The Vermont Principals Association
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Planning to Stay Over? Conference Lodging Link or Call directly at 1-800-282-9955 and be sure to reference the VPA/VSA event for the group rate. 

Who: Vermont Leaders & Aspiring Leaders
When: September 13th, 2024
Where: Killington Grand Hotel and Resort
Cost: $315 per participant

Welcome to the 2nd Annual Women in Leadership Conference, co-hosted by the Vermont Superintendents Association and the Vermont Principals’ Association. We look forward to your participation as we celebrate Women in Leadership and build strength going forward, together.

Morning Keynote Speaker: Dr. Pooja Lakshmin

Dr. Lakshmin currently maintains a virtual private practice where she applies integrative approach to taking care of women suffering from maternal mental health conditions like postpartum depression and anxiety, as well as non-moms who are dealing with depression, anxiety, burnout and identity loss. As a board-certified psychiatrist, she takes care of her patients with psychotherapy and medication, when needed. She has been on the clinical faculty in the Psychiatry Department at George Washington University School of Medicine since 2016.

Dr. Lakshmin’s first book, Real Self-Care: A Transformative Program for Redefining Wellness (Crystals,  Cleanses, and Bubble Baths Not Included), was a national bestseller and a 2023 NPR Best Book pick. It’s being translated into 10 languages, and was featured on a Billboard in Times Square (!).

She also writes regularly for the The New York Times and is an advisor to Peloton. She is frequently invited by companies and organizations to give keynotes and workshops on mental health and well-being to their leadership or employees. Dr. Lakshmin live in Austin Texas with my partner Justin, our son K, and our two cats, Kitty and Fifi. 

Afternoon Keynote Speaker/Singer: Caitlin Canty

Caitlin Canty is a singer/songwriter whose songs harness “the grit and spark at the heart of American music, tempered with a voice both haunting and distinct.” Since the release of her critically-acclaimed Reckless Skyline in 2015, Canty has put thousands of miles on her songs, touring throughout the U.S. and Europe. Rolling Stone called her music, “dreamy and daring.” She is a constant collaborator, both as a cowriter with Jamey Johnson and Peter Bradley Adams among others, and appears on albums by Darlingside and Joy Williams. She has released five full length albums independently under her own name, as well as in the band Down Like Silver.

Raised in Proctor, VT, the daughter of school teachers and house painters, Canty earned her degree in biology at Williams College and subsequently moved to New York City. She spent her days in the city working at a startup live music venture, and later as an environmental sustainability consultant. She spent her nights making music at Lower East Side music halls and bars. In 2009, she quit her day job and set out to pursue music full time. In 2015, she moved to Nashville, TN where she lived for nearly a decade; touring, making records, and starting a young family. She spearheaded the successful fundraising for the Lockeland Springs Park Expansion in collaboration with The Trust for Public Land, which permanently preserved 5 acres of urban forest in East Nashville, TN . She is currently a member of the board of directors at Smokey House Center in Danby, VT where she and her growing family currently reside.


Each participant will have the chance to self-select two of the following options during the event:

Workshop 1: More with Dr. Lakshmin

Led by Dr. Lakshmin, participants will have the opportunity to extend their time and learning with Dr. Laksmin’s work and the implications for their own work.

Workshop 2: Unapologetically Me & Living Out Loud

As the human author of your story, how are you living out loud? Embracing the most authentic parts of yourself is deeply empowering and transformative. Join local Vermont-based artist Ferene Paris of All Heart Inspirations, for some much needed human connection through interactive storytelling prompts infused with vulnerable vibes.

Workshop 3: Leading with Heart: Building A Team You Can Trust

Led by Dr. Jennifer Norrell “Trust transforms a group of people into a team,” Stephen Covey.  In this presentation, leaders will have an opportunity to examine the true definition of trust, how to build trust, and explore the drivers of trust– based on research.  The topic will directly relate to leading teams and supporting growth of leaders across educational systems.  This session will review and discuss research and the key elements that most influence trust.  Participants will have an opportunity to share challenges and successes on navigating the trust factor through their own journey of building and leading teams. Concepts shared will allow leaders to transform their teams with new efforts at improving trust and ultimately increasing mere coordination and cooperation into true collaboration.

Workshop 4: Cultivating Women Leaders

Led by Beth White and facilitated by program students: Alethea Fosse, Mina Smith, Ashwil Bell, Leilani King, Rayan El Kotob, Zoë Brosky, Carmela Mayette and Aubrianna Mayette: Cultivating Leadership in aviation is particularly challenging for women, necessitating the dismantling of cultural barriers and outdated perceptions to pave the way for success. Our workshop, “Cultivating Women Leaders in Aerospace Through Interest-Driven Real World Learning,” will delve into approaches for providing opportunities for emerging leaders to explore their identities and interests guided by skilled mentors. Participants will get to know four of our team members, who will share their experiences and insights on how relationships, trust, support, and hands-on practice have been critical to their development as leaders. In interactive breakout groups and silent reflection sessions, led by our build members, attendees will have the chance to unpack these stories and brainstorm ways to inspire young leaders through their own passions and connections. By the end of the workshop, participants will walk away with practical tools to help identify and nurture leadership skills in their own contexts.

Workshop 5: Nourish, Connect, Reflect

We invite you to step away from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life and immerse yourself in a reflection experience to rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit. You often prioritize everyone else , so we wanted to offer you the opportunity to prioritize your well-being. This can be done by fostering collaborative connections with colleagues here today,  finding quiet time for introspection or just by taking a walk around the pond to process new learning from today.  

  •  Make Collaborative Connections: Building meaningful relationships with colleagues is essential for professional growth. You can use this workshop time  to forge new connections, exchange ideas, and develop lasting partnerships with fellow conference participants..  
  • Conferences often bombard you with a wealth of new information and ideas. This workshop time can provide a dedicated space for you to process, digest, and reflect on what you’ve learned. Taking time to journal is a good way to distill your insights and take actionable steps for future application.
  • Nature Exploration: Nature has a remarkable ability to restore balance and clarity. Take a break from the conference for this block of time to enjoy a brief outdoor excursion in the surrounding natural beauty of Killington.

Outline Schedule, September 13th

8am – 9:00Registration & Breakfast
9:00 – 9:20Opening Remarks
9:20 – 10:20Keynote
10:20 – 10:30Break
10:30 – 11:40Morning Workshops Breakout
11:45 – 12:15Lunch
12:15 – 1:15Celebrating Vermont Women in Leadership with Ferene Paris, Mari McClure, & Dr. Smita Ruzicka
1:20 – 2:30Afternoon Workshops Breakout
2:30 – 2:40Break
2:40 – 3:35Closing Keynote & Music


Should I stay overnight? You are welcome to make your own reservations with Killington as desired. Conference Lodging Link or Call directly at 1-800-282-9955 and be sure to reference the VPA/VSA event for the group rate.

What if I am going with a group from the same district/school? Please register as individuals. You will receive individual invoices. Payments can be made in bulk via district upon request.

Who should attend? Any current or aspiring leader in Vermont is encouraged to attend. While there will be a lot of school leaders in attendance, the content is not focused on schools leadership specifically. You are welcome to join whether you work in non-profits, advocacy, health, government, business or otherwise.

Will Certificates of Attendance be Issued? Yes. An email will be sent out to participants with an exit ticket. A certificate of attendance will be generated upon completion of that exit ticket for a total of 7.5 professional learning hours.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellation Policy: Any conference or one-time training registration canceled 60 or fewer calendar days before the first day of the event will result in a charge of 50% of the full registration rate. Except registrations canceled within 15 days of the first day of the event will result in a charge of 100% of the registration fee. No exceptions will be made. A registration may be transferred to another individual up until 24 hours before the event.

Co-hosted by The Vermont Superintendents Association & The Vermont Principals’ Association