Northshire Notes

Ruffa apointed to state board

Liz Ruffa of East Dorset has been appointed by Governor Phil Scott to the Vermont Community Development Board, to serve a three year term. This statewide Board is located in the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development and works to improve and maintain the economic and physical environment in Vermont's municipalities, so as to enhance the quality of life for all Vermonters, particularly those of lower incomes. The Board's objectives are to conserve, expand, and improve housing; to create and retain employment; and to improve public facilities in support of housing or economic development activities, or where there is a threat to the public's health and safety.

Helping Vermonters integrate growth, environmental protections and economic opportunities into their regional and local framework matches Ruffa's commitment to the educational, workforce and business development opportunities in regional and local food economies through her work as Executive Director with Northshire Grows Inc. " I am delighted to serve the state in this capacity and to bring my experience using agriculture and food systems as a lever for community growth to this Board." A member of the Town of Dorset's Select Board, Ruffa recently completed the 2018 Snelling Government Center's Vermont Leadership Institute and looks forward to applying her VLI experience to this work.

BBA seeks business partners for School to Work Program

During the 2018-2019 school year, Burr and Burton will be piloting a School to Work Program designed to enhance 12th grade students' exploration of post-graduation career possibilities. While Burr and Burton strives to prepare all students for further education, this program is designed for students who are seeking to enter the workforce directly after high school.

Participants in this program will visit business and community organizations over the course of the Fall and early Winter to learn about career opportunities, hear from employers about their hopes and expectations, and gain a better understanding of what to expect after high school. These visits will be intertwined with classroom work on setting personal goals, building skills and knowledge, and planning for the transition out of high school. The goal of the program is to place students in structured work-study opportunities for the Spring semester, where they can make a meaningful contribution to a business or organization while continuing their learning in preparation for graduation. Students will be supported by BBA faculty throughout the process.

With the 2013 passage of the Flexible Pathways Initiative, part of Act 77, the Vermont legislature formalized the notion that not all learning needs to happen in the traditional classroom setting, and in fact, powerful and meaningful learning can occur anywhere. Schools across Vermont, as a result, have been creating and expanding work-based learning programs that provide students with structured opportunities to work with business and community partners, to deepen their knowledge and skills in the attainment of their individual academic and professional goals.

The success of Burr and Burton's new program will depend heavily on the support of businesses and organizations in the community. BBA is looking for individuals or organizations that would like to share their knowledge and resources and who recognize that important learning occurs outside of the classroom. Involvement as a business or community partner means helping students to graduate from high school as better citizens, better informed about opportunities available to them, and better prepared to make meaningful contributions to their local communities and businesses. School to Work Program faculty members will be reaching out to local businesses and organizations in the coming months and would love to hear from anyone interested in partnering with the program.

If you are interested in hosting the class for a visit to your organization during the Fall semester or learning about opportunities to host a work-based-learning student next Spring, please contact Jon Mowry ( or Leah MacDonald (

SVAC and Cafe Sora celebrate Japanese art, cooking, and culture June 20 - 23

Japan Week at the Southern Vermont Art Center will bring the southwestern Vermont summer community together for a series of interactive activities, presentations and performances on Japanese traditional and current culture.

The 5-day event kicks of Wednesday, June 20 with a cooking class and origami workshop. In the Yester House

gallery there will be a collection of original Japanese woodblock prints by Ando Hiroshige, who is considered the last great master of the art.

Saturday, from noon to 8 p.m., SVAC will host a Japan festival offering Movie "Totoro," Kimono dressing, interactive calligraphy and traditional Japanese festival food. Also on offer will be a Ikebana demonstration with live Koto music. Admission is free and all ages are welcome.

From 5 p.m., the Caf turns into Karaoke Izakaya (Japanese Tapas night). Enjoy a special menu and singing.

Japan Week is made possible through the Education Grants program at The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnerships (CGP).

For more information and event times visit: www.facebook/cafesoravt 802-367-1028

Community Day at Hildene

Sunday, June 10 is Community Day at Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home. This special day is Hildene's way of thanking the community.

The public is welcome to discover all Hildene has to offer free of charge. Guests are encouraged to bring walking shoes so they can visit the site's many venues: historic home and gardens, Welcome Center and The Museum Store, Pullman car Sunbeam, Goat Dairy and cheese-making facility at Hildene Farm, Dene Farm, floating boardwalk, greenhouse and twelve miles of scenic woodland and meadow trails.

Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic, stay for an hour or spend the day.

All visitors must check in at the Welcome Center to receive a sticker. 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Picnic tables for Georgi

The Georgi on the Battenkill Community Park and Museum has received a gift of two 10' Picnic Tables, each with wheelchair access at both ends. This project was done by Rylan Pirlot, Eagle Scout from Troop 6061 in Salem, N.Y. He had building assistance from Kyle Bink, Rob Bink, John Bink, Aidan Lathrop, and Wade Pirlot (as seen in the attached photo). The materials for the project were provided through donations and support from the Community as well as local businesses including: Dr. Menard at Borador Animal Hospital, Salem Hardware, Finch Paper, Brahmer Fuels, Yushak's, Salem Auto Parts/NAPA, Fitzgerald Morris Baker Firth P.C., Don and Judy Wanner (Rylan's Grandparents in Wisconsin), and Curtis Lumber in Granville.

Rylan has been a scout since 2008 when he first joined Cub Scouts, in 1st grade, in Arvada, CO.He knew then that he wanted to be an Eagle Scout. He moved on to a Boy Scout Troop 400 in Evergreen, Co, until we moved to Salem in 2016 when he joined Troop 6061. Over the years he has continuously given back to community's and has helped others on their Eagle projects over the years, but now finally has his own completed. He has always stayed focused on completing his requirements and has always done with pride and integrity. He has proven to be a leader and is a respected member of his troop. He has held many different positions as a scout, including Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader, Quarter Master, Librarian, and Chaplan. Councilman Harold "Butch" Gilchrist was at the Georgi to thank Rylan in person, on behalf the Town of Salem, N.Y. for the generous gift as it was delivered and presented for public use.

GNAT Wins in national video competition

Each year The Alliance for Community Media (ACM) hosts the Hometown Media Awards recognizing the best in community media programing. This year several GNAT Volunteer Producers won awards; GNAT will also take home the award for 2017 Overall Excellence.

Joe Nicholson, Levi Jones, and Thomas Sheldon, and GNAT Youth Producer, Ann Hammerle won for their show "Kids on Sports;" Shawn Harrington, and GNAT Production Manager, Hoss Wuerslin won for their show "Time Stamp;" Steve Dunning and Jeff Linebeck won for their show "Mono."

The Overall Excellence Award is a professional award recognizing the effectiveness and value of GNAT's on-air content and services provided to the community. The judging criteria include use of emerging media and communication tools, variety and technical quality of the productions, and how those programs serve community needs and concerns.

Founded in 1976, The Alliance for Community Media (ACM) represents over 3,000 Public, Education and Government (PEG) access organizations and community media centers throughout the country. The ACM works to protect the interests of these media centers and community members who use PEG Access facilities and equipment. GNAT is one of twenty-five community media centers in Vermont, broadcasting public, education, and government content created by and for the community.

GNAT Executive Director states, "Recognition from our peers across the country validates our efforts and provides encouragement for us to continue building a robust media center that serves and reflects our community. It shines a light on the successes of the volunteers, and the GNAT staff and symbolizes that not for profit Community Media is a viable and important way to connect people and build community."

All of the award winning programs will air Saturdays throughout the month of June starting at 10AM on GNAT's Comcast Channels 15 & 8. You may also watch these and other local programs online at: To learn more and get involved, visit or call 802-362-7070.


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