Board of Trustees
The Vermont Commons School Board currently has twelve Trustees. Each member serves three-year terms and chairs or sits on at least one of the six Standing Committees and/or the numerous Ad Hoc and Sub Committees. Trustees work on advancing the mission and the vision of the school through focus on the integrity of the organization, financial and policy issues, due diligence, and the growth of the school.
The Board’s Mission Statement – The VCS Board of Trustees ensures the long-term viability of Vermont Commons School by taking mission-driven strategic action on behalf of the future generations of students.
Faisal is parent of past Vermont Commons student Zara. He has had extensive government and business experience. He currently has his own law firm Gill Law Firm in Washington, DC that specializes in representing business and has represented clients in commercial litigation matters all over the United States. Since moving to Vermont in 2012 Faisal has become very active in state government having run for a seat in the Chittenden Senate District and having been elected as the Vermont Democratic Party Chair in May of 2017.
Prior to private practice, Faisal served as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Under Secretary for Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection at the Department of Homeland Security. He also worked at the White House Office of Homeland Security and then later the Homeland Security Council as associate counsel. Prior to his appointment at the White House, he served as the Deputy General Counsel for Policy at the Office of Personnel Management.
Faisal also served in the United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
He has a BA and JD from American University in Washington, DC. and is licensed to practice in California, Colorado, New York and Washington, DC. Faisal lives in Winooski.
Rebecca Lindy Coll
Rebecca Lindy Coll is an alumni parent of Adam ’12. Her passion for the school and belief in its mission has inspired her to share her considerable experience in fundraising and independent schools with the Board.
Rebecca served as Board Chair from 2010-2012 and over the years has served on, or been Chair of, the Governance Committee, Development Committee, Finance Committee, and Strategic Planning Committee. She joined VCS after ten years in England where she served on many committees at the American School in London. Rebecca’s work at ASL helped the school to raise significant funds that went toward creating endowments, buying state-of-the-art equipment, and funding innovative teacher programming.
Adriana is a World Languages Instructor at Vermont Commons and the Faculty liaison to the Board of Trustees. Read Adriana’s Faculty profile by clicking here!
Craig is a Vermont Commons School alumni parent of two daughters, Naomi ’03 and Ruth’06). VCS has been a very special place for Craig and his family providing his daughters with remarkable high school educations taught by wonderfully talented and dedicated faculty. Craig is pleased to have helped Vermont Commons School for nearly all of its’ 20 years by supporting its strong and unique programs of experiential education focused on environmental knowledge and ethics applied to local, regional and global issues.
In his professional life, Craig is a consulting groundwater geologist with Waite-Heindel Environmental Management based in Burlington, Vermont. He evaluates water resources for property owners, commercial interests, and local and state governments, and he specializes in water supplies, assessments and remediation of contaminated sites, and on-site wastewater disposal. He especially enjoys the teaching aspects of being a natural resources consultant, whether providing testimony at a hearing or leading a group of UVM students on a glacial geology field trip. When Craig is not geologizing, he and his wife, Judy Chaves, enjoy being out in the mountains and lakes of Vermont and the northeast, in all seasons of the year.
Carly Lagasse ’09
Carly Lagasse is an alumna of Vermont Commons School. Her love and commitment to Vermont Commons has led to her role as one of the Board of Trustees’ youngest members. She believes in the power of VCS to change the lives of its students and prepare them for brilliant futures, as she is living proof.
After graduating from VCS she went on to do a five month sailing adventure with the gap year program Class Afloat, traveling to over 10 countries and 5 continents. Following this incredible experience she chose to go to Castleton State College to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. Carly worked as a nurse at the Community Health Centers of Burlington and is now teaching pre-school as co-teacher of the Fiddlehead Class at the Gazebo School in York, ME.
When Carly is not working you can find her hiking the beautiful VT, NH, and ADK mountains, and even joining VCS Encounter Weeks as co-leader.
Dinah Larsen is an alumni parent of Peter ’14 and a professionally trained chef. She has worked in fine dining restaurants, as a food and beverage manager, as a personal chef, at an assisted living facility, opening a contemporary grocery store kitchen, and her current position as Nutritional Services Coordinator at Lund in Burlington. The ability to impact a struggling parent’s life by offering nourishing food, and giving them the knowledge and power to feed their family, is an extremely rewarding way to be employed.
The cooking gig is just a sideline to her passion for nature photography, film, travel, Ultimate Frisbee, and Vermont Commons School.
Dinah and her husband, Alain Brizard, live in Essex Junction, having previously lived in New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Martha Maksym is alumni parent of Ben ’16. After serving as as Executive Director of United Way of Chittenden County for six years, Martha was hired by Governor Phil Scott in 2017 to be Secretary of the Agency of Human Services.
Martha received her Masters in Public Administration from UVM in 1991. She then served as the Executive Director of Green Mountain Prevention Projects until joining United Way. She is a 2002 graduate of the Snelling Center’s Vermont Leadership Institute and a 2004 graduate of the Creating Healthy Communities national fellowship sponsored by the American Hospitals Association. Martha serves on the Board of Directors at the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce and Vermont Health Foundation. Martha lives in Grand Isle with her husband Bill.
Suzanne is a parent of two alumni, Gabe ’13 and Nina ’16, and current senior, Nick. She served as a class parent for several years and was the co-chair of the Parents Committee of the Commons School (PACS) for two years. Suzanne has also worked as a member of the Commons Fund Auction Committee for several years and was part of the committee for Facilities Planning prior to joining the Board of Trustees in 2013. Suzanne enjoys giving back to the school that has been such a positive force in her children’s lives.
Suzanne grew up in Maryland and attended Virginia Tech, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. Suzanne received her Master’s Degree in Historic Preservation at the University of Vermont. Suzanne is the Zoning Administrator for the town on Hinesburg and lives in South Burlington with her husband and children.
Kyler Robinson ’06
Kyler Robinson is a graduate of Vermont Commons School and the first alumnus to join the Board of Trustees where he is Treasurer and Chair of Finance Committee. He cites VCS’ academic rigor and dynamic systems learning as critical for his career in finance. Reflecting on his experience, “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.” These skills continue to serve him well today.