Farm and Food Studies

Burr and Burton Academy students have the unique opportunity to experience hands-on, place-based learning through classes based at the Hildene Farm. Hildene and BBA share similar missions and core values around integrity, service, civic responsibility, and sustainability, which makes for a rich and meaningful programmatic partnership. The BBA-Hildene Farm collaborative mission statement is to actively engage students and guests on a sustainable working landscape for the purpose of creating widespread positive societal change.

This partnership allows students to learn using the Hildene Farm’s amazing resources, including: farm, forest, wetland, and meadow ecosystems; gardens, pastures, livestock facilities, and a dedicated BBA garden; a state-of-the-art teaching greenhouse; a newly-constructed classroom in an historic 19th century barn; and the knowledge and passion of working farmers. Through the Farm and Food Studies program, students have significant opportunity for hands-on, integrated study of:
  • Sustainability
  • Plant and soil science
  • Ecology and naturalist skills
  • Agricultural methods
  • Food systems
  • Culinary arts
  • Civic responsibility
  • Wildlife and habitat management
  • Field study and hands-on internships
  • Summer employment
  • Student-driven inquiry projects
  • Integration across multiple academic disciplines
  • …and more!
Shared institutional goals for the Burr and Burton and Hildene Farm partnership include:
  • a desire to bring sustainability to the forefront of each organization’s respective program;
  • allowing students the opportunity to invest in their community, learn more about what they can do to make a positive environmental impact; and, through place-based, experiential learning, study agriculture, food systems, and our local environment;
  • engaging students in growing food to serve the needs of BBA, Hildene, and food access in the local community;
  • enabling thoughtful curricular integration across Burr and Burton’s academic disciplines by using the farm as a vehicle for learning through class visits, hands-on projects, service experiences, and inter-department collaboration

Farm and Food Studies courses currently taking place at the Hildene Farm Classroom include Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture, CP Farms, Food and Systems Thinking, CP Ethnobotany, and CP/Honors Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. In addition, students can participate in a Farm Skills Internship or become a BBA-Hildene Farm summer employee.

Farm and Food Studies Team

List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Nora Hefner

    Nora Hefner 

    Science Teacher/Food & Farm Studies Coordinator
  • Photo of Rebecca Allen

    Rebecca Allen 

    Science Teacher
  • Sarah McMillan 

    Social Studies Teacher/Food Program Coordinator
    802 362 1775

Student Success Program

The Student Success program primarily serves first-generation, college-bound students.


Success Scholars will develop college and career readiness skills, strength of character, and a sense of purpose that will propel them toward a lifetime of success.

Pursuing Success--Program Goals:

  1. Scholars will become self-reliant; they will have a strong sense of financial and social independence.
  2. Scholars will effectively navigate relationships and resources, with the goal of ultimately contributing positively to the greater good of the Burr and Burton community and society as a whole.
  3. Scholars will develop a sense of self-worth through the process of setting and realizing personal and professional goals.

Indicators of Success

Scholars will demonstrate the following success indicators:
  • Confidence;
  • Academic proficiency and appreciation for the value of education;
  • Transferable skills, including collaboration;
  • Mindset of perseverance and optimism;
  • Self-control, Self-worth and Joy;
  • Establishment of a future vision to work toward;
  • The ability to effectively navigate resources;
  • Professionalism and knowledge of “Hidden Rules;”
  • Healthy relationships with adults and peers.
The Student Success Program is a program built and designed to help scholars grow into successful young adults throughout their high school experience. Scholars are guided onto the path of success by researching and visiting colleges that they might be interested in, developing healthy and positive relationships with one another, learning the importance of advocacy and independence, and so much more.
-Jason Pergament

Student Success Team

List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Jason Pergament

    Jason Pergament 

    Director of Success Program
  • Photo of Billy Canfield

    Billy Canfield 

    Associate Success Program Director
  • Photo of Rachel Senecal

    Rachel Senecal 

    Academic Interventionist

Target Program

Any Burr and Burton student struggling to succeed in a standard, traditional secondary program or at high risk of dropping out of school is eligible to apply to the Target Program. The Target Program is an alternative education program located at a satellite campus on Richville Road in Manchester. Students receive individualized instruction and support for their coursework, designed to mirror the curriculum on the main campus.
The Target Program seeks to develop the following skills in each of its students so that they better understand their academic, social and emotional strengths and challenges: self-reliance; self-advocacy; perseverance; empathy; creativity and imagination; critical thinking and questioning; collaboration; goal setting, and communication.

Students interested in the Target Program should first discuss their interest with their parent(s) or guardian(s), Case Manager (if applicable), and School Counselor before completing the application found here.  

Special Services

The Special Services Department educates students who are identified through a special education review process as eligible for special education (specialized instruction) and who have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). An Evaluation and Planning Team determines a student’s eligibility for an IEP according to Vermont State Department of Education Special Education rules.
Two specific programs are available to meet qualifying students’ needs:
1) The ACCESS/Life Skills Program (Accessing Community, Careers, and Education through Successful Self-Determination) provides students with individualized support for academic and practical skills. This program focuses on the areas of functional academics, self-care, daily living skills, independent living, community access, and job training and placement. Social thinking is also an important component of instruction. By making specialized instruction available to students, the program balances the myriad educational and extra-curricular opportunities at Burr and Burton with the necessary skills for students to become independent adults and contributing members of the Northshire region.
2) The Learning Center is for students who need additional academic support to function successfully in regular education classes. In this program, specialized instruction is provided through the Study Skills course. The staff members help students identify learning problems; they provide remediation in the areas of deficiency; they tutor in the content areas; they teach specific basic skills, exam-taking skills, and organizational skills; and they help students develop strategies to manage behavior. Any student with a 504 plan may also receive support through the Study Skills class if their education team recommends it. In addition to Study Skills, identified special education students may take a core academic class at a modified level for credit through the Learning Center programs. Special Education paraeducators are available for those identified students who need assistance in their core academic classes.
Indirect services include consultation with classroom teachers, conferencing with parents, IEP development, management of students’ educational program, curricula revision, and coordination with other professionals involved in the process of special education. Special education personnel work with other agencies’ personnel to facilitate the transition of students to college or other post-high school or employment opportunities.
The Special Services staff includes Vermont-certified learning specialists, a speech and language pathologist, paraeducators, and related service providers.
For more information please contact Mary Diaz, Director of Special Services, at 802-549-8153 or by e-mail at mdiaz@burrburton.org.

Special Services Categories

Special services are provided for students who qualify under one or more of the following categories of disabilities:
  • Intellectual disability
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Orthopedic impairment
  • Specific learning disability
  • Visual impairment, including blindness
  • Autism
  • Hearing impairment
  • Other health impairments
  • Speech or Language Impairment
  • Multiple disabilities
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Deaf-blindness
  • Deafness

Special Services

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Kimberly Stedman

    Kimberly Stedman 

    Director of Special Education
  • Jan Hughes 

    Special Education Executive Assistant

Target Team

List of 4 members.

  • Photo of Kathi Bierwirth

    Kathi Bierwirth 

    Target Director
  • Photo of Blair Brownlee

    Blair Brownlee 

    Teacher (Target Program)
  • Photo of Ed Panzarino

    Ed Panzarino 

    Teacher (Target Program)
  • Photo of Stephanie Smith

    Stephanie Smith 

    Learning Specialist

Access Team

List of 22 members.

  • Photo of Beth McCoy

    Beth McCoy 

    Special Services Coordinator
  • Photo of Jef Amirault

    Jef Amirault 

  • Photo of Kristin Avison

    Kristin Avison 

  • Photo of Maegen Benasich

    Maegen Benasich 

    Youth Employment Specialist
  • Photo of Matthew Bittel

    Matthew Bittel 

  • Photo of Kathy Boudreau

    Kathy Boudreau 

    Learning Specialist
  • Photo of Brooke Burnham

    Brooke Burnham 

  • Photo of Amy Crane

    Amy Crane 

  • Photo of Kate Lawrence

    Kate Lawrence 

    Paraeducator/Athletic Assistant
  • Photo of Kristi Lewicki

    Kristi Lewicki 

    Reading Specialist and 504 Coordinator
  • Photo of Christine Kennedy

    Christine Kennedy 

  • Photo of Immanuel Matarese

    Immanuel Matarese 

    Paraeducator/Learning Center
  • Photo of Kiah Mayer

    Kiah Mayer 

  • Photo of Katherine McAllister

    Katherine McAllister 

    Behavior Specialist
  • Photo of Laura Molinelli

    Laura Molinelli 

  • Photo of Laura Mullen

    Laura Mullen 

  • Photo of Tess Pollard

    Tess Pollard 

  • Photo of Carol Sullivan

    Carol Sullivan 

    Learning Specialist
  • Photo of Adam Tronsen

    Adam Tronsen 

    Learning Specialist
  • Photo of Terry Tudor

    Terry Tudor 

  • Photo of Emilie Weber

    Emilie Weber 

  • Photo of Brittany Wilcox

    Brittany Wilcox