New 4-H educator hired for Bennington and Rutland Counties

RUTLAND -- Mindy Hastings has accepted the position of University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H educator for Bennington and Rutland Counties.

As the new 4-H educator, she will be supporting current clubs and activities as well as developing new 4-H clubs, school and after-school programs and other programming, including Operation: Military Kids, in the two southwestern Vermont counties.

Hastings, who will split her time between the UVM Extension offices in Bennington and Rutland, succeeds Rita Charlton who retired in 2013 after 15 years with UVM Extension 4-H.

Her professional background is in both education and marketing, having worked as a classroom teacher (pre-school through fifth grade) and a marketing coordinator before moving here from Severna Park, Md.

In Vermont she has spent most of her time as a volunteer in the education sector serving as a board member, an after-school coordinator and marketing consultant for Barstow Memorial School in Chittenden. She also has volunteered in the private sector with special needs adults and children through Vermont Adaptive, behind the scenes at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science in Quechee and with the Rutland Youth Theater.

Hastings is the founder and adult leader of the Homestead Hippies, a 4-H club she started in Chittenden. Her family was active in 4-H in Maryland including in the poultry project. When they moved to Vermont, Sam, her son's first show hen, came with them and is now the unofficial mascot of the 4-H club.

Hastings holds bachelor of science degrees in both journalism and graphic design from the University of Maryland in College Park. She earned a teaching certificate in early childhood education from Towson University in Towson, Md., where she was elected to Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society in education.

In addition, Hastings is certified in Ortin Gillingham, a multi-sensory approach to reading instruction, as well as Yoga Kids, Yoga for the Special Child and Radiant Child Yoga. She teaches children's yoga and yoga therapy in the Rutland area and other parts of the state She can be reached at 802-773-3349, ext. 276 (Rutland office) or 802-447-7582, ext. 254 (Bennington office) or by e-mail at


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