MORE THAN 50 YEARS OF HELPING CHILDREN AND FAMILIES!
Children who experience learning disabilities are inspired to learn Children challenged by mental health issues receive therapeutic trauma informed treatment and support
Children who have been abused or neglected receive the support and resources they need to thrive
Children who experience emotional and behavioral disorders learn to express their feelings, develop positive relationships and find success at school
Children are given opportunities to connect with the community in safe, healthy, and collaborative ways
Children develop and expand skills, try new things, build confidence, and achieve goals.
Parents, guardians and foster families receive critical support, resources and information they need to appropriately care for and advocate for their children.
– Personal Growth
– Academic Strides
– Connections with Family & Community
– Transitioning to Independence
This is our work,
this is our passion.
Laraway’s Board of Directors is comprised of volunteers from the human services, education, business, and philanthropic sectors who are responsible for the management and administration of our agency. Board members serve three-year terms.
Our Board ensures a mission driven, sound institutional planning process; recommends and reviews policies and new initiatives; authorizes major renovations; hires the Executive Director; exercises fiduciary responsibilities; and approves operating and capital budgets.
Laraway Board Member
Mary has worked as the Executive Director of Washington County Mental Health Services since July 2013 and joined the Laraway Board shortly after that time. Mary began her career at Washington County Mental Health in 1990 as an Emergency Services Clinician on the WCMHS mobile crisis team. She became Director of Intensive Care Services in 2005 and Chief of Operations in 2010 when she worked with multiple programs throughout the Agency to plan and develop programming and training. She received her Master’s in Public Administration from Norwich University in 2011.
Laraway Board of Trustees Member in Johnson
As part of the second generation at Butternut Mountain Farm, Marvin worked her way up learning to manage her family’s business. She now oversees retail operations, marketing, new business development and special projects.
Emma earned a degree in natural resources management at Cornell University. She’s a community activist and serves on many boards. Marvin was named the Vermont Maple Person of the Year in 2014.
Laraway Board of Trustees Member
Ben graduated from Bates College with a degree in History. His dedication co public service has allowed him to build a long and respected career at the Vermont Department of Labor. Ben and his wife enjoy living in a state where so many people travel co recreate. They enjoy walking, biking, and hiking together in beautiful Vermont.
Laraway Board of Trustees Member
A flat lander from western New York I moved to Vermont almost 30 years ago. I am retired after careers as both an occupational therapist with a specialty in hand therapy and as an educator. After comp- leting my OT degree at SUNY At Buffalo I did post graduate work in prosthetics and orthotics at NYU and human factors engineering at the University of Michigan. After completing my MBA with a concentration in healthcare finance I did post graduate work in curriculum design and assessment at MUSC at Charleston and designed/taught courses in occupational therapy as well as business for health care students at SUNY At Buffalo, Duquesne University and Champlain College. I’ve taught skiing for over 40 years, most recently at Cochran’s in Richmond, Vermont. As an educator, foster/adoptive parent and scout leader I’ve seen what a difference skilled educational supports can make in a child’s life. I learned about Laraway specifically when one of my children used their backpack services and again when I was educational surrogate for a young lady in the school. When approached about serving on the board I was eager to learn more about Laraway as well as to use my skills to assist the organization to achieve their mission of serving youth.
Laraway Board of Trustees Member
Laura Putnam, graduated from Colorado College with a degree in Mathematical Economics. She grew up in Lamoille County and recently moved back to beautiful Vermont to continue her career with Keurig Dr Pepper in coffee sales and account management. While living in Chicago and Boston in the past decade, she has enjoyed volunteering with nonprofits that focus on person-to-person connections to benefit individuals and communities, such as World Relief and MABVI. Now back in Vermont, volunteering on the Laraway Board allows Laura to give back to her community by bringing her analytical background and local roots to help youth and families grow. She loves supporting Laraway’s creative ways to integrate the outdoors into education and commitment to its employees and community.
Vice Chair of Laraway’s Board
“Kipp” is a Massachusetts native who attended high school in Connecticut before earning her undergraduate degree at the University of Vermont and graduate degree at Yale. She is a Certified Nurse Midwife at Copley Women’s Center and Birthing Center.
Laraway Board of Trustees Member
Saudia LaMont of Morrisville is an organizer, advocate, facilitator, trainer, and racial equity/transformative justice consultant. Her commitment to networking with community partners, identifying resources, and reinforcing connections to help create a stronger sense of community is demonstrated by her leadership. Saudia has over 10 years of experience in her field. She combines a unique holistic approach with some traditional methods in her implementation and practice of embodiment, reflection, and actuality, leading to understanding. She believes mutual understanding, communal healing, and collective wellness are the foundations for seeing each other’s humanity and creating social change. Saudia is a graduate of Cornell University’s —Diversity and Inclusion program, Leadership Lamoille, Bright Leadership Institute, Recovery Coach Academy, and holds a host of other certifications and skills that she incorporates into transformative justice work.
One of the best indicators of the quality of a program is the quality and commitment of its staff.
At Laraway, we have built a team of caring, talented, and well-trained staff. We operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. To meet the needs of the children, youth, and families we serve, we employ over 160 full- and part-time staff members.
From classroom teachers to case managers to maintenance workers, our staff are committed to improving the lives of the children and youth we serve.
MSOL, MBA Executive Director/CEO
I am serving in my 23rd year at Laraway Youth & Family Services. In all those days, from the weekend overnight staff to Executive Director,
there are less than a handful of times I recall wanting to give up. This place, the kids, the staff have always provided me inspiration and motivation to be the best I can be at my craft. Our mindset and culture are focused on constant improvement, development, and growth.
In the end, Laraway is about people and connections. Our youth thrive and succeed because of those relationships. Our staff stay here, year after year, decade after decade, doing this challenging work because of those established connections. I want to sincerely thank all the staff, board members, community and state partners, families, and clients for your patience, partnership, and support. Laraway is as strong now, as we have ever been, with a new brand, renewed energy, and a clear vision toward the next half century of service to improve the lives of children and families.
Rhonda joined Laraway in 2010, bringing with her over 20 years of Human Resources and Business Operations experience, including Human Resources, Compliance, Information Technology and Organizational Development. She has held a variety of leadership roles in organizations ranging from fortune 500 to small privately owned businesses. Rhonda works with our Management Team, and her team of talented Human Resources, Information Technology, and Compliance staff to further our mission and support each member of the Laraway Community. Rhonda found her passion for helping youth and families while volunteering as a Youth Mentor, being a Board Member for her local community center and volunt- eering on the pediatric ward for the local hospital. She also lends her expertise as a volunteer on a local Personnel Advisory Board. In her personal time, Rhonda enjoys spending time with family, camping, kayaking, and traveling to warm tropical places.
Director of Foster & Residential Care Programs
Brittany Decker, MSW, LICSW
Brittany has her master’s degree in social work and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She brings over 5 years of case management, clinical support, and supervision skills from alternative schools and other mental health agencies. Brittany is new to Laraway, joining in 2020 as the program director of Substitute Care. She believes that a system approach, involving all those that serve the youth, is a vital part of supporting any youth.
Director of Finance
Bernie joined Laraway Youth & Family Services, Inc. in April of 2020. Prior to joining Laraway, he spent most of his professional career in senior executive positions in the financial services industry primarily as the Chief Financial Officer or President & Chief Executive Officer of the financial institution that he worked for.
He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and also has an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Connecticut. He is a registered Certified Public Account (CPA) and has served in many high-level financial services industry advisory groups, two of which were with the Federal Bank of Boston and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
Director of Backpack
Lisa has been part of the public-school based program since 2016 and prior to that worked in our Therapeutic Foster Care and Residential Services program for 9 years. Lisa has a master’s in psychology and Applied Behavior Analysis. Before joining Laraway, Lisa spent time working one-on-one with autistic students and held the position of Elementary School Teacher. Lisa enjoys working with the population our agency serves and believes “success is relational – if one person believes in you, it can really change your life, and the Backpack team believes in the youth they serve.”
Interim Director of Laraway School
Amber is licensed in Elementary and Special Education. She has a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health. Amber has been a part of the Laraway School team for the past 24 years as a classroom teacher, Special Education Coordinator and is currently the interim Director. Being a part of the trauma informed community allows her to see students use their strengths and interests to make personal, academic, and social gains. She values the contributions Laraway School staff and students make to the community at large. When not at work, Amber enjoys spending time with her family and dog.
A CAREER THAT CHANGES LIVES
At Laraway, you are not just an employee, you are part of our community.