Leadership Southeast Vermont program updates

REGION – The Leadership Southeast Vermont program has recommenced after our Covid hiatus, with a record-breaking 19 participants from all over southern Vermont. This cohort of leaders has had three sessions so far, an orientation session, a regional culture and history day, and an education day.

In orientation, students learned what to expect in the upcoming classes. They also reflected on their own personal leadership styles and places where they could improve. Students also met their teams, who they will be working with on their group projects throughout the course. We had wonderful presentations from Allison Hopkins from the Mt. Ascutney Regional Commission, Susan Westa from the Windham Regional Commission, and Ross Gibson, a Leadership Educator from The Richards Group. Thank you to SEVCA in Westminster for allowing us use their building.

In the second session, held in Windsor, Vt., participants learned about regional culture and history. The day started with a series of presentations about the men that made an economic impact on Springfield and the Precision Valley, and the history of some of the local towns and their accomplishments. After the morning of presentations, the class got to enjoy the beautiful autumn day with a walking tour of Windsor, learning about the influential architecture and inventions that started there. The tour ended at the American Precision Museum where we were handed over to their knowledgeable staff for a tour through time and innovation. The students learned about how Windsor, and the surrounding towns, helped change the way we think about mass production. After regrouping at the Waypoint Center, we headed to our last stop, Saint-Gaudens National Historic Park, where we got a tour of his artwork and the historical context.

The third session took place on Nov. 3, 2022. The focus of the day was education, hosted by the River Valley Technical Center in Springfield, Vt. The participants heard from presenters who covered a wide range of education from early childcare, pre-school, elementary, middle and high school, and post-secondary education. We also heard about the variety of alternatives that are available to students such as technical education, online education, and on-the-job training. We listened to a panel of high school students from the River Valley Technical Center speak and answer questions about their educational journey and their tech center experience and how it has enhanced their education. The participants and speakers were treated to an amazing lunch and dessert prepared by the RVTC Culinary Students before going on a tour of the school and visiting the different trades the high school students could learn about.

Some common themes amongst the presentations were how Covid has impacted education, the value of early childhood education, and the shortage of teachers and administrators around the state and the country. It was a great exposure to the range of education options available in the state of Vermont, even for those who do not work in the field and it has no application to their job, it was fantastic information to have as a current or someday parent in the state of Vermont.

For more information about Leadership Southeast Vermont please visit our website: www.leadershipsevt.org or Contact Taylor Drinker at taylor@springfieldvt.com

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