News - UVEI - Upper Valley Educators Institute

  • Proficiency-Based Grading

    In this recent Valley News article by Nora Doyle-Burr, UVEI's Executive Director, Page Tompkins, helps readers better understand the advantages, trade-offs and conditions necessary for a promising shift to accurately reflect what students know and are able to do.  For more, see:

  • Read more

  • Recent News about UVEI

    Below are articles chronicling the accomplishments of UVEI, its graduates and faculty.  You can also participate with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

    Concord Monitor, November 16, 2017
    Rob Fried, UVEI's former Executive Director, wrote about pending legislation (SB 193):  "My Turn:  SB 193 Abuses the Meaning of Choice."  For more, see:

    Principal Leadership, October 2017
    Jeff Moreno (Principal Class of 2011) was quoted in an article, Fit to Learn on page 14.

    NHPR, August 29, 2017
    Dakota Benedetto, principal intern candidate, was interviewed on NHPR's Morning Edition about the LEAF Charter School in Alstead, NH, which she founded and serves as director.  Listen here:

    Valley News, June 4, 2017
    "Keeping Her Balance on the Ice" is a major story about the professional achievements of UVEI's Board Chair, Dr. Jacqueline Richter-Menge, who recently retired from her position as a Arctic research engineer at CRREL . For more, see:

    KidStuff, Summer 2017
    Kristen Downey, UVEI's Associate Director for Teacher Education, wrote an article entitled "Cool Things in Schools," about a Tuesday AM seminar ritual at UVEI that celebrates fun and rewarding experiences at the interns' placement sites.

    The New Hampshire Journal of Education, Spring 2017
    Six Elements for Effective Instructional Coaching  by Page Tompkins, EdD and Christopher Ward, PhD, was published in The New Hampshire Journal of Education.  For more, see:

    Cape Cod Today, April 18, 2017
    Olivia Tropp, who is completing Colby-Sawyer College's internship requirement with UVEI, was cited in this article. For more, see:

    Valley News, April 18, 2017
    Bill Hammond, UVEI Principal Intern Program graduate, wil be named National Distinguished Principal 2017-2018, an honor bestowed by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. For more, see:

    Valley News, April 11, 2017
    Patrick Andrew, Superintendent of the Mascoma Regional School District, elected to the UVEI Board of Directors.  For more, see:

    Valley News, April 9, 2017
    UVEI Executive Director, Page Tompkins, talks about proficiency-based grading in this Valley News article:

    Intertown Record, August 16, 2016
    An article about Jack Kiernan (current teacher intern) was printed, highlighting his work with children and his commitment to teaching them about their environment and the importance of community.

    Valley News, July 18, 2016
    Amanda Soule (Teacher Class of 2015) was interviewed for her work as the girls lacrosse coach at Woodstock High School. For more, see:

    Valley News, July 17, 2016
    Becky Wipfler joined UVEI as Elementary Education Coordinator and a member of the faculty.

    Valley News, May 3, 2016
    Nancy Lewis (Teacher Class of 2002) was mentioned for her work at Stevens High School and also as an adviser to the Flow of History network of educators, an organization that helps students understand history "through the Upper Valley lens".  For more, see:

    Valley News, April 26, 2016
    UVEI Executive Director, Page Tompkins' commentary. "To Really Improve, Schools Need to Grow Their Own Coaches," was published.  For more, see:

    April 6, 2016
    Chris Ward,
     UVEI's Graduate School Coordinator, with colleagues at the University of Washington and Vanderbilt University, received the Best Article of the Year Award for their article, Situated Motivation, published in the journal, Educational Psychologist.

    Valley News, Aprll 5, 2016
    Andra Bowen (Principal Class of 2010) was named Assistant Principal of the Year by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.  For more, see:​

    Valley News, March 15, 2016
    UVEI Graduate, Laszlo Bardos (Class of 2004) and his colleague, Rachel Sanders, of Rivendell Academy, received a grant from the Rowland Foundation to coach other teachers in ways to help their students learn by giving students an opportunity to direct their own learning.  For more, see:

    Valley News, March 14, 2016
    Educator and charter school advocate, Susan Jamback, joined UVEI Board of Trustees.  

    The Norwich Times, Winter/Spring 2016
    Marion Cross School was named the #1 elementary school in Vermont.  Its principal is Bill Hammond, whco graduated from UVEI's Principal Internship Program in 2012. 

    Valley News, February 16, 2016
    James Dixon's (UVEI Teacher Class of 2004 and current Master of Arts candidate), Hartford High School's speech and debate coach, leads students to a first place win in the Vermont State Forensics Tournament.  For more, see:

    Valley Business Journal, December 2015
    Jennifer Hartman
     and Jennifer Thompson (Teacher Class of 2009)appointed to UVEI Board of Directors. For more, see:

    Valley News, November 22, 2015
    Page Tompkins, UVEI Executive Director, was named to the NH Education Standards Board.  

    Valley News, November 8, 2015
    Jennifer Hartman
    and Jennifer Thompson(Teacher Class of 2009) appointed to UVEI Board of Directors.  For more see:

    Eagle Times, October 22, 2015
    Jennifer Thompson
    (Teacher Class of 2009):  Unity teacher named to the Board of Directors at UVEI.  For more, see:

    Beacon Broadside, July 29, 2015
    Rob Fried
    (former UVEI Executive Director), published in Beacon Broadside.  For more, see:

    Eagle Times, June 23, 2015
    Jennifer Thompson
     (Teacher Class of 2009) was featured in an article about Farm-to-School project at Unity Elementary.  For more see:

    Valley News, June 16, 2015
    Jason Jarvis 
    (Teacher Class of 2008) appeared in a photo about the Vermont Adult Learning Center, where he is a teacher.

    Valley News, June 16, 2015
    Amanda Soule 
    (Teacher Class of 2015) was cited in an article about Woodstock High School's winning lacrosse team. Amanda is the team's coach.  For more, see:

    Valley News, June 9, 2015
    UVEI distributed certificates to eight new principals and 20 new teachers.

    Valley News, June 7, 2015
    Jacqueline “Jaci” Allen
    joins Institute’s Board.  For more, see:

    NPR, May 26 2015
    Kinderforest, developed by Eliza Minnucci(Teacher Class of 2009, gets national public radio attention.  For more, see

    Valley News, May 23, 2015
    Scott Farnsworth 
    (Principal Class of 2009), appointed principal at Tunbridge Central School, VT. For more, see:

    Valley News, April 12, 2015
    UVEI's founder, Barbara Barnes, will be honored at the Vital Communities Heroes and Leaders dinner on May 7th.  For more, see:

    Valley News, March 17, 2015
    Valley News reporter David Corriveau wrote about a project in Franklin Burns' class at the Dothan Brook School which was influenced by Mr. Burns' participation in a UVEI Professional Development workshop on Project-Based Learning.  For more, see:  Learning That Lasts

    Valley News,  February 27, 2015
    Page Tompkins 
    responded to Robert Pianta’s column in this Letter to the Editor on Page A7.

    Valley News, October 14, 2014
    Rick Dustin-Eichler 
    (Principal Program Class of 2011) and his team at the Dothan Brook School were being named the K-5 "Examplar School" by the Vermont Agency of Education.  For three years in a row, Dothan Brook has won this award for its "success in creating an environment in which students treat each other better and so learn better."   Rick is the principal at the school.  For more, see:

    WCAX-TV, September 19, 2014
    UVEI Principal Intern, Kristine Kirkaldy was recognized for her work at Vergennes Union High School in her nomination for a national teaching award from the Nellie Mae Educational Foundation.  For more, see:

    Concord Monitor, August 14, 2014
    Rob Fried
    , UVEI former Executive Director’s article, “Four Ways to Rethink Teaching” proffered the notion that there are four qualities that lead to great teaching:  curiosity, spontaneity, empathy and flexibility.  For more, see:, May 23, 2014
    James Tremblay
    , a 2009 graduate of UVEI’s Principal Internship Program, was named principal of Exeter High School.   At a public interview in May, Tremblay stressed the importance of individualized student learning and good communication with school administrators and the district.   His goal as principal is to ensure that no student falls through the cracks and that there is a pathway for every student to succeed.  For more, see:

    Valley News, May 18, 2014
    At Thetford Academy, Chris Schmidt’s (Teacher Internship Class of 2008 and UVGSE MAT 2014) design class built a wooden pavilion as one of ten new hands-on classes that started at the school this year.  The semester-long course took a timber framing project from beginning to end, adapting math and design development skills learned in the classroom to practical application.  For more, see:

    The Dartmouth, May 5, 2014
    At a Dartmouth College student-organized summit on how the millennial generation can impact education and health care, UVEI’s Executive Director, Page Tompkins, participated on the panel entitled Redefining Teacher Quality and Effective Training.  “We know that teachers have a tremendous impact on young people,” remarked Tompkins.  “Great teachers are the most important element of anything in the school system, any part of it, any policy.”  For more, see:

    Valley News, April 8, 2014
    In an ambitious effort to blend classroom learning with building skills of independence, perseverance, communication and resilience, kindergarteners at the Ottauquechee Elementary School, along with their teacher, Eliza Minnucci(Teacher Internship Class of 2009) and Meghan Teachout(Teacher Internship Class of 2012), spend every Friday, no matter what the weather, outside in the woods near the school.  The program is designed to fit the school’s emphasis on direct observation and apply the curriculum in an authentic way.  For complete article, see:

    Valley News, June 18, 2013
    UVEI hires new director, Page Tompkins.  For more, see:

    Valley News, February 19, 2013
    Outgoing UVEI Director, Rob Fried, says that schools have learning opportunity.  

  • Read more

  • The Election Results: A Teachable Moment

    This morning, fourteen school leaders gathered at UVEI for a bi-monthly session as a part of their year-long program to become certified administrators. The agenda for the day was school budgets, but after the long, surprising evening watching election results come in, these educators know that some time needs to be spent on what the election means for teachers, leaders and students. The conversation revealed that no has definitive answers, but these leaders are determined to lead with compassion.

    An intern, Sarah, brought in a Huffington Post article about what to tell students about a Trump win.  Daniel, a current Vermont science teacher, was uncomfortable with the opening of the article: “Tell them, first, that we will protect them.”

    “I have to assume,” he said, that “the majority [of Trump supporters] voted for him to protect their children,” and their perceptions of the dangers we face in this country are real. We need to root our work with our teachers, students, parents, and communities in empathy and understanding, regardless of where we stand.

    A current assistant principal in a Vermont school agreed. She said, “Even if the outcome was different, kids would be struggling with difficult feelings. We have a lot of work to do.” She went on to acknowledge that fear and anxiety is harmful for our students, and if the election had gone the other way, some portion of our school communities would be processing complicated feelings. “Care-taking needs to happen in a sensitive way.”

    But there is fear and anxiety in this room, and feelings of uncertainty about how to proceed. One teacher shared that her co-teacher was in tears this morning. “We’ve referred to Trump for so long as a bully. We have a [child who can be a] bully in our classroom,” and she wondered what she and her co-teacher could tell him now.

    “We don’t have a lot of students of color, and we need to be sensitive to how isolated they might feel,” another intern shared, “but we do have 50% females. I’m the mother of strong-willed daughter, [and] she is flat-out devastated and terrified.” She noted that other girls must be wondering what this means for them. Wherever the fear comes from, and people in the room noted that it may be inflated by the media, it’s a real reaction our girls might be having.

    The overwhelming sentiment in the room was one of awareness of how challenging it is to be a teacher in moments such as these, and the enormous weight and responsibility of leaders to attend to the needs of diverse communities.

    Our executive director, Page Tompkins, weighed in. “All these tensions are real, and we don’t have any easy answers for you.” But he shared his own experience.. “There have been so many times that I have not been the leader I want to be, but when I am, I am leading from a place of compassion, human connection, and care for people’s growth. Evan saying that out loud, it seems a little trite right now,  ” he chuckled, “But it is the best I’ve got for you right now.”

    It’s a good starting place.

    Perhaps the principal at Marion Cross School in Norwich summed it up best in a letter to his school community. "Uncertainty can bring an odd clarity to what we really consider important. Recognizing that sometimes unexpected events and behavior happens, we should pursue our mission—and our commitment to the kids—together."


  • Read more