Sam Drazin, Executive Director
Changing Perspectives founder Sam Drazin is a certified elementary educator and former elementary school teacher. Sam was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome, a rare congenital disorder resulting in both facial anomaly and hearing loss. As a child, Sam underwent seven surgeries while attending his local public school. Sam’s experiences, both as a student with a disability and as a teacher working in an inclusive classroom, made him recognize the importance of improving awareness and understanding of disabilities. Sam continues to be amazed by the positive impact that disability awareness initiatives are having on students and educators around the country.
Sam can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Annie DiVello, New England Liaison
Annie DiVello is a licensed and ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist. She has worked with children all across the country including West Virginia, Georgia, and South Central Los Angeles. Her particular area of clinical interest is Selective Mutism. Annie co-owns New England Pediatric Services in Bedford, New Hampshire, along with her esteemed business partner, Cass Chapman. As our New England Liaison, Annie does school outreach in southern New Hampshire and nearby communities. She is honored to be a part of this tremendous initiative because alongside the children she serves, Annie has seen first hand the benefits of disability awareness, understanding, empathy, and compassion.
Annie can be reached at email@example.com
Molly Ritvo, Communications Specialist
Molly Ritvo is thrilled to be part of the Changing Perspectives team as communications specialist. Born and raised in the sweet town of Montpelier, Molly now resides in Burlington. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and a master’s degree in creative writing from Emerson College. Molly has worked as a communications specialist in a variety of different organizations in the Burlington, Vermont, area. Joining the Changing Perspectives team allows Molly to combine her interests in communication, storytelling, and increasing empathy. Molly is also a freelance writer and enjoys being outside, practicing yoga, baking gluten free desserts and spending time with family and friends.
Molly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Holly Lane, Program Coordinator
Whether it was good timing or just plain luck, Holly Lane was astounded when she came across the Changing Perspectives job posting for a program coordinator. Here was an opportunity to put to use more than two decades of experience in nonprofits, development, and education and apply it to an incredible mission. Professionally and personally, Holly has seen the impacts a program like Changing Perspectives can have for students, teachers and families, and she is excited to work with the team on organizational capacity building, grant writing, and school outreach. She lives in East Montpelier with her husband, four children, and an assortment of pets.
Holly can be reached at email@example.com
Aurina Hartz, Director of Curriculum Development
Aurina Hartz has a master’s degree in education and has been dedicated to restorative practices working in classrooms and collaborating with educators for the past 10 years. Developing curriculum for Changing Perspectives has been an exciting challenge as she directly connects the organization’s mission to national standards. With the growing emphasis on social emotional learning in mainstream education, Changing Perspectives is right in line with supporting educators to address empathy and awareness. Aurina loves children and helping others, so she is excited to officially be a part of the Changing Perspectives team!
Aurina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Board of Directors
Chris Ward, PhD – Board President
Chris has served on our board of directors since 2015. He was drawn to Changing Perspectives because of our commitment to helping teachers learn how to have conversations with students about understanding and appreciating differences. Once an elementary school educator, he has been a teacher educator for more than 15 years. Chris is the Graduate Studies Coordinator and a faculty member at the Upper Valley Educators Institute in Lebanon, New Hampshire. He lives in Enfield, New Hampshire, with his wife, daughter, dog, and cat.
Monica McEnerny, EdD – Board Vice President
Monica serves as Vice President of the Changing Perspectives board and believes deeply in the organization’s mission to support teachers in fostering inclusive communities. An Associate Professor of Education at Castleton University, Monica earned her master’s degree in education from Castleton University and her doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Vermont. For many years, she taught English at the middle level and is still closely tied to middle level education and best practice. She lives in Brandon, Vermont, with her husband, Harry.
Maureen Ripple, PhD – Board Treasurer
Maureen is honored to have served on the Changing Perspectives Board since our inception. Currently, she works in the Dartmouth-Hitchcock/Geisel School of Medicine Development and Alumni Relations Office. For many years prior to this, she worked as a special education assistant and as a basic science researcher. Spreading empathy and understanding has always been a goal of hers, whether in the classroom, the laboratory, or elsewhere. Maureen resides in Hanover, New Hampshire, with her two optimistic dogs.
Claudia Gibson, MD – Board Secretary
Claudia has served on the Changing Perspectives board for several years. A retired child cognitive neurologist, she specialized in the practice of learning disabilities and school-health. She believes that social-emotional strength is the strongest indicator of the health of a person and of a community and that Changing Perspectives can have a crucial impact on every student’s development. Claudia and her husband live in West Lebanon, New Hampshire.
Debra Gardner-Baasch, EdD – Board Member
Debra joined the Changing Perspectives board in 2018. She is the Coordinator for Personalized Learning and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support for Vermont’s Mill River Union School District. She has 30 years of classroom experience teaching every grade from K-12. Debra achieved National Board Certification in 2001, earned an MSEd in K-12 literacy education in 2010, and completed her doctorate in educational leadership at the University of New England in 2016. Debra and her husband, David, live in Wallingford, Vermont, and are the parents of three young adults.
Glennis Gold, JD – Board Member
Glennis believes the mission of Changing Perspectives to teach the value of empathy for all humans is critical for the future of our communities and is proud to support our mission through her membership on our board. She works as a Windsor County Deputy State’s Attorney handling the child protection docket. Previously, she worked as an education assistant, a disability rights attorney, and dance and theater educator to students with and without disabilities. She is a resident of Norwich, Vermont.
Ellen Langsner, BS, CAGS – Board Member
Ellen became a member of our board of directors in 2018. She is a retired educator, parent, and relative of a person who grew up with a disability. Through a lens of experience as a special education teacher, classroom teacher, and administrator, Ellen understands firsthand how schools can benefit from Changing Perspectives. She believes our curricula can enrich the lives of all children by fostering understanding, compassion, and a sense of belonging. Ellen lives in West Lebanon, New Hampshire.
Jill Lloyd, MSN, FNP – Board Member
Jill is a long-time Changing Perspectives board member. Currently, she is the part-time School Nurse/Health Educator at Sharon Elementary School, where she applies her career experience as a family nurse practitioner in nonprofit, family-based clinics to support the school’s preK-6 learners. Committed to providing health care for the underserved, she also volunteers weekly at a free clinic. Jill observes how Changing Perspectives creates understanding of visible and non-visible disabilities in school-aged children, which fosters empathy, inclusion, and embracement of diversity. She and her husband reside in Hartland, Vermont.
Patricia Lanter-Dufty, MD – Board Member
Patricia joined our board of directors in 2017. She is an emergency physician and a parent to a child with disabilities. She sees the impact of empathy and inclusion in her daughter and believes strongly in the mission of Changing Perspectives. She lives in Norwich, Vermont, with her husband, son, daughter, and dog, and enjoys intermittent visits with her two older stepsons.