To The Editor:

This letter is addressed to the Harwood Unified Union School District Board members:

I am writing in support of keeping Moretown Elementary School (MES) open. It is an essential asset to our town, in both the education of our children, as well as a connector for our community at large. 

I grew up in Moretown and am a graduate of both Moretown Elementary as well as Harwood Union High School. During these formative years, I always felt well supported, connected to my teachers and challenged individually in a way that you only achieve in an intimate educational setting.

When I first moved back to Moretown as an adult, I did not have children yet but looked to the elementary school as a way to connect with my community and contribute to my neighborhood. I volunteered to coach Girls on the Run for five years, and taught a nutritional cooking class as part of the MES health curriculum for fifth- and sixth-graders. 

In a town where there is one gas station, a library without plumbing and a mostly vacant town hall, the school is the central meeting place for our community. It is vital to the health of our small town. 

Now, as a parent of a preschooler going in to her second year at Moretown Elementary and a 1 year old who will be entering in a few years, I am even more adamant about the school’s value. Our children need us to stand up and fight for our school, for their education, their sense of community and the vitality of the town they may choose to return to one day as well. 

My daughter’s preschool class size dictated the need for a third class this past year. We are only growing in numbers. 

The MECA afterschool program is an asset and draw to not only our town, but also to students from surrounding towns that fight for a spot. 

The teachers are committed, energetic and excited about their school community. They work well together and have a tight bond with the other teachers, administrators and staff. This is a difficult internal balance and not all schools can achieve it. Indeed, we are something special. The satisfaction is so great that there are multiple teachers still at MES from 30 years ago when I was a student. 

We need to look beyond finances and see the big picture. The value of our school has nothing to do with how much it would save to no longer exist.  The value of MES lies in the fact that it’s an integral tool to empower the growing number of youths in Moretown, motivating a growing population of young professionals to the area. Without it, this town would not continue to grow or progress; it would lose the biggest asset and longest standing social institution with irreversible consequences. 

I, as a Moretown taxpayer, will always vote to support my school, and am more than willing to put my tax money behind my word. Please recognize the value our elementary school holds and cease to consider closing it to students as an option.

Lisa Mason
Moretown, Vermont