Julie Schlossinger, Director of Lower SchoolJulie Schlossinger studied creative writing and child development at East Carolina University, and earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from Bank Street College of Education, in New York City. Her career in education began in 1995 in a multi-age preschool classroom. Moving to an educational non-profit, she taught preschool and kindergarten, as well as before and after school care. Her next move was to an independent school in upstate NY where she taught fourth grade and held the position of upper school head for grades 4-8. In 2004, Julie joined VMS as a fourth grade teacher, and took over the leadership of the lower school in 2013. She has a son at VMS.
Julie believes strongly in a school culture driven by rapport, kindness, and a strong work ethic. She encourages the teachers in her division to view each student as an individual and to build strong, collaborative relationships with families. Educational research, technology, and professional development are the driving forces behind her support of teachers. Julie shared that, “Education today needs to be individualized and focused on each student’s developmental readiness to learn new concepts and skills.” To reach those goals in the lower school, Julie leads her teachers in a professional learning community framework which supports an inclusive team approach to instruction and student learning.
Kabe ErkenBrack, Director of Middle SchoolKabe ErkenBrack is a Colorado native who was born in Grand Junction and grew up in Denver. After graduating high school (and a brief stint working at Casa Bonita), he lived in Germany as an apprentice stone mason for a year. After carving stone, Kabe studied Philosophy and the History of Math and Science at St. John’s College in Annapolis. Upon graduating, he spent a year playing music in Austin, Texas before returning to the Washington, D.C. area to begin his work as a teacher.
In 2006, Kabe was hired as a middle school special education teacher in a low-income neighborhood in Washington, D.C. There he learned how to earn the respect of students and the nuances of discipline. After the charter school, he taught Math and was the Special Education Coordinator at the Field School, in Washington, D.C. Next, he traveled to Boston and earned a master’s degree in education from Harvard University, while interning at the MATCH Public Charter School and the Perkins School for the Blind. Kabe joined VMS in 2011, where he also teaches Math and Philosophy and emphasizes that “Education is more than sitting in desks and learning what people tell you.”
Travis Aldrich, Director of Upper SchoolTravis Aldrich makes an impression on his students by doing incredibly lifelike impersonations of characters from books they’re reading. Standing over six feet tall, it’s hard to imagine him in the role of Scout, the young female protagonist from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, but according to his students, Aldrich plays it perfectly. “That’s what good teachers do,” he says “They teach as if they are on stage and deliver a performance so compelling that nearly any material becomes interesting. ”These qualities--spark and charisma--combined with a mastery of subject matter, are what he looks for in upper school faculty.
As director of the upper school, Aldrich strives to create an environment that is safe for students to take risks--in the classroom, on the playing field, on stage, or elsewhere. These experiences translate to character and confidence, which he believes are among the most important qualities students must possess in order to thrive in college and life. In addition to leading the upper school, Aldrich teaches creative writing, and coaches basketball and lacrosse.
After being a camp director at Woodcraft Camps, Travis began his teaching career at The Bement School, in Deerfield, MA. He spent nine years at the Dawson School in Boulder as an English teacher, dean of students, and coach. Most recently, he was the middle school director at Sierra Canyon School in Los Angeles, California. An avid outdoorsman and global traveller, he has led student trips to Costa Rica, Thailand, Canada, Adirondack State Park, and the Colorado backcountry.
Travis graduated from Middlebury, where he also played varsity lacrosse, and then earned his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Vermont. He started at VMS in 2013 and has a son in the class of 2027, and a daughter in the class of 2029.