Professional Learning & Support Committee (PL&S)

Established, May 2013


The VPA Professional Learning and Support Committee is one of three standing committees that support the members of the Vermont Principals’ Association. The purpose of this committee is to assess and respond to the professional development needs of school leaders by:

  1. planning and providing relevant learning opportunities
  2. developing liaisons with professional development providers,
  3. providing support through mentoring, and
  4. building connections between and among school leaders.


In 2013, three VPA Executive Council members moved from the EC to this committee to get things up and running. They were Laurie Singer, retired from AD Lawton Middle School in Essex, Bonnie Johnson-Aten of Edmunds Middle School in Burlington, and Madeline Young, retired from Highgate Elementary School.

The current core responsibilities of this committee are to produce the VPA’s summer Leadership Academy, host three Principals’ Regional Meetings throughout the year, and coordinate the production of a fall and spring educational summit. Topics and speakers are selected in response to perceived need, availability of speakers and the VPA’s annual membership survey.

Committee Policy and Procedures


By policy, this committee shall have eleven members, elected by the school membership at the annual meeting. The committee will be facilitated by the Vermont Principals’ Association’s Development Coordinator. The membership of the committee shall represent the state of Vermont geographically, by grade configuration (elementary, middle and high school) and by gender. Members may serve up to three one-year terms from their start date. In cases of vacancies, the VPA’s Executive Council will appoint a representative to complete the year (ending the following June 30).


The PL&S Committee will meet a minimum of five times during the school year, at least two of which will be in person with the remaining meetings can be held electronically. At the summer PL&S Committee meeting (at the Academy), the committee will elect a chairperson, or co-chairs. The chair(s) will work with the committee members and the Development Coordinator to develop a meeting schedule before September 1st of each school year. Meeting schedules, agendas, and minutes will be posted on the VPA website.

2016 – 2017 Meeting dates:

  • August 5th, 2016 – at the Leadership Academy, Killington
  • October 14th, 2016, 9 to 12 – at the VPA office, Montpelier
  • January 12th, 2017, 1 to 2:30 pm – conference call
  • March 9th, 2017, 12 to 3 – South Burlington High School, South Burlington
  • June 9th, 2017, 8:30 to 10 – conference call
  • August 3rd, 2017 – after the Leadership Academy at Killington Grand Resort, Killington

2016 – 2017 Professional Learning & Support Committee Members 

Bonnie Johnson-Aten, Principal Supervisor at Burlington School District, Co-Chair

Angela Stebbins, Principal at St. Albans Town Educational Center, Co-Chair 

Jim Avery, Principal, Otter Valley Union High School, Brandon

Brett Blanchard, Principal at Fair Haven Union High School 

Larry Fliegelman, Principal at Brownington Elementary School  

Mike McRaith, Principal at Montpelier High School

Jeff Renard, Director of the Vermont Virtual Learning Center

Stacy Rice, Principal of Burke Town School 

Holly Rouelle, Principal at Chamberlin School, South Burlington

Laurie Singer, Retired Principal 

Joe Bowen, VPA Mentor Coordinator

Peter Evans, VPA Mentor Coordinator 

Ken Page, VPA Executive Director

Linda Wheatley, VPA Development Coordinator

The PL&S Committee seeks new members each year to plan, organize, and support professional learning activities. Please consider submitting an application.

PL&S Membership Request and Application September 2017

Linda Wheatley, VPA Development Coordinator, coordinates the committee.