In the town of Duxbury, school board representatives are elected from the floor at Town Meeting. At this year’s meeting last week, the voters chose Duxbury resident Alec Adams to take Garett MacCurtain’s seat on the school board.
This week, The Valley Reporter reached out to Adams with the same preelection questions previously answered by other school board candidates. Here, Adams discusses his background, his motivations for being on the board and his views on the middle school merger.
Why do you want this position?
Initially, I did not see the value of ever running for the board with all of the rancor being shared among various community interests. But the more I spoke with concerned citizens from Duxbury and their genuine fear of the town being underrepresented during this critical time, I warmed up to the opportunity to take part, to exercise my civic duty in public education. My goal is to help get past the divisions and advance meaningful and responsible changes/goals within the district.
Tell us a bit about your education, experience and background.
I am currently the assistant dean of finance and administration at the Grossman School of Business at the University of Vermont. I oversee the financial performance of the school in addition to school operations, human resources, IT and facilities. Previous to UVM, I worked for nine years at Norwich University's College of Graduate and Continuing Studies as a program administrator for both graduate and undergraduate programs. I have master’s degrees in business administration (MBA) and education (M.Ed. - concentration: education leadership) and earned my bachelor's degree in hotel administration. I have been in higher education for 25 years and, prior to this, the hospitality business.
Do you support the decision to move seventh- and eighth-graders to Crossett Brook?
I do, in principle, but such a move needs to be part of a broader conversation and understanding of what the impact would be and the opportunity(ies) it could present. Could the Harwood MS space become a center for experiential learning, alternative education, STEM or technical/trades development? Could it enhance the vision of a revitalized Harwood campus? How might the move actually grow enrollments? I see this as an excellent opportunity for teachers, administrators and board members to collaborate on forward-thinking solutions. Perhaps by delaying one year will provide the time needed to make a thoughtful transition plan that most everyone can support.
Do you support the decision to move fifth- and sixth-grade Moretown students to Crossett Brook?
Having the benefit of hindsight, this may have been asking too much too soon. I can understand the angst and anxiety associated with it when one considers that primary schools in Waitsfield and Warren remain unaffected. Some Moretown kids already attend Crossett Brook by choice, due to geographical convenience, so to compel others to follow seemed unnecessary with such a short timeline. But the fact is, shrinking enrollments will continue to be our immediate challenge. And difficult decisions will need to be made.