Our dedicated staff are the heart of Vermont Adult Learning! Get to know team members like Joy in this latest profile series.
Name: Joy Gaine
Role at VAL: Adult Basic Ed, English Language Learning, High School Completion Program and Advisor (many hats!) in Windsor County.
Where were you born? New Hyde Park (Long Island), NY
What is your educational background? In college (SUNY New Paltz) I achieved an Elementary Education certification. I spent 9 years doing environmental education work (related to waste management) in western Massachusetts, and a few years as a paraprofessional here in the Upper Valley.
Interesting past job? As a Waste Management Specialist, I worked with schools, municipalities, and businesses to help them with the other three Rs – Reduce, Recycle, Recycle. Toward the end of my time at this non-profit organization, we focused more on toxics reduction. Some of the work that I did included helping schools start recycling programs (we did whole-school assemblies!) and talking with pregnant women about the dangers of eating fish with high levels of mercury.
What is a unique hobby or interest you have? Playing guitar and singing (especially harmony singing) is a great love. My happy place is at music festivals where I get to pitch my tent and enjoy a whole weekend of listening to bands and playing music with friends.
Last book you read? Currently, I am reading Profiles in Ignorance: How America’s Politicians Got Dumb and Dumber by Andy Borowitz.
How do you enjoy spending your free time? I have a dog who is spoiled and I walk him 1-2 hours every day, often with girlfriends (good therapy!) and sometimes with my husband or solo.
How long have you worked for VAL? August will be 8 years!
Finish this sentence: I enjoy working for VAL because… I genuinely enjoy helping people work toward achieving their academic goals. Of course, this job is so much more… Learning about other cultures is especially interesting to me. And I work with a great team – in White River Junction and beyond!