The College of Education and Social Services (CESS) is proud to welcome Barbara Burrington as the Interim Director of the Campus Children’s School (CCS).
This is a return to UVM for Burrington, who served as Head Teacher at the Campus Children's School from 1994 through 2007. “Those experiences solidified my commitment to this particular school, Early Childhood Education and excellent teacher preparation,” she says. “It is my personal and professional pleasure to return to CCS after serving the last ten years in Vermont’s public schools as both a principal and a superintendent.”
Founded as a lab school in the 1940’s, the CCS has served as (1) a high quality early education and care for the children of families of the UVM community, (2) a practicum site for students in the Early Childhood teacher preparation programs, (3) an innovative research resource for faculty, and (4) a model demonstration site for projects related to the development of high quality early education programs.
Barbara joins UVM from her position of superintendent at the Grand Isle Supervisory Union (GISU). In this role, she served as leader and CEO of five schools and one-district for Grand Isle County, overseeing 250 employees and 950 students. During her tenure at Grand Isle, she led the ACT 46 process of consolidated governance to create a new unified union school district. Barbara served as a member of the Early Childhood Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Advisory Board with the Grand Isle Community Preschool Partnership and the Vermont Agency of Education. She collaboratively led a professional learning cohort for the GISU faculty, staff and community partnership teachers and center directors.
Prior to her role as GISU Superintendent, Burrington served as principal of the Alburg Community Education Center and the Milton Middle School.
“In the year ahead, Barbara will work with the CCS community to continually improve the School’s outstanding programs,” says CESS Dean Scott Thomas, “and to strengthen the connections between the School and the College's academic programs.” She will also focus on collaborative activities that better connect the School with the PreK-3 community throughout the Chittenden County area, the Agency of Education, Vermont policy makers, and federal agencies and foundations with commitments to the provision of high quality early childhood education.
“While CCS provides an excellent service to UVM families offering high quality care and education for their children, it also serves an important academic role within our College," says Burrington. "We intend to widen the lens and experience within the Early Childhood Education program to consider the experiences and contexts of children from a variety of linguistic, socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds in a range of settings, so students are ready to enter the field as teachers, anywhere, bringing effective practices to scale and becoming leaders in the field.”
Burrington is also delighted to return to the UVM’s beautiful campus where she enjoyed many meaningful experiences earlier in her career. “While the CCS is one of the most significant places to me, there are many more places that I hold dear,” she says. “They include the fountain on the green, Redstone Hall (where I danced as a child), the Lucky Chinese Food Cart on University Place (because Rainbow and Lap put so much love in their delicious food), the Fleming Museum, John Dewey’s gravesite next to the Ira Allen Chapel, Converse Hall, and the view from the 5th floor of Waterman across the lake. These are all beloved.”
Beyond campus, her favorite place in Vermont is on or near Lake Champlain. Living in the Champlain Islands, the lake is part of daily life. “I love to sail and swim, but mainly I appreciate being able to watch and feel the light and the weather come across the lake, and hearing the lake hit the shore on windy days…that’s the best.”
With her husband David, she raised five children in the Burlington area before moving to North Hero 13 years ago when their two youngest children were in middle school. “Our children are all grown up now, and some of them have children of their own which means I am a grandparent, which is wonderful.” On their land, they grow organic blueberries, raspberries, pears and a native forest where they have planted over 400 trees and counting.
Burrington holds a B.S. in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Norwich University and an M.A. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from UVM. She has also completed additional post-graduate work at Harvard University and the National Association of Elementary School Principals. Her current Vermont Certifications include Elementary (Level II), Early Childhood (Level II), Principal (Level II), and Superintendent (Level I).
Since her return to UVM this summer, Burrington quickly immersed herself in a whirlwind of activities, getting to know the children, families and teachers in every CCS classroom, and meeting with staff and faculty members within the College of Education and Social Services.
Dee Smith, Pedagogical Director for the CCS, continues with her responsibilities with mentor teachers, while Cindy Robare maintains all administrative support functions. Lauren MacKillop continues as the program coordinator of the UVM’s Early Childhood Education program.
“The Campus Children’s School will continue its sustained commitment to valuing children’s abilities and desires to participate in meaningful inquiry related to their multiple layers of community life,” says Dean Thomas. “That commitment is distinctively Vermont and a central feature of the College of Education and Social Services.”
To learn more about UVM’s College of Education and Social Services, please visit uvm.edu/cess