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Letter to the editor: Choices clear for school board

As a former school board member, I was thrilled to read about the contested race for three Middlebury seats on the ACSD Board. I know first-hand that contested elections are good for candidates and voters. I am especially excited to see new candidates, like Betty Kafumbe and Ryan Torres, step up for public service. I encouraged Betty to get more involved after her work on the ACSD Taskforce on Racism and Discrimination; her experience in both education finance and the arts would be a great to have on the board. I’ve also known Ryan for many years, and his expertise in public health and youth development would be invaluable as the Board tackles student health and wellness issues.
Both Betty and Ryan are parents of current ACSD students, a characteristic that would be shared next year by only four of the 13 current board members. Parent voices on the board are critical to understanding the current experience of students at our schools. Finally, Ryan and Betty would add racial diversity to the school board at a time when Vermont is grappling with issues of racism and representation.
The work of local school boards is incredibly important to the vitality of our small towns. I am heartened by the interest in the still new ACSD Board. Diverse newcomers like Betty Kafumbe and Ryan Torres, coupled with the thoughtful experience of incumbent Chip Malcolm and returning board member Amy McGlashan of Ripton would be a great combination for the next iteration of the ACSD Board.
Ruth Hardy
East Middlebury

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