New England Secondary School Consortium

Diversifying the Educator Workforce in Vermont

Following the release of the New England Secondary School Consortium’s Increasing the Racial, Ethnic, and Linguistic Diversity of the Educator Workforce in August 2020, a group of Vermonters is working to harness the collective will and ideas. In this space, we will share resources, events, networking meetings, and other opportunities to learn with and from one another.

Our first such learning opportunity is a series of webinars that will take place this fall and winter. Please join for a three-part webinar series aimed at unpacking the recommendations of the recent NESSC report and at developing a community of practice whose collective goal is to increase the diversity of Vermont’s educator workforce. This series is hosted by the Vermont Task Force for Diversifying the Educator Workforce & the Great Schools Partnership.

Webinar 1 | Tuesday, November 17, 2020; 3:30-4:30 pm et
In this webinar, we will explore the Grounding Principles upon which the recommendations were constructed.

Webinar 2 | Tuesday, December 15, 2020; 3:30-4:30 pm et.
In this webinar, we will outline key strategies for retaining, supporting, and promoting racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse educators of color. 

Webinar 3 | Tuesday, January 12, 2021; 3:30-4:30 pm et.


Contact the Task Force

Contact Us

To learn more about our work, to share ideas, or to join our coalition of committed partners, please contact any member of our Task Force:

Xusana Davis, Executive Director for Racial Equity, State of Vermont

Jess DeCarolis, Division Director, Vermont Agency of Education

Martha Deiss, Global Citizen Specialist, Vermont Agency of Education

Flor Diaz Smith, Vice Chair, Washington Central Unified School District

Erin Maguire, Director of Equity & Inclusion, Essex-Westford School District

Caitlin Steele, Director of Teaching and Learning, Addison Central School District


Professional Development Opportunities & Resources

Upcoming Equity-Focused PD in Vermont

  • The Vermont Principals’ Association is offering a number of free, equity-centered professional development opportunities this winter, open to teachers, counselors, administrators, and others. The next event is a “Beyond Bias” training on January 20. Click here to register and see the full listing of events.
  • The VPA also hosts an Equity Initiative page, which features some of their most focused efforts, including our Equity Practioner’s Network, which is 18 months into cohort 1’s learning. The VPA will launch cohort 2 in the late spring of 2021 and will be looking for 30 new participants to apply. Contact Mike McRaith for more information.
  • UP for Learning is offering 31 Days of January, a day-by-day professional development and youth-adult engagement calendar. Programming includes several equity-focused events appropriate for multiple audiences. Reconnect, Reimagine, Reinvigorate and Transform.
  • Shelburne Farms educators are offering a variety of equity-centered programming this winter, including “Sustainability through Equitable Communities.” Tuesday, January 19, 7-8:30 PM. Learn more and register here.
  • Shelburne Farms and the Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education have also partnered on a series of equity-centered PD offerings, with an upcoming event, also on January 19 from 4-5:30 PM: Who’s Outside: Building an Anti-Racist Bookshelf
  • The Vermont Higher Education Collaborative has several upcoming equity-centered professional development opportunities this January and beyond. Click here for the full VTHEC catalog, scroll down to “Equity.”
  • The Vermont Education Equity Project is hosting an ongoing podcast series: “Back to Freedom School” with Infinite Culcleasure and Vermont education guests.
  • A joint professional development opportunity from Gedakinaand Shelburne Farms on Land Acknowledgement and Place is forthcoming. Check websites for information and registration soon.
  • Spark Teacher Education Institute is offering “Teaching in Solidarity with Black Lives,” a four-week teacher study and action group “building relationships and curricula that centers on black lives and equity.” March 2, 16, 30 and April 16. 15 PD hours, sliding scale cost. Contact SparkTeacherEDVT@gmail.com for more information.
  • The Vermont Agency of Education has partnered with NewGen Peacebuilders, educators in Alabama and North Carolina, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to develop “US History & Peace,” a Beta set of peace education lessons and activities. This work is aligned with the C3 Standards and uses the Institute of Economics and Peace’s “8 Pillars of Peace” as a framework on which the Inquiry Frameworks were developed.

    This new content includes compelling questions, lessons, activities, data, resources, and case studies/examples which are designed to support US History teachers to constructively discuss issues and opportunities of peacebuilding. Session modules include topics such as “What is Peace?”, “Power and Peace”, “Harm and Healing”, and “Human Rights and Compassion”; the series culminates with virtual museum tours and panel discussions. Educators will receive access and training for Canvas Modules; student Inquires can be utilized in a remote or classroom settings.  Diversifying the Teacher Workforce: How to Recruit and Retain Educators of Color is utilized in an education-focused Inquiry, as students are asked to understand, assess and act in regard to educator and staff diversity within their schools and school systems.

    Interested educators or educational professionals are encouraged to visit the registration page to learn more and to register for this unique opportunity for free professional development and classroom resources or contact Martha Deiss at martha.deiss@vermont.gov or Debra Semmler at debra.semmler@cms.k12.nc.us.

Other Related Resources

  • Advance Vermont recently released “My Life, My Path,” a compilation of new resources to increase the awareness among Vermont students and workers of the variety of post-high school education and training options. “My Life, My Path” includes a new web resource and a toolkit for educators, workforce development professionals, and family members who advise current or future students.
  • In early 2021, Advance Vermont will launch MyFutureVT, an online hub to connect Vermont residents of ages and backgrounds with the career and education information they need to advance in their careers, build employable skills, and meet their personal and professional goals. Learn more here. A key aspect of MyFutureVT will be a database of post-high school level education and training programs. Learn more about the effort to compile those programs here.
  • The Vermont Agency of Education released in 2019 a Flexible Pathways Implementation Kit to assist supervisory unions, districts and schools in surfacing barriers for students to participating in flexible pathways and resolving those barriers to ensure access for every student. This resource was developed using the Equity Lens Tool developed for internal use at the agency in 2017.



Coalition of Committed Partners

The following organizations and agencies are committed to increasing the racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity of the educator workforce in Vermont. Our collective efforts build upon the recent work of New England Secondary Education Consortium’s Task Force on Diversifying the Educator Workforce.