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Teacher Spotlight: Adam Provost

BTC Interim Head Combines Passion for Technology and Education

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BTC Interim Director Adam Provost stands in front of a sign for the tech center on Jan. 9. | Photo: Lucy Govoni/Register

World traveler, avid baseball fan, musician, and the new interim director of the Burlington Technical Center (BTC) Adam Provost did not know what he wanted to do when he was in high school. Now he’s the director of a program that helps high school students find out what fields interest them.

As the new interim head of BTC, Provost is merging his love of technology and passion for teaching into one profession; however, his journey to the job has been indirect. Provost started out as a consultant after switching his main academic focus from music at Berkeley College to technology by transferring schools.

“I figured out in that process that I had a real aptitude for technology,” Provost said.”I found out I really loved it.”

After taking jobs as a tech consultant in various roles, Provost went on to take a teaching position at Burr and Burton Academy in central Vermont. His job there gave him the opportunity of a lifetime.

Through the Rowland Foundation, an organization that offers sabbaticals to teachers, Provost was able to travel the world for seven months, visit seven countries and tour over one hundred schools. He studied education from the viewpoint of what fosters and what prohibits education. 

BTC Students work on a project Jan. 9.
| Photo: Lucy Govoni/Register

“That was a life changing experience for me,” Provost said.

Provost stayed at Burr and Burton Academy for nine years.  After the sabbatical, Provost’s passion for interdisciplinary education grew, and he started working for the South Burlington School District, and “avoided various administration jobs.” After ending his eleven year career at South Burlington Provost went on to work at BTC for three years prior to becoming the interim director of  BTC.

He got the job only a few days before the school year started. “Losing the summer to ramp up was challenging but one of the advantages I had was I was already familiar with the program,” said Provost.

Despite the short notice he was able to jump right in. Provost is shaping education in other ways in Vermont as well.

While at Burr and Burton Academy, Provost was involved in different innovative education programs.

“We started the first student choice project lab in the state, and we started getting involved in discussions at the state level about personalized learning plans,” Provost said.

Provost is also the president of VITA-Learn, a Vermont educational association which guides teachers through new teaching strategies and sets up conferences.

As the new Director of BTC, Adam Provost believes that the traditional way people educate has to change.

“I think the old idea of we can just sit students in rows and lecture them on isolated topics isn’t serving their best interests,” Provost said.

BTC Student Dale Henry works on a Scrapbook for her BTC class
| Photo: Lucy Govoni/Register

Provost is a strong believer that in order for students to be successful in their careers and additional schooling after high school it is important to teach collaborative thinking.

“This is a communicative and collaborative world and as that increases in our society we need to increase our capacity to do that exponentially in education,” Provost said. “We can’t complain that people aren’t great collaborators if we don’t teach people how,” Provost said.

“It’s a fascinating but challenging time to be in this mix right now,” said Provost. Education is rapidly changing and he is in the forefront. With today’s political climate, Provost is focused on education more than ever.

“I have some concerns about how things are going politically right now, I think a lot of empathy needs to be worked in education,” he said.

While Provost is an educator and the leader of a school, he still strongly believes that education is not tied down to a school setting.

“My best Education came from working with people and listening,” Provost said.