At the Harwood Unified Union School District’s (HUUSD) April 13 meeting, the board appointed Kim Laidlaw to the Fayston seat. She will serve until Town Meeting day 2023. Laidlaw is a veteran teacher at Peoples Academy High School in Morristown, currently teaching online through Vermont Virtual Learning Collaborative. “I care a lot about our district and our schools,” Laidlaw said. “I want our schools to be extraordinary. I think it’s very important we [Fayston] have a seat at the table.” Fayston’s other school board representative is Theresa Membrino, whose term expires in 2024. 


The HUUSD board currently has two vacant seats from Duxbury and Waterbury. Iana Fraser, Waterbury, has submitted a letter of interest and attended the April 13 meeting to observe how an HUUSD board meeting is conducted. The board seeks recommendations from the town’s select boards. Parties interested in filling the vacant seats may apply by sending a letter of interest to board chair Kristen Rodgers and superintendent Brigid Nease by April 27.

The HUUSD board elected Jonathan Young, Warren, to the newly established Central Vermont Career Center (CVCC) school board. The new CVCC school district was created at Town Meeting in March to enable sending districts to have a voice in the budgeting and operations of the CVCC in Barre. Previously the school’s budget and other decisions fell solely on Barre voters.

Central Vermont Prevention Coalition community organizer Olivia Leclerc spoke about a community forum on drugs and alcohol that will be held on Wednesday, April 27 at 6:00 p.m. on Zoom and in person at the Waterbury municipal building. Parents, family members and community members are encouraged to attend.


The HUUSD board discussed clarifications to its flag policy. On March 10, a parent of a Moretown preschooler sent an email to the board requesting the Ukrainian flag be raised at the school. The parent responded to all questions outlined by the board’s flag policy, including indicating a teacher that supported the request and noting that discussions about the Ukrainian conflict were happening among students. However, the board decided that, as this was the first such request it had received, that the procedures in place for submitting and assessing a flag request needed to be clarified. It tasked board chair Kristen Rodgers and vice chair Kelley Hackett to work with superintendent Brigid Nease to amend the language to more clearly outline what the board considers when assessing such a request.

The proposed changes to the policy and procedures included the requirement for “evidence of support, at a minimum a letter from a faculty advisor or sponsor of an established student group,” as well as “evidence of support, at a minimum a letter, from the building principal” and “written demonstrated support for a proposed flag, such as a survey, student letter or project.” Board member Lisa Mason, Moretown, encouraged the board to be specific about what would demonstrate student support, such as requiring a certain number or percentage of students surveyed agree with the request or a certain number of student signatures in support of the request. “It would behoove us to get very specific about what we’re asking for,” she said.

These changes were made due to the board’s questions about whether the parent who submitted the request to fly the Ukrainian flag demonstrated sufficient student support among the preschoolers and whether indicating that a teacher was supportive was sufficient for the board’s purposes. “There’s nothing wrong with the topic,” board member Bobbi Rood, Waitsfield, said, “Just a question of ‘is this coming from a parent or students?’” Board members had questions about the language indicating an established student group and how students’ support would be demonstrated. Rodgers and Hackett agreed to bring another draft of the flag policy procedures to its next meeting on April 27.

The board extended its congratulations to student board representative Jeswin Antony for placing first in the state’s American Legion oratorial competition. Antony will travel to Indianapolis for the national competition on April 24.