Professional Learning

Migrant Students: Challenges, Barriers, and Best Practices

January 20th, 2022, 3:30 to 4:30
Venue: Online (Zoom)
Fee: No Cost
Target Audience: VT School Leaders and all VT Educators
Register Here

The Vermont Migrant Education Program will be presenting, “Migrant Students: Challenges, Barriers and Best Practices” via zoom on January 20th at 3:30pm to 4:30pm. There is no fee for this webinar. The presentation will be paired with questions from the VPA’s Mike McRaith and any questions that participants may have. The webinar will be recorded and the recording will be made available to VPA members. Thank you to Program Director Kelly Dolan and Educational Services Coordinator Danielle Turo for their collaboration.

Related Links/Resources:

Leading Through Acute Stress Incidents During the Pandemic

With Dr. Joelle van Lent, Psy.D. & Erica McLaughlin

February 3rd, 2022, 3:15pm to 4:15pm
Venue: Online (Zoom)
Fee: No Cost
Target Audience: School Leaders
Register Here

Event Description: During the past almost 2 years of this pandemic, we have consistently looked to our expertise on stress and resilience to help us cope well and meet the challenge of the pandemic. Joelle and Erica will lead us through a discussion in which we specifically consider our response to tragic events, or acute stress incidents, during the pandemic. We have already enacted our surge capacity and sustained that longer than we thought possible, so how do we respond when there is a tragic event in this context? The workshop will offer considerations specific to this year that will augment the procedures we already rely on and use effectively in such situations. Questions, comments, and discussion will be encouraged during our time. An hour of professional learning will be issued to those registered and in attendance. (More Information)

Aspiring School Leaders, Q & A with the VPA

February 9th: 3:30pm to 4:40pm
Venue: Online (Zoom)
Fee: No Cost
Target Audience: Educators Interested in School Leadership
The VPA will host a zoom drop-in for any educators interested in school leadership. The intended audience is aspiring school leaders. The session will open with a short overview of the VPA and what offers aspiring school leaders, followed by some school leadership prompts for breakout discussion. There will also be a full group discussion opportunity to pose questions for VPA Executive Director, Jay Nichols and Assistant Executive Director, Mike McRaith. The session will not be recorded.

Waddington Leadership Initiative, Extended Offerings 2021-22 

February, 2022
Venue: Online
Fee: No Cost
Target Audience: All Vermont Educators
The VPA is thrilled to again be able to offer a unique set of extended professional learning offerings from the Center for Creative Leadership. The ability to have these comprehensive offerings from spring 2021 through the winter of 2022 is due to the growing partnership among the Center for Creative Leadership and Vermont educators, the positive data resulting in that partnership, and is in response to the challenges and circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Incredibly, and thanks to the Dr. Margaret Waddington Endowment, there will be no cost to participants.

Inclusive Practices & Skills for LGBTQ+ Inclusive School Environments

With Outright Vermont

Free to all education leaders

Please join us virtually for a series of workshops with Outright Vermont on how to create more LGBTQ+ inclusive environments as school leaders. This series of workshops is a collaborative effort between the Vermont School Boards Association, Vermont Superintendents Association, Vermont Principals’ Association, and Outright Vermont. This workshop series is designed for education leaders, including board members, superintendents, central office staff, and principals.

Workshop #1 : October 6, 2021 from 4:30pm to 6:30pm

You can still register for Workshop 2 and 3!

Workshop #2 : January 19, 2021 from 4:30pm to 6:30pm

Workshop #3: March 16, 2021 from 4:30pm to 6:30pm

These workshops are not repeats of the same content. They build on each other to provide a comprehensive introduction to building inclusive school environments. 

Please register for the entire workshop series through this register here. Even if you are unable to attend every session, please register for the whole series. Access to each session will be provided ahead of the workshops.

Registration Deadline: September 30, 2021

*This series is brought to you free of charge thanks to the generous financial sponsorship from the Vermont School Boards Insurance Trust. All content for the sessions is created by and delivered by Outright Vermont.

Equity Practitioner’s Network: Cohort #2

Overview: The Equity Practitioner’s Network is a cohort-model professional learning opportunity for Vermont educational communities. Educators from around the state participated in Cohort 1. You can learn more about cohort #2 which will run from August 2021 to June 2023, here.

Save the Dates: 2022 VPA Leadership Academy August 2, 3, 4

With Principal Kafele: “One of the most sought-after school leadership and classroom equity presenters in America, Principal Kafele is impacting America’s schools! He has delivered over two thousand conference and program keynotes, professional development workshops, parenting seminars and student assemblies over his 35 years of public speaking.”

Ongoing Offerings

Better Conversations Every Day

The VPA has worked closely with the Center for Creative Leadership to be able to offer Better Conversations Everyday to Vermont educators. Nearly 100 Vermont educators have already had the chance to experience this capacity building, highly engaging and effective one day workshop. View more information here, and inquire directly with Mike ( or Jay ( for costs and open dates.

VPA Zoom Drop In Meetings

Check VPA Leads for the Zoom links and notes. We have been offering zoom drop-in meetings for school leaders since Mid-March 2020, 3 times a week. 9am on Mondays focuses on High Schools, 9am on Thursday focuses on Middle Schools, and 9am on Fridays focuses on Elementary Schools.

Mentor Training

The VPA offers three mentor training dates per year to keep current mentors up-to-date and to invite new mentors into the mentoring program (read more & registration)

Waddington Leadership Initiative w/ Center for Creative Leadership

The Waddington Leadership Initiative is currently accepting applications for cohorts 11 and 12 through January 7th, 2022, with Waddington Cohorts 2.1 and 2.2 underway as well. (read more)

“A Place of Our Own”- Affinity Group for Vermont Administrators of Color (VPA member benefit)

 “Just a quick note to thank you for your leadership with the VPA Affinity Group for Leaders Of Color.  It was, by far, one of the most supportive, inspiring, and informative 90 minutes I’ve ever had in my professional career.  We’re talking top 2-3 here- and my career is 28 years old. I am truly grateful to you.” (2020 VPA Affinity group member)

Our group provides an opportunity for BIPOC administrators, working in predominantly white schools to come together and share experiences, learn from and support each other through our triumphs and challenges. The sharing of stories, experiences, ideas, successes and lots of laughter, provide a place for healing and growth that allows for racial equity transformation. Additionally our affinity group has become a wonderful place to network, make state-wide connections and as well as  providing leadership and guidance on issues of educational equity.

The group is facilitated by Bonnie Johnson-Aten, long-time educator in Vermont and currently Principal at Edmunds Elementary School, with support from Kevin Robinson, Integrated Arts Academy Principal.  We will generally meet virtually once a month, with quarterly in-person gatherings.We hope you will consider joining us.


Bonnie Johnson-Aten


A Place of Our Own– An Affinity group for LGBTQIA+ Administrators (A VPA member benefit)

“I want to share with you that during a segment of our Leadership Team meeting, I ended up finally “outing” myself to all my district colleagues. I share this with you because the confidence, level of social-emotional safety, and security I have been experiencing as a result of being in the affinity group paved the way for this to happen today.  I was able to leave day one of this week-long meeting feeling more empowered and secure in my own inner truth than I have in my last two years.”  (2020 VPA Affinity group member)

Our group provides an opportunity for LGBTQIA+ administrators and athletic directors, to come together and share experiences, learn from and support each other. The sharing of stories, experiences, ideas, successes, challenges, and lots of laughter, provide a safe and secure place for our tribe.  We have found that similar issues come up, no matter where we work in Vermont.  Additionally, our affinity group has become a wonderful place to network and make state-wide connections, as well as provide leadership and guidance on LGBTQIA+ issues.

The group is facilitated by Kevin Dirth, former Superintendent of the Maple Run Unified Schools and long-time educator in Vermont. We generally meet virtually once a month and hope to occasionally meet in person several times a year. We hope you will consider joining us.

Kevin can be contacted at:

VPA Podcast

The VPA has podcast series with a growing number of episodes. Check out the descriptions and listen here. Now available on Apple Podcasts.

VPA Visits

Currently on hold. You can learn more about some of the great work happening around the state with our colleagues. VPA VISITS will still hope to visit schools this year and provide short write-ups, links, and pictures of the visit. (read more)