All Staff

D.O. Staff

Jim Doolan (Substitute Teacher) LCMM Boat Building Project

Jim was born and grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts. He lives in a log cabin in Ripton, Vermont. Jim received his B.S. in Education from the University of Southern Minnesota. He obtained his Master’s of Special Education from St. Michael’s College in Winooski, Vermont.  He started the D.O. Program in 1971 when the Hannaford Career Center first opened. Jim loves the staff and the students of D.O., the progress students make, and seeing the success of D.O. graduates in the community. Past jobs that Jim has had include delivering  groceries, pruning  trees, working in a gas station, servicing trucks, driving tractor-trailer trucks across country,  cooking in several restaurants, and teaching elementary school. He was also a  principal of two special education schools and found time to make cheese.

First job as a teenagerI worked delivering and selling newspapers and shoveled snow.
Favorites: Dessert? Peach pie. Place to visit in Vermont?  Western Priory. Activities to do in your spare time?  Sail, garden, fish, restore old boats, cut and split wood, and walk my dog. Type of music? All types.
List three things on your bucket list that you’d love to do: Visit Lake Louise, Ireland, and Iceland.

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 Kay Doolan (Substitute Teacher)  Work Experience

Kay was born in Dayton, Ohio but grew up in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She moved to Vermont the end of her junior year in high school. Kay currently lives in Ripton, Vermont. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Vermont, her master’s degree from Castleton State College and a Diploma in Special Education from the University Of Edinburgh, Scotland. Kay helped start the D.O. program when it began in 1971. Upon retirement, she became a part- time assistant and substitute teacher. She loves watching the students find their strengths, that days are never the same, and the feeling of camaraderie among the staff.  Kay began her career in D.O. then moved to become the Special Needs teacher in the Career Center, working with D.O. students as they took vocational classes.

First job as a teenager? I babysat, and my senior year in high school I worked as a bank teller. 
Favorites: Dessert?  Chocolate moussePlace to visit in Vermont? Weston Priory. Activity to do in your spare time?  Make greeting cards.  Type of music?  Folk.
List three things on your bucket list that you’d love to do: Visit Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada; travel the length of the Mississippi on a steamboat, and visit Fairbanks, Alaska (where her dad was stationed during WWII).

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Elise Haydon (Teacher/Case Manager) — Senior Transition, Math, Community MathWork Experience

Contact Information
Phone: 1-802-382-1068

 Elise was born in Charleston, South Carolina and spent her childhood outside of Seattle, Washington. She lives in Leicester, Vermont. Elise attended Middlebury College and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She’s worked in D.O. since 2007. Every afternoon she looks forward to working at Elmer Farm with the Work Experience students. Elise loves that the students are so kind to each other and take care of one another. She enjoys getting outside of the classroom for field trips to Washington, D.C., hawk banding and rock climbing. Elise feels that D.O. does it all. She was a nanny during her summers, a residential advisor and an assistant costume designer at Middlebury College.

First job as a teenager? My first job was babysitting. I started at twelve or so.  My first official job was washing boats on Lake Washington with my best friend.  
Favorites: Dessert? The Chocolate Bomb!! A flourless molten chocolate cake.  Place to visit in Vermont? Fern Lake! Activities to do in your spare time? Cooking, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and gardening. Type of music? Folk, classic, soul, and fun dance music.
List three things on your bucket list that you’d love to do: Travel to a few enchanting places like Morocco and Thailand, see a Green Bay Packers game at Lambeau Field, and spend a summer learning to cook in Italy.

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Marci Lambert (Teacher) 

 Marci grew up in Cornwall, Vermont, where she still lives today. Marci went to high school here at MUHS. Then she went to VTC to study architecture, followed by Johnson State College for education. She began working at D.O. in the fall of 2016. Marci’s favorite things about D.O. are the students, plus all of the hands-on learning opportunities!! Before coming to D.O., Marci was a waitress, electrical designer, education assistant, and math/blueprint teacher.

First job as a teenager? My very first experience having a job was cleaning the Swift House Inn in college (but I only did it three Sundays), then waitressing at Green Peppers.

Favorites: Desserts? Anything chocolate (especially milk)! Place to visit in Vermont? Little River State Park or any place with a good view. Activity to do your spare time? Anything outside. Type of music? Anything with a good beat so I can sing and dance to it.

List three things on your bucket list that you’d love to do: Go to a Cowboys vs. Giants game;spend the summer touring the USA in a RV; learn to play the drums.

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Chuck Laramie  (Teacher) — Age of LegalityU.S. History, Career ExplorationTGIF Cafe

Chuck grew up in Fair Haven, Vermont.  He still lives in Fair Haven. Chuck graduated from Fair Haven Union High School, served in the United States Navy in the Pacific, attended Castleton State College earning a BA in Communications and  MA in Education.  He worked as a dishwasher and waiter at Yellow Stone National Park, and as a roof installer in Vermont for 10 years. He joined D.O. in January, 2014.  ”I like the politeness and creativity of the students and the sincerity of the staff and how together they get things accomplished. I have been amazed!” 

First job as a teenager? I worked as a Cemetery Caretaker. Favorites: Dessert? Any kind of ice cream.  Place to visit in Vermont? The many lakes in Rutland County.  Activity to do in your spare time? Hiking in the Adirondacks.   Type of music? 70’s-80’s rock.  List three things on your bucket list that you’d love to do? Travel through Greece-Israel-Australia, write a Best Seller and see it become a movie. 

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Wendy Lynch  (Substitute Teacher) 

Wendy grew up outside of Syracuse, New York in a small town. She lives in Cornwall, Vermont. Wendy went to a high school that had superb teachers. She attended college at SUNY Buffalo where she majored in Special Education.  Wendy earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling at UVM and has taken many classes since.  She has worked in D.O. since 1981. ”I think the students are so great to work with. We have so many varied activities that help students learn. All the teachers work together to give the students the best possible education.  It’s so much fun.”   Wendy worked with younger students in the first four years of her career.

First job as a teenager?  I worked at a turkey farm!  I babysat for the family, worked in the store for one summer, and worked in the processing plant.  I also worked in a store like Greg’s Meat Market.  I did everything: ran the register, made sandwiches and salads and pumped gas.
Favorites:  Dessert?  Anything chocolate. Place to visit in Vermont?  Ripton: the Snow Bowl, Breadloaf, and the many trails.  Type of music?  Rock, American, and Classical. Activities to do in your spare time? Gardening, reading, biking, kayaking, and traveling to see family and friends. 
List three things on your bucket list that you’d love to do: Travel more in the U.S., live by the ocean for a year, and take a boat cruise on the rivers in Europe.

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 Kelly Palmer  (Teacher) Life Skills, MathCurrent EventsWork Experience

Kelly grew up in Bristol and New Haven Mills, Vermont. She currently lives in Waltham, Vermont. Kelly has taken many American Sign Language, sign, and deaf culture classes. She started working toward a degree a few years ago, and has twelve credits to go. Kelly has also attended many workshops, trainings, and conferences. She started working in D.O. in 2010. Her jobs before joining D.O. included working in a retail store, several factories, and an office. Kelly also ran a daycare facility.

First job as a teenager?  I worked as a janitor at the high school in Bristol, starting when I was thirteen years old.
Favorite: Dessert? Apple crisp. Place to visit in Vermont?Trails and rivers. Activities to do in your spare time? Knit, play music, and garden. Type of music? All except heavy metal and rap. 
List three things on your bucket list that you’d love to do: Learn to fiddle and play African drums, visit Lake Willoughby, and visit Australia with Amanda.


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Ben Patno  (Counselor)

Contact Information
Phone: 1-802-382-1087

Ben grew up in Bristol, Vermont. He now lives in Ferrisburg, Vermont. Ben earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Valley Forge. He is currently in graduate school to earn his MS in Clinical Mental Health and is scheduled to finish in December, 2016. Ben began working at D.O. in the fall of 2016. His favorite things about D.O. are community, getting to work with awesome staff and high schoolers, and the food. Ben’s first job as a teenager was working in a kitchen. Before coming to D.O., he worked as an outreach clinician and behavioral interventionist, at Shaw’s as a cashier, in construction, and in many kitchens.

Favorites: Desserts? Warm, homemade cookies. Place to visit in Vermont? The lake and/or any of the beautiful mountainsActivity to do in your spare time? Exercise, fish, spend time with family, watch the Patriots!! Type of music? Classical and classic rock. List three things on your bucket list that you’d love to do: Travel to Europe, buy a nice fishing boat, live a fulfilling life! 

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Saisoran Peemanao (Substitute TeacherWork Experience

Saisorn Peemanao was born and grew up in the countryside of Thailand. She went to high school and graduated college (BA) in Bangkok (the capital city of Thailand). She joined D.O. Program in 2016 and she is glad to be part of the Program. She loves the energy and people in D.O. She likes to learn new things with students and teachers. She likes the afternoon Work Experience in our community.

First job as a teenager? I worked in a store as a sales clerk and as a waitress at a Thai restaurant. Favorites: Dessert? Jello and fruits (in Thailand we have them as a dessert) and Thai pumpkin custard.  Place to visit in Vermont? I am excited to visit everywhere. Vermont is my new home to discover and I especially like the outdoors.  Activities to do in your spare time? Pottery, gardening, hiking, cooking, learn other languages.  Type of music? Rock, pop rock, and classical music.  List three things on your bucket list that you’d love to do? I like to visit my family and friends in Thailand, have a pottery studio and do landscape gardening, and drive a car across the United State and travel travel.




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 Tito Santiago (Teacher)  ScienceCommunity Math,  U.S. History, TGIF Cafe


Tito was born in Puerto Rico, raised in New York, and educated in Vermont. He grew up in Greenwich Village, New York, the lower west side of Chelsea. Tito currently lives in Middlebury, Vermont. He received an Associate’s degree in Psychology from Lyndon State College. Tito started working in D.O. in 1994. The three things he loves about D.O. are the staff, the students, and the dedication to education. Tito’s jobs before joining D.O. were restaurant manager, house painter, camp counselor, and salesman (and many others).

First job as a teenager? My first job as a teenager was delivering fresh flowers.
Favorites:  Dessert? Flan  Place to visit in Vermont? Northern Vermont.  Activity to do in your spare time? Travel in Vermont.  Type of music? Latin, Soul, and Jazz. 
List three things on your bucket list that you’d love to do:  Travel to Europe, Greece, and Italy.



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Betsy Stine (Substitute Teacher)  LCMM Boat Building Project

Betsy Stine grew up in Flint, Michigan. She currently lives in Cornwall, Vermont. Betsy graduated from the University of Michigan, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She began working in D.O. in 1980.  Betsy loves the students, her peers and the laughter in D.O.  She has worked in clothing stores and gift shops; waitressed in college, and was a substitute bus driver for Project Independence.

First job as a teenager?  My first job as a teenager was selling ice cream from a boat during the summer.
Favorite: Dessert? Anything chocolate.  Place to visit in Vermont?  Breadloaf.  Activities to do in your spare time?  Cross country and downhill skiing, and biking. Type of music? Oldies (60’s). 
List three on your bucket list that you’d love to do: Travel to New Zealand, spend two months in Mexico (working with kids), and bike around Lake Champlain.



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Sally Thodal (Teacher)Senior TransitionWebsite EnglishWork Experience

Sally grew up in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. She currently lives in Middlebury, Vermont. Sally received a BA from Middlebury College and a BS from UVM. She has been working in D.O. since 2007. The three things Sally loves about D.O. are great kids, a close family atmosphere, and many opportunities for fabulous experiences for students such as hawk banding, D.C. trip, Rochester trip, rowing, boat building, talent show, etc. Her jobs before joining D.O. included a graduate research assistant position in plant and soil science at UVM and  working in Mary Hogan Elementary School for many years.

First job as a teenager? I worked for my English teacher doing chores at her home.
Favorites: Dessert? Apple crisp.  Place to visit in Vermont?  Abbey Pond.  Activity to do in your spare time?  Kayaking on Lake Champlain.  Type of music? Many types of music.  
List three things on your bucket list that you’d love to do: Hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (and back up), kayak in Cuba, and learn to identify all tree species in Vermont.




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Polly Wilson (Teacher/Case Manager) — U.S. HistoryLCMM Boat Building ProjectTGIF Cafe

Contact Information:
Phone: 1-802-382-1069

Polly grew up in Hammondsport, New York on Keuka Lake in the Finger Lakes region. She currently lives in Bristol, Vermont. Polly earned her bachelor’s degree from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. She received her master’s degree from Alfred University in Alfred, New York. She has been working in D.O. since 1999. Polly’s favorite things about D.O. are the teachers, the students, and the Rachel’s cookies.  Before D.O., Polly worked as a waitress, lifeguard,  cashier, KOA campground employee, pool/spa cleaner, a winery tour guide, and on ski patrol.

First job as a teenager? I was a lifeguard.
Favorites: Dessert? Cheesecake. Place to visit in Vermont? Lake Champlain. Activity to do in your spare time? Fox hunting. Type of music? Jazz.
List three things on your bucket list that you’d love to do: Sail the Atlantic to France, go to the ROLEX three phase events at Kentucky Horse Park, and finish my basement.

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