Education Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: ACSD incumbents deserve nod

I am writing today in support of the reelection of Mary Cullinane and Amy McGlashan to the ACSD School Board. Not only do I whole heartedly support both of their candidacies but I am in admiration of the contributions that they have made to the board and to the students and families of this district.

Mary Cullinane has been an exceptional colleague on the board and we have been lucky to have her as chair the last three years. She brings 30 years and a broad range of education experience to the table and is one of the smartest, most thoughtful and practical people that I know. These are tough times and Mary’s ability to keep us all focused on the important matters of student and teacher wellbeing, community building, equal access to district resources and affordability is tremendous. She is a leader in the true sense of the word and we are a better board and district because of her commitment to this community.

Amy is a long-time educator and leader at Middlebury College and has served over the years on the Ripton School Board, the ACSU Board and now the ACSD School Board. She has been particularly interested in community outreach and ensuring that the future of ACSD is as equitable and affordable as possible.

Joanna Doria is running against her. Joanna is a lovely person and cares deeply about the Ripton School. She is a member of its newly formed board leading the way as Ripton leaves ACSD, and intends to serve on both boards if elected. I fear that if elected to replace Amy, Joanna may unintentionally limit Ripton’s voice in its last year as a member town because of our policy A6 — which states that “It is the ethical and legal duty of all school board members to avoid conflicts of interest as well as the appearance of conflicts of interest.” In my opinion, given Joanna’s commitment to legally separate Ripton from ACSD, she may thus be ineligible to participate/vote in decisions around budget, facilities and staffing, which is much of the work that we do. There is a great deal of work to be done and we need all members to be able to weigh in and participate fully. Amy has proven her commitment to all students of this district and is the right person for the job.

Please join me in supporting these two great candidates. Your schools need your support now more than ever. Mary and Amy will help lead the way as we continue to tackle the tough issues of our times.

Thank you for fulfilling your civic duty and voting on March 1 (or by absentee ballot beforehand).

Victoria Jette


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