The Vermont Principals Association
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About VPA Mentoring

The Vermont Principals’ Association provides trained mentors to match with new school leaders (principals, assistant principals, career center directors, or aspiring principals) around the state. The work of serving as a school principal or career center director is as challenging and as important as ever. Working with a mentor during the first two years of a school leader’s career can provide support, guidance, and new learning that can go a long way toward turning challenges into opportunities and excellence.

Vermont Law Regarding Mentoring

Vermont Law requires that “When a school district hires a principal or a career technical center director who has not been employed previously in that capacity, the superintendent serving the district, in consultation with the Vermont Principals’ Association, shall work to ensure that the new principal or technical center director receives mentoring supports during at least the first two years of employment.”  […] “Mentoring supports shall be consistent with best practices, research-based approaches, or other successful models, and shall be identified jointly by the Vermont Principals’ Association and the Vermont Superintendents Association.”  

To read the full Vermont statute regarding mentoring: 16 V.S.A. § 245.

Upcoming Mentor Training Dates (click dates to register)

*The primary VPA contact for mentoring is Erica McLaughlin  

Typical Sequence for Mentor Matches

  • New Leader is hired
  • New Leader and/or Superintendent Contact the VPA ( to request a Mentor
  • The VPA shares the digital list of trained mentor resumes for the Superintendent and New Leader to review. The VPA can make recommendations upon request as well.
  • The New Leader and/or Superintendent connect with a mentor from the list to confirm availability and desire to match
  • The Superintendent relays the match back to the VPA
  • The VPA issues a contract to the Superintendent, naming the Mentor & the New Leader in the contract. 
  • The Mentor and New Leader meet throughout the year. We ask that the Superintendent attend first and last session for clarity in system goals. A survey of the experience will also be made available near the end of the school year. 

How Do I Become a Trained Mentor?

Currently, the VPA offers three training sessions per year for qualified school leaders. The trainings are built around the following mentor competencies are informed/rooted within the leadership frameworks of the Center for Creative Leadership and Better Conversations Everyday. In order to be a VPA trained mentor available for matching, mentors have to have attended at least one training per year, and be a VPA member. 

Mentor Competencies: 

  • An effective mentor sets high expectations for self-development in high quality professional opportunities.
  • An effective mentor has knowledge of and utilizes mentoring and coaching best practices.
  • An effective mentor is active in instructional leadership.
  • An effective mentor respects confidentiality and a code of ethics in the mentor protege relationship.
  • An effective mentor contributes to the body of knowledge as it pertains to principal and administrative mentoring.
  • An effective mentor fosters a culture that promotes formal and informal mentoring relationship.