg is the Vermont BEST/PBIS Project Coordinator, located at UVM's CDCI, and has been a member of the BEST Team for 23 years. She has a background in children’s mental health as a direct service provider, state level program administrator, and as a school and mental health consultant since 1982. Sherry coordinates the training, technical assistance, and evaluation for the Vermont Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports State Team and provides training and support in several social/emotional/behavioral health topics.

Amy Wheeler-Sutton is the Training and Development Coordinator for 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, a PBIS Exemplar School. As Training and Development Coordinator at Vermont PBIS, Amy is responsible for designing and delivering PBIS trainings. She also plays a lead role in the annual evaluation of VTPBIS.

Workshop G: Creating and Implementing Targeted Academic and Behavior Supports Within MTSS

Presenters: Rebecca Lallier and Rick Dustin-Eichler

Developing and implementing systems that efficiently and effectively provide students with access to targeted academic and behavior supports is challenging. To be effective, these systems require teachers and targeted teams to collect and examine meaningful anecdotal and quantitative data to gain a full picture of a child’s learning profile. Time is always a limiting factor, so referral and meeting protocols must be focused on the most pertinent and instructive information. Plans must be succinct and focused, allowing teams to fully implement with fidelity and collect data to track success and guide future decision-making. Attendees will learn how the Dothan Brook School created data-informed decision-making processes that balance these factors while providing timely support to students who need targeted level behavior and academic interventions. Specifically, the presentation will look at the school’s Educational Support Team protocols, What I Need (WIN) intervention block, and PBIS Targeted team’s collaborative decision-making process with the goal of providing participants with meeting protocols that they can adopt and adapt. 

Intended Audience: School-based leadership and MTSS teams.


Rick Dustin-Eichler is the principal of the Dothan Brook School in Hartford, VT.  Over Rick’s seven years at Dothan Brook, the school has been recognized as a PBIS Exemplar School six times and the school’s system of supports was featured in the Vermont AOE’s “Join the Conversation” Video Series.  Beyond PBIS, Rick works to build strong partnerships with the community to increase opportunities for Hartford’s children.  Some of these recent initiatives have included partnering with a local childcare agency to improve access to Dothan Brook’s pre-kindergarten program, forming a multipronged relationship with Dartmouth College that resulted in the school receiving the New Hampshire Campus Compact President’s Community Partner Award, and developing collaborative working relationships with local organizations to provide students comprehensive wraparound services.

Rebecca Lallier is a school counselor and PBIS coordinator at the Dothan Brook School in White River Junction, Vermont and an Implementation Coach and Trainer for Vermont PBIS. Dothan Brook has been recognized as a RAMP School of Distinction by the American School Counselor Association and as an Exemplar School by Vermont PBIS. Rebecca was named a 2017 National School Counselor of the Year Finalist.

Workshop H: Function-Based Thinking as a Method for Understanding and Responding to Problem Behavior

Presenter: Cortney Keene

This workshop will give participants a framework for thinking through the function of a student's behavior in order to choose a disciplinary response that is more likely to be effective in reducing the chances the student will engage in that behavior again, AND how to encourage the student to engage in prosocial replacement behaviors instead. Function-based thinking provides the foundation for a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA), but it can range from an on-the-spot, in-your-head process to a brief, written FBA with a few simple behavioral interventions completed by one or more staff.

Intended Audience:

Any staff who would like to be more effective in responding to problem behavior and those who want to know more about how to determine the function of behavior.


Cortney Keene is a VTPBIS Implementation Coach and Trainer. She is also the Educational Consultant for the Vermont I-Team in the Southern Region. She has 12 years of experience in Vermont special education, working in the Hartford School District, primarily with students with emotional and behavior needs, intensive special needs, and autism spectrum disorders as a special education teacher, behavior specialist, and special education technology integrationist. She is also an FBA trainer and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Cortney has her Associates from Simon's Rock College of Bard, BA from UVM in Psychology, M.Ed. from Antioch New England in Place-Based and Environmental Education, and CAS in Emotional/Behavioral Disturbances from UVM.

Workshop I: Building your Inventory of Targeted Interventions

Presenters: Ashley Creighton, Mandy Couturier, and Sarah Schoolcraft

This workshop will focus on interventions and systems that go beyond Check-In/Check-Out (CICO) and support those students who sometimes fall through the cracks. These interventions can be provided to individuals and groups, and are designed to be fluid to meet the ever-changing needs of students. This workshop will also dive into how students find their way to interventions and how that process can be streamlined to be most effective. We will review the use of a Student Support Team to match the needs of students with the interventions that are most likely to support their learning and growth both academically and socially/behaviorally. Examples of data tracking will be provided to measure progress within the intervention to ascertain whether the intervention is successful or if it needs to be modified to meet the student’s needs.

This system of alternative interventions, in addition to CICO, can be integrated into the systems already in place within a school, as most of them do not require excessive materials or time outside of what is often already available within a school system. This workshop will also discuss how interventions need to be readily available within the school and should involve minimal extra effort to ensure staff buy-in. Many of these interventions focus on teaching students skills that can be brought back to the classroom and their home environments through communication with families. Mentoring and “Everybody Wins” are two such programs that involve community volunteers who come into the school to work with students who access those interventions.

Intended Audience: Individuals and teams currently implementing CICO who want additional options for interventions. The focus will be on Pre-K - 6th grade interventions.


Ashley Creighton is a Student Support Specialist and PBIS Coordinator at Thatcher Brook Primary School in Waterbury, VT. Thatcher Brook is a school that serves students in pre-k through 4th grade and is in its 11th year of PBIS implementation and has been identified as an exemplar school. Ashley has worked in Vermont public schools for over a decade and loves designing interventions and behavior plans to help students be successful.  She greatly enjoys spending time at BEST learning from other schools and collaborating with other educators. 

Mandy Couturier has spent the last fifteen years working as a special educator, both in Massachusetts and Vermont.  Mandy works collaboratively to meet the needs of all students.  First as a full time special educator, and then as a hybrid behavior specialist, Mandy was at the forefront of the school’s state-recognized school-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBiS) as the school coordinator for 10 years at Thatcher Brook Primary School in Waterbury.  She was instrumental in the design and implementation of the NEST (Now Everyone Succeeds Together) advisory groups.

This year Mandy became the principal of Moretown Elementary, thrilled to stay in the Harwood Unified Union School District.  Her role has changed, but not her commitment to students’ social and emotional needs.  Mandy holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Saint Michael’s College, and two M.Ed. degrees from Rivier University in New Hampshire:  Special Education and Emotional and Behavior Disorders.  Mandy has been the district trainer of CPI: Non-violent Crisis Intervention since 2010.  She has presented workshops about her work with PBiS and how to best support students with Emotional and Behavioral disorders at the local and state levels, and has worked extensively in preparation for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) examination.

Sarah Schoolcraft, M.Ed. has worked as a classroom teacher and special educator in both Vermont and Massachusetts, teaching grades 2, 3 and 4.  She has recently expanded her capacity to work as an Instructional Coach at Hinesburg Community School.  She graduated from UVM with a degree in elementary education and holds an M.Ed. from Lesley University in Curriculum and Instruction. She is also a licensed Special Educator and an Adjunct Faculty through the Vermont Higher Education Collaborative.  Sarah loves working with students in the primary and intermediate grades and believes that all children can meet with success in learning, and that relationships are the foundation that all students need first. She has worked to improve the social and emotional climate of schools in professional work around developmental trauma and as the Williston Central School PBiS coordinator.  She lives in Waterbury with her family, including her three children ages 12, 7 and 3.  Outside of school, she enjoys hiking, skiing, paddling and enjoying all this great state has to offer!

Workshop J: Offering Targeted-Level Support within the Classroom Through Individualized Goal Setting

Presenter: Nikki Raney

Even when schools are implementing all three tiers of the PBIS framework with fidelity, have strong administrator support, and teachers who have genuinely bought in and are committed, sometimes additional classroom interventions are still needed to proactively and effectively meet all students’ needs. When many students in a classroom are in need of targeted or intensive level supports, those supports need to be offered at the classroom level.

This workshop will outline a way for teachers to help their entire classroom make true changes in their behavior by leading a classroom modeled after targeted supports. All students set individual goals and collect data on those goals daily. Together, the students and teacher celebrate successes and reflect on areas in need of growth.

Teachers will walk away with an understanding of how to help students of all ages set goals, templates they can utilize, data collection examples, additional resources, and stories of lessons learned, so that they will feel equipped to implement this process in their own classrooms.

Intended audience: Anyone who is looking for a way to effect change in their students by giving them the power of responsibility and goal setting. This can be integrated into any PBIS school. Materials provided will be geared towards elementary students, but could be adapted for any age.


Nikki Raney is a third-grade teacher at the Dothan Brook School in White River Junction, Vermont. She has been teaching in Vermont schools for 11 years and has been an educator at Dothan Brook for seven years. DBS is known for its distinct ability to implement all three tiers of PBIS with fidelity and has been recognized as an Exemplar school for the past seven years. Nikki has served on the Targeted Team for six years. She prides herself in strong student connections, understanding each of her students for who they are, and holding them to a high standard of accountability, while also holding them equally high in importance. She also prides herself in being able to foster a solid home-to-school connection with all of her families. She sees her classroom parents as her allies. With them, her students can succeed. Without them, her students can manage.

Workshop K: Shifting Our School Culture Together: Youth-Adult Partnership and Restorative Practices

Presenter: Lindsey Halman

A restorative approach is a set of tools, principles, and practices used in schools and life to create or strengthen the feelings of safety, belonging, voice, and respect necessary for building community, exploring challenges, and responding to harm collaboratively. A restorative approach succeeds in schools when its implementation reflects the core principles the work is built upon. Two of these — “everyone has a voice” and “everyone has a gift to bring to the table” — challenge us to make sure all stakeholders in a school community are involved and are recognized for having something to add to the health of the whole. It follows that student engagement, shared responsibility, mutual respect, and equity are crucial for the success of the implementation and its integrity.
Students are highly invested in shaping the world that will hold their life story and they possess a deep desire to make a difference now. For youth, working closely with adults toward shared goals seeds the skills and confidence for lifelong learning and civic engagement. For adults, working closely with youth creates the opportunity to learn from the insights and unique perspectives of youth, often renewing their professional sense of purpose and shifting teaching toward more student-centered practices. When young people are challenged to bring forth their best efforts, adults similarly rise to the occasion. Student engagement in schoolwide restorative practices are truly a form of participatory democracy in that they build and heal communities, and serve as a means to work through, resolve, and transform conflicts.
Through active participation and using opportunities to apply content, upon completion, participants will be prepared to:

● Explore the reasons why amplifying youth voice is the essential next step in making our schools more engaging communities where young people thrive.
● Understand the rationale of including youth voice as a key component of restorative practices.
● Understand the definition of youth-adult partnership and the connection to restorative practices.
● Assess the current status of their school on the youth engagement/youth-adult partnership and restorative practices journey.

Intended Audience: individuals or teams at any grade/stage in the process


Lindsey Halman, M.Ed., is Program Director at UP for Learning. Before coming to UP, Lindsey taught middle school in Vermont for 15 years. During that time, she co-created the innovative Edge Academy, a school-within-a-school dedicated to applying the principles of personalized learning at the middle level. Lindsey is passionate about building strong relationships with students and adults, helping them feel empowered to make change, and creating a socially just climate and culture for all.

During her time as a middle level educator, she spearheaded a school-wide shift to restorative practices, as well as co-facilitated, a student-led peer leadership program and GSA. Lindsey is a nationally certified trainer of restorative practices, providing her with the opportunity to facilitate many workshops for youth and adults. Currently, she works with schools throughout the state with the central goal of transforming school culture through youth/adult partnerships and restorative practices.  The belief is that youth and adults must be at the table in true partnership in order for the shift to one of equity and shared responsibility. She serves as a Essex Community Justice Center volunteer on the Restorative Justice panels, and a member of the Community Advisory Board. She is also an active member of the Vermont Restorative Justice Consortium and Steering Committee.

Lindsey holds her National Board Certification as a middle level generalist. She is currently past-president and a board member of VAMLE (Vermont Association for Middle Level Education), a member of the Middle Grades Professional Development Collaborative, a common circle leader for Vermont Learning for the Future and a contributing member of PLP Pathways. In addition, she is adjunct faculty at Saint Michael’s College, Colchester, Vermont, where she teaches middle level education courses to pre and inservice educators.

CANCELLED! Workshop L: Bullying Prevention in a PBIS School


Presenters: Melissa Hoyer and Tracy Harris

In this workshop, participants will hear an overview of the model policies and procedures from the Vermont Agency of Education, the core features of an effective bullying prevention effort, and how to implement bullying prevention within a PBIS framework.  As an exemplar, Fair Haven Grade School will talk about their implementation of the research-based Bullying Prevention Curriculum of Stop/Walk/Talk response to problem behavior within the Universal level of PBIS. This response is explicitly taught to students so they can utilize it when faced with words or actions that are hurtful. Faculty and staff are explicitly taught how to respond to students who have reported student behavior concerns. Participants will hear about strategies for teaching students how to use Stop/Walk/Talk; strategies for responding to students reporting problematic behavior of others; assessment strategies of the effectiveness of the intervention (student survey); and ideas for implementation and student buy-in. Fair Haven Grade School will also share ideas for supplemental activities that will promote a culture of kindness.

Intended Audience: School and SU Leadership Team members, school counselors, social and behavioral support staff.


Melissa Hoyer currently works at the Fair Haven Grade School as the Home-School Coordinator and Student Assistance Professional.  At the FHGS, Melissa is focusing on building positive student connections, collaborating with community agencies and fostering positive family-school relationships. She has been emphasizing a multi-grade level kindness and anti-bullying campaign this year. Melissa has twenty plus years of experience working as an educator and also in the mental health field in NY, MA and VT.

Tracy Harris is the coordinator for behavioral supports at the Vermont Agency of Education and is a member of the VTPBIS State Team. Tracy came to the Agency of Education nearly seven years ago after 19 years at The Baird School and seven years in Vermont public schools.

Workshop M: Overcoming Initiative Fatigue through Integration and Alignment

Presenter: Annie O'Shaughnessy

Around the country, schools have been implementing powerful, evidence-based programs to support the growing needs of our children and create safer and more engaging learning communities. Mindfulness, SEL, Responsive Classroom, PBIS, Cultural Competency (Equity Literacy), Trauma-Informed Teaching, and Restorative Practices are just a few. We will use a collaborative workshop approach to explore: the real challenges of initiative fatigue and what to do about it; how these approaches intersect, overlap or differ; and how to integrate RP, mindfulness, and trauma-informed teaching, specifically, into existing initiatives. I will bring my expertise on these intersections, but this workshop will call upon you to share your knowledge and experiences.

In this workshop participants will:
❏ Examine some of the ways Mindfulness, SEL, Responsive Classroom, PBIS, Cultural Competency (Equity Literacy), Trauma Informed Teaching, and Restorative Practices intersect.
❏ Explore ways to empower educators to integrate these, often siloed, approaches.
❏ Reflect on current research and thinking regarding these intersections.
❏ Share their own thoughts and experiences related to these approaches.

Intended Audience: All grades and roles!


Annie O’Shaughnessy’s dedication to Restorative Practices began with her experiences with circle work beginning over 20 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 other’s lives and the essential role mindfulness plays in successful restorative work. Currently, Annie teaches English half-time at the Center for Technology, Essex, teaches Mindfulness and Restorative Practices courses for educators through CVEDC, and trains educators in schools throughout the state. She is passionately committed to supporting teachers and schools in creating more mindful and restorative learning communities. 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 students, teachers, and schools as they work to meet the challenges facing them.

Workshop N: Mastering a New Habit

Presenters: Gillian Pieper and Shevonne Travers

Mastering a new habit can be much more straightforward provided you make use of research-based best practices.  During this workshop we will examine all that it takes to do so shutting down the willpower myth.  You will dig deep into the habit loop and construct triggers, routines and rewards which fit for you and are guaranteed to become automatic.  By integrating regular small wins, you will enrich your well-being and subsequently be able to share these strategies with your students and colleagues.

Intended Audience: All educators


Gillian Pieper has been a trainer and a passionate advocate in wellness and workplace health promotion since 1992.  She has a B.S. in Kinesiology (exercise science) from the University of Michigan (Go Blue) and a M.Ed. in Counseling and Health Education from Boston University.  Since 1996, Gillian has been on the Health Promotion team for the Vermont School Boards Insurance Trust’s program known as PATH (Planned Action toward Health) helping schools design and implement best practice employee wellness programs.  She has advanced level training as an Intrinsic Coach, is a certified Wellness Culture Coach and has spent years consulting nationwide with Dr. Judd Allen.  She studied under Dr. Dee Edington, achieved advanced certification from Larry Chapman with the National Wellness Institute and she has a solid background in Global Learning Partner’s Dialogue Education.

Shevonne Travers has designed, established and a managed a variety of health promotion/disease prevention and family focused programs over the past 40 years.  She received her B.S. in Recreation and her M.A. in Counseling from West Virginia University, home of the Mountaineers.  Since 2001, Shevonne has focused on promoting health within the Vermont school community, first focusing on student health and then for the past decade working as a part of the VEHI PATH team to promote and integrate multiple dimensions of wellness for school employees.  She is certified as a Dialogue Education instructor and has advanced training as an Intrinsic Coach.  She seeks ways to improve upon community engagement wherever she resides.  Shevonne loves being active in the outdoors and has completed numerous marathons and half marathons and cycled through most of Vermont and Iowa.

CANCELLED! Workshop O: Advancing Racial Equity in Your School


Presenter: Martha Allen

This workshop will give educators tools with which to work with your colleagues to address issues of race in your school. A virtual toolkit of resources for educators will be introduced, along with an instructional film and discussion guide. You will leave the workshop with helpful tools to move this very important work forward in your school community.

Intended Audience: All educators


Martha Allen came to Vermont in 1977 and worked in the Vermont Public Schools (Grand Isle and Canaan) for thirty years. She taught first grade, third grade, middle school language arts, and finished up as a K-12 library media specialist. She served as President of Vermont-NEA from 2009-2018. Martha currently works as the Racial Equity Liaison at Vermont-NEA. Martha and her late husband raised two sons in Canaan where she lives with her two dogs in the log home they built in the woods.

CANCELLED! P: Addressing Act 173 Through a VTmtss Lens


Presenter: Tom Faris

Join us for a look at how your MTSS can be used to address opportunities for improving and expanding your delivery of services to students who struggle.

Intended Audience: SU/School leadership teams


Tom Faris has worked as an educator in Vermont since 1978. He has been a special educator in specialized programs as well as public schools. He became a school administrator 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.

Workshop Q: VTmtss Field Guide Sneak Peak

Presenter: Tracy Watterson

Join us for a sneak peak at the revisions to the Field Guide.

Intended Audience: All educators


Tracy Watterson has been an educator since 1986, serving children as a K-5 teacher, para-educator, interventionist, and math specialist in Missouri, Washington, and Virginia.  For the past four years, she has worked at the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) as the Elementary Mathematics Assessment Coordinator & SWIFT SEA Co-Coordinator providing professional learning in Vermont and presenting workshops to the math community at national conferences throughout the US. Tracy is currently the Multi-tiered System of Supports Program Manager at the Agency of Education.