Ed Scott Running for School Board
The post below the row of stars to follow was written by Ed Scott, candidate for Ward Seven School Commissioner. I appreciate guest posts like this very much. It’s less work for me. Thanks Ed.
Hello Haik, Hope you had a good break and happy new year. I’ve filed my petition, written a My Turn criticizing the budget process that should be in soon (don’t take it personally–also have copied my correspondence to board members to you), have had an announcement in North Ave News, and now I am taking you up on your offer to use your blog to say why I want to run. I appreciate this as I cannot afford to place ads, etc., and I am becoming more and more committed as I see Machiavelli at work such as the travesty that is the decision about after school program–that never should have gotten off the ground in the first place! Thanks
Why I am running from Ward 7 for the Burlington School Board
Thank you, Haik, for offering to let me use your blog to state why I am running for the school board.
Sixteen years ago, in 1994, I moved from the Northeast Kingdom where I had been a teacher and guidance counselor, to Burlington to take a job as guidance director at Burlington High School . Surprisingly, the rural union high school I left was state-of-the-art in many ways, but to my surprise when I got to Burlington, I found the guidance department I was taking over was still operating in the paper age, and the high school was entrenched in outmoded practices; teachers, not the administration, not the school board, were running the school.
Before the first bell rang on my first school day, tedious paper add/drop procedures so long in place, went out the window as I found it was possible to computerize such things. But other issues that elicited my ideas for change were often met with, “The teachers will never go for that.” While I can attest that the guidance department has been transformed, delivery of services continues to be outmoded and unsuccessful for a large number of students. Scores on the NECAP tests are low, and 15% of students do not make it to graduation. This information is on the department of education website for anyone interested.
I am retired now and have a 9-year-old, who with her friends, is closing in on middle school. I feel I must to do more than critique from the sidelines but to get involved in the decision making. With my background I can make meaningful contributions about how instruction can be improved. I have ideas about how to replace the current structure of leveling that puts a ceiling on academic and personal growth with a teaching model that is student centered and reflects individual differences. As a former teacher who likes kids and wants the best for them, I can be their voice.
Generally, we have a good school system with many successes. Acknowledging these as well as problems is important. However, like many voters, I am often suspicious of how decisions are made. Just recently, for example, the final decision was made about how to restructure the after school program. You can read about it in Haik’s blog, but quite frankly, the way the process worked out was Machiavellian. Now a BSD employee is the site director at Smith, Susan Carter and her sister have lesser, part time roles, just as was proposed last year. Our rep on the committee, Shireen Hart, voted no, but it happened anyway. I feel an obligation to be involved in these matters from the beginning so that perhaps I can help hold off such ill-advised, unfair decisions before they get off the ground.
I have held offices and community positions before where I lived in Derby , VT. Town moderator, community mental health board member, boy scouts committee, little league, always actively involved. I am a veteran who served as a helicopter pilot in Korea and Vietnam . Currently I am a guardian ad litem in Chittenden Superior Court. I am a good team player.
I believe I have the background, the ideas, and the energy to contribute meaningfully to the school board, and I hope you support me. Thank you. And thank you, Haik.