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Alumni Spotlight

Griffen“I employ life skills I learned at VCS more frequently than anything I gleaned from higher education.”  Griffen Fargo ’08


This page will be updated quarterly with spotlights on your fellow alums, what they are up to and a favorite memory or two from their time at Vermont Commons.

Emily Alger ’03  Emily_120

Emily, a native of Grand Isle and now living in Hinesburg, is the Executive Director of the South Hero Land Trust in South Hero, Vermont.  The Land Trust “works to protect and nurture our most important assets: the land and the people who live, play, love and grow on it”.  Emily feels her work at the Land Trust is a direct result of so much of what she learned at Vermont Commons School.

“Vermont Commons School was the right match for me and I feel so lucky to have found it.  I’d say the three ways VCS most profoundly impacted my life were in the modeling of the commitment to stewardship of the land, something that is clear in my choice of career, the creation and importance of community and the skills around how to live in a community which play an essential role in how I go about leading this organization, and the academic rigor which encouraged me to be self-motivated and to thrive on hard, conscientious, and detailed work.”

Emily’s best VCS memory was traveling to Yosemite with Leah and Hans and experiencing deep wilderness for the first time. Post VCS, she attended Unity College and studied Environmental Science through place based research.  She discovered quickly that she was far more interested in how people actually interact with the landscape and transferred to UVM where she majored in Environmental Studies and Human Geography.

Emily was the 2015 recipient of the Vermont Commons Founders’ Award.



Kyler Robinson ’06

Kyler, a native of Shelburne and now a resident of New York City, works at Morgan Stanley as Senior PMO and Portfolio Manager.  Vermont Commons’ first alumni Trustee, Kyler has served on the Board of Trustees at Vermont Commons School since 2011 and is presently the Chair of the Finance Committee.

“In many ways, VCS is where I learned how to think: not the answer to the question, but the way and means to find the answer built upon reason, system dynamics and critical thinking.  Systems thinking is an important skill set in today’s world. Vermont Commons does an excellent job of having this at the core of the curriculum and, in many ways, that helped me to be successful in my career at Morgan Stanley today”.

Kyler’s best VCS memory is the “Political Philosophy debates we held in senior year – there was a great academic, dynamic discussion on the merits of the free-market, Austrian school of economics thinking that challenged Mark’s hypotheses.” Post VCS, Kyler completed his undergraduate at Drew University, graduating cum laude with a double major in Political Studies and Economics with a concentration in Business, Finance and Money while also earning a European Studies minor. Kyler’s coursework at Drew offered him opportunities to study in Brussels, Barcelona, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and he also participated in programs at the United Nations and Wall Street.

Kyler is a member of his Morgan Stanley division’s Philanthropy Committee which helps the division to live out the Morgan Stanley core value “Giving Back”. He also supports several LGBT nonprofit organizations that have national and New York metro footprints and recently become involved with the Ali Forney Center, an organization focused on LGBTQ youth homelessness.

He spends his free time with volunteer work for the Board at VCS and when completely off duty enjoys the many possibilities NYC offers – from shopping on Bleeker Street, art at the new Whitney museum in the Meatpacking District to the many amazing epicurean options.