The Vermont Principals Association
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Academy HomeSpeaker Bios2024 Academy ScheduleRegistration


There is One Strand Option: Better Conversations Every Day

Limited to 18 participants, first come first serve, will meet during all breakout session

The Better Conversations Every Day™ is a Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) trademarked workshop that provides a foundation of effective leadership. It focuses on Listening to Understand, Asking Powerful Questions, Support and Challenging Questions, and Accountability. The workshop is interactive and works to help participants build capacity in those around them–improving the skills in having developmental conversations. It is accessible and meaningful for new leaders and experienced leaders. The workshop will be led by the VPA’s Mike McRaith who has been trained by CCL to provide this workshop in Vermont. The workshop has been very well received by districts and hundreds of school leaders around the state for the past several years. This strand will be limited to just 18 participants and will fill up quickly!


Workshop 1: “Segregation or Sterilization”: The History of Eugenics in Vermont with Mercedes de Guardiola

90 minute workshop offered during the Wednesday breakout sessions only

Mercedes de Guardiola will further discuss how Vermont’s eugenics movement emerged from the public policies of the nineteenth century and led to state-sanctioned programs of family separation, sterilization, and forcible institutionalization, with an in-depth look at how it intersected with approaches to child health and welfare. The workshop session will provide aspects of related leadership and curriculum opportunities with a chance to explore the educational resources connected to the research. 


Workshop 2: Mastering Feedback That Teachers LOVE: A Leader’s 6-Step Guide with Connie Hamilton

90 minute workshop offered during Wednesday’s breakout sessions

Collaborating with teachers to foster professional growth is a crucial responsibility for leaders. The effectiveness of feedback delivery can make or break its application by teachers. In this session, we’ll dive into the PEAC2H Model, a 6-step structure strategically positioning principals as instructional leaders and partners with teachers. We will distinguish between coaching and consulting to cultivate a culture valuing reflection as a pathway to continuous improvement. Connie’s framework prioritizes clear communication, offering evidence-backed suggestions seamlessly tied to classroom practices, and actionable ideas with an immediate impact on teaching and learning. And, teachers absolutely love it!


Workshop 3: How Innovative Schools are Addressing Social Media, Current Events, & Tech, with the Social Institute’s Caitlin Dallmeyer

90 minute workshop offered during breakout sessions

Every day, students are hit with social media posts, comments from friends, changing tech trends, and a variety of pressures. Schools try to support student well-being to foster productive learning environments, but when educators implement new student well-being programs, it’s easy to make mistakes. Social-emotional health, social media, and technology are complicated and nuanced, and educators find themselves working in a space that might be totally new to them — and rapidly evolving. Drawing upon their vast knowledge and experience to empower students through modern day life skills and set them up for sustained success, TSI will lead an engaging and interactive discussion about how to avoid common mistakes when addressing student well-being.


Workshop 4: Best Practices for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Education Based Athletics with Quaron Pinckney, Mike Jabour, & Lauren Thomas

90 minute workshop offered during breakout sessions

This workshop is facilitated by co-chairs, Mike Jabour (South Burlington Athletic Director) and Quaron Pinckney (Burlington Athletic Director) of the DEI in Activities Committee and the VPA’s Assistant Executive Director, Lauren Thomas. The workshop will provide a short overview of the history and mission of the committee and its ongoing widespread positive impact around the state of Vermont. Through case studies and discussion, participants will have the opportunity to learn best practices and strategies in providing proactive and reactive measures for improving diversity, equity and inclusion in education based athletics. 


Workshop 5: Amplify & Unify: Impactful Communication Strategies for Schools with Meghan Baule

90 minute workshop offered during breakout sessions

Explore ways to transform how your school connects with the community. From crafting engaging and accessible newsletters to mastering crisis communication and leveraging social media, this session is your ticket to a communication revolution. Discover the art and importance of storytelling, learn best practices for maximum engagement, and leave with practical takeaways to elevate your school’s narrative. By refining your communication skills, you will have the power to build a sense of pride within your school community. Don’t just hit ‘send’; make a lasting impact!


Workshop 6: All Systems Go! with Sarah Pickering

90 minute workshop offered during breakout sessions

Files go. Meetings go. Tasks go. All systems go! Is this how you begin each day with your Administrative Assistant? Utilizing a well-designed, highly functional, organizational system allows leaders to be present in the day, focus on leading, and engage in work that has the greatest impact on improving teaching, learning, and culture. Aspiring, new, and veteran leaders can learn about effective organizational systems built to work effortlessly with an Administrative Assistant. Leaders will have the opportunity to analyze the strengths and challenges of their current systems with a focus on actionable steps toward improvement.


Academy HomeSpeaker Bios2024 Academy ScheduleRegistration