Holocaust awarenessBRISTOL — To mark United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and the conclusion of the first Vermont Holocaust Education Week, Mount Abraham High School students and twin sisters, Eliza and Emma Doucet, will hold their second annual Holocaust commemoration event from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, in Holley Hall, 1 South St., Bristol. All are welcome. Child care will be provided.

Jan. 27 is the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camps. The U.N. has urged every member state to honor the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism, and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.

Two years ago, other Vermont students also took up the issue of Holocaust education by starting a petition titled, “Help Make Holocaust Education Required in All Vermont Public Secondary Schools,” resulting in over 900 signatures and hundreds of offers of support and testimony. Vermont Holocaust Memorial is working with legislators for a bill to standardize Holocaust education in Vermont secondary schools. At least 22 states already require Holocaust education as part of their secondary school curricula, including every other New England state.


Shepherd appointmentBURLINGTON — The University of Vermont has announced the appointment of Katharine Shepherd as dean of the College of Education and Social Services effective Jan. 15. She is the Levitt Family Green and Gold Professor of Education who served as interim dean of the college since July 2021.

Shepherd joined CESS in 1986. In addition to teaching, she has held leadership positions, including Special Education Program coordinator, vice chair of the Department of Education, interim associate dean for academic affairs and research, associate dean for academic affairs, and interim dean of the college. She is a recipient of the President’s Distinguished University Citizenship and Service Award, the Higher Education Consortium for Special Education Leadership and Service Award, and the Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award, among other accolades.


Alzheimer’s educationVermont residents are invited to a free, educational, New England Family Conference hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association New England Region. The conference will take place Feb. 3-4 and is open to individuals living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, family caregivers and the public. Live translation in Spanish will be offered throughout the entire conference.

Currently in New England, there are more than 302,000 people living with Alzheimer’s disease, and roughly 596,000 individuals serving as unpaid family caregivers. Visit for a full list of sessions, topics and speakers, and to register for the conference.

Cardiac arrestWith increased public attention currently being paid to cardiac arrest, Dartmouth Health and the American Heart Association want to share helpful information if you find yourself in a situation where you think a person may be suffering cardiac arrest:

— Yell for help. Tell someone nearby to call 911 or your emergency response number. Ask that person or another bystander to bring you an AED (automated external defibrillator), if there’s one on hand. Tell them to hurry, time is of the essence. If you’re alone with an adult who has signs of cardiac arrest, call 911 and get an AED (if one is available).

— Check breathing. If the person isn’t breathing or is only gasping, administer CPR.

— Give CPR. Push down hard and fast at least 2 inches at a rate of 100 to 120 pushes a minute in the center of the chest, allowing the chest to come back up to its normal position after each push.

— Use an AED. Use the AED as soon as it arrives. Turn it on and follow the prompts.

— Keep pushing. Continue administering CPR until the person starts to breathe or move, or until someone with more advanced training takes over, such as an EMS provider

Resilient communitiesThe Vermont Council on Rural Development announced its selection of four Climate Economy Resilient Communities. The Resilient Communities program supports three to five Vermont communities per year working on local climate action solutions. This year’s projects currently include:

— Work with the Arlington Town Energy Committee on its greenhouse gas tracking for the town, and compiling available data tracking resources for other towns.

— Support Lyndonville in a community engagement plan, process and implementation focused on energy.

— Reboot the Randolph region climate economy initiative to bring the community together, celebrate successes, and develop future actions and ideas.

— Facilitate conversation around an intermunicipal energy coordinator for Bethel, South Royalton, Rochester, Randolph and other surrounding towns.

For more information, visit or email

Commission appointmentsThree women have been appointed to serve on the Vermont Commission on Women, the state’s nonpartisan commission working to advance rights and opportunities for women and girls. Gov. Phil Scott appointed Annie Mackin, of St. Albans, chief media relations officer at the University of Vermont Health Network. The Senate Committee on Committees appointed Esther Charlestin, of Middlebury, a first-generation Haitian American. Speaker of the House Jill Krowinski appointed Brenda Churchill, of Bakersfield, legislative liaison for the LGBTQIA Alliance of Vermont.

Agency appointmentsGov. Phil Scott announced he has appointed Shawn Nailor as secretary and chief information officer of the Agency of Digital Services, and Denise Reilly-Hughes as the agency’s deputy secretary.

Secretary Nailor has spent 34 years in public service, starting in engineering with the Agency of Transportation and then in information technology. He received an achievement award in Geographic Information Systems from the Environmental Systems Research Institute. Reilly-Hughes comes to the agency with over 20 years of technology experience in the private sector.

New directorWINOOSKI — Vermont Energy Investment Corp., a sustainable energy nonprofit, announced the hiring of Sue Hanson as the new director of consulting. She was most recently the director of clean energy at Tetra Tech for 11 years, where she led a team of six consultants. In her new role, Hanson will be responsible for developing strategies to expand the consulting service.


Union Mutual supportMONTPELIER — Union Mutual Insurance Co. recently announced a multi-year financial commitment to Central Vermont Medical Center’s Workforce Development: Nursing & Clinical Pathways Program. The insurance carrier will donate $50,000 to the initiative during the next five years. The growing Nursing Pathways program provides education and clinical training to support career growth while addressing the critical shortage of nurses at all levels statewide.

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