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Our Team

Umesh Acharya

Youth Resilience Coordinator

Seth F. Hibbert

Communications & Development Coordinator

Katie O'Shea

STEM & Career Awareness Coordinator

Becky Wilcke

Project Assistant

Ben Ardel

Program Specialist

Kerrie Mathes

Jr. Iron Chef VT Coordinator

Tricia Pawlik, M.Ed.

Senior Associate for Program Quality

Matt Wolf

Youth Voice Coordinator

Rebecca Hatin

Business & Finance Manager

Nicole Miller

Executive Director

Brianne Smith

Youth Engagement Coordinator

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 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 twenty 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. Katie is currently the Dean of Enrollment and Community Relations at CCV. Outside of work, you can often find her coaching soccer or driving her kids to hockey rinks.

Barbara Russ, Former Chair
Retired Teacher, Principal, and Afterschool Program Director

Barbara currently volunteers her time working on advocacy and policy issues for Vermont Afterschool—with the focus on universal afterschool opportunities and access for all youth in Vermont. She has over 30 years of experience working in education with much of that work focused on literacy. Barbara earned a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Vermont, supplemented by extensive coursework in education leadership. In her spare time, she enjoys playing percussion in a variety of music groups and reading a good book by the lake.

Falko Schilling
Advocacy Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont

A native of Vermont, Falko received his law degree from Vermont Law School after attending Skidmore College. Prior to joining the ACLU, Falko spent five years leading winning legislative and grassroots campaigns at Vermont Public Interest Research Group. Major victories included helping pass the nation’s first mandatory genetically engineered food labeling law, expanding access to reproductive health care, and allowing dental therapists to practice in Vermont. Falko then joined Amy Shollenberger and the team at Action Circles as an Associate where he worked with clients, including Vermont Afterschool, to craft legislative campaign plans, create effective messaging, provide advocacy trainings, and lobby on their behalf. Falko lives in Montpelier with his wife, Elizabeth, and their son, Cedar. 

Rich Tulikangas
Director, Vermont Career Advancement Project

Rich Tulikangas currently serves as Director of the Vermont Career Advancement Project, a statewide initiative through HireAbility Vermont to support career pathway development for youth and adults with disabilities. He has been passionate about helping prepare young people for life beyond high school and has 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 he teaches a course at Castleton University focused on supporting secondary educators with successfully developing and managing high-quality work-based learning programs.

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