VSBA RECOGNITION FOR EXCEPTIONAL SCHOOL BOARD LEADERSHIP
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.
“Vermont has over 100 elected boards that oversee the state’s system of public education. The Award for Exceptional Board Leadership is a means of recognizing the contributions of a specific school board. It is also a way to recognize all of the hard work done by board members who serve throughout the state,” said Sue Ceglowski, Executive Director of the VSBA. Nominations for the Award came from board members, citizens, and school administrators.
The Taconic and Green School District was the result of an Act 46 merger of 7 districts serving the nine communities of Danby, Dorset, Landgrove, Londonderry, Manchester, Mt. Tabor, Peru, Sunderland, and Weston. Now operational for 5 years, the T&G board has demonstrated that they are unified and committed to supporting our schools and communities through policy development, actions, words, and behavior.
They live by their motto, “all our children are all our children,” which they adopted at the organizational meeting of their Act 46 transition board. Undeterred during the first 18 months of the pandemic, they actively and inclusively reached out to community stakeholders to understand their views of the purpose of education today from which they developed a new District Ends Policy to guide their work, which Superintendent Randi Lowe referred to as “exciting, progressive, inclusive, and filled with hope and opportunity.” They’ve also made equity a priority, regularly addressing related topics and questions at meetings.
At a time when many school boards in Vermont and around the country are challenged by disruptive board meetings and in-board acrimony, Lowe highlighted that this board has “a commitment to norms and shared goals” and have integrated protections into their board policy to ensure that “their strength is as a unit, not to be derailed by an individual.”
A letter supporting the nomination signed by the six principals in the district stressed how well the board supports them. “When we present data or information about our schools, they express authentic interest and make genuine inquiries…. Their leadership makes it easier for us to focus on the important work within our schools.”
The VSBA Award for Exceptional School Board Leadership is presented annually at the association’s statewide conference in the fall. The Vermont School Boards Association exists to achieve Vermont’s vision for public education by supporting all school boards to serve as effective trustees for education on behalf of their communities and by providing a strong collective voice toward enhancing the cause of public education in Vermont.