Jette fills vacancy on Middlebury school board

MIDDLEBURY — Mary Hogan Elementary School directors on May 19 appointed Middlebury resident Victoria Jette to a board vacancy created by the recent resignation of incumbent Jim Callahan.
Callahan verbally resigned from the ID-4 school board on April 17, citing a disagreement with board Chairwoman Ruth Hardy. Callahan had been elected to a three-year term on the board on March 4 and attended only two meetings before resigning.
The board solicited letters of interest from residents interested in filling the remainder of Callahan’s term. That outreach yielded two applicants: Jette, and Jennifer McCarty, who in March had run unsuccessfully for one of three seats that were available on the board. In her letter, dated May 12, McCarty expressed an ongoing interest in serving on the panel.
But Hardy announced on May 19 that McCarty had withdrawn her name from consideration on Friday, May 16. That left Jette as the lone applicant. Jette and her husband, Peter, have three children, two of whom are currently enrolled at the Mary Hogan School.
In her letter of interest, Jette — a Middlebury College graduate — indicated that her family had moved to town four years ago. Peter Jette grew up in Middlebury, where he matriculated through the public school system.
“We spent many years traveling from our home in Boston to Middlebury for weekends and holidays with the long-term goal of moving our family north when the opportunity was right,” she wrote in her letter.
Since that move, Jette said she has come to appreciate the education her children have received at Mary Hogan School. She reported working closely, as a parent, with school officials such as Principal Tom Buzzell on issues related to her children’s education.
“I have been deeply impressed with their professionalism, commitment to excellence, understanding and genuine desire to do what is right for a child,” she said. “I would relish the opportunity to work with them.”
She is currently a stay-at-home mom whose résumé includes stints as a business consultant for Nextera Enterprises, and she was a part of the founding team of a venture philanthropy fund called New Profit Inc. She said New Profit’s partners included Teach for America, New Leaders for New School, Jumpstart, Working Today and Citizen Schools.
“My work at New Profit was primarily around fundraising and board development, both our own and helping our portfolio organizations create boards that could help with and sustain their organization’s growth,” Jette said.
While living in Massachusetts, Jette served on the board of her children’s nursery school, The Neighborhood Co-operative Nursery School.
“I believe my ability to understand children with different needs and the importance of listening to other points of view would contribute to a successful board dynamic,” Jette said in offering her service.
“In addition, I understand the role outside of educating this town’s children that Mary Hogan holds in attracting new families to the area and contributing to a healthy community,” she added. “As a member of the board, I would hope to represent Mary Hogan in a way that would benefit these two secondary objectives as well as show fiscal responsibility to taxpayers.”
The board unanimously endorsed Callahan’s resignation before unanimously voting Jette onto the board. She immediately joined the panel upon being welcomed to its ranks.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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