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Staff Profile: Tara


Posted on Friday, April 19, 2024, at 9:00 AM

Meet Tara, the newest addition to VAL’s Leadership Team, in our latest staff profile!

Name: Tara Farrell

Role at VAL: Director of Human Resources

Where were you born? Burlington, Vermont. But I grew up in Jericho, and consider Richmond my second hometown.💚

What is your educational background? I graduated from Rice in South Burlington and moved to South Carolina where I attended Greenville Technical College. I eventually moved to the beach and earned a BS in Economics from the College of Charleston. 🌴🌙

Interesting past job? I spent a summer working as a temp for New England Air Systems as a sheet fabricator for large commercial duct systems. It was fun, except for the day I tried working in the sandblast booth! I also worked as a tech at Jiffy Lube during college. I loved being around cars, meeting new people all day, having a crew to work with, and earning high sales numbers. When I moved to Charleston, that job got too hot and I moved to an air-conditioned office job. 🥵🔧

What is a unique hobby or interest you have? The most unique one is probably “unschooling”. Unschooling is a form of homeschooling that focuses on the learner and on keeping family relationships central to decision-making. I love learning how people learn, especially without school.

Last book you read? The last books few that I loved were: Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein, Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver, and Without Restraint: How Skiing Saved my Son’s Life by Robert and Ryan Delena. I don’t read much fiction unless someone recommends it. Memoirs are my favorite genre. 📚

How do you enjoy spending your free time? I live with my husband, Nate, our teenaged son, Sky, and our elderly pet rabbit, Carmi (named after the lake near the farm where she was born!). We travel between our home in South Burlington and Las Vegas, NV, where we also live to be close to Nate’s work. We spend a lot of time being sport parents, but in my actual free time I’m either reading, watching “based on a true story” movies, or hiking. I also have an adult (step) daughter and 5yo grandson in Montpelier, and 6 nieces and nephews that I love playing Fun Auntie to.

How long have you worked for VAL? Since February 2024!

Finish this sentence – I look forward to working with VAL because… I believe I can make a unique contribution to VAL’s mission by installing a robust HR infrastructure that brings more peace and ease to our dedicated staff and has a positive impact on the students we serve.

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