Martha L. Dubuque
Walden School
Caledonia Central Supervisory Union
West Danville, Vermont

Martha Dubuque is a principal who spends a lot of time in classrooms. In fact, she blocks out time daily to visit each classroom in her school. “This high visibility makes teachers feel comfortable about using me as a resource and gives me an ongoing sense of classroom learning and teachings so I can be a useful resource,” she says. Dubuque helps teachers brainstorm approaches to lessons and models effective strategies in classrooms. She also meets with teachers individually to help them use evidence of student learning to drive next steps in their instruction. Dubuque became principal of Walden School in 2002. She oversees 121 pre-kindergarten through grade 8 students at the school today. Her key accomplishments at the rural school include developing and sustaining an effective system for her staff’s professional development. Staff meetings largely focus on student needs and strategies to meet them. Dubuque has even used staff meetings to provide workshops on effective writing and reading instruction. She also has guided teachers to develop standards-based curriculum. “I help teachers to think beyond the collection of assignments and projects in a unit to the key concepts that frame the unit,” she says. “We work on crafting essential questions and authentic assessments to drive instruction.” She holds a B.A. and an M.Ed. from Johnson State College in Vermont and an Ed.D. from the University of Vermont.