We are the Vermont Council on Literacy. We are all volunteers committed to excellence in literacy instruction for the children of the state of Vermont. We would love to have you join us. Interested? Fill out this quick survey.
Ellen A Thompson, Ed. D., VCL President
Doctorate of Education | 2007 | University of Vermont Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Masters of Education | 1986 | University of Vermont Major: Curriculum Development Minor: Literacy Bachelors of science | 1977 | University of Vermont Major: Elementary Education, K-6 Minor: Special Education, K-12
Ellen A. Thompson has been an educator for over 46 years. She taught as a classroom teacher in Vermont for over twenty years with many of those years in a multiage setting teaching children aged 6-9 years of age. Ellen was named the Vermont State Teacher of the Year in 1993 and she achieved her National Board Certification as an Early Childhood Generalist in 1999. Ellen began consulting nationally in 1993 and has continued this work throughout her years as an educator. Upon leaving the classroom, Ellen joined the Elementary Education literacy faculty at the University of Vermont in 2000. At the University, she taught undergraduate literacy courses, supervised student teachers and also worked as a literacy consultant in two large scale literacy research projects which spanned the grades K-6. For twelve years Ellen worked with the Essex Town School District as the Director of Instruction and Information Services. During this time, Ellen completed her doctoral studies in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Vermont in the fall of 2007. After the merging of the Essex Town School District and the Chittenden Central Supervisory Union, Ellen continued working with educators in the newly created Essex Westford School District as the Director of Learning Design. Ellen is currently a literacy consultant for Partnerships in Literacy and Learning.
Books, reading, writing and communicating with others has been my life blood. It is what makes me tick. I want today’s children to understand the deep joy it brings as well as the power it commands! Our teachers need to understand the potential these children have to make our world a better place.
Carol Millett, VCL Vice President
BA, Wheaton College, 1974 Master of Education, Smith College, 1976 UVM Outstanding Vermont Teacher, 1993 Snelling Vermont School Leadership Project 2003-2004 Board Member of Windham County Reads
I live in Whitingham, Vermont with my husband and our elderly cat, Ginger Pye. Our home is a converted one-room schoolhouse, School House #5. Reading has been a passion since I was a child. I remember reading with a flashlight under the covers, and pleading with my mother to let me read “just one more chapter”.
I hope I have impacted literacy education through my 30+ years on the board of Vermont Council on Reading. Bringing expert speakers to Vermont teachers has been a satisfying part of my career. One of my main goals as a teacher has been to inspire a love of reading in my students. I joined the board of Windham County Reads because I wanted to support the programs they provided. One of our main programs was a book mobile that regularly visited day care providers and schools. We also sponsored a county-wide reading challenge each March. Literacy education is vital to our democracy because we need informed voters.
Natalie Lodge, VCL Secretary
M. Ed., K-6 teaching license
K-12 literacy specialist endorsement
Hinesburg Community School (Champlain Valley School District)
Literacy Interventionist and Coordinator
I have been teaching in public schools for over 11 years and love the work I do! I was a classroom teacher for eight years, teaching grades 2, 3, 4, and 5, a literacy coach for three years, and now I am a literacy interventionist and coordinator. I am passionate about helping students feel confident as readers so that they can enjoy reading and access any opportunities possible. I enjoy spending time outside, and of course reading, with my three children, husband, and our dog!
I am constantly trying to stay current on best practice on literacy by attending workshops, courses, webinars, reading books, and listening to podcasts. I do my best to impact literacy educator by sharing my learning with my colleagues.
I am very interested in learning how to “re-balance” the reading workshop so that students have access to multi-sensory systematic phonics instruction while also reading high-quality authentic texts with the ultimate goal being to deepen reading comprehension. I am very interested in “Shifting the Balance” by Jan Miller Burkins and Kari Yates. I am participating in a year long workshop about adolescent literacy as I will be working with older students this year and am so excited!
Rebecca Shute, VCL Treasurer
Licensed Reading and Language Arts Specialist
Early Childhood and Elementary Educator
Current position: Lab Supervisor and Outreach Coordinator for Burlington Technical Center’s Educational Training & Leadership Program, Burlington School District
Becca has always had a passion for literacy since she was a young girl, and she pursued this passion into the field of education. She’s been teaching for 6 years with a concentration on literacy, and finds particular joy in reaching readers and writers who struggle and in making positive change through equity practices. In her spare time, Becca loves to read, explore the outdoors, watch baseball, and travel as much as possible.
As a licensed reading specialist, the importance of literacy is ingrained in Becca’s instructional practices, from her youngest students to her high school students and rising educators. Her love for reading is what brought her on this path, and she knows that literacy education is the foundation for all other learning. As a lover of reading and writing, Becca can connect to students through books connected to their own interests, and has inspired many students to pursue writing themselves. The transformation of her students into bookworms and authors is one of her greatest joys.
For years, Becca has been creating and revising units of study bolstered by diverse books – books that represent similar themes and lessons through a variety of characters with varying life experiences, backgrounds, family structures, and tragedies to overcome. Each year, she searches for the newest and most relevant books by authors representing their own voices through diverse and personal fictional characters. The connection between literacy education and equity is what makes her tick.
Angela Yakovleff, VCL Board member
BSEd Wheelock College, MEd UVM, John Poeton Award 2015 (VCR) Certificate of Public Librarianship 2021 (VT Dept. of Libraries)
I was an elementary teacher for 39 years. During this time I taught K, 1, 4, 5, and 4/5 literacy and social studies. For the past six years I have been the youth librarian in my town library. I love travel and have been fortunate to have traveled to six of the seven continents, most recently to Antarctica. During our VT winters I love to snowshoe. Summers provide my husband and I time at our camp on Lake Champlain. I am trying to hone photography skills to capture and share my travels. One fairly recent accomplishment-summiting Camel’s Hump this year. It was challenging, but fun, and the views were spectacular.
I am an avid reader and have always shared great books with kids and adults alike. I always strive to have kids see themselves as readers and discover the world that reading can open to them. I encourage kids to talk to one another about what they’ve read and express their ideas and opinions whether it is through discussion or writing. There’s nothing better than having a kid absolutely excited about a book they’ve discovered.