Our Team

Umesh Acharya

Youth Resilience Coordinator

Kerrie Mathes

Jr. Iron Chef VT Coordinator

Tricia Pawlik, M.Ed.

Program Improvement Coordinator

Matt Wolf

Youth Voice Coordinator

Ben Ardel

Program Specialist

Nicole Miller

Interim Director

Brianne Smith

Youth Engagement Coordinator

Seth F. Hibbert

Communications & Development Coordinator

Katie O'Shea

STEM & Career Awareness Coordinator

Becky Wilcke

Project Assistant

Our Board

Vermont Afterschool places a high value on the contributions of all board members and the blend of their unique talents and commitments. We are grateful and deeply indebted to board members for their volunteer leadership resulting in improved educational and youth development outcomes for Vermont’s children and youth.

Raquel Aronhime
Director of Education and Evaluation
Mercy Connections

Raquel oversees the Education and Transition programs at Mercy Connections, an organization providing diverse academic, self-development, small business, mentoring and other learning and support opportunities for adults of all backgrounds and abilities. Prior to joining Mercy Connections, Raquel spent nine years at United Way of Northwest Vermont, deeply involved in community partnerships and funding to address some of the community’s most complex problems. Previously, her focus was primarily in international development, with highlights including five years at the U.S. Peace Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C., two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Slovakia, and a year working with Cuban and Haitian migrants housed at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Raquel holds a B.A. in French and Spanish from Wake Forest University, and an M.A. in Intercultural Management from the School for International Training. She resides in Burlington with her husband, Scott, their two teens, Eva and Sam, and their dog, Olaf, Viking Warrior (a.k.a. Ollie).

Virginia Burley, Secretary
Founder, Community Connections

Ginny Burley is the founder and former director of Community Connections, a project of the Montpelier Public School District and Washington Central Supervisory Union along with community partners Washington Central Friends of Education and Montpelier Alive!, which are both 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Since 2001, Community Connections has been serving the children and families of Berlin, Calais, East Montpelier, Middlesex, Montpelier, and Worcester with before- and afterschool programs for youth ages pre-k to 12; mentoring; prevention programs; drop-out prevention and alternative diploma. Her prior work experience includes serving as Assistant Director of the Adult Education Resource Center at Montclair State College, coordination of home visiting services at the Family Center of Washington County, and development of the Central Vermont New Directions Coalition, a substance abuse prevention coalition.

Jim Fitzpatrick
Co-Founder and Advisor, SchoolSpring

Jim has been in the education field 27 years as a teacher, principal and superintendent. He has managed school districts with multi-million dollar budgets. As a school administrator he was considered a leader and entrepreneur, especially in the area of technology. As principal of Champlain Valley Union High School, Jim pioneered the first distance-learning program in the Northeast. Since 1990, doing business as Fitzpatrick Associates, Jim has provided in-service and keynotes to educators around the world on issues involving responsibility, organizational climate, school culture and positive discipline. He is a member of various national educational groups and has traveled to over 25 countries and 40 states for his work. He holds a Masters Degree and Certificate of Advanced Study in Administration and Planning from UVM and a Bachelors Degree in History and Geography from Kent State University.

Vicki Graf
Principal, Jericho Elementary School

Vicki is the principal at Jericho Elementary School and has been working with students in Vermont as a teacher and principal for 35 years.

Katie Flanagan Mobley, Chair
Dean of Enrollment and Community Relations, Community College of Vermont (CCV)

Katie has worked in higher education since 1997, beginning as an admissions counselor at her alma mater, Middlebury College. In 2002, she graduated from the University of Vermont’s Higher Education and Student Affairs program. She has worked at the Community College of Vermont for the past fourteen years in a variety of roles including Coordinator of Academic Services and Co-Director of Secondary Education Initiatives, where she was involved with ACT 77 and the Expanded Learning Task Force. She has served on the Building Bright Futures Council, and she is currently on the board of Vermont Family Network.

Barbara Russ, Immediate Past Chair
Retired Teacher, Principal, and Afterschool Program Director

Barbara Russ is the former director of the Student Success Winooski & Beyond in the Winooski School District, Winooski, VT. Barb has over 30 years of experience working in education and much of that work has focused on literacy. Barbara is a literacy consultant for Scholastic and regularly provides professional development for 21C program directors and staff throughout Vermont. Barbara is the former director of UVM America Reads and Counts, a senior lecturer teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses, and program coordinator for the elementary education program at the University of Vermont. Additionally Barbara has worked as a classroom teacher, Language Arts Coordinator, and principal within various public schools in Vermont and holds a PreK-12 Vermont Principal License and K-6 Vermont Elementary Teaching License. Barbara earned a BS in Elementary Education with a concentration in Reading and Language Arts from the University of Vermont in 1979 and a M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction in 1984, supplemented by extensive coursework in education leadership. She is the co-author of several articles published in professional journals for educators and is co-author of the book Elementary Schools: Where Children Succeed in Literacy. Barbara currently serves as president of the Williston Town Band.

Vicky Smith
Executive Director, King Street Center

Vicky Smith, M.S.W. is executive director of King Street Center, a not-for-profit community organization located in Burlington, Vermont that provides children and families the core life-building skills necessary for a healthy and productive future. She currently serves as board chair of Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, an anti-poverty organization, sits on the Flynn Center for Performing Arts Educational Advisory Committee and participates on a number of local advocacy networks. Vicky received her M.S.W from Adelphi University/Vermont and has been director of King Street since 2007.

Rich Tulikangas
Director, Linking Learning to Careers

Rich Tulikangas currently serves as Director of Linking Learning to Careers, a statewide initiative through VocRehab Vermont to increase career and college readiness for high school students with disabilities. He has been passionate about helping prepare young people for life beyond high school and been a leader of numerous programs and organizations in Vermont and nationally with that focus for over 30 years. He served as founding Executive Director of Linking Learning to Life/Navicate, Work-Based Learning Director for the National Academy Foundation (now NAF), Consultant and Program Director in several capacities for the VT Agency of Education and was loaned to the Governor’s Office to develop the state’s School-To-Work plan. Rich has a BS in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan and an MEd from the University of Vermont in Human and Organizational Resource Development. He has presented at numerous state, regional and national conferences and his teaching focuses on supporting secondary educators with successfully developing and managing high quality work-based learning opportunities.

Lauren Wooden, Treasurer
Executive Director, Champlain Valley Educator Development Center (CVEDC)

Lauren Wooden is the Executive Director of CVEDC, the largest educational service agency in Vermont. CVEDC provides professional learning and other services to not only their member districts in four north and west counties, but to educators throughout Vermont both face-to-face and virtually. As the leader of this non-profit, Lauren works with educational leadership teams and partners to bring high quality learning that is aligned with Vermont’s work in equity, innovation, best practices and collaborative learning.