Middlebury Union Middle School Interim Principal Andrew Conforti is the recipient of the Robert and Donna Carlson Scholarship awarded by the College of Education and Social Services (CESS). The scholarship supports graduate students pursuing an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, with preference given to those from Vermont.
"Working with students in my cohort and with my professors Dr. Clark Keefe and Dr. Hunter, I am experiencing immediate shifts and growth in my approaches to leadership, along with my own personal reflection of how I came to be here," says Conforti. "I appreciate all of the great work in cultivating such an amazing program. I am forever grateful to be at UVM."
Clark Keefe calls it inspiring to work alongside Conforti in one of his first core courses in the program. "His ways of engaging course content and the ideas of his doctoral cohort peers exemplify what it means to be a critical and compassionate school leader. Andrew is unflinching in his questioning of systemic inequities in education. He is compelled to apply what he is learning through his studies to work collaboratively towards addressing thorny and enduring challenges, all aimed at promoting just and caring schooling environments."
Conforti has a lengthy career in education, recently serving as a special education teacher and coordinator in the Addison Central School District before becoming the interim principal at Middlebury Union Middle School.
The doctoral program Educational Leadership and Policy Studies provides students with a complex understanding of educational institutions, politics, culture, change processes, and the needs of an increasingly diverse and global world. Centrally important to the program's philosophy is the building and sustaining communities of learning between practitioners and researchers and the communities they serve.
In collaboration with his colleagues, Dr. Robert Carlson founded and was the original director of the doctoral program for ten years in the College of Education and Social Services (CESS). He currently serves as professor emeritus at the University of Vermont.
"Bob and Donna Carlson's support of the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies doctoral program is substantial," says Dr. Kathleen Manning, who serves as program coordinator. "Their endowed scholarship gives us the opportunity to honor and financially support excellent Vermont educators like Andrew."