Outstanding Alumni Awards
About the Recipients
Susan Lancaster Collins earned her B.A. degree in Education from Johnson and her Masters in Education degree from the University of Vermont. After many years as an outstanding elementary school teacher, she became school librarian for the Swanton Elementary School in 1989, a position she continues to hold. In 2001, she was named one of Vermont’s Outstanding Teachers by the University of Vermont, and in 2006 she received the prestigious Lyman C. Hunt Award from the Vermont Council on Reading. She acknowledged Dr. Doris Spencer, a nationally renowned reading expert and long-time JSC professor, under whom Susan studied during her JSC years. From Dr. Spencer’s classes she learned lessons about reading instruction that have withstood the test of time and are still useful today.
Susan is an active member of the JSC Alumni Council, serving since 1998. She is also active in her church and community. Susan lives in Swanton with her husband, Donald. They have two daughters; Stephanie, also an educator, and Kristina, a chiropractor, and are the proud grandparents of Addison, Campbell, Kieran, and Beckett.
Lori Morse Furrer graduated from Johnson with a B.S. in Environmental Science. Soon after graduation she began her coaching career in skiing; now covering more than 25 years. While coaching in a summer camp in Zermatt, Switzerland, she met her husband, of 20 years, Josef Furrer.
After three years they returned to Vermont where Lori returned to the Mt. Mansfield Ski Club. Along with coaching she started the Mt. Mansfield Winter Academy, a non-profit organization providing academics and athletics for elite ski racers and snowboard/freeride competitors. She has directed the school for 14 years.
Two years ago she launched a capital campaign to purchase a facility, the former Two Dog Lodge on Mountain Road in Stowe.
Lori is a board member of the Vermont Alpine Racing Association and chairman of the VARA Scholarship Committee. She is also the chairman of the scholarship committee for the Mt. Mansfield Education Foundation. She has been pursuing her M.F.A. at Johnson, when time permits.
Lori and her husband have two sons; Kelby, a high school senior and Cameron, a sophomore.
Sandra Buck Howard graduated with a B.A. degree and continued her work in the family business; Buck’s Furniture — Wolcott, Vermont’s largest furniture store. She now serves as the co-owner along with her father.
In addition to her professional duties, Sandy finds time to volunteer. She has served as the chairman of “Love Lights a Tree” since 1992 with annual proceeds going to the American Cancer Society; the Lamoille Area Cancer Network; and the Susan G. Koeman Foundation - a project very close to her heart because her mother passed away in 1992 after a courageous battle with colon cancer. In 2006, Sandy hosted a holiday party for area children to kick off the event.
She maintains several professional memberships including the Hardwick Area Chamber of Commerce, Lamoille Area and Vermont chambers of commerce, Vermont Retail Association and the National Home Furnishings Association.
Sandy resides in Hardwick with husband, Roger, and two sheep dogs. She says, “I love my job. I wake up without an alarm and enjoy going to work every day. I’m there six days a week.”
Margaret Swinchoski graduated with a B.F.A. in Performing Arts and a B.A. in Music Education. While at JSC, Margaret also performed with the Vermont Symphony and the Vermont Philharmonic. She received her M.A. degree from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in New York City. Margaret was a featured flute soloist at the National Flute Association Convention in the World Premiere of Leo Kraft’s “From the Hudson Valley” and subsequently recorded it for release by Albany Records. She recently premiered Richard Lane’s Flute Concerto with the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra and has appeared as a concerto soloist with many other orchestras. She was presented in her debut recital by Artists International at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. Margaret has served as principal flutist with the Westchester and Harrisburg Symphony orchestras, and travels to Ohio each summer to play with the Lancaster Festival Orchestra. As a founding member of the Palisades Virtuosi, she has commissioned and premiered over 20 works for flute, clarinet and piano.
Margaret resides in New Jersey with her husband, Michael Szymanski, their twin daughters, Elisabeth and Katherine, and their four beautiful cats.
Jane Godfrey White, Class of 1971
Jane Godfrey White received her B.A. degree in Elementary Education. In 1990, she received her M.S. degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois. She is associate director of the Executive M.B.A. Program for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. Jane manages the admissions and registration process, working as general advisor to the students in the program on non-academic matters, managing the finances, and organizing the logistics for a yearly trip for 50 to 60 students to China.
Jane has said that Professor Bill Doyle’s classes, in addition to her father’s influence and public service (he served the town of Wilbraham as town assessor and then selectman for many years) inspired her to run for elected office to the local library board. She served on the Bement (IL) library board for nine years, including several terms as president, stepping down because her professional life was so busy. Jane has a great love for and interest in libraries.
In addition to a number of professional memberships, Jane volunteers her time with a number of organizations having had past involvement with the Regional Library Service Planning Panel, among others.