Saturday March 2, 2013

Long-time Vermont Academy teachers recognized for service

SAXTONS RIVER -- Several Vermont Academy faculty and staff were recently recognized for length of service to the Academy. Long-time Vermont Academy art teacher and Saxtons River resident Mary Hepburn was honored for 40 years of service. Science teacher Jim Frey, of Putney, was honored for 35 years at the Academy, while his wife Laura, Language Department Chair, was honored for 25. English teachers Cynthia Murphy and Amanda Hodgson, both of Saxtons River, were recognized for 25 and 10 years, respectively. School counselor Patty Stickney of Putney received a 15-year award. Math teacher Joe Echanis, also of Saxtons River, was honored for 10 years. Staff members Barry Carson of Athens and Eddie Mack of Grafton were both honored for 25 years. Athens resident Annette Douglass and Sean Cote of Westmoreland both received a 10 year award.

Eddie Mac also received the Academy’s William S. Luring Award. This award was established in 1991 through the generosity of Bill Luring. The Luring Award honors outstanding service to Vermont Academy by a member of the support staff, and is presented each year to recognize an employee who embodies the spirit of Vermont Academy and whose commitment makes Vermont Academy a stronger community.

The Garland School hosts open house

WEST BRATTLEBORO -- The Garland School will hold an open house on Saturday, March 16, from 10 a.m. to noon with an option to experience a condensed version of a typical morning. The mini-morning will begin at 10:30. There will also be a chance to ask questions and to tour the school. All ages are welcome.

The Garland School is nestled atop a hill in West Brattleboro surrounded by 11 acres of mixed woods and bubbling streams. It serves children ages 2 to 6 years of age. Children go outdoors for a minimum of one (only when coldest) to three hours -- rain, shine, or snow. During that time children can found helping prepare elements of the daily meal outdoors at the large farm table or around a crackling fire in the colder seasons. They would be drawing, painting, singing, dancing, digging, tending the flower and vegetable gardens, pushing wheelbarrows, raking leaves, shoveling snow, building forts, making up games, hearing stories, or deep in daily exploration of the wildlife and plants that are found along the numerous paths that thread through moss, ferns, and towering trees. Many of these tasks would be classified as "free play."

The Garland School is an example of what many over the world have come to call "Forest Kindergartens." These programs have sprung up all over the world, particularly in northern Europe and Scandinavia. The backbone of these programs lies in allowing the natural world to be a partner with teachers in creating the curriculum, most of which are play-based.

Unlike many outdoor programs for early childhood, the Garland School is not simply a part-time enrichment program. The school is a Vermont state licensed early childhood program that is also a developing member of the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America. It currently welcomes children from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday with part-time options available. Additionally, the school is unique because it has its own cook and all snacks and meals are included with tuition. Each meal or snack is lovingly created out of local, organic ingredients that follow a whole foods model and are tailored and prepared to meet the nutritional needs of young children.

The Garland School also has an eight-week summer camp program for children 2-8 years of age that runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. The children spend their entire day outdoors with the exception of rest time. Enrollment is currently ongoing for this program.

For more information contact 802-254-6470 or visit

American Legion Auxiliary seeks Educator of the Year nominations

BRATTLEBORO -- The Brattleboro American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 5 is seeking nominations to submit for the Department of Vermont American Legion Auxiliary Educator of the Year Award. Nominations will be accepted from the Brattleboro area and it can be a teacher on any level or subject.

Principals, parents, or co-workers are encouraged to submit an entry for local judging. The entry must have a biography of the nominee and the reasons for nominations. Deadline for entry is April 1.

Once a local winner has been selected, that nominee will then go on to judging on the state level. The state winner will be invited to attend the Department Convention in June to receive their award and be recognized for their work.

For more information, contact President Judy Flynn by calling 802-257-1872 and leave name and telephone number.

Windham Regional Career Center offers community education

BRATTLEBORO -- The Windham Regional Career Center at Brattleboro Union High School has announced its Community Education and Training Programs for this spring. Betsy Gentile, Workforce Development Manager and Adult Education Coordinator is presenting 17 community education and training programs to meet the needs of area employers and their employees as well as providing personal and professional enrichment opportunities for all community members.

Other courses offered this spring include: American Red Cross LNA program; ServSafe Certification Training; Forklift Training the Trainer; Preparing Your Motorcycle for the Riding Season; Introduction to Computer Applications; Beyond the Introduction to Computer Applications; Introduction to Microsoft Excel; Beginning French; Cabinetmaking Techniques; Organizing 1-2-3; Thriving with ADHD; Take Better Photos; Digital Photography; The Digital Book; and Preparing for Retirement.

The Career Center also offers over 300 online courses available throughout the year.

For more information visit or call 802-451-3965. Class sizes are limited so early registration is suggested.


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