Wijnhoven joins Vermont Academy Board of Trustees

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SAXTONS RIVER — The Vermont Academy Board of Trustees announced that Deborah Wijnhoven, an alumnus who graduated in 1986, was elected to the board during the July 2020 meeting. Wijnhoven brings to the board her experience as an employer relations professional and an alumnus.

With more than 25 years of experience in leadership roles, Wijnhoven currently serves as the senior associate director of Smith College's Lazarus Center for Career Development where she is the director of Employer Relations. In this role she works with employers, including many Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies, that are seeking to hire Smith College graduates and alumni. She leads a team focused on delivering scalable and equitable programs that strategically cultivate and strengthen communication with and between employers, students, alumni, faculty, development, foundations, and corporate relations. She also creates and manages the high-volume year-round recruiting activities of the office while serving as a consultant and liaison for and between employers and students.

In her 22-year career at Smith College, Wijnhoven has held several leadership and committee appointments. These include co-chair of Staff Council and memberships of the Smith College Inclusion Council and the Campus Safety Advisory Committee.

"As an educator, I believe it's our job to guide students through the iterative process of discovering their career path. Witnessing those discoveries is the best part of my job," Wijnhoven said in a statement. "I was really excited to hear from Vermont Academy with this opportunity to give back in a meaningful way. Vermont Academy was the place where I started creating real relationships. Living there felt like family. Living in Jones, my third floor hallmates became my best friends. It was a very close-knit group. Athletics changed my life. A very insecure child became a confident young adult through sports and especially my coach. The attention he paid to me and the resulting success on the field made a huge difference for me at Vermont Academy and in my life."

Linda Saarnijoki, who chairs the governance committee of the Vermont Academy board, said, "Deborah's energy, intelligence, and background will be great assets to the Board as we move Vermont Academy forward. In particular, her understanding, through her own experience and her work at Smith, of the important opportunities a sound education provides to students will help inform the school's work in educating students for the 21st century."

After graduating from Vermont Academy, Wijnhoven went on to receive a bachelors of arts degree in psychology from Ithaca College and a masters of arts in counseling psychology from Antioch University New England.

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