• Helen Beattie, Executive Director

    Helen Beattie is the founder and Executive Director of UP for Learning (Unleashing the Power of Partnership for Learning). Her seemingly eclectic professional and academic life course has woven itself into the creation of UP for Learning. It reflects a life-long passion for elevating the voices of those who feel disempowered and voiceless, either in the health or education realms.

    Helen spent her first decade in the professional world focusing on health education and management. This phase was launched at the American Cancer Society as the Massachusetts Director of Service and Rehabilitation, and then Coordinator of the Cancer Information Service of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. During this time, she pursued her Master’s degree in Public Health from Boston University. Her subsequent position as the Internal Medicine Residency Education and Evaluation Coordinator at the U. Mass Medical Center afforded her the opportunity to simultaneously pursue her Doctorate in Education. This professional phase culminated in her move to Vermont and role as the Director of Northern Counties Health Centers, five rural community-based health centers in the Northeast Kingdom.

    At this juncture, Helen retrained as a licensed School Psychologist and Educational Consultant, returning to her first love in college as a child psychology major. After a brief period of time doing psychological evaluations, she has specialized in strategies to engage youth in school change efforts to build their learning and leadership capacity. Her goal is to decrease referrals to school psychologists by helping educators better meet the needs of all learners, ensuring that the wisdom and potential of each and every child is fully mobilized.

    Helen has written multiple place-based and action research curricula which have been implemented statewide and replicated nationally, facilitated numerous student leadership and faculty development retreats, and taught a variety of Master’s level courses on school redesign, experiential education strategies and the elevation of young people as change agents. She is an ardent advocate for reshaping the conception of the role of students in learning and change and contributing to research in this domain, including co-hosting for the second year an “International Seminar: Amplifying Student Voice and Partnership”. This event brings together researchers, educators (higher education and secondary level) community and school-based practitioners and youth from around the world, with the goal to elevate this nascent concept of youth-adult partnership in learning and school change (co-hosted with Penn State and the University of Vermont).

    Helen was nominated by the Vermont Agency of Education as the New England Secondary Schools Consortium 2016 “Vermont State Champion,” defined as a “persuasive voice for enhancing learning through strong policy, best practice and supportive public will.”

    Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Jessica Butler, Associate Director

    Jessica Butler joined UP for Learning in August of this year, and she is thrilled to be a part of our community. Jessica was first introduced to UP for Learning as a school counselor in 2012, and has been a firm supporter of the organization’s mission and approach ever since. She appreciates the opportunity to support educators and students through her work here as an educational consultant and a YATST school coach. In addition to those roles, she is also working diligently with others to design a middle school program that combines youth-adult partnership, personal-power development, and participatory action research to strengthen learning experiences for all.

    Jessica has a passion for honoring diversity, for fostering agency, and for elevating every individual voice and perspective through inclusion; especially for those with a tendency to feel disenfranchised from their learning. She has professional experience in teaching, clinical mental health, substance abuse, school counseling, and in the banking industry, and she hopes to use her unique lens to support and enrich the school experience for everyone involved.

    Jessica was awarded New School Counselor of the Year in 2016 by the Vermont School Counselor Association.

  • Harry Frank, Program Director

    Harry joined the staff at UP for Learning in July. It’s really a homecoming for him as he worked with UP in its early years, and will again focus on Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together (YATST). He brings extensive experience to his new role, having served as Chairperson of the UP Board of Directors.

    Helen spent her first decade in the professional world focusing on health education and management. This phase was launched at the American Cancer Society as the Massachusetts Director of Service and Rehabilitation, and then Coordinator of the Cancer Information Service of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. During this time, she pursued her Master’s degree in Public Health from Boston University. Her subsequent position as the Internal Medicine Residency Education and Evaluation Coordinator at the U. Mass Medical Center afforded her the opportunity to simultaneously pursue her Doctorate in Education. This professional phase culminated in her move to Vermont and role as the Director of Northern Counties Health Centers, five rural community-based health centers in the Northeast Kingdom.

    At this juncture, Helen retrained as a licensed School Psychologist and Educational Consultant, returning to her first love in college as a child psychology major. After a brief period of time doing psychological evaluations, she has specialized in strategies to engage youth in school change efforts to build their learning and leadership capacity. Her goal is to decrease referrals to school psychologists by helping educators better meet the needs of all learners, ensuring that the wisdom and potential of each and every child is fully mobilized.

    Helen has written multiple place-based and action research curricula which have been implemented statewide and replicated nationally, facilitated numerous student leadership and faculty development retreats, and taught a variety of Master’s level courses on school redesign, experiential education strategies and the elevation of young people as change agents. She is an ardent advocate for reshaping the conception of the role of students in learning and change and contributing to research in this domain, including co-hosting for the second year an “International Seminar: Amplifying Student Voice and Partnership”. This event brings together researchers, educators (higher education and secondary level) community and school-based practitioners and youth from around the world, with the goal to elevate this nascent concept of youth-adult partnership in learning and school change (co-hosted with Penn State and the University of Vermont).

    Harry started teaching 30 years ago and has always looked for ways to create the circumstances for everyone to thrive. He is a licensed administrator and previously held a teacher's license as well. He has taught in public, private, and alternative schools and served as Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Central Vermont Union School. He has worked in public, private, and alternative schools as well as education-focused non-profit organizations, and has managed a number of education grants and projects in Vermont. He served as the Vice President for Programs at the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps.

    Most recently Harry served as Director for Education Services at the Vermont School Boards Association, where he collaborated with youth and adults around the state to develop a Guide to Student Voice in Education Governance. His primary role is to develop and deliver a comprehensive orientation, training, and support for board development to school board members throughout Vermont.

    Harry earned his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University and holds a Master’s degree in Education from Saint Michael's College.

    Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Karen Scott, Administrative & Program Director

    Karen brings over 25 years of experience in education in Vermont working with college access partnerships, non-profits, schools, state agencies, and community organizations to improve the quality of and access to higher education and afterschool programs. She is a Candidate (A.B.D.) for the Ed. D. in Education Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Vermont, with an emphasis on organizational leadership, program evaluation, comparative education, and qualitative and quantitative research techniques. Her current areas of research include out-of-school time learning, flexible pathways and personalized learning, integration of expanded learning opportunities, and ensuring equity and access to high quality education for all students.

    Karen started her professional career as a TRIO counselor for the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC), helping students, their families, and adults returning to learning navigate the higher education and financial aid application processes. For 12 years, she managed Vermont’s first federal GEAR UP program for VSAC, overseeing a staff of 15 serving 3000 students and their families per year. Additionally, she brings extensive grant writing and fiscal planning experience to UP for Learning. As a member of the national Board of Directors for the Council on Opportunity in Education, Karen participated in professional education exchange programs in England, the Netherlands, and France, and more recently through UVM, in New Zealand.

    Karen and her husband John live on the top of Maple Hill with their 3 dogs in Marshfield.

    Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Bruce Perlow, Associate Director

    Bruce joins UP after twelve years as a classroom teacher. He operates as an educational consultant and YATST school coach, providing support to schools in the Champlain Valley and Southern Vermont. He has also played a major role in updating the evolving the YATST Curriculum.

    Bruce was first introduced to YATST at the 2011 Rowland Conference and immediately felt “awed and inspired” by the students and the work they were doing, partnering with adults to redesign their schools and their learning experiences. As a result, Otter Valley participated in the Getting to ‘Y’ initiative, which culminated in a “wonderful and successful” community dialogue night. Bruce was then able to bring YATST to Otter Valley in the form of a credit- bearing class. Now, as an Associate Director, he’s drawing on that experience to help other school teams realize the potential of YATST affiliation, as well as M3: Metacognition, Mindset, and Motivation. Bruce says, “It is an honor and pleasure to do this work.”

    Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Sharon Koller, GTY Coordinator

    As the “Getting to Y” Coordinator, Sharon brings a passion for empowering youth which comes from 30 years working and volunteering with children, teens and young adults in mental health, education and prevention fields. After starting her career as a licensed mental health counselor working largely with youth, Sharon became deeply involved in school programs, implementing student engagement and leadership initiatives at the elementary school level for almost ten years in partnership with the Foundation for Excellent Schools and the Vermont Principal’s Association. For the past ten years, she has served as the Student Assistance Program counselor at the Mt Abraham Union Middle and High School, where she has implemented Getting to 'Y' since 2008. She has provided many opportunities for middle and high school students to find their voice and to see themselves as agents of change through authentic avenues for engagement, including “Getting to 'Y'”, student leadership clubs, facilitation training, and peer mentoring programs.

    Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Martha Rich, Leadership Team Member

    Martha Rich joins the YATST team after twenty-one years as a school leader at Thetford Academy (TA), where she worked to build a culture of trust in students. Youth-adult partnerships at TA led to nationally recognized programs in service learning, student participation in strategic planning and policy making, championship robotics teams, and new graduation standards that encourage students to take charge of their own education. As a national facilitator with the School Reform Initiative, Martha has helped TA and other schools develop strong professional communities based on shared responsibility for learning.

    Martha earned her BA degree from Wellesley College and an MAT from Wesleyan University. She began her career in Vermont education as a seventh-grade English teacher in Barre City. She then spent fourteen years on the faculty at Dartmouth College, where she taught courses in education and women’s studies and directed the secondary teacher preparation program.

    Seeking a return to the “real world” of schools, she became Head at Thetford Academy in 1991. In 2006 she was named Vermont Arts Education Advocate of the Year. In 2008 she received the Vermont Principal Association’s Robert F. Pierce Secondary School Principal of the Year award.

  • Peter Evans, YATST Coach & Leadership Team Member

    Over the past 35 years, Peter has taught in Vermont elementary, middle and high school settings, as well as serving as principal at each level.He earned an Ed.D. from the University of Vermont’s College of Education and Social Services.

    Peter is on the faculty at the graduate school of the University of Vermont in Burlington, as well as Saint Michaels’ College, Colchester, Vermont, where he teaches a variety of classes to aspiring principals.

    In addition, he has represented Vermont principals on several state-wide projects including the Vermont High School Completion Task force (Act 176) and the Vermont Civic Involvement and Service Learning Advisory.

    Peter has served as president of the Vermont Principals’ Association and as a delegate to the National Leaders’ conference sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals in Washington, DC. He was named Vermont Secondary Principal of the year in 2008.

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UPLogo with words FINAL 5-1-14

There is no greater power than a community discovering what it cares about. 
-Margaret Wheatley 

 

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  • YATST Student Member

    The student-led faculty meeting was unlike anything I have ever seen in terms of students and teachers holding a discussion about a topic as sensitive as their teaching methods. I heard from a lot of teachers in the “go-around” that they were awestruck about what had just happened.

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