Public Assets Institute > Presentations > Public Education that Works for All Children

Public Education that Works for All Children
November 1, 2017
Capitol Plaza Hotel & Conference Center
Montpelier, Vermont

Pre-conference session: Vermont’s School Funding 101
Stephanie Yu, Policy Analyst, Public Assets Institute

Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 9.16.27 AMSteph has worked as both a public sector fiscal analyst and a private sector financial analyst. She also has experience in the executive branch of state government, as the Budget Manager for the Michigan Department of Treasury and the Executive Director of the West Virginia Commission for National and Community Service. She has a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in nonprofit management from the University of Southern California. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Harvard University. She currently resides in Burlington with her family. Despite her wandering past, as a native New Englander she has rooted for the Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots and Bruins all her life.                                       


Keynote Address:  Pulling Together for a Public Education System that Works for all Children
John Castle, Superintendent, North Country Supervisory Union, Newport

John grew up in Holland, Vermont and attended North Country Union HS. He is a graduate of Middlebury College where he majored in Sociology with a concentration/minor in Education. He has a Master’s from Trinity College in Hartford, CT and pursued his Ed.D. at UVM. John has worked as a teacher, coach, athletic director, and school administrator at the high school and elementary level in Vermont. He served as principal of Lake Region Union HS from 1997 to 2004 and the teaching principal at Holland Elementary School from 2004 to 2009. He was the Superintendent of Schools at Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union in Brandon, VT for five years prior to returning to the Kingdom to be Superintendent of NCSU—now in year four. John formerly served on the Northwoods Stewardship Board and currently serve on the board for Green Mountain Farm to School.


Panel: All in for Public Education—it takes our state, communities and schools pulling together for all kids

Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 9.32.28 AMPaul Cillo, President, Public Assets Institute.

Paul has been active in public policy work for over thirty years, as a local and state political representative, consultant on health care, education finance, and other tax and budget issues; and on energy efficiency. He represented Hardwick, Walden, and Stannard in the Vermont House of Representatives for ten years, serving four years on the tax-writing Ways & Means Committee and four as Majority Leader. During those years he designed and led the Legislature to adopt a groundbreaking education financing system that equalizes opportunity for all Vermont children, regardless of where they live. Paul is a lifelong Vermonter, originally from Castleton. His parents, with Paul and his three siblings, ran a small summer restaurant and marina on Lake Bomoseen. He graduated the University of Vermont in 1975 with a BA in Philosophy.

Breena Holmes, MD, Director, Division of Maternal and Child Health, VT Department of Health. 

After finishing her pediatric residency at Seattle Children’s Hospital and a chief resident year at University of Massachusetts Medical School, Dr. Holmes had a pediatric practice in Middlebury, Vermont, focusing on adolescent health from 1997-2008.  In 2008, she left her clinical practice to teach Health Literacy and Decision Making at Middlebury Union High School.  In 2010, she became director of the Maternal and Child Health division at the Vermont Department of Health. The Maternal and Child Health Division is part of Integrating Family Services as well as several other public health programs that focus on children and families. Dr. Holmes is the chair of the Council on School Health for the American Academy of Pediatrics, on the pediatric faculty at University of Vermont College of Medicine and a school physician for several Middlebury area schools.

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Margaret MacLeancurrently works with the Vermont Rural Education Collaborative and provides professional development support to teachers and school leaders Internationally. An educator with 40 plus years experience, divided between teaching, school administration and consulting, Margaret worked for 15 years with the Rural School and Community Trust.  Margaret has consulted in 36 countries internationally and is a past Vermont Principal of the year and member of the Vermont State Board of Education.


Issue workshops

The Foundation of Equity: Vermont’s school funding system matters
Paul Cillo and Stephanie Yu

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Addressing Education Inequities:  Two Programs that Work
Holly Morehouse & Jay Diaz, Esq.

Holly Morehouse, Executive Director, Vermont Afterschool.  Holly brings 20 years’ experience in project management, community-based decision making, communication and collaboration processes, and leadership to her role as Executive Director of Vermont Afterschool.  Holly earned her doctorate from Clark University, Graduate School of Geography, in Worcester, MA. She also holds a Master’s in Systems Analysis and Economics for Public Decision Making from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Urban Studies from Boston University. Holly’s research and publications include work on afterschool programs and school culture change, shared vision models for community-based decision making, and the spatial mapping of indicators for risk and vulnerability. Holly has served as Director of the 21st CCLC Afterschool Program in Winooski; the State Coordinator for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers at the VT Agency of Education; and in 2009 was one of the co-founders of the statewide nonprofit Vermont Afterschool. Holly’s life is made rich and full through close friends, a loving extended family, crazy pets, abundant plants, her son Caleb, and her husband Nick.

Jay Diaz, Esq., Staff Attorney ACLU of Vermont. With the ACLU, Jay advocates to uphold constitutional rights and prevent discrimination through impact litigation, while also promoting the expansion of rights and dignity for all through policy work and public education. Previously, Mr. Diaz was a staff attorney with the Disability Law Project of Vermont Legal Aid, representing low-income Vermonters with disabilities through direct representation and legislative advocacy. He was also the 2012-2014 Vermont Poverty Law Fellow, working to ensure access, stability, and equity for low-income students across Vermont. In 2015, he published a report entitled Kicked Out! Unfair and Unequal Student Discipline in Vermont’s Public Schools, in which he detailed racial, disability-based, and geographic disparities in the suspension and expulsion of Vermont’s schoolchildren. Mr. Diaz is a 2012 graduate of Boston College Law School and received his undergraduate degree from New York University in 2006. He lives in Williston with his wife, daughter, and dog.

Mining our Community Assets: School boards make a difference 
Allen Gilbert & Liz Subin

Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 10.11.06 AMAllen Gilbert is a former journalist, teacher, civil liberties advocate, and executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont.  Allen served nine years on the Worcester School Board and nine years on the Washington Central Supervisory Union Board.  Allen also was a member of the Vermont School Boards Association Board and served for one year as president of the VSBA board.

Liz Subin holds a Masters Degree in International Administration and recently served as one of the Project Coordinators for the Heart and Soul of Essex, a two-year community engagement initiative. She now serves on the board of Heart & Soul and works to engage the community on what matters most to the people who live and work in Essex. She has served on the school board in Essex since 2014, currently as chair of the communications task team on the Essex Westford School District Board.

Strengthening Families and Communities: Working together for positive education outcomes 
Breena Holmes, MD

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Influence area workshopsWhat can we do together at the state level, in our communities and in our schools? 

Coming soon: a summary of priorities identified in our state, community, and schools workshops.

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