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UP Faculty

Lindsey Halman (she/her)

Executive Director

Lindsey is committed to exploring radically inclusive education and multiple ways of knowing. She believes there is no more compelling time than right now to ask, “how do I meet this moment with courage, vulnerability, and creativity?” She joined the UP team in 2018 after 15 years as a middle level educator, leader 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. At the Edge Academy, there was a strong focus on youth voice and partnership, student-centered learning, project-based learning, and restorative practices. See this link for more information about Lindsey’s work at the Edge.

Lindsey is passionate about building strong relationships with youth 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 whole-school restorative practice process, as well as a GSA at Essex Middle School. Lindsey held her National Board Certification as a middle level generalist and is a strong advocate for reimagining and transforming education.

She is currently past-president and a board member of VAMLE (Vermont Association for Middle Level Education) and a member of the Community Advisory Board/RJ Panel Volunteer for the Essex Community Justice Center. In addition, she has served as adjunct faculty at Saint Michael’s College, Colchester, Vermont, where she taught 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 classes, gardening, dreaming about flowers, reading, and loving the outdoor activities that every season brings to Vermont.

Ana Lindert-Boyes (she/her)

Youth Program Specialist

Ana has worked with UP since 2018, first as a participant of Transforming School Culture through Restorative Practices, later as a co-facilitator, and now as a Youth Program Specialist. She is very passionate about youth adult partnership, as well as transformative approaches towards education and creating personalized opportunities for learning and growth for all students.

Having just completed her year of early college at Goddard, Ana will be attending Boston University’s College of General Studies in January 2023.

Ana lives in Plainfield, Vermont with her family. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, as well as both playing and listening to music.

Auishma Pradhan (she/her)

Youth Program Specialist

Meet Auishma (eye – YOU – sh – ma)! She’s a rising senior at South Burlington High School in Chittenden County, Vermont. She will spend her senior year as an early college student at CCV. She started her facilitation with UP for Learning in 2021 through UP’s collaboration with the Winooski School District’s Antiracism Steering Committee (ARSC). This committee was formed after Winooski Students for Antiracism (WSA), led and started by high school students and alumni, proposed eight demands to the school board in which six out of the eight demands were passed by the board. With UP’s support, the ARSC has developed into a working group consisting of Youth/Students, Community members/Parents, Teachers/Staff, and the superintendent and school board members. The goal is to accomplish the six demands brought forth by the students in the school district. Auishma has continued her work with UP by facilitating at various conferences and events. She serves as a board member for the UP Board of Directors, is a part of the Youth Advisory Council at UP, and also works closely with the Education Justice Coalition of Vermont; helping plan, organize, and facilitate at EdJVT conferences and summer camps. When she’s not immersed in her bustling schedule, Auishma enjoys her time reading, hiking, and playing badminton and volleyball.

Cashel Higgins (he/him)

Youth Program Specialist

Cashel joined UP in the winter of 2024. He is a junior at Harwood Union High school. Cashel is a school board representative, Harkness leader, and all around advocate for student voice and youth-adult partnership. He believes connection between people is the solution to almost all of our problems, and the best way to do that is fostering dialogue.

For someone who’s lived in Vermont his entire life, Cashel spends a surprising little amount of time participating in winter activities; instead preferring soccer and all racket sports. Cashel worked as a camp counselor for two years, and is adept in most tag games, including drip drip drop and duck duck goose.

Christie Beveridge (she/her)

Program and Communications Director

Christie has worked in education for 18 years as a middle and high school English teacher, DEI coordinator, and program manager of a college women’s and gender center. She earned her B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing at Colby College, and her M.A. at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. She is passionate about supporting youth voice, and about making school a place where everyone feels that they belong. She enjoys running, yoga, backcountry skiing, writing, and reading, and lives in Burlington with her pup, Sir Toby. 

Ellie Neckers (she/her)

Youth Program Specialist

Ellie Neckers first joined UP in 2021 – for her school’s Equity Design Team – where she rose from Member to Youth Facilitator to her newest role as Youth Program Specialist. Ellie has been committed to equity since the moment she could speak. Ellie has spoken on panels across Vermont on the importance of teaching trans youth, and she has made videos used by Harvard Medical School on gender dysphoria.

Ellie is a former Vermont State Youth Council Member having served a 2 year term. Ellie is ready to settle into her senior year at Lamoille Union High School and get her college application process started where she plans to study International Affairs with a minor in Gender Studies.

When not speaking on some niche equity topic, you can find Ellie doing many other activities, from dancing, exploring new swimming holes, or founding a new school club, she’s always doing something. Ellie lives in the middle of nowhere Lamoille, hoping to escape somewhere at least a little warmer.

Harry Frank (he/him)

YATST Coordinator

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).  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.

Isis Bandele-Asante (she/her)

Youth Program Specialist

Isis is currently an 11th grader at Three Rivers Middle College in southeastern Connecticut. She shares an avid love of cooking, reading, and language learning! During the summer of 2022, she was selected for a two month scholarship with the US State Department where she got the opportunity to live and learn Arabic in Morocco. After high school, Isis hopes to go on to earn a degree in international relations with interest in continuing to work abroad for the State Department. She is also an Assistant Editor for Trailblazers, part of the Listening 4 Justice facilitation and planning team, and a member of the Youth Action Council (YAC). 

Jacoby Soter (He/Him)

Youth Program Specialist

Jacoby has worked with UP since 2023. Initially he participated in the Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together (YATST) Program, which sparked an interest in exploring what youth-adult partnerships could be like. Now Jacoby is starting with UP as a Youth Program Specialist! He is passionate about youth and adults working with each other and hopes that his work can help inspire others to get excited and want to learn more about what youth-adult partnerships do for education.

Jacoby is a major advocate for restorative practice in schools. He has seen first hand that incorporating RP into educational experiences allows students to maximize their potential. He believes RP plays a key role in making students feel comfortable and welcome at school. He is a school board member and works with his district administrators to advocate for students and effect meaningful change.

Jacoby is currently a junior at Bellows Free Academy, in St. Albans, and enjoys all of his classes, however, Spanish and Social Studies classes are his favorite. He loves to be outside and he enjoys fresh food, downhill skiing and powder days with friends and family, and going for long runs and walks all over Vermont! He knows a bunch of random facts and loves to do team building and learn new ice breaker activities. His favorite question to ask is, “What is your latest obsession and why?”.

His question to you is: If money and/or time were not an object what would you be doing right now? Now go pursue it and do what makes you happy!

Jesse Brooks (she/her)

Getting to 'Y' Program Director

Jesse loves learning. One might say she is UP for it! Before joining the UP team in January of 2023, Jesse worked in public health and advocacy for nearly seven years. Her experience includes grant writing, grant management, data collection, evaluation, public health policy, community engagement, and youth substance prevention programming. Jesse deeply understands community and social impact and has researched the Icelandic Prevention Model (IPM), a social innovation method that affects environmental choices and opportunities. She shares UP’s vision for education access, equity, and for every person to feel a sense of purpose and belonging.

Jesse lives in Ferrisburgh, Vermont, with her children (Reiss, Rory, Eamon, Shawe, and June) and her husband, Jeremy. Jesse loves history, hiking, cooking, and random facts. Jesse’s favorite random fact? She’s glad you asked! A group of penguins hanging out is called a waddle (penguins also waddle).

Kai Musick (they/them)

Youth Program Specialist

Kai is currently a first year student studying Microbiology and Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In 2023, they served as a co-editor for the student-led magazine Trailblazers, before starting work with the Youth Action Council. Additionally, they work on a research team with Providence College professor Rick Battisoni, focusing on how youth-adult interactions affect how young people view their potential to affect change in society. Kai hopes that with the opportunities offered at UP, combined with a degree in anthropology, they will be better equipped to understand the complexities of human nature as it relates to youth empowerment and equity in the education system.

Katie Ingraham (she/her)

Program Director

Katie is a dedicated sustainable leadership professional working to actualize a vision of education where youth feel engaged with the world around them, where justice is centered, where many ways of knowing and learning are honored, and where communities thrive. She is joining UP for Learning in 2022 after working for seven years in the Vermont public education setting. She started teaching youth as an AmeriCorps member at an outdoor high school program and outdoor preschool program in Addison County. For the past four years she started and ran a restorative drop-in space where students would self-advocate to work, take breaks, or check-ins with a trusted adult at a middle school in Washington County. Her previous professional practice has focused on building relationships with youth and adults that are transformative and meaningful.

Katie is a person who centers love and collaboration in her work. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Leadership for Sustainability from the University of Vermont in 2021. Katie loves learning and connecting with the youth and world around her. She enjoys basket weaving, yoga, hiking, skiing, kayaking, and swimming. She lives in Richmond, Vermont with her husband Samuel and her dog Nim.

Liberty Belote (they/them)

Program Associate

Liberty joined the UP team in July of 2024. They felt drawn to the mission of pursuing effective, research-backed, equitable education due to their experience as a student and an education facilitator. Prior to UP, Liberty was an Assistant Coach for Emporia High School in Emporia, Kansas, where they helped build the Debate and Forensics program into a thriving activity. They served as the Head Coach one additional year. From their time there, Liberty developed a belief in and reverence for the power of Debate and Forensics, which not only gives students the voice they deserve, but when done right, provides the supportive environment to scaffold their activism and translate it into real world change. They joined UP for Learning, an organization that prioritizes exactly that, with the hopes of continuing that work.

Liberty graduated from Kansas State University in 2024 with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, where they also honed their passion and skills for making change through the British Parliamentary Debate team and their minors in Political Science, Spanish, and Pre-Law. In pursuit of its luscious landscapes, cooler climate, and perhaps even its proximity to Taylor Ham, they moved to Vermont with their partner, Tyler, life partner, Mck, and cat, WD-40. Nowadays, Liberty lives in the Montpelier area and can often be found reading, practicing their calligraphy, lifting weights, or playing PC videogames with friends.

Maisie Franke (she/her)

Youth Program Specialist

Maisie Franke (she/her) joined UP for Learning in the spring of 2020. She is currently a senior and is super excited to be attending the University of Vermont next year! She is a student representative on her school board and tries to take advantage of every opportunity to increase student voice that comes her way.

She joined UP as a youth facilitator with Cultivating Pathways to Sustainability and is continuing her work as a Youth Program Specialist and secretary for UP’s Board of Directors. She spent last year creating the Youth Leadership Module with support from youth from her school and is thrilled to witness the content in action with teams engaged in every area of UP’s work. Maisie strongly believes in the power of youth-adult partnership and is working towards empowering youth to feel more confident and comfortable with being in leadership roles so they can create meaningful change in their communities.

Maisie loves to ski and spends as much time as she can outdoors exploring new trails and searching for fresh powder with friends, teammates, and family. She hopes to pursue becoming certified as a WildernessFfirst Responder in the future and can’t wait for all the new experiences to come in college!

Meredith Scott (she/her)

Operations Director

Meredith comes to UP for Learning from the Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF). As CLiF’s Program Director, she developed grants for schools and libraries to fund literacy programs. She focused on developing a long-term, in-depth program model by nurturing relationships within communities, building strong cultures of literacy, and strategizing for long-term sustainability. Prior to CLiF, she worked at the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum in Stowe for 12 years, for the last seven as director. Meredith earned a double major in history and art history from Dartmouth College and began her career in museums in Washington, DC, and Colorado. She went on to earn a Masters degree from the University of Glasgow and moved to Vermont to work at Shelburne Museum. Bringing educational opportunities to all has motivated Meredith professionally and personally. 

In her free time, she likes to visit museums near and far, learn new things, read interesting books, and enjoy Vermont and beyond on skis, bikes, and foot. She lives with her family in Morrisville, Vermont.

Pat LaClair (he/him)

Program Director

Pat is joining the UP team after ten years of teaching at Lamoille Union High School in northern Vermont. Initially drawn to teaching through his interest in sharing the ancient Roman language of Latin, Pat found a true calling in supporting and empowering young people to scrutinize the status quo, steer their own learning, and become agents of positive change. In his time at Lamoille Union, Pat partnered with students in the school’s YATST team to shape practices around proficiency-based learning, the advisory program, and the school’s capstone graduation requirement. Pat is currently continuing his own learning journey as a doctoral student in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program at the University of Vermont. 

Pat lives in Franklin County with his partner Margaret and their very adorable toddler. Pat is easily excitable and compulsively takes on new hobbies. Currently, he particularly enjoys gardening with native plants, baking hearty breads, nature photography, very amateur woodworking, and birding. His favorite bird is the Brown-headed Cowbird, and his favorite punctuation mark is the exclamation point!

PJ King (he/him)

Youth Program Specialist

PJ joined the UP For Learning team in 2019. He began working in his own school but rapidly fell in love with UP’s message of youth adult partnership and stuck with the work after graduating in 2022.

Ever since he was young, he has believed in the power of education and has always wanted it to be a safe and inclusive space for everyone. He is excited to branch out and work with other school districts while diving into new projects and further exploring the UP For Learning world.

In addition to his love for education, PJ is also a lover of animals, writing, and many art forms. His hope is to some day work as an animal trainer and photographer to help others find their perfect fluffy match. One of his favorite activities is taking photos of his own fluffy friend, a 13 year old cat named Dustin.

Susannah White (she/her)

Program Director

Susannah joins UP for Learning in July 2024, bringing with her nine years of combined experience as a middle school teacher, instructional coach, and school-based equity practitioner in Vermont and Massachusetts. Although she has worn many hats as an educator, the throughline that ties together all of her efforts is a commitment to co-creating vibrant, responsive, and socially just learning communities. She is thrilled to become part of a team that is so earnestly engaged in the dynamic, countercultural work of reimagining education through youth-adult partnership.

Susannah holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and Anthropology from McGill University and an MA in Educational Leadership from Vermont State University. If you go looking for her outside of work, you will probably find her with her nose in a book, on a walk in the woods, or deep in a cuddle puddle with her dog and two cats.

Helen Beattie (she/her)

Leadership Team Emeritus

Helen Beattie is the founder and Senior Consultant 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 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.