In her role as the Director of Professional Development Jen works with all of Shelburne Farms’ Professional Development programs to coordinate the Farm’s offerings to educators. Jen develops and conducts educator workshops, institutes and credit-bearing courses at the local, national and international levels. She is also the co-chair of the K-12 and Teacher Education Sector of the US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development and the co-chair of Vermont SWEEP (Statewide Environmental Education Programs). As the coordinator of the Sustainable Schools Project, Jen works with the SSP staff to further develop and evaluate the model, document promising practices and outreach to other schools and communities.
Before joining Shelburne Farms, Jen worked with the City of Burlington on the public process for a 30-year sustainability plan. She also worked with the AmeriCorps*VISTA program on two state-wide initiatives focused on education specifically; the arts, the environment, and literacy.
Teaching Experience: Jen has taught art, environmental science, and sustainability at and she also teaches classes and courses at local colleges and universities in place-based, sustainability, environmental, and agricultural education.
Education: Jen holds a Bachelor degree in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Vermont, and a Master in Science in Environmental Education from Lesley University’s Audubon Expedition Institute.
Guiding perspective: Jen believes that education should prepare young people for their role as actively engaged citizens with the knowledge of the complex interconnections between the environment, social equity, and the economy. In addition, she agrees wholeheartedly with this quote from John Dewey, “education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.”
Bio: Jen Cirillo is Shelburne Farms' Director of Professional Development and coordinates the Sustainable Schools Project. She provides place-based instructional support and curriculum consulting to classroom teachers and community partners. Jen is trained in CFG Protocols and the Understanding by Design approach to curriculum development and has conducted numerous institutes and workshops on sustainability/place-based education. Jen has extensive connections to community resources in Vermont and experience working with teachers and schools throughout the country, as well as internationally. She is the Co-Chair of the K-12 and Teacher Education sector team for the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development and board member of Vermont Energy Education Project. She has a strong background in farming, sustainability, and K-16 education. Jen earned a Bachelor of Science in Plant & Soil Science from the University of Vermont and a Master of Science in Environmental Education from Lesley University.