Education Notes

Kurn Hattin's Bloch receives fund-raising status

WESTMINSTER >> Falana Lisa Bloch, Assistant Director of Development at Kurn Hattin Homes for Children, has been certified by CFRE International as a Certified Fund Raising Executive. Bloch joins over 5,300 professionals around the world who hold the CFRE designation, including Kurn Hattin's Director of Development and Public Relations Kim Fine and Major Gifts Director (former Executive Director) Connie Sanderson.

Bloch, a Brattleboro resident who joined Kurn Hattin Homes in 2013, has more than 20 years of experience in health and human services. Before joining Kurn Hattin, Bloch worked for Southeastern Vermont Community Action for nine years, initially as a Family Services Outreach Specialist and then as Director of Development and Planning for the last six years. Prior to returning to Vermont, she worked as an Adolescent Counselor at Harbor Schools of Maine, a residential home for boys with dual diagnoses; and at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. She has served as a volunteer on the Board of Directors at the Women's Freedom Center, Brattleboro Area Affordable Housing, CABA Evening Care, and on the Windham County Helpfund committee.

Bloch studied at Goddard College with a concentration in Consciousness Studies (the transformative experience of cultural, religious, spiritual, and psychotherapeutic traditions). She was also a Certified Massage Therapist and graduate of Stillpoint Center School of Massage in Hatfield, Mass, where she worked with Vietnam Veterans in recovery with PTSD and sleep disorders; and with individuals with co-occurring physical and developmental challenges at Community Services of Amherst, Mass.

Individuals granted the CFRE credential have met a series of standards set by CFRE International which include tenure in the profession, education, demonstrated fundraising achievement and a commitment to service to not-for-profit organizations. They have also passed a rigorous written examination testing the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of a fundraising executive, and have agreed to uphold Accountability Standards and the Donor Bill of Rights. For information on CFRE International, visit

RVTC to offer engineering program

SPRINGFIELD >> With current national projections of more than 1.2 million jobs in the science, technology, engineering, and math going unfilled by 2018, now is a good time for high school students to jump into the engineering and manufacturing talent pool.

The River Valley Technical Center will offer Engineering as part of their technical education program for high school students in Bellows Falls, Black River, Green Mountain, Fall Mountain and Springfield, as well as home school and private school students. RVTC will use the Project Lead the Way Engineering curriculum. This program is designed to be more than just another high school math and science program. The Engineering program will be a hands-on, project based, application centric approach to solve complex, open-ended problems in a real-world context. Students will focus on the process of defining and solving a problem, not on getting the "right" answer.

When enrolled in the Engineering Program, students will also have the opportunity to earn up to 12 college credits through NH Technical Institute. Program instructor, Matthew Bickford, who also teaches Advanced Manufacturing at RVTC, says this is a better and more efficient way to jump start college or a career.

"This program offers students a chance to show colleges and employers that they are serious about their education and a future in engineering," Bickford said. Engineering students will also have the chance to earn an industry recognized credential from OSHA. Students will compete in engineering competitions and challenges through SkillsUSA, bridge building and robotics competitions.

The program will cover a board range of engineering topics to include mechanisms, strength of structures and materials, and automation. Students will also have the opportunity to understand and apply modern manufacturing processes and develop skills in problem solving, research, and design while learning strategies for design process documentation, collaboration, and presentation. In the second year of the program, students will have the opportunity to understand robotics and automation as it applies to manufacturing. Also you will be immersed in electrical engineering topic to include circuit design, combinational and sequential logic, logic gates, integrated circuits, and programmable logic controllers.

Students will earn high school elective and math credits, in addition to up to 12 college credits by taking this course. The Engineering program will be held in the mornings from 7:40 to 9:40 a.m. for the entire school year. Transportation from the five sending school is provided. Enrollment is open but space is limited. To sign up for the Engineering course for the 2016-2017 school year, go to the website and fill out the on-line application by clicking, apply on-line.

Palmeri named to Dean's List

ALFRED, N.Y. >> Isaiah W. Palmeri, a resident of Putney, was named to the Dean's List for the fall 2015 semester at Alfred University. He is a senior in the School of Art and Design. Students must earn at least a 3.5 grade point average to qualify for Dean's List.

Palmeri is an Art and Design major at AU and is a graduate of Brattleboro Union High School.

Vermont Youth Film Competition calls for participants

MIDDLEBURY >> Calling all filmmakers ages 14 to 30 who live or go to school in Vermont. Win cash prizes and share your work on Vermont PBS and at film festivals statewide in the 2016 Freedom & Unity TV Vermont Youth Film Competition. The deadline for the second annual competition, which accepts short films with a Vermont focus, is April 16. To get rules, enter, and watch films from last year's contest, visit

Last year's Vermont Youth Film Competition drew 89 entries from across Vermont. Young filmmakers were honored in a ceremony at Randolph Tech Center. Selected films were screened at the White River Indie Festival, the Vermont International Film Fesitval and Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival.

This year's competition will step things up in a big way, with a full-fledged Youth Film Festival at Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier on May 7. In addition, winning films have the opportunity to appear on Vermont PBS, the Vermont Access Network, and at the Vermont Internatinal Film Festival in Burlington, the White River Indie Festival, the Brattleboro Film Festival, and the Green Mountain Film Festival.

"We are looking for Vermont-focused films with a range of themes, from history and contemporary issues to personal stories, culture, and the arts," saif contest founder Nora Jacobson. "It's about helping young people share their ideas and make a connection to the state they call home," adds contest coordinator Gary Miller.

The film contest is an outgrowth of "Freedom & Unity: The Vermont Movie," a six-part film on Vermont history and culture created by 30-plus Vermont filmmakers and shown statewide in 2014. Jacobson served as executive producer. "When we finished, we realized that the film was lacking young voices," said Jacobson. "We created the film competition so those voices could be heard."

If you're a young Vemont filmmaker with something to say, get out your video gear and enter today at

Free SAT prep course in March

BRATTLEBORO >> Brattleboro Orthodontic Specialists is offering a free SAT Prep course to be held in Keene and Brattleboro during the four Saturdays in March. The course is taught by Keene, N.H., High School teachers Robert Tiebout and Jessica Smith.

Registration is now open to all high school juniors — after Feb. 1, if space allows, other students will be able to signup. Classes are March 5, 12, 19 and 26. The Keene course will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Keene Public Library. The Brattleboro course will be held from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Brattleboro Union High School. Registration information is available at

"A big part of success in life is achieved through education. This course was started over a decade ago by Dr. Post and I have been thrilled to continue offering it," said Dr. Lance Miller, owner and orthodontist at Keene Orthodontic Specialists. "Part of our mission is to help young adults be their best, this prep course is one way we are able to help."

Brattleboro Orthodontics is located at 54 Chickering Drive and provides Bbraces and Invisalign to children, teens and adults. More information can be found at

Learn Spanish and French

BRATTLEBORO >> "The Dinner Game," a French comedy with English subtitles, will be screened at the Latchis Theater on Main Street at 4 p.m. on Jan. 17. Prior to the screening and immediately following, an informal French class, for advanced beginners to intermediate speakers, will meet in Express Fluency's classroom at 73 Main St. at 2 p.m.. Admission to the film is by donation to benefit Latchis Arts and Doctors Without Borders.

For Spanish speakers, the Latchis will be screening "Volver," in Spanish with English subtitles, starring Penelope Cruz, on Jan. 31 at 4 p.m. The screening will benefit Latchis Arts and MANOS, a local non-profit organization that provides maternal and neonatal support services to healthcare workers in Nicaragua. The Spanish class will meet in the Express Fluency classroom at 2 p.m. and again after the film.

For both French and Spanish learners, Express Fluency offers a variety of classes in addition to the mini-classes around film. Spanish offerings will start with a free one-hour class on Jan. 14 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Express Fluency classroom. A weekly class for beginners and another for advanced beginners will start on Jan. 21; an intermediate class will begin in April.

French offerings include both intensive and weekly classes. Intermediate French students can choose between a nine-week class starting on Feb. 1, and a three-day weekend intensive beginning on Friday, Feb. 12. For advanced French speakers, a one-day class, Samedi Fran├žais, offers immersion and conversation on Saturday, March 19.

For more information, and to register for any class, visit or call 802-275-2694.

Borochoff-PorteLocal named to Macalester College Dean's List

ST. PAUL, MINN. >> Noah Borochoff-Porte, the son of Paula Borochoff and Edward Porte of Putney, has been named to the Dean's List of Macalester College for academic achievement during the fall semester of the 2015-2016 school year. A graduate of Brattleboro Union High School, Borochoff-Porte was a junior at Macalester last fall.

AAUW honors scholarship winners

BRATTLEBORO >> The Brattleboro branch of the American Association of University Women honored its 2015 scholarship recipients at its recent annual scholarship brunch.

Present were Emily Stockwell, Haley Buffum and Tasaday Green. Awardees unable to attend were Chorsom Wetchanukroh and Judia Ziegner.

Tasaday, who is studying mathematics, and Ziegner, a nursing student, received the mature woman scholarships and are attending Greenfield Community College and Vermont Technical College, respectively.

Stockwell and Buffum graduated from Leland and Grey Union High School and attend the University of Vermont and Johnson State College, respectively. Brattleboro Union High School graduate Wetchanukroh attends Clark University, with a major in education, Asian studies and justice.

All five awardees reported a very successful first semester in their study programs and have expressed deep appreciation for the scholarship awards, which are funded by the branch's annual summer used book sale.

AAUW is a national organization that advances education and equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. The Brattleboro branch was founded in 1926 and is open to women and men who hold an associate's or higher degree from an accredited college or university and support the AAUW mission. New members are always welcome. Information can be found at, by calling 802-387-5875 or on the branch Facebook page.

Local students named to Hamilton College Dean's List

CLINTON, N.Y. >> Genevieve M. Darling, daughter of Alan Darling and Lucie Morissette of South Newfane, was named to the Dean's List for Hamilton College. Darling, a sophomore, is a graduate of Leland & Gray Union High School. Erik W. Johansson, son of Joan Carey and Philip Johansson of Marlboro, was also named to the Dean's List. Johansson, a first-year student, is a graduate of Brattleboro Union High School.

Emily R. Randrup, daughter of Rennie and David Washburn of West Chesterfield, N.H., has been named to the Dean's List at Hamilton College for the 2015 fall semester. Randrup, a junior majoring in psychology, is a graduate of Northfield, Mass., Mount Hermon School.

Johnson State College names local students to Dean's List

JOHNSON >> The following students have been named to the Dean's List at Johnson State College for the fall 2015 semester: Samantha Barth, junior, of Bellows Falls; Jake Harnish, junior, of Brattleboro; Chelby Nystrom, senior, of Brookline; Mollie Wright, junior, of Londonderry; and Aaron Connor, senior, Susan Nichols, senior, and Laura Pluff, senior, all of Newfane.

VSAC selects Bellows Falls Union High School for its Aspiration Project

WESTMINSTER >> For the second year in a row, the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation has launched its' Aspiration Project in a Vermont community and has selected Bellows Falls Union High School to be the recipient of the pilot program this year.

The program was launched last year in Lamoille Union High School and will continue there in addition to the Bellows Falls Union High School. The Aspiration Project aims to develop strategies to encourage parents to begin conversations about education and training after high school as early as possible. They also aim to explore alternatives for how, who, and when to provide career and post-secondary education information and adapt the delivery of this "aspiration curriculum" to meet the individual needs of the school and its students.

The Aspiration Project kicked off the school year in Bellows Falls with a welcome to the freshman class and a dinner and information night. The next event will take place during Jan 25 at 1:40 p.m. The all-school assembly will feature singer-songwriter, Jared Campbell, who will deliver a heartfelt inspirational message through his folk songs and dialogue. Campbell's Blue Project reaches students through the power of music with songs he's written about some of the most crucial elements in living ones life with purpose. His message focuses on overcoming obstacles, anti-bullying, respect, leadership and having an amazing outlook on life. Students are captivated not only by the music and lyrics but also by the videos that are projected to bring the listener into the songs. Jared's heart is to reach the young people of today and encourage them to never stop dreaming and continue pushing forward to living out your purpose with passion, according to his website at

"Everybody has a Bellows Falls Future" is the slogan for the Aspiration Project campaign. VSAC research found an alarming geographic differences among Vermont's 14 counties in aspirational goals of the students in continuing education beyond high school. This pilot program will become the basis for future efforts at similar schools in Vermont as they look to increase awareness of postsecondary opportunities and the financial aid resources for students and parents. To learn more about the Aspiration Project in Bellows Falls, go to or search #BellowsFallsFuture.


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