Skip to main content

Meet the Secretary

Vermont Secretary of Education Zoie Saunders

Zoie Saunders, M.Ed.

For nearly two decades, Zoie Saunders, M.Ed. has dedicated her career to improving student outcomes, opening pathways to careers and college for all students, and ensuring that every student has access to a great public school. Saunders has family roots in rural America and was raised with strong values around collective advocacy, experiences that have shaped her professional focus on equity, access, and opportunity.

Through her career in education, Saunders has earned a reputation for being an effective, results-oriented leader and a fiscally responsible manager. She is also a proven and trusted collaborator with educators, parents, state and local officials, and civic leaders.

Saunders has had clear and measurable success supporting educators and students in public schools across the country. As the Vice President of Strategy for Charter Schools USA, she led the school improvement strategy for a network of more than 80 public charter schools across seven states which served more than 70,000 students. In this role, the proportion of schools earning an A or B grade doubled within two years and school achievement scores increased an average of 41 percent. Since 2019, Saunders has worked at the district level. She most recently oversaw strategy and innovation for Broward County Public Schools, one of the nation’s largest school districts. Her work as Chief Education Officer for the City of Ft. Lauderdale was recognized by the Biden Administration’s U.S. Department of Labor, National League of Cities, and Neighborhoods USA.

Saunders attended Harvard University as an undergraduate and has an M.Ed. from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development. While pursuing her M.Ed. at Vanderbilt, she supported the Obama Administration’s Promise Neighborhood Initiative. Saunders enjoys volunteering and most recently served on the Broward County Public Schools Parent and Community Involvement Task Force and Broward County Public School Caliber Award Committee.

Saunders’ family lives in Vermont. She has two school-aged children who attend public schools in Florida and will enroll in public school in Vermont when her family moves to the state full time later this year.