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The International Baccalaureate in ACSD

In April of 2021, the Teaching and Learning Team was invited to share an IB update with the ACSD Board.  We took the opportunity to ask educator colleagues across the district what IB has changed for them, for their teaching practice, and for their students.  The video below highlights much of what we have learned together and accomplished as we have grown into a collaborative learning community and an IB World District.

Meet our Team

Courtney Krahn has worked in public schools for the last 20 years, serving as a middle and high school classroom teacher, instructional coach, curriculum leader, and assistant principal before landing in her current role as Director of Teaching and Learning for ACSD. Nine of those years were spent either in the classroom at Middlebury Union Middle School or helping to coordinate curricula within and between MUMS and MUHS.

Courtney holds a BA (Dickinson College) and an MA (Middlebury College) in English Literature. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, and she holds a teaching license, principal’s license, and curriculum director’s license in the State of Vermont. 

A seventh-generation Vermonter, Courtney  currently lives in Cornwall with her husband and three kids. They like to spend time on the Trail Around Middlebury, in Vermont’s State Parks, at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl, in ice hockey rinks, or on the soccer field. Courtney is passionate about community and public education at all levels. She serves on the Board of Directors for Mary Johnson Children’s Center and for the Champlain Valley Educators Development Center.

Cindy Atkins is a multi-generational Vermonter, born and raised in Middlebury.  She and her husband have resided in Weybridge since 1983.

Cindy attended the University of Vermont for her Bachelor's degree in Secondary Science Education and a few years later earned a Masters degree in Educational Leadership.  She has been teaching at MUHS since 1987. In 2000, she was given the opportunity to fill one of the Curriculum Leader positions at MUHS. This role allowed her to continue teaching chemistry part-time and take on a leadership role in the high school. In the fall of 2017, she became the International Baccalaureate DP Coordinator.

Besides teaching for over thirty years, she has coached basketball for twenty years. Looking back, she takes great pride in knowing that she created a program that was able to compete at the highest level in the state. She witnessed four teams make it to the Final Four in Division I basketball. In 2004, MUHS won the State Championship and the following year we were runners-up. Cindy has many great memories from these experiences and has developed life-long relationships with many student-athletes.

Cindy retired from teaching in the fall of 2021 but remains the Diploma Program Coordinator at MUHS.

Pam Quinn has been an educator in Vermont for over thirty years. She taught upper elementary at Salisbury Community School for sixteen years, and she taught math at Middlebury Union Middle School for nine.  In addition, she led professional development in the area of mathematics in numerous sites around the state and guest lectured at Middlebury College and Green Mountain College.

She graduated from Middlebury College and has a Masters in Educational Leadership from the University of Vermont.  She continues to take classes and do research in order to refine her practice and support her colleagues and the students of this community.

Pam has served as an MYP Coordinator since 2021 and is responsible for supporting math, science, and language acquisition in grades 6-10. She feels fortunate to be in a community with such dedicated and passionate educators.

Eileen Sears
Middle Years Program (MYP) Coordinator & Secondary Curriculum Leader

Eileen Sears holds a BA in English literature from Columbia University, an MA in curriculum development from University of Michigan, and an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is a National Board Certified Teacher in Early Adolescent English Language Arts, and taught Grades 6-8 at Middlebury Union Middle School for 17 years before becoming a curriculum coordinator for the district in 2022.

Originally from the Jersey shore, Eileen lives in Cornwall with her husband and two children. In addition to hanging out with her family and driving her children around New England to their many sport practices and games, she enjoys kayaking, exploring new places, reading, writing, anything to do with musical theater, and hanging out at the family camp in the wilds of the Northeast Kingdom.

She loves our community and feels fortunate to live and work here. She serves on the Board of Middlebury Youth Lacrosse Club.

Brandi Corbett has been in education for 19 years, teaching at elementary schools in Colorado and Vermont. Before filling the role of PYP Coordinator, she taught most recently for thirteen years in ACSD. 

Brandi participated on the IB Design Team as part of the district's development process and taught at the onset of the adoption.   She co-coordinates the elementary curriculum of the seven elementary schools, facilitates cross-district grade-level team collaboration and PD, coaches teachers, and maintains and supports IB policies. 

Brandi holds a BS in psychology and teaching certification from the University of Pittsburgh and an MEd in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Vermont.  She is a member of the Snelling Center for Government's Vermont School Leadership Program, class of 2022, and also a National Geographic Certified Educator.

Brandi lives in Middlebury with her husband and two children who keep her life lively. She enjoys traveling, skiing, boating, reading, gardening/cooking, mountain biking, animals, and yoga.  Brandi is passionate about our community and environment and is fortunate to live and have a family in such an amazing place.

Joy Dobson has been in education for over 30 years, teaching single and multi-grade primary classrooms and then serving as a Curriculum and Primary Years Coordinator.  In addition to her position in the Addison Central School District. Joy has actively participated in state and national educational organizations including the National Science Teachers Association, Vermont Agency of Education, Science Professional Learning Team and as a Cooperating Teacher for Middlebury College Education Interns in English Language Arts, Social Studies, Math and Science.

Joy attended Nyack College for her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and earned her Masters degree through the Vermont Mathematics Initiative at the University of Vermont. Joy is also a graduate from the Snelling Center for Government’s Vermont School Leadership Project.

Joy was honored as the University of Vermont Elementary Teacher of the Year for ACSU in 2002. Joy was also selected as the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics recipient.

Joy and her husband have raised three children, while living in one of the oldest houses in Addison, Vermont. Time with her children and their growing families is the center of her life. Her passions include  architectural design, pickleball, monthly book club and planning family adventures large and small.

Heather Gebo has been an educator for 20 years, from primary classroom educator, volunteer, substitute teacher, and home school educator for her three sons through several military transitions. Through duty stations in Virginia, Hawaii, Italy, Rhode Island, and back to Virginia, Heather maintained her teaching credentials. In 2015, she completed her M.Ed. in Reading from the University of West Florida. 

Upon moving home to Vermont in 2017, Heather served as a primary teacher at Mary Hogan and is now the Literacy Coordinator for Addison Central School District. Throughout her time in education, literacy instruction has been her focus, and in her current position, she is working to bring consistency of instruction and assessment across schools in ACSD. She has led professional development on phonemic awareness, phonics, and early literacy and led book studies with groups of educators. Heather was a presenter at the Vermont Literacy Conference in 2023.

Heather, her husband, and her youngest son live in Vergennes. She enjoys traveling, reading, walking her dog, Stella, and cheering for her sons from sports sidelines.

Why IB?

IB Mission Statement

The International Baccalaureate® aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end, the organization works with schools, governments, and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right. (, mission)


The International Baccalaureate is a curricular framework that focuses on big-picture concepts and promotes an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning.  It emphasizes student agency (voice, choice, and ownership) in local and global contexts as it seeks to help students understand themselves, others, their communities, and the world beyond. IB’s emphasis on student agency and self-assessment aligns with Vermont’s commitment to personalized and proficiency-based learning.  The IB mission aligns with our shared ACSD mission, "to provide an innovative, rigorous, and supportive educational community that inspires a passion for learning and cultivates empathy and responsibility."

The continuum of IB programs from the Primary Years Program (PYP) to the Middle Years Program (MYP) to the Diploma Program (DP) provides a consistent, shared vision between schools, with the unified goal of cultivating caring, responsible, and knowledgeable life-long learners. The IB framework guides ACSD teachers in collaboratively writing, reflecting, and revising the curriculum for all students. 

The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) updates all of its programs on a multi-year cycle, ensuring that the framework remains research-based and current.  As IB teachers and administrators, we engage in ongoing professional development, collaboration, and reflective practices as we continue to learn, grow, and employ research-based best practices in our teaching and learning.  IB World Schools are involved in a cyclical process of self-study/reflection, evaluation, and revision.  The IBO routinely monitors, provides feedback, supports, and evaluates our written, taught, and assessed curriculum. 

Middlebury Union High School was authorized as a DP (grades 11-12) school in the summer of 2019.  Middlebury Union Middle School and Middlebury Union High School became authorized MYP (grades 7-10) schools in the winter of 2019.  Our seven elementary schools were authorized as PYP (grades PK-6) schools in the fall of 2020, making ACSD an IB World District offering the continuum of programs from preschool through graduation.

For further information about the IB and its programs, visit