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.

Hans Cabra (he/him)

Getting to 'Y' Director

Hans Cabra is a Fulbright Scholar from Bogotá, Colombia. Hans recently completed his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Vermont. He is passionate about education and youth development programs. His areas of research include socioeconomic achievement gaps, asset-based social policy, development economics, entrepreneurship, access to post-secondary education, and out-of-school-time programs. For example, his dissertation examined the effect of household durable goods in academic achievement and school attendance in Colombia. Similarly, Hans has worked in the implementation of summer school and after-school programs in Chile and Colombia. Hans believes that out-of-school-time programs can close opportunity gaps as well as learning gaps among children and youth by cultivating socioemotional and leadership skills and by fostering agency development. Education, Hans says, gave him an opportunity to escape poverty and ignited a passion for helping young people pursue their dreams. As the new Director of Getting to “Y”, Hans hopes to contribute to strengthen the work that UP for Learning has championed to bring about a meaningful change in the lives of children and youth in Vermont and across the United States. Hans has also participated as a keynote speaker at different youth leadership conferences globally and as a guest lecturer for courses on entrepreneurship, education policy, and social justice at Middlebury College and the University of Vermont.

Harry Frank (he/him)

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.

Christie Beveridge Howell (she/her)

Program Associate

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, and is currently enrolled in the low-residency Stonecoast M.F.A. program, focusing on creative nonfiction. She was born and raised in Connecticut, but has always considered Vermont home. She enjoys running, yoga, backcountry skiing, and reading, and lives in Burlington with her husband and hound dog named Bo.

Ana Lindert-Boyes (she/her)

Youth Program Specialist

Ana Lindert-Boyes is a senior at Twinfield Union School and is enrolled in the Early College program at Goddard College in Plainfield. At Twinfield, she has been actively involved in advocating for education reform, youth activism, and antiracism as a representative on the School Board, a member of their Student Voice group, Equity team, and more. This year, she is excited to be co-teaching a class centered around examining equity through a restorative practices lens.

First as a participant of Transforming School Culture Through Restorative Practices, then later as a co-facilitator, Ana has been working with UP since her freshman year. During her time as a youth partner, she has become a member of UP’s Youth Advisory Council, connected with Vermont Learning for the Future, and planned and facilitated in a number of different contexts, including the Power 2 summit for several years.

In her free time, both playing and listening to music bring her joy, as well as reading, writing, and traveling.

Sharon Koller (she/her)

GTY Coordinator

As the Getting to ‘Y’ coordinator, Sharon brings over 30 years of experience working with youth in mental health, education and prevention sectors. After starting her career as a licensed counselor in community mental health settings, Sharon became deeply involved in schools by serving on governance boards, volunteering in classrooms, and by implementing student engagement and leadership initiatives in partnership with the Foundation for Excellent Schools and the Vermont Principals’ Association/Vermont Peace Academy.

Before joining UP for Learning, Sharon worked as a Student Assistance Program counselor in a public middle and high school, providing mental health and substance use prevention, screening and intervention services, and promoting youth voice, agency, and engagement through prevention and leadership clubs (including Getting to ‘Y’), facilitation training, and peer mentoring programs.

After almost a decade as a Getting to ‘Y’ advisor, Sharon is thrilled to be supporting youth-adult teams around the state as they implement the initiative in their own schools and communities!

Evelyn Monje (she/they)

Youth Program Specialist

Evelyn Monje joined UP for Learning in January of 2021. She is a current senior at Winooski high school and is enrolled in the Early College program through the Community College of Vermont. Evelyn is an active advocate for antiracism and equity in her community.

She is passionate about collaborating with youth and adults to further the understanding of both antiracism and equity through restorative practices.

Evelyn enjoys working on Bread and Butter Farm year-round as an educator. She loves to be outdoors and to embark on adventures with her friends.

Sarah Popowicz (she/her)

Program Director

Sarah joined the UP team in 2020 as a Program Director with 20 years of middle grades teaching experience. She has always been passionate about science, the environment, and helping youth find their voice. A partnership with Kids Consortium early in her career strengthened her philosophy of student ownership, youth-adult partnership, and academic integrity.

Throughout her teaching career, she has found innovative ways to facilitate youth engagement and leadership. In 2013, she created a one of a kind, student-centered Sustainability Program at Crossett Brook Middle School in Duxbury, VT. The negotiated curriculum exemplified how students can design their own learning environment while becoming leaders, advocates, and global citizens.

Sarah has a strong background in natural resource consumption, sustainable food systems, farm-to-school, climate action, STEM projects, service learning, community partnerships, mindfulness in the classroom, and restorative practices. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Plant and Soil Science and a Masters degree in Education from the University of Vermont.

She lives in Duxbury with her husband Max and sons Wyatt and Sawyer.​ In the summer they can be found rock jumping in the Mad River and in the winter on the slopes of Sugarbush.

Emily Rossier (she/her)

Program Director

Emily joins the UP team in August 2021 as Program Director after a diverse professional journey in areas such as education, health, human resources, government, and the alleviation of homelessness. Over the last two years, she served as an UP youth-adult team member and fell in love with participatory action research and youth-adult partnership. She worked with UP to receive a grant from the VT Agency of Education for a youth-adult team to develop a strategic plan to fulfill personalization goals at Vergennes Union High School. Most recently she served at the Walden Project teaching science, mindfulness and environmental studies.
Emily is passionate about envisioning and collaborating on projects of transformative change that get to the root of our shared values and what matters most. In 2010 she initiated community programs in Troy, New York for building community – a time bank and a Transition Town, with projects that look at the intersection of equity, economics, environment, and energy. She believes in the inherent value of each individual and the collective genius in the room, and comes with a strong commitment to restorative practices.
Emily lives in Vergennes with her daughter, Myrrh, and their cat, Goose. In her spare time, you can find her reading, walking, dreaming, and scheming.

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.

Jackie Verley (she/her)

Program Associate

Jackie has worked as a piano teacher, librarian, public school teacher, and as a park ranger for Vermont State Parks. Jackie earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Oakland University in Michigan, and taught music for five years in Vermont. As a teacher, Jackie always looked for ways to partner with students and foster a sense of community and belonging in and out of the classroom. She is excited to continue this work at UP for Learning. Jackie lives in Barnet where she enjoys reading, biking, cooking, baking and skiing.

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.