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New Panton clerk brings diverse experience

MAGGIE MCCORMICK CAME aboard as Panton’s town clerk and treasurer on Sept. 21. She brings a varied background to her position. The Panton selectboard chose McCormick out of a field of almost three-dozen applicants.

PANTON — New Panton Town Clerk/Treasurer Maggie McCormick has, among other things, been a certified sailing instructor and environmental educator, and she owns a thoroughbred rescue horse.
McCormick, who this summer became an Addison resident after living the past two years in Bristol, laughed and said she also has plenty of experience that is relevant to the job she began on Sept. 21 after being picked out of a field of almost 36 candidates.
“Let’s hope so. Apparently the selectboard thought so,” she said.
She then listed some her work background, including creating and managing the budget for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Imaging Technical Direction Agent in Newport, R.I., where she lived for two decades; administering municipal solid waste permitting and billing for Darien, Conn.; and working for a number of nonprofits, including serving as the executive director of the Colorado Psychological Association.
Panton Selectboard Chairman Howard Hall said McCormick’s experience and demeanor alike impressed a hiring committee of residents Paul Sokal, Diana Raphael and Michael Catillaz, and then the selectboard. Hall called her a great communicator.
“She’s a nice person, and she had some skill and ability to do some accounting and managing,” he said. “She was a pretty good fit for our job.”
Early returns have also been positive, Hall added.
“We’re very happy,” he said. “She has great insight for the needs of the selectboard and other committees, and as the citizens come in and ask questions she’s very responsive.”
McCormick said it had a challenge because the position had been vacant for five weeks — former clerk/treasurer Pam Correia resigned effective Aug. 13 — and there was not a direct handoff. But, she added, assistant clerk Linda Devino has helped smooth the transition.
“(Things) are going well. It’s a big curve in terms of I didn’t get handed off from a prior person in the position,” McCormick said. “The assistant clerk is amazing and has held the fort and run the ship, and continues to guide my learning curve.”
McCormick, 53, grew up in Norwalk, Conn., where she describes her family “as poor church mice in a wealthy church.” She earned an undergraduate degree at Southern Connecticut State College, and has worked toward a masters’ degree, including time spent at St. Michael’s.
In fact, over the years she has come and gone from Vermont several times, and she now owns a car with a “LV VT” license plate.
She studied for a semester at Vermont Academy, “at various places in my life” worked in Stratton, and has also had jobs for a group of radio stations in Chittenden County and for the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center.
“I’ve lived in Vermont several times over the course of my life and finally decided to make it a permanent home in September of 2018,” she said.
McCormick acknowledged wandering a bit over the years.
“I have been all over the place,” she said. “I did spend about eight months in Kentucky when I took some time off from college, where I taught environmental education for the Pine Mountain Environmental Education Center.”
But now McCormick and a significant other have settled in Addison with her horse, Turbo, two kittens and a dog, and as well as proximity to home and reasonable pay and benefits, she applied for her new job because it seemed like a good match.
“It is a fantastic place and platform for all my varied experiences,” McCormick said. “It’s a good job in terms of salary and benefits and the community I get to serve.”
So, does she hope to hang around the newly renovated Panton Town Hall for a while?
“Lifer. I would like to retire from here,” McCormick said. “And I plan to be 85 when that happens.”

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