May 31, 2007
By ANDY KIRKALDY
VERGENNES — In a special meeting held on May 22 the Vergennes Union High School board voted against two administrators’ recommendation and preserved the school’s German language program in a decision that may be a preview of future difficult choices that lie ahead at VUHS.
About 25 citizens and staff members came to the meeting to support the German program, which Principal Ed Webbley and Addison Northwest Supervisory Union Superintendent Thomas O’Brien had said should be phased out over the next three years after the retirement of longtime teacher Joy Minns, who will step down at the end of this school year.
O’Brien said he was disappointed by the board’s decision given the school’s scheduling and funding problems, one of many tough calls he said the VUHS board may have to make in the next six years, when enrollment is estimated to decrease by as much as 20 percent.
May 31, 2007
By JOHN FLOWERS
MIDDLEBURY — Vermont House Speaker Gaye Symington said the state should be proud of what she characterized as a “very productive” 2007 session during which lawmakers passed initiatives that will have a long-term, rather than a short-term, payoff.
Symington, a Jericho Democrat, acknowledged that while the Legislature did not make a lot of big headlines and breakthroughs on issues like property tax reform, she believes lawmakers did take important steps to ensure that Vermonters will have energy savings, a better telecommunications network and stronger farms in the future.