New RED school district gets under way

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC

The launch of the Green Mountain Unified School District, a Regional Education District (RED) created by an Act 46 merger vote in May, took place Tuesday night. Not counting school and town employees, only a handful of voters from the constituent towns of Andover, Baltimore, Cavendish and Chester showed up to vote on the warned articles which set the board up to begin its work.

Members of the Green Mountain Unified School District take their oaths of office at the beginning of the meeting. Photo by Shawn Cunningham

Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe opened the meeting commending the hard work of the Act 46 Study Committee that brought the merger into being and likened the work of the board that will take over the four town’s schools next July to building an airplane while flying another plane. Still Holcombe said she was hopeful and optimistic.

After Holcombe swore in the members of the new board, the registered voters in attendance then worked through the articles of the warning. Results in are bold italics.

Article 1: To elect a temporary presiding officer and clerk from among the qualified voters. Bill Dakin, Amber Wilson

Article 2: To adopt Robert’s Rules of Order or other rules of order to govern the parliamentary procedures of this and subsequent meetings of the District. Approved

Article 3: To elect the following officers to serve from their election and qualification for one year or until the election and qualification of their successors:

● Moderator – Bill Dakin
● Clerk – Julie Hance
● Treasurer – Wayne Wheelock

Article 4: To determine and approve compensation, if any, to be paid District officers. No compensation for the first year

Article 5: To establish a date of the annual meeting. The Tuesday before Town Meeting Day at 7 p.m. This falls on Feb. 27, 2018

Article 6: To establish provisions for the payment of any expense incurred by the District. 30 days after incurring the expense with the approval of the board.

Article 7: To authorize the District to borrow money pending receipt of payments from the State Education Fund by the issuance of its notes or orders payable not later than one year from date: provided, however, that the newly formed District is authorized by Vermont Statutes to borrow sufficient funds to meet pending obligations. Approved

Article 8: To determine and approve compensation, if any, to be paid to School Board Directors. No compensation for this year.

Article 9: To determine whether to authorize the Board of School Directors, pursuant to the provisions of 16 V.S.A. §563(10) & (11)(C), to provide mailed notice to residents of the availability of the Annual Report and proposed school budget in lieu of distributing the Annual Report and
proposed budget. Approved

Article 10: To transact any other school business thought proper when met. No other business.

After the public votes, a second organizational meeting was convened in which the new board elected Alison DesLauriers as chair, Marilyn Mahusky as vice chair and Kathy Muther as clerk. The board also chose Amber Wilson as its recording secretary and settled on the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. as its regular meeting day. Meetings will rotate among the districts three schools – Cavendish Elementary, Chester-Andover Elementary and Green Mountain High School – with the Oct. 10 meeting to be held in Cavendish.

In July 2018, the new board will take over operations of all the schools in the four towns and the six boards that now run those schools will wrap up their business and disband. Between now and then, the Green Mountain Unified School District board has the task of finding savings from the new governance setup as well as ways to increase the educational opportunities available to district students.

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