To Learn more about the UP for Learning faculty read their biographies below:
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.
Amie Conger, Program Director
Amie Conger, comes to UP for Learning after serving as Assistant Principal at two Vermont middle schools for the past nine years. Her career experiences include being a middle school teacher, administrator, and leadership coach, adjunct professor at St. Michael’s College, a small business owner, and an Events Manager for the NYC Marathon! A strong believer in providing rich, multi-faceted learning opportunities, Amie has diligently worked to create new opportunities for students that are relevant, engaging, and student-centered. Amie thrives on being active and exploring nature with her two boys, Lokai and Grady, and her husband, David.
Harry Frank – Program Director
Harry joined the staff at UP for Learning in July of 2017. It’s really a homecoming for him as he worked with UP in its early years and returned to focus on Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together (YATST). In addition, Harry works with Communicating School Redesign (CSR) and P4: Personal Power with Purpose through Partnership, our middle-level advisory program. He brought extensive experience with UP to his new role, having served as Chairperson of the UP Board of Directors.
Harry started teaching 35 years ago and has always looked for ways to create circumstances for everyone to thrive. He has taught in public, private, and alternative schools and served as a Director of Curriculum and Instruction. In addition to working in schools, Harry has worked with education-focused non-profit organizations and has managed a number of education grants and projects in Vermont. Most recently, he served as the Vice President for Programs at the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps and as the 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.
Harry earned his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University and holds a Master’s degree in Education from Saint Michael’s College.
Lindsey Halman – Program Director
Lindsey joins the UP team after 15 years as a middle level educator and advocate. Prior to joining UP, she co-founded The Edge Academy at Essex Middle School. The Edge Academy served as a model and learning laboratory for many educators throughout Vermont, and beyond. The Edge integrated education for sustainability, as well as the arts, into all aspects of the team and curriculum. See this link for more information about Lindsey’s work at the Edge.
At the Edge Academy, there was a strong focus on student voice, student-centered learning, project-based learning, and negotiated curriculum. Lindsey is passionate about building strong relationships with students and adults, helping them feel empowered to make change, and creating a socially just climate and culture for all. During her time as a middle level educator, she started, and co-facilitated, a student-led peer leadership program, a restorative practice process, as well as a GSA at Essex Middle School. Lindsey holds her National Board Certification as a middle level generalist and is a strong advocate for middle level practices and education throughout the state.
She is currently past-president and a board member of VAMLE (Vermont Association for Middle Level Education), a member of the Middle Grades Professional Development Collaborative, a common circle leader for Vermont Learning for the Future and a contributing member of PLP Pathways. In addition, she is adjunct faculty at Saint Michael’s College, Colchester, Vermont, where she teaches middle level education courses to pre and inservice educators. Lindsey lives in Jericho, VT with her husband, Josh, daughter, Aila and pup, Rosie. In her spare time she can be found spending time with her family, taking ballet and hip hop classes, gardening, dreaming about flowers, reading, and loving the outdoor activities that every season brings to Vermont.
Sharon Koller – GTY Coordinator
Sharon brings over 30 years of experience working with youth in mental health, education and prevention arenas. After starting her career as a clinical mental health counselor working largely with youth, Sharon became deeply involved in schools as board chair, volunteer, and by implementing student engagement and leadership initiatives in partnership with the Foundation for Excellent Schools and the Vermont Principals’ Association/Vermont Peace Academy. She also served as a Student Assistance Program counselor for middle and high school students, providing mental health intervention and screening, prevention education, as well as promoting youth voice, agency, and engagement in their learning and health through opportunities such as “Getting to ‘Y’”, prevention and leadership clubs, facilitation training, and peer mentoring programs. As a long-time Getting to ‘Y’ advisor herself, Sharon is thrilled to be supporting youth-adult teams around the state as they implement the initiative in their own schools and communities!
Bruce Perlow – Associate Director
Bruce joined UP in 2014 after twelve years as a classroom teacher. He has been an educational consultant, YATST school coach, and served as coordinator of M3: Mindset, Metacognition & Motivation, providing support to schools throughout Vermont. He has played a major role in the YATST curriculum, developing the M3 initiative and curriculum, the Mastermind Mentors program, and teaching UP graduate courses for educators. Bruce has presented at many conferences and collaborated with organizations and state agencies. With UP colleague Martha Rich, he supported the VT AOE’s development of students’ roles and responsibilities in the Integrated Field Review portion of the Educational Quality Review process.
As a classroom teacher at Otter Valley UHS Bruce was first introduced to YATST in 2011 immediately feeling “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 Associate Director, he draws upon that experience to help other school teams realize the potential of partnering with UP, and the powerful influence of the M3: Metacognition, Mindset, & Motivation work. Bruce says, “It is an honor and pleasure to do this work.”
Karen Scott – Operations 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.
Peter Evans – Leadership Team Emeritis
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.
Martha Rich – Leadership Team Emeritus
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.