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WILLIAM MATHIS
Editor’s note: This is the seventh in a series about the growing pains of Addison County schools in 1965-66 and the Vermont Commissioner of Education’s ambitious plan to address them. Read the entire series here. ADDISON COUNTY — Upon completion of a recent series about the challenges faced by county schools in the mid-1960s, the Independent reached out to a number of local and state educators and education experts to get their take on what lessons, if any, might be learned by looking at previous upheavals in education history. The conversations were lively and illuminating and touched on...

MIDDLEBURY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (now known as Mary Hogan Elementary) was one of the fastest-growing county schools in 1966. And it had one of the most hassle-free building expansions. A construction bond was approved in the spring, two new classrooms opened in the fall and the new library was completed over the winter. Middlebury and Bristol high school projects, on the other hand, were mired in conflict.
Editor’s note: This is the sixth in a series about the growing pains of Addison County schools in 1965-66 and the Vermont Commissioner of Education’s ambitious plan to address them. Unless otherwise noted, quoted material is reproduced from the original Addison Independent articles and editorials of the time. ADDISON COUNTY — Between 1965 and 1968, Addison County residents and local school boards held more than 40 votes related to mergers, expansions, construction bonds and the creation of a county-wide secondary school. Sixteen of those were revotes on the same questions, often called for by...
In an Aug. 12, 1966, article about a forthcoming school vote in New Haven, the Independent summed up the previous 15 months of topsy-turvy school organization discussions in Addison County. The school turmoil erupted more than a year ago (in May 1965) after Starksboro’s first rejection of the Bristol union by a six-vote margin. New Haven then voted to join MUHS (Middlebury Union High School) and MUHS voters OK’d the merger. The situation got “stickier” when (Vermont Commissioner of Education) Richard A. Gibboney followed John Holden last September. Gibboney called a halt to county school...

UNION DISTRICT 3 (Middlebury-area) school board chair Carl Schmidt addresses the Vermont State Board of Education during a June 1966 meeting in New Haven.
Editor’s note: This is the fifth story in a series about the growing pains of Addison County schools in 1965-66 and the Vermont Commissioner of Education’s ambitious plan to address them. Unless otherwise noted, quoted material is reproduced from the original Addison Independent articles and editorials of the time.  ADDISON COUNTY — In April 1966 Bristol High School Principal Neal Hoadley led the Vermont State Board of Education on a tour of his worn-out, overcrowded school. Hoadley pointed out the lab, which had been converted from a home economics room after the “homemaking department” was...

EDUCATION COMMISSIONER RICHARD Gibboney (left) and Addison Northeast Superintendent Ernest Codding discuss the county school situation with other Addison County superintendents in the spring of 1966. This photo originally appeared in the May 6, 1966, edition of the Independent.
Editor’s note: This is the fourth story in a series about the growing pains of Addison County schools in 1965-66 and the Vermont Commissioner of Education’s ambitious plan to address them. Unless otherwise noted, quoted material is reproduced from the original Addison Independent articles and editorials of the time. Read the full series here. ADDISON COUNTY — When the Vermont State Board of Education met on March 24, 1966, to decide the fate of Addison County schools, it was widely believed that a plan recommended by education consultant Martin Harris to establish unions around three county...
Editor’s note: This is the third in a series about the growing pains of Addison County schools in 1965-66 and the Vermont Commissioner of Education’s ambitious plan to address them. Unless noted, quoted material is reproduced from the original Addison Independent articles and editorials of the time. Read the whole series here. ADDISON COUNTY — Between 1960 and 1965 Addison County’s population increased by 8%, the highest growth rate in Vermont, and home builders were doing their best to keep up. By the end of 1965 a total of 74 new home lots were slated for “Williamson Heights” on Painter...

MUHS BOARD CHAIR Carl Schmidt speaks at a State Board of Education meeting in New Haven in 1966. He suggested the idea of a single high school to serve all of Addison County. Addison Independent archives
Editor’s note: This is the second story in a series about the growing pains of Addison County schools in 1965-66 and the Vermont Commissioner of Education’s ambitious plan to address them. Unless otherwise noted, quoted material is reproduced from the original Addison Independent articles and editorials of the time. ADDISON COUNTY — By the time 38-year-old Vermont Commissioner of Education Richard Gibboney took office in September 1965, much of Addison County was angry with the State Board of Education. Residents of the county’s Union School District 3 (Bridport, Cornwall, Middlebury, Ripton...

THOUGH IT WAS only seven years old at the time, Vergennes Union High School was already getting an addition as the 1965-66 school year got under way — three junior high classrooms and a new science lab. VUHS, which served students in Addison, Ferrisburgh, Panton, Vergennes and Waltham, was one of several county schools that saw a surge in enrollment in the 1960s. This photograph first appeared in the Aug. 20, 1965, edition of the Independent.
ADDISON COUNTY — As school boards, educators, community members and lawmakers offer their best ideas for addressing the declining enrollment and rising costs that have plagued our local school districts in recent years, it sometimes seems as if a great upheaval is underway. School officials warn us about empty classrooms, reduced programming, skyrocketing property taxes. Proposed solutions have included closures, consolidations, merging, dis-unification. One proposal in the Mount Abraham Unified School District suggests the creation of a single county-wide high school. Daunting and unique as...

BRISTOL’S MOUNTAIN STREET School (now known as Bristol Elementary) was so chock-full of students in 1965 that these 18 first-graders were educated in a nearby trailer-classroom, as shown in this March 25, 1966, Independent photo. Middlebury officials were also considering the use of such trailers for their overcrowded schools.
Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of stories about the growing pains of Addison County schools in 1965-66 and the Vermont Commissioner of Education’s ambitious plan to address them. ADDISON COUNTY — A month before school started in 1965, Middlebury Union High School officials predicted their building would soon need two additional science labs, a language lab, more library and cafeteria space, and additional rooms for typing, art, math, English, social studies, mechanical drawing, vocational shop for junior high students, auto mechanics and more. Union District 3 voters had...

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Addison County Independent