School Notes

Top teachers wanted

The state is seeking nominations for the 2017 Vermont Teacher of the Year award, and invites the public and educators statewide to nominate teachers for this prestigious distinction. Nominations can be submitted through the end of May, and only basic information is needed in order to submit a nomination: the submitter’s information, the nominee’s name, school and a short overview of what makes that person an extraordinary teacher. The year’s winner becomes an advocate for teachers, students and the statewide education system. To be considered for the Vermont Teacher of the Year program, a teacher should hold a current Vermont teaching license, have at least five years of teaching experience and be employed by a public, private or approved independent school in the state. For more information, visit

Travel green schools challenge

The State of Vermont and a Williston-based company are encouraging students in kindergarten through grade 12 to compete in the Way to Go! challenge for a chance to win a solar tracker for their schools this fall.

The challenge is a two-week event that will run from Sept. 26 – Oct. 7, and registration is now open at Schools, individuals and businesses can compete in the contest, which aims to get folks moving while supporting cleaner air and reducing the consumption of fossil fuels like gasoline. AllEarth Renewables, which is based in Williston, will donate a solar tracker — a device that moves a solar panel in response to the direction of the sun — to the winning school. Students, as well as faculty and staff, are encouraged to start off the 2016-17 school year by choosing better travel habits and avoiding driving alone, and any school with at least 50 percent pledged participation can be eligible to win. “If we have any hope of solving our energy problem, its going to come from our and future generations,” said David Blittersdorf, president and CEO of AllEarth Renewables, in a press release.

New co-principal in Hinesburg

The Chittenden Central Supervisory Union announced that Suzan Locke was recently appointed co-principal at Hinesburg Community School and will take leadership on July 1. She will share the role with Jeff O’Hara, and follows Allegra Miller, the former co-principal, who will retire at the end of this school year. “Suzan will be a welcome addition to Hinesburg Community School,” O’Hara said. “She is a life-long learner with a student-centered approach to education.”

Observer contributed photo For 10 years, Andrew Wolf has been working with students at Allen Brook School and Williston Central School helping them plant and tend vegetable gardens - which supply produce for the food service program.
Observer contributed photo
For 10 years, Andrew Wolf has been working with students at Allen Brook School and Williston Central School helping them plant and tend vegetable gardens – which supply produce for the food service program.

Gardening club

For 10 years, Andrew Wolf has run a gardening club at Allen Brook School, and over at Williston Central School, he helped establish a garden in 2007. At Allen Brook, students work with Wolf in the fall and the spring on Thursday afternoons, and have a great time doing it, according to teacher Donna Powers. At Williston Central, students rotate taking turns with Wolf on a weekly basis, and plant, water, weed and oversee the progress of vegetables they help grow for the school food service program there.According to a principal’s report, it helps account for about half the produce in the food service program. Powers said the students love exploring the garden, and sent in a photo of the garden club planting lettuce this spring.

Wildlife for educators

Vermont’s popular fish and wildlife summer course for teachers and other educators will be held July 10 through 15, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department said. “Wildlife Management for Educators,” is a one-week, three-credit graduate course taught by the state through Castleton University.

The hands-on, five-day course gets educators out into Vermont’s streams, forests and wetlands accompanied by natural resource experts. This year’s course will take place at Buck Lake Conservation Camp in Woodbury.

“Wildlife resources are important to all Vermonters in one way or another,” said Alison Thomas, education coordinator for Fish and Wildlife. “If teachers can get connected with the outdoors and in turn expose their students, then many of these students will be able to make informed decisions about Vermont wildlife and their habitat needs when they become adults.”

Tuition is $620 for the course with credits or $275 without credits. Books, food and overnight facilities are included. A limited number of partial scholarships are available and complete information and syllabus can be found at or call 371-9975 or reach Alison.Thomas@Vermont.Gov.