Op/Eds

In discussions with people in the Addison Central School District, I find, as an advocate of Ripton withdrawal from ACSD, that many people do not know why Ripton voted to withdraw from the District. Here is why I believe Ripton is seeking withdrawal: • It is best to have our own school right here in our town where our young children can be taught and cared for as an integral part of our community. That is why we built and paid for our town school. For 27 years after our school was built in 1989, we successfully educated our elementary children in Ripton, elected our own school board and voted...
I am writing a letter in support of Esther Thomas for the open Middlebury selectboard seat. Esther is a brilliant, organized and enthusiastic young woman who would be an asset to our town. Vermont continues to face population declines for young adults and families with school age children. We need to develop creative solutions to ensure that our state is an attractive place to live for both young native Vermonters as well as younger transplants from other regions. As the ongoing school consolidation discussion illustrates, Vermont cannot continue down the path of losing young workers, college...
I didn’t know if I should cry, yell, be angry, be sad. I did it all but mainly I just cried. Cried for our country, cried for our people, and I cried for all those people who supported the former President. I cried for them because they placed their trust in a person that lied to them for four years and convinced them that the lies were the truth. And even worse were the ones who knew it was all lies but still went along. Because of those lies the truth was often lost as too many were convinced the truth was the lie. Our capitol was raided and lives lost because people believed Trump; that...
I am writing to the Addison Independent to express my support for Andy Hooper as a member of the Middlebury selectboard. I discovered Andy’s eclectic demeanor soon after meeting him indirectly through my friendship with his son Zeke. My first interactions with Andy were at Tinker and Smithy in downtown Middlebury, where he could often be found spending time playing games with his family. However, Andy’s care now extends beyond his family as he campaigns for the betterment of the community. With previous experience on the Montpelier City council, Andy brings confidence, knowledge, and...
At this critical time in ACSD history, it is essential to elect people like Chris Kramer to serve on the school board. His current role as an elementary parent, active engagement, creative thinking, and genuine compassion for all our community members offers a potent combination of talent and experience. As a former elementary school board director, I appreciate the value of having someone with current knowledge and involvement in the local schools serve in this important role. It can be easier to dismiss the effects of consolidation, the impact of moving 6th grade to MUMS, or the adjustment...
I am energized to cast my vote for Esther Thomas to become the newest member of the Middlebury selectboard. Esther is unlike the perennial candidate for elected office, a quality that is both refreshing and imperative. Esther is a woman, a single mom of two kids, a person of color, and a full-time worker. Striving to make Middlebury work for working families, Esther brings an intersectional perspective that has long been missing from town discussions of priorities, policies and budgets. A thoughtful listener, Esther will bring to the selectboard the experiences and voices of Middlebury...
To all: Please vote for school board members on March 2nd either by mail or in person. Next to food and safety, education is the most important gift we can give the youngsters of our towns. To me a good education should provide each student the skills to become a secure, self-confident and productive adult in whatever area is chosen. My personal “sell by” date as far as having children in the school system is long past and like many without kids in school I’ve taken much for granted. No more. During my single term as an Addison Central School District school board member I have been awed and...
I am excited for what Andy Hooper’s experienced and levelheadedness can bring in Victor Nuovo’s absence to the Middlebury selectboard. I have known Andy since he moved to Middlebury by way of Montpelier several years ago. He was a consistent patron when I was managing a restaurant in town, often coming in with his kids or to steal away on a lunch or dinner date with his wonderful spouse. I know him to be an intelligent, capable and confident person, whether discussing current events, technology, Tigers and Panthers hockey or playing Settlers of Catan. Andy’s extensive work in the community...
Esther Thomas is running for the one-year post on the Middlebury selectboard, the seat previously held by Victor Nuovo. I have come to know Esther as a fellow board member of the Middlebury Natural Foods Coop. She adds energy and thoughtfulness to our work, is a very discerning listener, and has no personal agenda to promote. Esther moved to Middlebury a couple of years ago to take a position at Middlebury College. She is a Residence Director within the Student Life staff, a job that requires sound management skills, excellent communication, and firm knowledge of guidelines and campus...
I am writing today because of the proposed changes to the Vermont State Teachers’ Retirement System. As a native Vermonter, I have been an educator since 1995, teaching a variety of subjects and students in the Vergennes, Burlington, and Middlebury school districts. Most of these years, I designed and taught camp-like programs, such as the “Shark Tank Start-Up” that was lauded by Governor Scott, during the summers to offer rich and real-world experiences to our most vulnerable students. Also, I serve on numerous unpaid local and state committees, task forces, and boards to ensure equitable...

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Addison County Independent