School board members as trustees, not just representatives

  • Published in Letters


To The Editor:

Dear friends and neighbors,

One of the key concepts we covered at our fall retreat was the idea that school board members in our newly consolidated union are now trustees of the school district and all of our students, not just representatives of our local communities. For most of us, recognizing the difference proved a very clear “aha moment,” and all 14 members are committed to bringing a trustee mindset to our Harwood Unified Union School District (HUUSD) Board work.

It is critical that school board members in a merged board do not come to the table looking only to represent their individual communities and/or current sentiment. If we do that, our decisions and focus will be distracted by micro-regional or temporal issues of the day.

Your HUUSD Board is united in bringing a mindset that focuses on what is best for all of our schools, all of our students, all of our taxpayers. We believe that a strong education is a critical component of thriving communities, and that maintaining a high-functioning educational district will require a long-term focus. We understand that our ability to see beyond our community boundaries and school buildings – and beyond current-day issues and pressures – is the only way forward toward a high-quality and cost-effective education for every student in all six towns.

We hope our communities will continue to hold us to the trustee standard and we hope you will consider engaging with all of us as your representatives on the HUUSD Board, no matter where we – or you – happen to reside.

Harwood Unified Union School District Board members: Christine Sullivan, chair (Waitsfield), Gabriel Gilman, vice chair (Moretown), Alycia Biondo (Warren), Tom Cahalan (Duxbury), Jill Ellis (Fayston), Caitlin Hollister (Waterbury), Peter Langella (Moretown), Garett MacCurtain (Duxbury), Maureen McCracken (Waterbury), Melissa Phillips (Waterbury), Alexandra Thomsen (Waterbury), Lorraine Wargo (Fayston), Rosemarie White (Warren) and Rob Williams (Waitsfield)