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.

Episode Seven: (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: (May 1, 2020) 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: (April 10, 2020) 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: (April 4, 2020) 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: 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: 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.