The Shader Croft School

Turning Student Selected Real World Adventures into Stronger Reading, Writing, and Communication Skills.

Our Team at Shader Croft

Shader Croft employs a part-time year-round Executive Director and a full summer staff of dedicated education professionals. We are governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. But our team is more than that.

Executive Director:

I seek to connect with kids and provide opportunities for them to find success. I enjoy looking at learning from a creative and personalized perspective. Shader Croft offers students opportunities to dig into their interests and learn through hands-on, student-driven experiences that build on their knowledge base. They learn as they would in a traditional classroom and they learn in broader ways as well. 
Literacy skills are our root academic focus and we spend time examining how skills set in writing, reading, and communication increase student competency in every aspect of their lives. Much of our literacy learning is set in real world experiences; reading road maps, reading directions, reading about places we visit, writing questions for the people we meet, writing thank you notes for hosting us, writing about our adventures, speaking with the people who host us, asking relevant, high-interest questions in new situations, and constant discussion and navigation as a tight-knit community class of students and teachers. Strong literacy skills – reading, writing, oral communication—are needed now, more than ever, as the world shifts to conducting our personal and professional lives through the increasing use of technology. Shader Croft is that backstop for middle school youth who need additional coaching and support in these foundational skills that will enable them to successfully complete high school and become a contributing member of their community.
I am licensed in Secondary English Education and have my MEd in Leadership. I work through the school year as a high school librarian. I have been the director of after school and summer programming. I have taught in preschool classrooms and middle school Language Arts.  I look forward to Shader Croft every summer that I have been involved with the program. I absolutely love seeing the students come in and flourish within the weeks they are with us. I love seeing former students out in the community and at local school events and hearing how Shader Croft has made a positive impact on them; academically, socially, and emotionally. 

Steff Stecklare

Summer Teaching Staff

Each summer Shader Croft welcomes a combination of new and returning staff to our summer teaching team. Enthusiastic licensed educators provide the literacy instruction. Youth oriented adults support and guide students through the adventure planning process. All staff members are chosen for their understanding of adolescents, content knowledge, teaching skills, and must pass a Criminal Background Check. A willingness to hangout and be with young adolescents in our student-centered program is a must!

Employment Opportunities

Shader Croft seeks educators and youth oriented adults to join our summer teaching teams for the general education, special education and ELL programs offered. A detailed posting of jobs and applications can be found on SchoolSpring. Please direct any questions to Steff at

School Partners

Since 2001 we have partnered with the Champlain Valley School District to provide our summer literacy program to students from their district. Since 2014 we have partnered with the Winooski School District to provide the Shader Croft summer literacy program to ELL students in grades 7 through 10. Students from a variety of other Vermont school districts have participated in our program.

Citizen Educators

We could not do what we do without the countless “citizen educators” who have generously given their time and shared their talents with our students by helping them to explore their interests.

Financial Supporters

Many students do receive some financial support from their home school;  however, there is still a financial gap. Shader Croft would not be possible without the support of the many individuals, local organizations and private foundations that invest in these promising young adults.

Board of Directors

Peter Huber – President
Retired Vermont Special Educator

Michael Swaidner – Treasurer
Owner/Manager of Pop Color Print and Copy
Past president of the Colchester Milton Rotary Club

Alice Trageser
Retired Middle School Visual Arts teacher

David Bolger                                                                                        Former Shader Croft teacher and current public school teacher

Rick Heh                                                                                                Parent of former Shader Croft student and retired IBM


Brian Lavigne
Project manager for PC Construction

Eileen Underwood
Retired Manager with the Vermont Department of Public Health

Stephen Hyde
Retired middle school counselor and math teacher
Co-Founder of Shader Croft School

“Education is the key to our individual and collective futures, but educational opportunities are not always equal for all youths, resulting in a significant educational achievement gap. Shader Croft seeks to give all students access to learning and growing opportunities that they otherwise would not have.”



Help students develop effective literacy and communication skills by valuing students’ interests and connecting them to the world around them in a real and meaningful ways.
Shader Croft School
5 Perrotta Place
Burlington, VT 05401

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Non-discrimination Disclosure

Shader Croft School does not discriminate in its educational programs or activities on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion or religious creed, disability or handicap, sexual orientation or gender.

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