VPA Podcast

About: The VPA Podcast was started in the winter of 2019. Original artwork by Montpelier High School Student-Class of 2022, Lili Ecklund Gustavson. Production and editing by Mallori Longevin and music title, Fate, by FreeBeats.io. Our host is Mike McRaith, the VPA’s Assistant Executive Director.

  • CCL Winter 2020-21 Offerings

    The Center for Creative Leadership, Vermont Professional Learning Offerings: Winter 2020-21

    The VPA is excited to announce a unique set of professional learning offerings this winter from the Center for Creative Leadership. In response to the challenges and circumstances of this COVID-19 year, we have been able to partner with CCL to offer the half-day professional learning opportunities listed below. Thanks to the Dr. Margaret Waddington Endowment, there will no cost to participants.
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    Each offering has about 30 seats, many of which are well suited for teachers, school counselors, and para-educators, as well as administrators. The offerings will be open until we reach maximum enrollment for any given offering, and will be filled on a first come first serve basis. Professional learning hours will be issued upon successful completion of a given offering.
    Note: that some of these workshops are offered on more than one date.
    For any questions, email Mike McRaith at mmcraith@vpaonline.org.

    Tuesday, December 22, 2020
    Time: 8am to 12pm  

    Burn Bright: The Resilience Advantage

    In the face of dramatically changing circumstances, stress is a growing problem. Low levels of resilience take a toll on educators’ health, mood, cognitive capacity, and productivity. Through CCL’s global research and practice, we can help leaders understand the importance of resilience and learn as practical ways to enhance both personal and team effectiveness.

    ENROLL


    Wednesday, January 6, 2021
    Time: 12:30pm to 4:30pm

    Burn Bright: The Resilience Advantage

    In the face of dramatically changing circumstances, stress is a growing problem. Low levels of resilience take a toll on educators’ health, mood, cognitive capacity, and productivity. Through CCL’s global research and practice, we can help leaders understand the importance of resilience and learn as practical ways to enhance both personal and team effectiveness. 

    ENROLL


    Thursday, January 7, 2021
    Time: 8am to 9am (kickoff to the self-paced learning)

    Social-Emotional Leadership: A Guide for Youth Development 

    This self-paced, digital experience, hosted on CCL’s digital platform, is designed for adults who are focused on developing leadership in K-12 students. Based on CCL’s Social-Emotional Leadership book (which is included in the course), participants work through 4 learning modules designed to highlight specific strategies and lessons that can be used with students to Lead Self, Lead Others, and Change Their World. 

    ENROLL


    January 13 and February 17, 2021 
    Time: 8am to 12pm

    Collective Efficacy for Teams (This is a Two-Part Offering)

    “For schools, collective efficacy refers to the perceptions of teachers that the instructional staff as a whole can execute the courses of action necessary to have positive effects on students.” (Goddard, 2001) Building on 20 years of research that demonstrates collective efficacy as a game changer for student achievement, this session provides hands on tools, assessments, and activities designed to help leaders and teams address the four proven ways of developing higher levels of collective efficacy in their schools. Note: This offering is a two-part offering and requires a minimum of 3 members of school or district team to participate together. Both parts are 8am to 12pm on 1/13/21 and 2/17/21.

    Wednesday, January 20, 2021
    Time: 12:30pm to 4:30pm

    Beyond Bias

    In organizations around the world, educators are facing a deluge of urgent issues. In order to address some of these issues, we need our brains to cooperate. Bias prevents the brain from maximizing the use of information. Unrestrained bias will impede an organization’s ability to drive results. Using CCL’s proprietary SCRIPt™ framework, we train the brain to cooperate by adapting Beyond Bias. Based on scientifically validated research by CCL’s Global Research and Evaluation Team and decades of practice, this asynchronous digital solution works across industries and at scale.

    ENROLL


    Wednesday January 27, 2021
    Time: 8:30am to 12:00pm 

    Leading Difficult Conversations

    In this session participants will:

    • Examine and practice strategies for facilitating difficult conversations
    • Explore pathways to advance conversations with students, parents, and colleagues
    • Practice listening to understand asking powerful questions
    • Connect as a community of educational leaders
    • Connect with the importance of Emotional Intelligence
    • Use  CLL’s Scenarios and Guide Cards (everyone will get a set) in guided practice with peers.

    ENROLL


    Wednesday, February 12, 2021
    Time: 8am to 12pm 

    Leading Virtual Teams

    In this session we will explore how to more effectively lead and participate in high performing virtual or “distributed” teams. We will focus on:

    • The Challenges of Leading Virtual Teams
    • Leveraging Virtual Team Polarities
    • Creating Inclusion
    • Choosing Tactics for Virtual Success
    • YOUR Next Steps

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021
    Time: 8:00am to 12:00pm

    Burn Bright: The Resilience Advantage 

    In the face of dramatically changing circumstances, stress is a growing problem. Low levels of resilience take a toll on educators’ health, mood, cognitive capacity, and productivity. Through CCL’s global research and practice, we can help leaders understand the importance of resilience and learn as practical ways to enhance both personal and team effectiveness. 

    ENROLL


    Wednesday, March 10, 2021
    Time: 8:00am to 12:00pm 

    Beyond Bias

    In organizations around the world, educators are facing a deluge of urgent issues. In order to address some of these issues, we need our brains to cooperate. Bias prevents the brain from maximizing the use of information. Unrestrained bias will impede an organization’s ability to drive results. Using CCL’s proprietary SCRIPt™ framework, we train the brain to cooperate by adapting Beyond Bias. Based on scientifically validated research by CCL’s Global Research and Evaluation Team and decades of practice, this asynchronous digital solution works across industries and at scale.

    Tuesday, March 30th, 2021
    Time: 1:00pm to 4:30pm 

    Leading Difficult Conversations

    In this session participants will:

    • Examine and practice strategies for facilitating difficult conversations
    • Explore pathways to advance conversations with students, parents, and colleagues
    • Practice listening to understand asking powerful questions
    • Connect as a community of educational leaders
    • Connect with the importance of Emotional Intelligence 
    • Use  CLL’s Scenarios and Guide Cards (everyone will get a set) in guided practice with peers.

    ENROLL


     

  • Episode Nine: With Sarah Pickering

    (September 9, 2020) On this episode of the VPA podcast Mike spoke with Sarah Pickering. Sarah is the 2020 National Association of Secondary Schools Vermont Robert Pierce High School Principal of the year. She is the principal of Arlington Memorial High School in Arlington. Ms. Pickering just began her third year at Arlington and previously served as principal of West Rutland. Sarah’s nomination was full of support and praise.

     

  • Episode Eight: With Stacy Rice

    (September 3, 2020) On this episode of the VPA podcast Mike spoke with Stacy Rice. Stacy is the 2020 John Winton Vermont Middle Level Principal of the year. She was the principal of Burke Town School in West Burke. At the beginning of the 2020 – 2021 school year, she took on the roll of Director of Student Services in the Kingdom East School District central office. Stacy’s nomination was full of support and praise.

    Stacy Rice is an educational leader who most definitely creates an inclusive, caring and supportive environment for both students AND teachers. She knows every student by name and gives them a warm hello and welcome.”

    She cares deeply about students living in poverty and works tirelessly to promote their wellbeing by making all school activities equally accessible and strong for all students.”

  • Episode Seven: With Jeff Renard of VTVLC

    (May 14, 2020) Mike spoke with Jeff Renard of VTVLC. VTVLC is offering the Online Teaching Best Practices course to help teachers prepare for next year. This standards-based, 10-hour online course is facilitated by an experienced online teacher in cohorts up to 14 educators over a 3-week period. Start dates are flexible up to June 15th. Administrators can pre-register their cohorts here. Schools are also able to choose from a long list of supports, including Canvas and online content with over 140 course titles so teachers do not have to develop and curate over the summer. Full list of titles can be found here. Additional questions can be directed to  Director/Principal at jrenard@vtvlc.org

  • Episode Six: With David Bennett

    Mike spoke with David Bennett. David has been working in the field of education and student support for the past 14 years.  He has a bachelor’s degree in Biological Science and secondary education and a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work.  He has spent the majority of his professional career working to develop a comprehensive understanding of the issues that impact youth ability to connect with their education and live empowered lives.  He believes that public schools are one of the most integral components to help make this happen.  He has worked to develop multiple programs of study that combine social and emotional learning and building student self efficacy to academic curriculum.  He currently works in private practice as a therapist and experiential educator in Central Vermont.

  • Episode Five: With VPA Executive Director, Jay Nichols

    Mike interviewed VPA Executive Director, Jay Nichols, on the morning of April 10th, 2020. They talked about the latest from state leadership on COVID-19, the worries, the pride for VT educators, nitty gritty of attendance policy with distant learning, access to internet, educational funding, and more. Please excuse some paper shuffling and less than perfect sound quality. Hopefully the expediency of the content makes up for it.

  • Episode Four: With Mara Iverson, Director of Education at Outright Vermont

    Our first ever remote podcast! With social distancing enacted, we connected with Mara Iverson, Director of Education at Outright Vermont to talk through school leadership, student voice, and how we can best serve LGBTQ+ youth through school closure and beyond. Here is the guidance that Mara references regarding recommendations for schools in conjunction with the VT-AOE.

  • Episode Three: We welcome Randolph Elementary School Principal, Erica McLaughlin

    Erica was a 2015 Principal of the Year, and serves on the VPA’s Executive Council and as Vermont’s National Association of Elementary School Principals representative. Original release date, 3/4/20.

  • Episode Two: with Paul Cillo of the Public Assets Institute

    We talk with Paul Cillo of the Public Assets Institute. We discuss the origins and fundaments of the current Vermont school financing policy, ACT 60, and how it relates to current Vermont school finance topics such as ACT 173 & the UVM Weighting Study. If you are interested in how schools are funded in Vermont, you’ll want to hear this. Original release date, 2/17/20.

  • Episode One: with VPA Executive Director, Jay Nichols

     

    For our first ever episode, we talk all things school leadership with VPA Executive Director, Jay Nichols. We learn more about Jay’s story of school leadership in Vermont and hear some of his core pieces of leadership advice, hot-topics for Vermont administrators, and more. Original release date, 12/18/19.