One of our greatest joys at UVEI is in communicating with our alums. Whether hosting us for a visit to their school, sharing their reflections, giving us feedback on our programs, or sending us their news updates; alumni help us make meaning of the work we do. We’d like to take a moment, at the close of this school year, to round up our news and reflections that we have received from alumni this year; to give you just a sense of what our alumni are up to.

Expanding and improving multilingual instruction in the Upper Valley

Amy DeMatteo, Literacy ‘23, is an ESL teacher in the Hartford School district in VT. Last year she collaborated with UVEI faculty coach Monica Nachemja-Bunton on publishing strategies for working with multilingual learners that can be used by UVEI teacher candidates as well as other educators in the UVEI network. Collaboration continues this year, focused on working with families, and is also assisted by Fabiola Hammond, TIP ‘23 and MEd ‘24, who teaches second grade at the Dothan Brook School in Hartford. Fabi, who lived in both Brazil and Canada before moving to the US, now also volunteers her time to support Portuguese speaking students and families from around the district. Read more about this year’s efforts here.

Engaging in collaborative action research

Aimee Gonzalez, TIP ‘22 and MEd ‘23, and Carrie Fitz, TIP ‘21 and MEd ‘24, have both received fellowships to work with UVEI’s Barnes Initiative for Collaborative Learning – exploring teacher collaboration and its impact on educator support and retention. They are joining with UVEI faculty, UVEI principal candidates, and other area educators as they identify collective needs and test out collective solutions in their schools. Aimee teaches French and math at Crossroads Academy in Lyme, NH and Carrie is a special educator at East Montpelier Elementary School in VT. 

Continuing their UVEI work in schools

Cora Churchill, TIP ’23, is teaching first grade at Elm Hill School in Springfield, VT. In reflecting on her first year, Cora notes that it’s the kids and the relationships that drive her and sustain her. Amanda Tyrrell, PIP ‘22 and MEd ‘23, who is the acting principal at Elm Hill, similarly reflects “I love my school, the faculty and staff, and all of the students. It is such a rewarding experience, and I look forward to the work I do every day.” Jennifer Dodge, TIP ’15, who is the school counselor, reflects that the kids are “who is front and center and what is important to us.” Read more about Cora’s first year, and the themes that emerge in talking to educators at Elm Hill.

Stephanie Hareld, MEd ’23, focused her degree on teacher leadership in culturally responsive instruction, and she continues that work this year.  Steph is teaching and collaborating with her colleagues at the Bernice A. Ray School in Hanover, NH. Read more about her work here.

Leading for deeper learning, and writing a novel on the side

Ken Cadow, PIP ’13, is a co-principal at Oxbow High School in Bradford, VT. You also might have heard about him recently as the author of a young adult novel, Gather, that was a finalist for the National Book Awards. As a school leader, Ken pushes students and colleagues alike towards a deeper type of learning, something that Elijah Hawkes probed in a fall visit with Ken at Oxbow.

Other alumni news and commendations

Christina Wild, TIP ‘07, moved to Duluth, MN from the UV in 2022 and completed her doctorate this past October. Her dissertation explores the lived experience of nature-based educators in Duluth, and looks at nature-based education’s influence on teacher working conditions and retention. Christina works as the lead educator for a nature-based preschool program.

Alexis Nelson Schleicher, TIP ‘10, is going to be working as the Humanities Teacher at the New England School of the Arts in Lebanon. NH. She is looking forward to the arts focus, the individualized nature of the programs, and the unique city-as-a-school model that the school will be using.

John W. Vorder Bruegge, TIP ‘10 is wrapping up more than 11 years as a Correctional Educator at the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, VT.

Elena Burch, TIP ‘12, is a board certified behavior analyst. She writes that “helping people overcome extreme problem behaviors, and guiding them to express themselves, whether it’s through vocal language or AAC devices is fun and inspiring.” She has recently switched gears to develop an online class in behavior analysis for teachers and caregivers.

Elysia Burroughs, TIP ‘12, has been teaching biology at Kimball Union Academy for almost 11 years. She is now the Science Department Chair and Co-Director of the STEM Scholar Program, and she recently began a MS in Science Education at Montana State University.

Bill Lloynds, TIP ‘13, started a new job this year teaching 6th grade social studies at Indian River School in Canaan, NH.

Mihaela LaRoche, TIP ‘15, has taught world languages in three NH public schools since acquiring a world language endorsement. Currently she teaches French at Marion Cross School in Norwich VT and is a member of the Pi Delta Phi Honorary Society NH chapter.

Joseph Donarum, PIP ‘16, recently retired from a school administration career in Vermont and relocated back to the Upper Valley where he teaches psychology and provides academic support through structured study tutorials at Kimball Union Academy. Joseph writes “I thoroughly enjoy being back in the high school classroom where I have come full circle after working for many years in school administration and community mental health settings.”

Loretta Cruz, TIP ‘04/PIP ‘18, is in her third year as principal at Newbury Elementary School (VT). She is a member of Waddington Leadership Cohort 14.

Cory Valentine, MEd ‘19, recently took on a role as the high school mathematics teacher at Ashuelot Valley Academy, part of Mount Prospect Academy, a therapeutic special education school in Keene, NH.

Justin Cassarino, PIP and MEd ‘21, is principal of the Walpole Attendance Area and received the A+ Administrator Award from the New England League of Middle Schools this past spring.