REGION – The Vermont School Boards Association has honored the Taconic & Green Regional School Board with a 2019 Exceptional School Board Leadership Award. The T&G Board shared the honorable mention designation with the Champlain Valley School District. The top 2019 prize was granted to the Blue Mountain Union School District.
“Vermont has over 100 elected boards that oversee the state’s system of public education,” says Sue Ceglowski, executive director of the VSBA. “It is a way to recognize all of the hard work done by board members throughout the state.”
The T&G School District was created by the Act 46 Northshire merger agreement approved in March 2017 by each of nine Vermont communities: Danby, Dorset, Landgrove, Londonderry, Manchester, Mount Tabor, Peru, Sunderland, and Weston. In July 2018, T&G formally began the operation of the five schools providing K-8 education for these towns: Currier Elementary School, Flood Brook School, Manchester Elementary Middle School, The Dorset School, and Sunderland Elementary.
“The chief goal of forming the T&G District was to give our students greater educational opportunities by combining the resources of all five schools and the public support of all nine towns,” says T&G Board Chairman, Herb Ogden. “We are honored by the VSBA award, and while we’re off to a good start, much work lies ahead.”
The T&G nomination for the VSBA Leadership Award was strongly supported by T&G teachers and principals, as well as statewide education experts.
“In my work with Boards, I found the Taconic and Green School Board impressive,” notes Vermont education consultant, Valarie Gardner. “They demonstrate a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities…and they work effectively in governing the district and partnering with the superintendent [Jackie Wilson] in meeting the mission of the district.”
“Students and their families are at the forefront of all the Board’s decisions,” wrote Rebecca Van Der Kar, president of the T&G Teachers Association. “Although the board understands this [equity] cannot be accomplished overnight, they consistently aim to create equity in access to programming, extra-curricular activities, food service, transportation, and more.”
In a letter to the VSBA, the T&G principals stood together in their support for the T&G Board. “In no place can I imagine a group of people who are more supportive of their educators, parents, children, and taxpayers, balancing the sometimes competing needs of each constituency, and making hard choices that are thoughtful, transparent, and always aimed at bettering the educational outcomes and experiences for our children.”
T&G is one of three school districts in the Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union. The VSBA Exceptional Leadership Award was established in 2014. The T&G designation this year is the first time a BRSU Board has been honored.