• How do we build a culture that supports equity in our schools and across the state?

    How can we support ALL students so that EVERY ONE achieves their public school aspirations?

    How do we close the gap in student outcomes wherever it exists?

    What is equity? What is bias? Why does it matter? Where do I fit? How can I make a difference? and more...

    Building a Culture of Equity

    May 30, 2018

    8:30 for breakfast, 9:00 to 4:00 for the program

    Capital Plaza, Montpelier, Vermont


    to launch a longer-term initiative –

    to help ALL Vermont students access the education they deserve and desire.


    Students attend free – use discount code “STUDENT”

    VDF Logo

    Who should come?

    Principals, Heads of School and CTE Directors

    Assistant Principals

    Curriculum and Special Education Directors



    Vermont Legislators and other policy makers

    Vermont State Board of Education

    Representatives from non-profit organizations that care about education

    Government agency and department heads involved in supporting young people


    Why an Equity Initiative?

    • Vermont benefits from ALL students achieving their education and career goals,
    • Schools and principals are struggling under cultural and systemic barriers to equity,
    • Excellence is achieved through equity,
    • Everyone CARES about this issue; many are working on it, and
    • Chances of success are greater when we work together.

    Flow of the Day:

    • Welcome, day’s overview and purpose;
    • Discussion about ‘core beliefs;’
    • Building understanding about EQUITY;
    • Unpacking structural inequities;
    • Exploring what EQUITY means;
    • Sharing success stories and lessons learned;
    • Visioning, next steps and closure….

    Core Planning Team: Vermont Principals’ Association, Champlain Valley Educator Development Center, Public Assets, Vermont Afterschool, Vermont Curriculum Leaders Association, Vermont Department of Health, Vermont Agency of Education, Voices for Vermont’s Children, Vermont Superintendents Association and the Vermont School Boards Association. If you are interested in being involved in the longer-term planning conversation, going forward, let Linda Wheatley at the VPA know.

    Our Facilitators:

    Sue McCormack

    Sue McCormack designs and facilitates productive conversations that lead to change.   For the past several years, Sue has been working with The Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Everyday Democracy, and Great Schools Partnership providing technical assistance to school districts around New England to build their capacity for effective community engagement.

    In addition to her consulting practice, Sue recently served as the Community Liaison for Creating Community Solutions, part of the National Dialogue on Mental health. As Community Liaison for CCS, she assisted groups and individuals across the United States as they organized community dialogues on mental health.  She also helped to spearhead Text, Talk, Act, a CCS initiative which uses a combination of text messaging, social media and face to face dialogue to engage young people across the country in conversations about mental health.

    Sue recently co-coordinated the Heart & Soul of Essex, a two-year, citizen-led initiative, funded by the Orton Family Foundation, to identify shared community values, foster collaboration and increase civic participation among two linked municipalities.

    Previously, Sue was Program Director for Community Development at Everyday Democracy (EDD). During her tenure at EDD she assisted many people and communities around the country with their work to create and sustain public dialogue and problem solving. While at EDD, Susan co-authored Facing Racism in a Diverse Nation, a discussion guide being used around the country to help communities address race relations and racial equity. Susan continues her affiliation with Everyday Democracy as a Senior Associate.

    Sue also served as the Director of Leadership at the Snelling Center for Government, coordinating the Vermont Leadership Institute, and the Vermont School Leadership Project.

    Rebecca Haslam

    Rebecca Haslam is the founder of Seed the Way Consulting, LLC, providing training and professional development for equity literacy and anti-bias education with a focus on racial justice.  Seed the Way serves K-12 school districts throughout Vermont including Montpelier, South Burlington, Milton, St. Albans, Fairfield, Colchester, Randolph, Charlotte, Middlebury, Richmond, Jericho, Vershire, and Keene Central School in New York. Other clients include the Vermont Agency of Education, Seventh Generation, Saint Michael’s College Office of Student Life, National Education Association (NEA), Shelburne Farms, UVM Medical Center, and the Rowland Foundation.

    A fourteen year veteran teacher, instructional coach, and leader for equity in the Burlington School District, Rebecca was named the 2015 Vermont State Teacher of the Year by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). She recently received the Vermont NEA 2018 Human and Civil Rights Award. Rebecca is currently facilitating Vermont NEA's Racial Justice Task Force, working with educators, students, state legislators, and VTNEA staff to create a racial justice toolkit to address racism in Vermont’s schools.

    In addition to training and consulting through Seed the Way, Rebecca is pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Vermont.  Her research is focused on explorations of identity-based social privilege and racial identity development in higher education.

    Rebecca is a full-time faculty member in the Education Department at Saint Michael’s College teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in social justice, curriculum, and the arts.