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Vermont Education Summits


Since 2009, the McClure Foundation and the Vermont Community Foundation have co-hosted an Annual Education Summit to address accomplishments, challenges, and opportunities related to building access to postsecondary and career education. Over the years, the summit has focused on several different aspects of this work — from Career and Technical Education (CTE) to workforce development and work-based learning. Although the shape and form of the summit may change from year to year, the goal is consistent: to help build momentum and coordination among funders, state agencies, nonprofit practitioners, and educators involved in this work.

For the first time in summit history, the summit of fall 2013 took the shape of a learning seminar for Vermont-based funders and grantmakers with an interest in workforce education. Keynote Speaker Lawrence Miller, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, joined panelists from leading nonprofits and state agencies to discuss the roles of funders and the business community in encouraging workforce development and opportunities for work-based learning. As a result of the summit, the McClure Foundation and the Vermont Community Foundation launched the Vermont Education Funders listserv to encourage the sharing of observations, ideas, and queries related to grantmaking in this field. 

The summit of fall 2012 continued the conversation between educators, legislators, businesspeople, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropists around the role of leverage and philanthropy in promoting educational and career opportunities for Vermonters. Keynote Speaker Tim Donovan, Chancellor of Vermont State Colleges, joined speaker Peter Peltz, ranking member of the Vermont House Education Committee, in talking about promising new initiatives to revitalize our schools and colleges and to serve the career education needs of both young and adult Vermonters. See a video of Mr. Donovan's speech higlights below. 


The summit of fall 2011 focused on leveraging philanthropy in order to maximize the access of Vermonters to post-secondary and career education. Keynote speaker Matt Dunne, Manager of Community Affairs for Google, joined Community College of Vermont President Joyce Judy and CCV’s Director of Veterans’ Services Chara Vincelette-Perochi as featured speakers. McClure VP Barbara Benedict highlighted the Foundation's use of leverage in philanthropy and a summary of her remarks can be found here

The summit of fall 2010 focused on the promise of Vermont’s Career and Technical Education. Armando Vilaseca, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Education, spoke about the key role of innovative secondary education; Penny Chamberlin, head of the Barre Technical program outreach effort to at-risk ninth graders, spoke of the successes of her model program; and Lauren Curry of the Tarrant Foundation highlighted that organization’s partnership with the Education Department at UVM to bring technology-rich learning to middle school students via the I-LEAP program. 

Our first annual Vermont Education Summit, held in the fall of 2009, was established to follow up the dissemination that spring of the Vermont Community Foundation’s publication Understanding Vermont: Postsecondary Education. McClure Foundation Vice President Barbara Benedict introduced numerous Vermont educators and philanthropists to the process of inquiry that led to this publication, and to the Foundation’s commitment to join with private and public stakeholders to promote promising initiatives and systemic change in Vermont postsecondary and career education.

At this first summit Holly Tippett, publication researcher and advisor, discussed the challenges and innovative initiatives unearthed by the inquiry process; and Frank Miglorie, President of St. Joseph College of Rutland, spoke about the public-private STEPS partnership underway at his institution to offer college education and support services for Vermont foster youth.