Ashley Dailey is the Regional Director for Windsor County, overseeing the White River Junction and Springfield offices. She has been working for Vermont Adult Learning since 2018 and moved into her role as Regional Director in 2019.
As the Regional Director for Windsor County, Ashley’s position is unique in the sense that she oversees two offices. In a typical workday, she does outreach to different programs/partners and the community, participates in lots of meetings, and completes marketing and development tasks. Ashley also makes time to meet with students and is a part of a lot of different teams and committees.
Ashley, originally from Syracuse, New York, received her undergraduate degree in Communications and English Literature from SUNY – Brockport. Going into college, Ashley intended to become a teacher. During sophomore year, she realized teaching was not the path for her; she decided to take on a communications major. Once Ashley graduated from college, she worked a lot of different “odd end jobs”, but nothing she was really interested in until she joined AmeriCorps VISTA. In this position, she worked at Dartmouth College as the program coordinator for college access programs. Ashley ended up finding VAL after her year at AmeriCorps came to an end. She started at VAL as an advisor and instructor and was promoted to regional director.
As someone who loves being around other people, Ashley’s favorite part of her work at VAL is the people. Not only does she have a “rockstar staff”, but Ashley also loves working with students as well. She says that she really has “found her niche” with adult education through VAL and that it speaks to different aspects of her own educational journey. Ashley loves seeing the opportunities VAL provides students and she finds it so rewarding to see them accomplish what they wanted to; it is what keeps her “jazzed and excited” about her job.
Ashley explained that working from home—due to the pandemic—makes a work-life balance tricky; she has even found herself waking up with thoughts about work. Although she initially did not like working from home, she now loves it, but recognizes that you need to make a conscious effort to create a work-life balance — it is not as defined when you leave work and when you enter your personal life. However, in her free time, Ashley enjoys spending time with her dog. She also loves to cook, loves music, and is an avid sports fan.
When asked why VAL’s work matters, Ashley replied that it, “matters for so many reasons.” In particular, she said that VAL often provides students with a second chance. Ashley emphasized that the biggest difference between VAL and a traditional school system is that the students are there because they want to learn, not because they are being forced to learn. VAL is their support system and encouragement that they sometimes lacked; VAL shows students that they matter and seeing students be successful is proof of why VAL’s work matters.
This profile was written by Rebecca Shames, VAL Development & Marketing Intern.