Meet The Team
The Nine East Network Team
Nine East Network’s dedicated staff provide a range of services to meet the needs of our community. Here is an alphabetical listing of our entire team.
Susan Kimmerly, Ed.D., CCC-SLP, has dedicated her life to serving Vermont’s special needs children. After founding Nine East Network in 2003 (formerly known as Vermont Consultants for Language and Learning), Susan served as its director, then went on to found and direct The New School of Montpelier in 2005.
A licensed Speech and Language Pathologist since 1982, Susan was the supervisor and manager of statewide programs for children at the Agency of Education and the Department of Children and Families (formerly SRS). She is also a licensed School Administrator.
Susan has worked with students of all ages and abilities in a range of private schools, public schools, and residential care settings. She has also taught at the college level at the University of Vermont, Johnson State College, Union Institute & University, and Lyndon State College.
Linda Hazard, Ed.D., CCC-A, is the Director of Nine East Network, joining the organization in July of 2019. In addition to her role with Nine East Network, she serves as the Program Director for the Vermont Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program (VTEHDI) and is an audiologist.
Linda earned her audiology degree from Boston University and a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Social Policy from the University of Vermont. Linda is the President Elect of the Directors of Speech and Hearing Programs in State Health and Welfare Agencies (DSHPSHWA). Additionally, she represents Vermont as the State Advocate for Reimbursement (STAR) to the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) and serves on the ASHA National Medicaid Committee.
Linda is currently a member of the Vermont Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind Advisory Council and served as chair for two years. She has several scientific publications to her credit, including peer reviewed articles and has presented both nationally and internationally. In February of 2017 Linda received the prestigious Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence and published a chapter for the EHDI I book on qualitative research.
Lisa Allen is a Communication Facilitator with the ASL & Bilingual Education Unit. Lisa joined the team at Nine East Network in 2018. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Deaf Education from Kean College in Union, NJ, and obtained a Masters in Deaf Education from Western Maryland College in 1997.
Lisa recently worked as a preschool teacher at Essex Hollow Playschool and prior to that, served deaf and hard of hearing students as an employee of the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Lisa also has experience teaching at Carver High School in Baltimore, Maryland, and at the Maryland School for the Deaf.
Jen Bostwick has been an asset to Nine East Network since joining the team in 2014. She has served as a Consultant and Parent Advisor in Chittenden County while being an important part of Nine East Network’s leadership team. Jen has been instrumental in the growth and management of Nine East Network’s ASL & Bilingual Education Services Unit.
Jen has been working with children with hearing loss and their families for 20 years. She received a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from the University of Washington in Seattle, and a Master’s of Education in Special Education (Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing) from Lewis and Clark College. Jen serves on many committees across the state working to improve the lives of deaf and hard of hearing children, including the School Age subcommittee f9r the Vermont Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deaf Blind Advisory Board; the Educational Interpreter/Communication Facilitator Standards Committee; and the Low Incidence Disability Committee. Jen looks forward to continuing to explore new ways to fulfill the unmet needs of children, families and schools.
“It is my privilege to be a part of a group of dedicated individuals who work tirelessly to ensure deaf and hard of hearing students and their families have access to quality education and services. There is nothing better than seeing one of our students graduate school ready to advocate for their needs in college or work. In the words of Jonas Salk, ‘the reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.’ ”
Wendy Chace joined Nine East Network in the roles of Speech Language Pathologist, DHH Consultant, and Parent Advisor in 2017. She earned her BA in Sociology and Psychology from Wesleyan University, and later received her MS in Communication Sciences from the University of Vermont.
After providing Early Intervention SLP services for over ten years, Wendy was grateful for the opportunity to join the Nine East team and pursue training in supporting young children with hearing loss and their families. Her current focus is on building our team’s capacity to meet the needs of DHH students in Early Ed, and ensuring that these students are fully prepared for Kindergarten.
Wendy became Manager of Nine East Network’s Birth to K Program in 2019.
“Effective communication is essential for connection and empowerment. Collaborating with families and teams to maximize communication development is deeply compelling, and I am grateful for the opportunity to do this work.”
Sophia Cordner is a Sign Language Instructor within the ASL & Bilingual Education Services Unit. Sophia joined Nine East Network’s growing team in 2018. She graduated from Johnson State College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She has experience working in elementary and preschools. Sophia is fluent in American Sign Language.
Brittany Dorn, Ph.D., M.Ed., joined Nine East Network in 2019 as Manager of K-12 Educational Services. She is also serving as an Educational Consultant for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Brittany earned her doctorate in special education from the University of Northern Colorado, and her Master’s degree in Deaf Education from Smith College. She began her career in education through Teach for America, serving as a second grade teacher in Hartford, Connecticut. She then transitioned to working as an itinerant teacher for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, inspired by a family member with hearing loss.
Brittany has published nationally on topics related to deaf education; most notably about consultation, which is her primary research interest. She is also interested in social opportunities that connect students who are deaf or hard of hearing. She worked at the Clarke Summer Camp for five summers, including one year in which she acted as coordinator, and helped start two summer camps for students in Colorado.
Prior to Nine East Network, Kris worked at Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of hearing for more than ten years as a Sign Communication Support Instructor, Residential Advisor, Admissions Director, and Summer Camp Director, among other roles. More recently she worked for the Windham Southeast SU as a Communication Facilitator with Deaf preschoolers and their educational teams.
“As a person whose hearing loss was diagnosed late, I’m passionate about providing families and educational teams of Deaf and hard of hearing children with resources and positive support to help them along their journey. I have worked long term with many of my students and have watched their language grow – I love it! Outside of work, I enjoy swimming, cooking, photography, and spending time with my husband and kids.”
Caitlyn MacIver became an Administrative Assistant at Nine East Network in the fall of 2018. Previously a medical coder for the University of Vermont Health Network, Caitlyn is a welcomed addition to our Headquarters office in Montpelier.
Caitlyn is a Certified Medical Coder, and has also worked as store manager and stylist for the Regis Corporation in Berlin, Vermont. Caitlyn is a graduate of Montpelier High School.
Patrice McDonough joined the Nine East Network Team in August of 2017. Patrice is a passionate Teacher of the Deaf providing direct services to Deaf and hard of hearing students in the Northeast Kingdom, and working as a parent advisor in the PIP program. Patrice earned her B.S. degrees in Early Childhood Education and Vocational Rehabilitation from the University of Wisconsin – Stout, and then went on to earn her M.A. degree in Deafness Rehabilitation Counseling from New York University’s Deafness Research and Training Center. In 1993, Patrice was honored as New Hampshire’s Christa McAuliffe Fellow, which was a sabbatical year of traveling internationally to “model” schools with her family.
With over forty years in the field of education, Patrice has come to highly value ideas, questioning and cultural exchange. She has an insatiable curiosity and loves connecting seemingly unrelated things. Residing in Peacham, Vermont with her partner, she has two adult children (both educators at independent schools) and three grandchildren.
“I am most enthusiastic about serving Deaf and hard of hearing learners and their families in the NEK, while joining a Professional Learning Community of colleagues committed to serving the individual needs of Vermont’s Deaf and hard of hearing children. I love empowering students to be self advocates of their own possibilities.”
- North Country Union
- Orange East
- Caledonia Central
Hope Moulton has served as a Consultant and PIP Parent Advisor for the Vermont Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program since 2003. After earning honors as an undergraduate student at Norwich University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Elementary Education, Hope went on to graduate magna cum laude from Smith College with a Master’s in Education of the Deaf. She worked as a Teacher of the Deaf at the Stafford School, adapting curriculum and providing direct lessons for a deaf child. Since then, Hope has been serving the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program in the Northeast Kingdom and central Vermont area.
Hope brings strong leadership, clear communication, and a passion for teaching to all of her work.
“I love working with children of all ages, which is one of the main reasons I became a teacher. I also enjoy learning about new equipment and troubleshooting any issues that may arise in the classrooms. In my free time I like to read, watch movies and spend time with my family.”
- Caledonia Central
- Orange East
- Washington Central
- Orleans Southwest
- Washington South
- Harwood Unified Union
- Washington Northeast
Karen Mueller-Harder holds certificates from Northeastern University in American Sign Language/Deaf Studies and ASL-English interpreting. After working as an educational interpreter for a few years, she began in her current position in 2006, working with children who use English-based signing for a variety of reasons, including developmental and speech delays, or mild or moderate hearing loss. Karen works with families and school staff to teach sign vocabulary, and develop comfort in using signs along with spoken English, as well as working with children directly. She also focuses on identifying strategies for incorporating visual language into daily routines according to each child’s unique needs and abilities.
“I’ve been working in sign communication support for the past 10 years, particularly with kids who have speech delays or developmental challenges, helping them to communicate with the people around them. I love sharing the richness of signing, and finding the right approach for each child, and teaching families, school staff, and other care providers to integrate visual and spoken language in a way that will be successful. When I’m not driving to schools and homes across Vermont, I like to spend time with my almost-grown family, my horse, and my community theater group.”
- Addison Northwest
- Rutland Northeast
- Mt. Abraham Unified
Michelle Rheault-Bissonette joined Nine East Network as an Educational Interpreter in 2016. She previously worked as an Educational Interpreter in high schools in Bristol and Hinesburg, Vermont. There, she gained experience facilitating communication between deaf and hearing students and teachers in the academic setting, supporting the learning environment for educators, students, and educational teams. She also tutored students needing additional instruction and served as an interpreter for team meetings. More recently, for the past seven years, she served as a Communication Facilitator at the Shelburne Community School, supporting children from kindergarten age to grade 6. She helped general education, special education, and deaf students master their communication skills, use new sign vocabulary, and gain equal access to education. She will also be working with families/school teams to improve their sign skills to better meet their students’/child’s needs.
Michelle was raised in an all-ASL household with deaf parents and relatives, and grew up in the Deaf communities in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Arizona. She is fluent in ASL and Signed English. She brings to NEN over twenty years of experience making academic content accessible to deaf and hard of hearing students.
Bringing nearly 20 years of experience working in Vermont, Dina Senesac joined the Sign Communication Support Services team at Nine East Network in 2018. As a long-time employee of the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Dina was an Interpreter for the Deaf, serving middle school and high school students in mainstreamed schools. Dina most recently worked at Champlain Valley Union High School in Burlington, and for the Maple Run School District.
“I enjoy working with students who communicate in a variety of modes. Working with students and figuring out how to best meet their needs is a challenge that keeps my job fresh and exciting. In my free time, I enjoy biking, swimming, reading, and art. However most importantly, I volunteer with a pit bull rescue to save dogs in high risk situations.”
Camilla Strauss has been working with deaf and hard of hearing students and their families for more than 30 years. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Special Education: Deaf and Hard of Hearing from Illinois State University. She started out as a Teacher of the Deaf in Massachusetts at the R.E.A.D.S. Collaborative and The Learning Center for Deaf Children. Camilla then worked in Vermont’s public schools for six years, as an educational interpreter/tutor and an elementary school teacher.
In 1994, Camilla began serving the Vermont Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program as a Consultant and Parent Advisor. She served the Northeast and Central Vermont regions for 20 years before joining the team at Nine East Network in 2014. In light of her decades of experience, knowledge, and commitment, Camilla became Nine East Network’s Parent Infant Program Coordinator in 2015. She also continues to serve as a Consultant and Parent Advisor.
“The passion that fuels my desire to work with deaf and hard of hearing children is my belief that all children deserve full access to language and communication. I love working with people – adults and children alike. I feel especially privileged that I get to work with babies and their families. My personal interests include acting, physical fitness, meditation, learning new things, cooking and enjoying food with friends and family.”
Ileene Therrien has been working in office administration for over 20 years. She has a diverse background, including office support in the construction industry and in the medical field. Most recently, she became a Certified Medical Coder, which is a great asset to Nine East Network’s Parent Infant Program.
Ileene has years of experience working for an audiologist and for an internal medicine office, which helps her better serve the Deaf and hard of hearing community every day.
With her administrative expertise and go-to attitude, Ileene confidently navigates the medical billing world for Nine East Network, as well as any questions, projects, or tasks that come her way. When she isn’t coordinating the goings-on at NEN Headquarters in Montpelier, Ileene enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and spoiling her cats.
“I am happy to be working with such a great group of dedicated educators and professionals serving Vermont’s kids. Please let me know me if you have any questions about our services, or would like to make a referral.”
Tami Trowell has almost 30 years experience working with families and children with hearing loss. She has an adult son who is deaf, providing her with a parental perspective and compassion for the work she does as a Parent Advisor for the Parent Infant Program. Tami graduated from California State University, Hayward after studying elementary education, then went on to be certified by the Utah Sate University SKI HI Institute’s Home Based Early Intervention Program for children with hearing loss. Tami also has extensive training, education and experience working with children with dual sensory impairment or deaf blindness.
As the field of deaf education began to shift after the tremendous advances in technology for hearing loss, Tami went back to school to attend the Professional Preparation in Cochlear Implants Program at Smith College. Tami joined Nine East Network as a Parent Advisor in the fall of 2015.
“I cherish the opportunity to work with families and children with hearing loss. Although I have formal training, parents and their children have been my most influential teachers. When I’m not doing the work that I love as a Parent Advisor, I live on an off-grid homestead with my husband in southern Vermont raising dairy goats and a flock of sheep.”
Elizabeth Vant joined the team in 2016 as a Communication Facilitator, and has served as an Educational Consultant for Students who are Deaf of Hearing since 2019. In 2013, Liz graduated from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology with a Bachelor in Science in American Sign Language and English Interpretation. Prior to that, she had earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Simmons College/New England Conservatory and attended four years at the School of the Arts in Rochester, New York. Upon graduating from the NTID, she worked as an ASL/English interpreter in a variety of settings, including Champlain Valley Union High School and also in primary care medical offices.
Elizabeth is fluent in ASL and skilled at using Contact Sign when needed to meet a student’s needs. She has served as an interpreter in schools ranging from kindergarten, grade school, and post secondary education.
Emily Verner became an Educational Interpreter with Nine East Network in 2018. She brings years of experiences in deaf education settings, including preschool and K-5. Emily has served deaf and special needs children as an Classroom Interpreter at the Morrison Center in Scarborough, Maine. She also worked in the library, preschool, and K-5 classrooms at the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf in Falmouth, Maine. Emily is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in American Sign Language and English Interpretation from the University of Northern Colorado.