VSI Lead Instructor and Project ManagerRenee Affolter joined VSI in 2003 as a mentor for participants in the VSI MA Program. Since then she has served as instructor for multiple courses (e.g. Action Research, Best Practices in Science Education, Assessment) and has been involved in grant writing, support for program evaluation, and conceptualization and implementation of new VSI programs. In her current position as Lead Instructor and Project Manager, Renee works closely with the VSI staff to collaboratively develop, plan, and implement VSI’s professional development offerings.
Renee is currently pursuing her doctorate in Science Education at UMass Amherst. She is passionate about supporting teachers in leading academically productive talk in the science classroom. She is also a lead facilitator and part of the Facilitator Pathway Design Team for the Next Generation Science Exemplar (NGSX) project where she is studying how to best support teacher leaders working as PD providers to bring productive talk to their fellow educators. Prior to working as a PD provider, Renee was a middle and high school science teacher in the Bay Area and in Vermont and holds a MA in Science Education from UC Berkeley.
PLC CoordinatorDavid White is the coordinator of professional learning communities for the Vermont Science Initiative. He also works with schools and districts providing professional development and science curriculum support. Prior to joining the staff of VSI, David was the director of curriculum, assessment and instruction for the Lamoille North Supervisory Union. He served as Vermont’s state science coordinator from 2000 to 2005 and taught science for 25 years prior to working at the Department of Education. David also served on the National Science Education Standards development working group and currently serves on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) standing committee as well as the advisory board for the Next Generation Science Exemplar initiative. He has a MEd. in science curriculum and instruction from the University of Vermont.
VSI Lead Instructor and Project ManagerDeanna Bailey joined VSI in January 2014 to facilitate the Next Generation Science Exemplars professional development pathway and co-instruct the Science and Engineering Academy. Since then, Deanna has moved into the role of Lead Instructor and Project Manager beside Renee Affolter. Renee and Deanna work closely with Alan Giese and Dave White to collaboratively develop, plan and carry out VSI’s professional development offerings.
Deanna holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MS in Science Education from Montana State University. Currently, she is pursuing her doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Vermont. A 15+ year veteran teacher of first- through ninth-grade science, Deanna formerly coordinated science curriculum, instruction, and assessment for Barre Supervisory Union in Barre, Vermont.
When time allows, Deanna leads science professional development in school districts and for the Lamoille Area Professional Development Association. When Deanna’s not working on science education projects, you’ll find her hiking or skiing with her husband Chris, or curled up with a good book.
“(This course) has opened my mind to all the different aspects of teaching science.”