Editorial: Give Keith Hill the contract

Telegraph Publisher Cynthia Prairie

By Cynthia Prairie
editor, The Chester Telegraph
©2021 Telegraph Publishing

There have been plenty of instances over the years that The Telegraph has been covering various boards when members claim that their decision is based upon the recommendations of either another body or of the general public, whom they have been elected to represent.

So it is curious that members of the board of directors of the Green Mountain Unified School District  turned a deaf ear to the principal recommendation of a well-respected superintendent, an appointed search committee and the faculty and community at large who elected them in the first place.

Teacher Keith Hill may have minimal experience in an administrative role but there is no doubt that he certainly has the support of faculty members and current and former students, if the large numbers of comments in support that The Telegraph has received both in this paper (33 at last count) and on Facebook are any indication.

In the minds of some board members, the single-year contract that Superintendent Lauren Fierman recommended that Hill be offered may be too big of a gamble. But considering that the GM faculty and parent community seem strongly invested in Hill’s success, hiring him seems to us a no-brainer.

With a supportive administration, faculty and staff, and parents and students who are willing to lend a hand, offer some advice and a give a hearty thumbs up when needed, the downside is minor.

On Thursday night, the GM board needs to revisit their earlier decision, give Keith Hill the one-year contract, then get on with the task of supporting our students and improving our school.

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Filed Under: CommentaryTelegraph Editorial

About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor more than 40 years. Cynthia has worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland, and has won numerous state awards for her reporting. As an editor, she has overseen her staffs to win many awards for indepth coverage. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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  1. Lillian Elliott Miller says:

    @ Willy Williams.

    I hear you.

  2. Jay Joseph says:

    We all make mistakes and I believe that the board has made one by not choosing Keith Hill for the principal position. I taught Mathematics for 29 years at GM and know how rare it is to find an exceptional administrator. I had Keith as a student and can vouch for his excellent level of achievement. I have heard nothing but praise from students and teachers as to his contributions to GM as a teacher. I would ask the board to reconsider their decision and appoint Keith to the position of principal.

  3. Mary Ann and Bill Kearns says:

    We also agree. Let Keith be the principal. We salute him for educating himself and choosing Chester to continue to be his home. He has grown from a kid who our kids went to school with to a smart man. Keith, we wish you luck and continued success!

    Mary Ann and Bill Kearns

  4. Willy Williams says:

    Wake up school board. While people like me went to GM went to college and eventually left the state due to the lack of economic opportunity. Keith did the opposite. He graduated GM. Went to college with education scholarships because of how smart he is. Then he came back to GM and has been teaching looking for his next opportunity. Not out of state NO, as principal of his home town high school, Green Mountain.

    In today’s Vermont this is virtually unheard of. He has overcome adversity and helped numbers of others stand up and come out as not being straight. I have known Keith my whole life, grew up with him. He actually married my wife and I.

    If the school board doesn’t make a change to their vote then the people to change are those who sit on the board. This is not about him not being able to handle the job. He can handle anything you throw at him. This is about the small minds of the board not wanting a gay man as principal of the school.

    It’s a one year appointment. If he can’t handle the job, he is smart enough to tell the superintendent at the end of his one year contract that he needs to go back to teaching. I live in Charleston, S.C., now a long way away from VT. But I am ashamed that the place I grew up has not grown up. It’s 2021 people. And people in Chester wonder why most of the kids who graduate GM move away. Well this is a prime example.

  5. Cortney Slobodnjak says:

    I also agree that Keith Hill should be appointed as the next principal of GMUHS.I too will be attending the school board meeting on April 15.

    I also think it is worth mentioning that I believe Keith operated as part of an administrative team this last year.

    See you Thursday!

  6. William Dakin says:

    We agree that Keith Hill should be appointed as the next Principal of Green Mountain Union High School.

    We will be attending the school board meeting on April 15, 2021 to watch this happen.

    Leigh and Bill Dakin