Skip to main content

Vermont Department of Corrections Announces Key Leadership Appointments

Waterbury, VT – On Thursday, Vermont Department of Corrections Commissioner Nicholas J. Deml announced key leadership changes at Northeast Correctional Complex (NECC) in St. Johnsbury, Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility (MVRCF) in Rutland, and the Central Office in Waterbury.

Facility Leadership

Mike Koehler, Superintendent, Northeast Correctional Complex

Commissioner Deml appointed Michael Koehler as Superintendent of Northeast Correctional Complex (NECC) in St. Johnsbury. Superintendent Koehler joined the Department in 2009. He began his career on the frontlines at Northern State Correctional Facility (NSCF) in Newport as a Correctional Officer I and worked his way up to assistant superintendent. In April 2022 he was appointed interim superintendent at NECC. During his service, Superintendent Koehler has served on multiple special teams and received a Department Merit Award for leading the establishment of a JetBlue partnership providing free airfare for Honor Guard members attending out-of-state funeral services.

Sharon Nykiel, Superintendent, Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility

Commissioner Deml appointed Sharon Nykiel as Superintendent of Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility (MVRCF) in Rutland. Superintendent Nykiel began her career with the Department in 1994. She started at MVRCF and then moved to the Woodstock facility until its closure in 2002. Superintendent Nykiel returned to MVRCF and was appointed assistant superintendent in February 2021. She has served as interim superintendent since April 2022. Superintendent Nykiel trains incoming officers, oversees facility compliance with federal standards, and has served six years with the Vermont Air National Guard.

Central Office Leadership

James Rice, Executive Director, Office of Professional Standards and Compliance

Commissioner Deml appointed James Rice as Executive Director of the Office of Professional Standards and Compliance (OPSC).  Executive Director Rice began his career with the State of Vermont in 2004, spending the majority of that time with the Department. He began as a Probation and Parole Officer and most recently served as Director of the Vermont Correctional Academy. He has served as interim director of OPSC since January 2022. OPSC is an executive-level division of the Department charged with cultivating and improving the staff experience from recruitment to retirement.  OPSC is tasked with overseeing recruitment and retention efforts, the Vermont Correctional Academy, the Prison Rape Elimination Act and Constituency Services offices, and the Department’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice portfolio.

Great leaders identify and empower future leaders, influence and cultivate a positive culture, and strive for excellence. In Mike, Sharon, and Jim, we found great leaders who embody our State and our Department’s values and serve with courage and humility,” said Commissioner Nicholas Deml. “Our Department is a better place thanks to their nearly 60 years of combined State service. I am excited for Mike, Sharon, and Jim’s help in leading this Department into the future.”

# # #