On a rainy Saturday morning in early June it would be tempting for educators to sleep in – instead, a group of about 100 educators and community members gathered at Lake Morey Resort for UVEI’s End-of-Year Celebration of Learning. During the morning, 18 principal candidates, 17 teacher candidates, and five literacy candidates shared their learning from the year with the community, including colleagues, UVEI board and advisory council members, teacher and principal mentors, and friends and family. Presentations deepened the community’s understanding around  themes such as building capacity for social & emotional learning, professional learning & collaboration, and making learning visible.


The gathering brought together educators from different career stages and focus areas, contributing to different perspectives and new thinking. For instance, principal candidate Carrie Brennan (Thetford Academy) was able to attend the presentation of the “Many Hats of a Literacy Specialist” given by the 2023 Literacy Educators cohort. Carrie reflected afterwards that “[I] soaked up a lot of important research and insights about the teaching of literacy. Secondary level educators don’t often focus as much as we ought to on the fundamentals of reading instruction and reading skills. I got to know each of the literacy educator candidates through our joint seminars earlier in the year, so I especially appreciated reconnecting and learning from the culmination of their work together.


In the afternoon, each cohort celebrated their accomplishments, closing the program year together with appreciation, stories, cohort rituals, and a few tears. Family and community members joined in, reflecting on the year and sharing their hope for the next stages of their careers. Learning together in a cohort, situated in a wider community, is a centerpiece of learning at UVEI, and closing this work together is always meaningful and emotional. For us, it has been a privilege to be a part of these candidates’ shared journey over the course of the year.


Continuous improvement is a way of life at UVEI, and we are already thinking of ways to improve this event for next year. As we fine tune the details, collaboration and connection both within and across cohorts/programs will be a centerpiece, in hopes that candidates can continue to learn from and support each other. We are grateful to end our year with such a powerful marker of learning and growth, and we wish each of you, our inspiring community of educators, an equally meaningful closure to your school year!




Photographs (top to bottom): The graduating literacy cohort poses with Literacy Coordinator Kristen Liu at their cohort celebration; Teacher candidate Kathy Campbell explains her unit design for 6th grade mathematics to principal and C&A candidate Jesse Riemenschneider; Literacy candidate Amy DeMatteo starts off the “Many Hats of a Literacy Specialist” presentation with an overview of literacy instruction; Teacher interns gather as their faculty coach prepares to present each candidate at their cohort celebration; Teacher candidate Jade Ennis discusses his elementary social studies unit design with Elijah Hawkes, UVEI’s Director of School Leadership; Principal candidates Colleen Sliva (left) and Kevin Hicks (center) pose with Kevin’s principal and mentor, Gail Rowe; Board member and MEd alum Jenny Bradley talks with literacy candidates Emily Benjamin (left) and Anna Fuller (right).


Marie McCormick and Page Tompkins. Page Tompkins is UVEI’s president and a faculty member in the Teacher and School Leadership programs. Marie McCormick is the Registrar & Operations Associate and is a 2007 alum of the Teacher Internship Program.