Harassment, Hazing, and Bullying Prevention Advisory Council

Council Bios

Rebecca Holcombe joined the Agency of Education in January 2014. Prior to joining the Agency, Rebecca taught at the middle school, high school and university levels. She taught social studies and science before becoming the principal at the Fairlee School. While at Fairlee, she helped lead the district through the formation of the Rivendell Interstate School District. Rebecca researched issues related to high stakes testing and worked on projects related to organizational learning, school leadership and principal development while pursuing her doctorate at Harvard. More recently, as Director of Dartmouth College's Teacher Education Program, she worked with pre-service teachers and taught a course on Education Politics and Policy. Rebecca holds a BA in History from Brown University, a MBA from the Simmons School of Management and a M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is currently working on her Doctorate. Rebecca also completed coursework for her principal certification at Lyndon State College and received her preparation as a teacher at the Upper Valley Educators Institute. After a decade away from Vermont, Rebecca was thrilled to move back and place her two children in Vermont schools a few years ago. She appreciates the high levels of public involvement and debate about how to improve education for our children that characterize Vermont schools.

Alayna Badeau is a senior at Union 32 High school. She is a student representative on the U32 School board where she is the voice of the student body and addresses the concerns of the students. Her freshman year in high school she was elected at class president. She participated in the Governor’s Institute of Vermont on Current Issues and Youth Activism where she learned the power of a group voice. Alayna has been the youth representative for the Gross National Happiness USA Campaign and has helped organize happiness centered community events. She is passionate about the kind treatment of people and wants to inspire young people to take action against hazing, harassment, and bullying.

Dana Kaplan is the Director of Education at Outright Vermont, a statewide non-profit working to create safe, healthy and supportive environments for LGBTQA youth age 13-22. Dana does all things education related in Vermont schools and community organizations, from student and staff ally development trainings to queer & trans* 101 workshops. They are currently launching a peer education program with high school students to bring anti-harassment and identity development workshops to middle schools. Dana is also the Vermont GSA Network coordinator, working closely with school GSA's (advisors and students) to ensure best practices, skill development, and community networking opportunities. Prior to working at Outright Vermont, Dana was at UVM working as an Assistant Director in the Center for Student Ethics and Standards. Dana holds a Masters in Mediation and Applied Conflict Students from the Woodbury Institute at Champlain College, and a Bachelors in Social Work from the University of Vermont.

Curtiss Reed, Jr. is the executive director of Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity. He also serves on the governing board of Vermont Independent Media, publisher of the award-winning newspaper, The Commons, and its Media Mentoring Project. Curtiss is a faculty member of the Snelling Center for Government’s Vermont Leadership Institute in the area of diversity, race, and public engagement. He is former chair of the Vermont State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

Henri Sparks is the equity director for the Burlington School District (BSD). Throughout his career, Henri has served as an advocate for youth and families, and has demonstrated a strong commitment to ensuring social justice for all. Prior to joining the Burlington School District, Henri was the Neighborhood Planning Assembly Coordinator and Youth Advocate for the City of Burlington. Since 1996, Henri has worked for the Burlington School District as the Coordinator of Student and Family Support Services, and as the Director of the Alternative Day Program. Over the years he has developed several successful programs including, BHS Alternative Day program, Homework Center, Summer Transitions Program and Shades of Ebony (co-director). Henri holds a Master’s Degree in Community and Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University, and he completed the Upper Valley Educators Institute program for aspiring Principals.

Jeff Fannon is general counsel for Vermont-NEA, the union that was instrumental in promoting anti-bullying and harassment programs statewide. Prior to joining the educators' union, Jeff was a lawyer representing non-profit organizations, including labor unions and Taft-Hartley trusts, for eighteen years in Washington, DC and Vermont. He was former counsel to the Vermont Health Care Administration under former Governor Howard Dean. Jeff holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Vermont, and a Juris Doctorate Degree from Georgetown University.

Jeff Francis is the executive director of the Vermont Superintendents Association (VSA). In that capacity, Jeff works with Vermont's educational leaders on a wide array of issues related to public education including the improvement of the overall climate in schools and the prevention of, and response to, the societal issues of hazing, harassment, and bullying. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Northeastern University.

Kathy Johnson is an equity and diversity leader dedicated to social justice through adult education, youth development, and systems change. She specializes in working with adults and students to create welcoming, respectful environments free of bias, stereotyping, harassment, and discrimination. Johnson has worked with schools and organizations across Vermont to improve gender equity, and bullying and harassment prevention and response for the last 20 years. She is a self-employed senior training consultant with the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE Institute. Johnson is former Director of Equity Initiatives at Vermont Institutes. She holds a Master’s Degree in Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies from Champlain College.

Ken Page is the executive director of the Vermont Principals Association (VPA). He has been a teacher for 15 years, a principal for 21 years, and is now in his fourth year at the VPA. As a teacher, Ken's passion was student engagement and middle level education; as a school leader, he brings a wide perspective to his work having worked for most of his career in central Vermont, at U-32 High School and Calais Elementary School before having the chance of a lifetime to start Crossett Brook Middle School serving the communities of Waterbury and Duxbury. Ken brings experience and perspective to his role on the council. He holds a Master’s Degree in Reading and Language Arts from the University of Vermont.

Kim Brittenham is the community access coordinator for the state-wide disability rights organization, the Vermont Center for Independent Living. As Vermont’s ADA technical assistance and training provider, Kim works with state and local government to improve access to programs, services, and facilities. She also works at the intersection of violence and disability, serving on Vermont’s Governor’s Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force and the National Council on Independent Living’s Task Force on Violence and Abuse of People with Disabilities.

Lucie Garand is the government relations specialist at Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC, the state’s largest law firm. Lucie manages the health care practice within the government and public affairs group, representing hospitals, the Brattleboro Retreat, and other health care entities at the statehouse and with state agencies. Lucie advocates on behalf of the interests for the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. In addition to her legislative work, Lucie is a member of the firm’s Health Law Group. Prior to joining DRM, Lucie worked at the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems for more than 20 years, including six years as the director of state legislative affairs and emergency preparedness. Lucie has a keen interest in creating a culture of safety and acceptance in schools, including schools that serve children with special needs.

Mill Moore is the executive director of Vermont Independent Schools Association (VISA) representing the Vermont independent schools community which includes 127 schools with an enrollment of approximately 9800 students or 11% of the K-12 enrollment in the state. Mill is also a marketing research consultant, providing business-to-business and business-to-consumer research services to regional and national clients in for-profit and non-profit sectors. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Middlebury College, and a Master’s Degree in Communication from the University of Vermont.

Nicole Hammarstrom is sixteen and in her junior year at Spaulding High School. She has moved around a lot due to her father's work. She was born in Brockton, MA and moved to NH at the age of four and after elementary school moved to Barre, VT. Everyone says that she is a very nice person, loves to help people and doesn’t like to see people upset. She participates in JROTC, which she describes as a “leadership class with a mix of the military”. In this program, she reports that she has learned many skills. She used to be shy and did not enjoy talking to people, but now she reports that she is outgoing and has no problem talking and meeting new people. She has learned how to take charge of a situation and if given directions and a mission, she will try her hardest to get it done. She plans to apply to CCV at the end of this year, so she can take her freshman year of college during her senior year of high school. She is really interested in children and education and hopes to become a teacher one day. She wants to make a difference in someone’s life and by being a teacher, she feels that she will be able to do just that.

Nicole Mace is the associate director for legal services at the Vermont School Boards Association (VSBA). In that role she provides general counsel to the Association and legal information, training, and support to school board members. Prior to joining the VSBA, Nicole served as research director and senior policy advocate at Voices for Vermont's Children, where she focused her research on identifying strategies to ensure our local systems have the resources and support they need to provide an excellent education to all our young people, particularly those who struggle due to barriers created by disability, poverty, or language. Nicole holds a Law Degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Tomas Rogel is a junior at Montpelier High School. He is also the creator of the Bully Project, in which he and several volunteers interviewed over thirty people on the streets of Montpelier to collect their thoughts about bullying and harassment. He then presented this project in the form of photography and audio in an effort to start conversations on this very important issue. Tomas is looking forward to bringing the Bully Project to his school this spring, but in the meantime, he is looking for other ways to bring awareness to the issue. More information on the Bully Project

Tracey Tsugawa is the civil rights investigator and trainer for the Vermont Human Rights Commission (HRC). At the Commission, Tracey focuses on bullying and harassment issues in schools as well as immigrant and refugee issues. She is a founding member of CQ Strategies, a consulting group that works with non-profit and governmental entities on cultural competency, organizational development, and anti-bias work. Tracey has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels for the past 28 years, currently teaching in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Vermont. She also serves as a member of the Vermont State Advisory Committee for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Tracey lived and worked in Tokyo, Japan and Cali, Colombia. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in East Asian Studies from Oberlin College, and a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Questions?

Tracey Tsugawa, Vermont Human Rights Commission, at tracey.tsugawa@state.vt.us or (802) 828-2493

Page Last Updated on June 10, 2014