Many seats up for grabs on ANeSU boards
BRISTOL AREA — Sixteen seats on Addison Northeast Supervisory Union school boards come up for election this March, and the deadline for getting your name on the ballot is only a week away.
Residents will be voting on six school board seats in Bristol, five in Monkton, two in Starksboro, two in Lincoln and one in New Haven. In Lincoln and New Haven, all open seats are for those communities’ respective elementary school boards. Open seats in Bristol, Monkton and Starksboro are split among the elementary school boards and the Mount Abraham Union High School Board.
“Serving on one of our local school boards is a very important part of the success of the ANeSU,” said Interim Superintendent Armando Vilaseca. “The district is providing students with rich opportunities to learn and to demonstrate their knowledge. The school boards are an integral part of our success, and the next few years promise to be interesting and exciting as we work to meet the state-mandated Act 46 requirements.”
Each candidate must file both a petition with signatures from a minimum of 1 percent of their town’s voters and a Local Office Consent form with their respective town clerk by 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 25. The petition and consent forms are available from all of the town offices and can also be downloaded from the elections page of the Vermont Secretary of State’s website (www.sec.state.vt.us/elections/candidates/local-candidates.aspx).
Monkton Town Clerk Sharon Gomez encourages prospective Monkton candidates to come by the town office to pick up the forms, or if downloading the forms to apprise the town office of their candidacy, so that the office is aware of who is running.
According to information from the ANeSU district office, many current school board members will run again, a few remain undecided, and two have reported that they will not run for re-election.
When asked about the importance and rewards of serving on a board, Mount Abe school board member Allison Sturtevant called it an important way “to ensure all students receive the best possible education” and to balance that responsibility with “fiscal responsibility to our taxpayers. All of our students deserve to be prepared for a successful life after high school, whether that be immediate employment, continued education, or some other passion and to be positively contributing members of society.”
Sturtevant put her name forward for the MAUHS board and was selected, after Robert Donnis resigned in July 2015. She also serves on the ANeSU Act 46 Study Committee.
In Bristol, three seats are up for election for the Bristol Elementary School Board and three seats are up for election for the Mount Abe board.
Two current board members have informed the district office that they will not seek re-election. Steve Barsalou, current chair of the Bristol Elementary School board and a member of the ANeSU Bargaining Council, reported that he would not run again. Alicia Kurth, who was elected in 2014 to complete the three-year term vacated by Dick Merrill, will not be running for a new term on the MAUHS board. Both seats are for three-year terms.
For the Bristol Elementary board, Chris Scrodin’s and Colleen Wedge’s one-year seats are also up for election. It is not known if Scrodin will seek re-election; and Wedge told the district she was undecided about running.
Both Carol Eldridge and Allison Sturtevant will be seeking re-election to the MAUHS board. Both seats are for three-year terms.
School board candidates in Bristol need 27 signatures on their petition.
In Lincoln, two seats are up for election for the Lincoln Community School board.
Current LCS board chair Rebecca Otey has reported that she is running for re-election for her three-year seat. Otey also serves as chair of the Act 46 Study Committee and serves on the ANeSU Bargaining Council. The school district office reports Mary Beth Stilwell as still undecided about running for re-election for her two-year seat.
School board candidates in Lincoln need 10 signatures on their petition.
Monkton has three positions up for election on the Monkton Central School board and two on the MAUHS board. The MAUHS and one of the MCS positions are for three-year terms. The remaining two positions on the MCS board are for one-year terms.
All current members of the MCS and MAUHS boards reported that they will be running. These returning candidates include ANeSU Board Chair and Chair of the Executive Committee Dawn Griswold; Marikate Kelley, who serves on the MCS board, the ANeSU Bargaining Council, the ANeSU Board and the ANeSU Executive Committee; Robert Radler, vice chair of the MCS board; Sarah Rougier, who serves on the MCS board and the newly formed Superintendent Search Committee; and Otto Funke, who was selected in November to replace longtime MAUHS board member Shawna Sherwin, who resigned.
School board candidates in Monkton need 14 signatures on their petition.
One three-year seat on the Beeman Elementary School board is up for re-election in New Haven. Ed McGuire will seek re-election to that position. McGuire also serves on the Act 46 Study Committee and the ANeSU board.
School board candidates in New Haven need 12 signatures on their petition.
Starksboro has one three-year seat on the Robinson Elementary School board and a seat on the Mount Abe board up for election. Both incumbents will seek re-election. Caleb Elder serves on the Robinson Elementary board, the Act 46 Study Committee and the ANeSU board. Jodi Bachand serves as the clerk of the MAUHS board and on the ANeSU Bargaining Council.
School board candidates in Starksboro need 13 signatures on their petition.
For more information about running for local office see the Elections section of the Vermont Secretary of State’s website or ask your town clerk.
Reporter Gaen Murphree is at [email protected].
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