In my opinion, school board membership is among the highest forms of public service. It requires a commitment of time and energy, thoughtful planning and strategic engagement with a variety of stakeholder groups.
School board members serve their communities for many reasons. The common thread that unifies board members in service is the commitment to providing an equitable and excellent education to all students at a cost that is reasonable to taxpayers. This is the case for the new Unified Union (UU) Board who has begun their work transitioning 5 individual boards into one governance structure.
The UU board, (I haven’t settled on a proper/shorter title yet) consists of 10 members; 4 from Essex Town, 4 from Essex Junction and 2 from Westford.
The board held their second retreat on Monday evening, March 14th. The retreat had two purposes: First, the board wanted to continue to develop and refine a set of dependable and constant ideals to guide their decision making in all aspects of their work now and in the future. These ideals will be further developed when the board engages teachers, students, parents and community members in the ensuing months.
The second purpose of the retreat was to conduct several pieces of official business including when the board will meet, how agendas will be developed and how the board plans on monitoring transition activities.
Lastly, under official business, the board approved contracting with an external Project Manager whose primary responsibilities will be oversight of the multitude of activities related to the merger transition. Having a Project Manager in place will ensure that all the puzzle pieces touch! Dr. Daniel French is currently a practicing Superintendent in Southern VT. He has made the decision to resign in June after serving as a VT Superintendent for 12 years. He will begin writing the next chapter of his career as the Coordinator of the School Leadership Program at Saint Michael’s College beginning 7/1/16. Dan has been contracted for 20 days for the remainder of the 15-16 school year. The AOE transition grant will cover all costs associated with his service.
Look forward to meeting Dan, in passing, when he joins me on a tour of ETSD in the afternoon of March 30th.
With the future in mind,