Benjamin Roesch

Youth Engagement and Leadership Fellow


In 2000 Vermont and I found each other at just the right time, and for the past twelve years, Burlington’s Old North End has been home. I’m a musician and writer and it was the Queen City’s arts culture that originally attracted me. I played for many years in The Kent Variety, a rock band who made the rounds in Burlington’s bars, basements, and rec centers. In my writing, I am primarily a novelist, but my short fiction has been featured in many journals, including Seven Days, Brilliant Corners, Monkey Bicycle, and Word Riot. Like many, my foray into teaching was more serendipity than architecture, but after observing English classes at Burlington High School, I instantly felt the buzz of working with students and I began dreaming of working at BHS and becoming a high school teacher. I’ve been lucky enough to be an English teacher there for seven years now. In addition to my teaching duties, I co-coordinate the BHS chapter of Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation competition. In my teaching, I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many different students and to experience the rich and diverse cultures that come together in our classrooms and hallways. It was this exposure, as well as a deep and growing passion for student voice and advocacy, and a desire to connect more with the larger area community, that inspired me to become a Partnership for Change Fellow in Student Leadership/Engagement, a role I’m honored and humbled to play this year. The opportunity to be involved with the evolution of our local schools and to have a voice in re-thinking and bolstering students’ roles in the educational community is a once in a career chance and I plan to make the most of it.

I’ve been married to my wife Shannon, a third grade teacher at Champlain Elementary School, for nearly ten years and we have two wacky and wonderful sons, Felix and Leo, who will soon enough be attending Burlington’s amazing schools.

I welcome questions and suggestions and random acts of inspiration.