The Vermont Agency of Education’s Continuity of Learning Task Force published its final report on September 11th. The Task Force was composed of Vermont teachers, educational leaders, and business leaders. The task force was established in April and charged with identifying strategic opportunities in education that might emerge as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. Secretary French will reflect on the findings of this report relative to the future of online learning in Vermont.
Secretary of Education Daniel M. French is a graduate of public schools, public universities, and is a US Army veteran. His career in education included teaching high school social studies, serving as principal of a PreK-12 school, serving as superintendent for a large multi-district supervisory union, and teaching at the higher education level. His work in Vermont has been statewide in scope having worked for 15 years in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, 9 years in southern Vermont, and 2 years in Chittenden County. He is the recipient of numerous awards including being named Vermont Superintendent of the Year and 2009. He received the “Making IT Happen” state educational technology award in 2016, and from 2010 – 2012 he served as President of the Vermont’s Superintendents Association.
Secretary French has considerable experience working with school boards on governance issues. He believes strong board governance is essential for ensuring high quality outcomes for all students and for providing adequate oversight and direction for the larger public interest in education. As an organizational consultant, he has worked with school boards around the state to improve their governance practices and enjoys meeting with school boards and school board members to understand how local control can function optimally in a statewide system of education.
An avid technologist, a focus of Secretary French’s work throughout his career has been advancing the use of technology to offer expanded learning opportunities for students and to better focus the structure of schooling on meeting their personal learning aspirations. He has led major organizational improvement initiatives centered around using technology to modernize school district operations and has worked at the national level on issues related to technology and leadership development.
Secretary French obtained his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Connecticut, his master’s degree in educational administration from Plymouth State University, and his doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Vermont. He is also an honors graduate of the Defense Language Institute. Follow him on Twitter @danfrench