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At its final meeting of the 2021-2022 school year, the Harwood Unified Union School District (HUUSD) Board appointed Mike Bishop to its open Fayston seat until Town Meeting Day in March 2023. He was recommended to the position by the Fayston Select Board. He has lived in Fayston for approximately one and a half years and previously served on the school board in South Hero. He has two children who attend Crossett Brook Middle School. “I feel education is very important. School board member is one of the hardest jobs as a volunteer,” he said. The seat has been open since Theresa Membrino resigned from the board in May. Kim Laidlaw filled the other Fayston seat in April.


The board discussed upcoming meet and greet events for the community to get to know incoming superintendent Dr. Mike Leichliter. He begins the position on July 1 and the board will host a series of events to introduce him to the district communities this summer and fall. Events will occur at the Waterbury Farmers Market on July 14 from 4 to 7 p.m., at the Warren Town Hall (with a back-up location of the East Warren Community Market) on August 15 from 5 to 7:30 p.m., and at the Waitsfield Farmers Market on September 9 from 10 a.m. to noon. The board approved a budget of a total $600 for refreshments for these events.

Board chair Kristen Rodgers acknowledged at the board’s June 22 meeting the contributions to the district made by Superintendent Brigid Nease, who served as superintendent for 13 years, and director of finance Michelle Baker, who served the district for 14 years. The June 22 meeting was the final HUUSD Board meeting for both of them. Rodgers mentioned that Nease shepherded the district through Tropical Storm Irene, the tragic death of five students and the COVID-19 pandemic. “We wish her well on her next adventure,” Rodgers said. She also noted that Baker helped the district through the budgeting process, including the use of COVID-relief funds. “We wish her well in her next chapter,” Rodgers said.

Lisa Estler is the district’s new finance director. A press release stated, “She comes to us from New Jersey as the former associate dean of planning and budgets, serving as the chief financial and operations officer for the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers University.” She has 27 years of experience.