School board appoints new Waterbury member, two seats still vacant

The Harwood Unified Union School District (HUUSD) Board appointed Iana Gabriela Fraser to fill the open Waterbury seat until Town Meeting Day 2023. Jacqueline Kelleher was elected by write-in to the seat in March but resigned shortly thereafter. Fraser is the parent of five children and two stepchildren and has recently been working as a school nurse at Christ the King School in Burlington. In her letter of interest sent to the board, she wrote, “I have heard great things about the Harwood school district and I would be excited to help continue to make it an excellent educational experience for the students who attend.” The board approved the appointment unanimously; Bobbi Rood, Waitsfield, was not present.


Theresa Membrino, Fayston, resigned from the board effective at the conclusion of its May 11 meeting. She has served on the board since 2018 and wrote in her letter of resignation that, “I feel that I have done what I set out to do.” Chair Kristen Rodgers thanked Membrino for her service. Her resignation leaves open a seat from Fayston; Kim Laidlaw was recently appointed to the other Fayston seat. There is also an open seat from Duxbury. No one has as of yet sent a letter of interest for consideration for that seat.

The board discussed proposed amendments to its flag policy following a request to fly the Ukrainian flag at Moretown Elementary School, which the board denied due to lack of clarity in its process for making such a request. Board chair Kristen Rodgers and vice chair Kelley Hackett worked with Superintendent Brigid Nease to clarify the procedure for requesting a flag be flown at a HUUSD school. The revised procedures were reviewed at the last board meeting and further clarified based on that discussion.

The additional requirements include a letter of support from the school principal, a letter of support from a faculty advisor/sponsor of an established student group, and written demonstrated student support such as a survey. In the draft presented at the May 11 board meeting, there was a requirement of support from 85% of the entire student body, which several board members and student representatives agreed was a high bar. Marlena Tucker-Fishman, Waterbury, suggested the requirement be a simple majority (51%) of the students who respond to the survey be in favor of the flag, though the survey be distributed to the entire student body of the school. Rodgers said she will make the changes discussed and bring the next draft of the flag policy and procedures to the board’s May 25 meeting for approval.