Contact: Sue Ceglowski, Executive Director
Vermont School Boards Association
Email: [email protected]
(Montpelier, VT November 2019) – Every year, the Vermont School Boards Association is pleased to recognize the exemplary work of school boards in the State of Vermont. The VSBA Board of Directors has selected the Blue Mountain Union School District as the recipient of the 2019 Award for Exceptional School Board Leadership and awarded honorable mentions to the Taconic and Green School District Board and the Champlain Valley School District Board.
“Vermont has over 100 elected boards that oversee the state’s system of public education. The Award for Exceptional Board Leadership is a means of recognizing the contributions of a specific school board. It is also a way to recognize all of the hard work done by board members who serve throughout the state,” said Sue Ceglowski, Executive Director of the VSBA.
Nominations for the Award came from board members, citizens and school administrators.
The Blue Mountain School District brings together the communities of Groton, Ryegate, and Wells River in a single K-12 school with roughly 450 students. The Blue Mountain Union School District board grew into a cohesive, committed board through leading its community through a complex Act 46 process that resulted voluntarily merging its own stand-alone Supervisory Union to the Orange Southeast Supervisory Union. Through controversy and political challenges that included entertaining the possibility of closing its high school, the BMU board – in the words of one supporter – demonstrates “true concern for the betterment of the educational experience for all of [their] students.”
The Taconic and Green School District Board became operational in July 2017, serving the communities of Danby, Dorset, Landgrove, Londonderry, Manchester, Mt. Tabor, Peru, Sunderland, and Weston as the result of an Act 46 merger. They live by their motto, “all our children are all our children,” which they adopted at the organizational meeting of their Act 46 transition board. It’s clear from their nomination and supporting documents that they are committed to providing excellent programming that all students can access. Many of the letters of support for this board identified its effectiveness and continued focus on its students.
The Champlain Valley School District board is being recognized for its management of a highly charged racial and anti-Semitic incident at its high school. It navigated its responsibilities to its stakeholders including students and staff through effective leadership while remaining focused on its important role in responding in a thoughtful yet timely manner. Their actions modeled for students how an elected body can direct a challenging situation calmly and thoughtfully. Ultimately the board also recognized the need to increase equity literacy for themselves and all CVSD employees.
The VSBA Award for Exceptional School Board Leadership is presented annually at the association’s statewide conference in the fall. The Vermont School Boards Association exists to achieve Vermont’s vision for public education by supporting all school boards to serve as effective trustees for education on behalf of their communities and by providing a strong collective voice toward enhancing the cause of public education in Vermont.