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Effective and Appropriate Management of School Board Meetings Webinar

Recorded 11/16/21

This webinar provides school boards and administrators with tools to help effectively manage public comment periods during school board meetings by balancing the rights to free speech and expression with civil and safe board operations. Many boards in Vermont, and indeed across the country, are experiencing an increase in public engagement.  On occasion this has included expressions of anger, disruption, and in some cases threatening conduct. This webinar seeks to provide practical advice and guidance on how to manage contentious public comment sessions with strategies for how to respond when members of the public are disruptive. Speakers on this panel include state legal, educational, behavioral, and public safety experts. 

Panelists & Speakers:

  1. Pietro Lynn, Esq.  

  2. John Donnelly, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist 

  3. Michael Schirling, Commissioner, Vermont Department of Public Safety 

  4. Zach McLaughlin, Superintendent, Springfield School District 

  5. Mary Niles, Chair, Northern Mountain Valley UUSD 

  6. Rory Thibault, Chair, Cabot School Board 

  7. Elizabeth Burrows, Chair, Mount Ascutney School Board 

  1. Podcast

  2. During the webinar there was a PowerPoint Presentation from Pietro Lynn and he also presented a Suggested Meeting Management Language for Board Chairs.


Every year, the Vermont School Boards Association is pleased to recognize the exemplary work of school boards in the State of Vermont. The VSBA Board of Directors has selected the Taconic and Green School District of the Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union as the recipient of the 2021 Award for Exceptional School Board Leadership.