Dawn Griswold, MAUSD Board Chair and Monkton Representative: I began serving the town of Monkton as a School Board Member in 2001. I joined because I wanted to be an active part of my town and local school. I wanted to be a part of something that affected the students of my community. I thoroughly enjoy serving my community. It has taught me so much and even as I near my 20th year as a School Board Member, I am still learning. I value the trust the community has placed in me to continue serving them. My two sons, Spencer and Patton have grown and are now experiencing life in the world, and I am grateful that our schools have prepared them for the journey. My husband, Bret and I enjoy visiting with our sons and spending time with family and friends. I enjoy walking/running and working out. You are likely to see me out and about in the Five Town area!
Krista Siringo, MAUSD Vice Chair and Bristol Representative, Community Engagement Committee Chair: I live in Bristol with my husband Brendan Gallivan and our three children: twin daughters Hannah and Isabelle, who are in high school at Mount Abe, and our son Sam, who attends Bristol Elementary. I grew up in Orange County, New York-about an hour north of New York City and attended SUNY Geneseo and Springfield College where I graduated with a Master's in Counseling. After living in San Francisco for three years, I returned to the east coast and moved to Vermont in 1999. Prior to having our daughters, I worked as a career counselor at Middlebury College. I currently work part-time for the Liberal Arts Career Network, a professional development organization for career services professionals at small liberal arts colleges around the country.
I first joined the school board at Bristol Elementary before we became a unified district, and I have continued on since that time, now serving as a Bristol representative to the MAUSD Board. I am the Chair of the Community Engagement Committee and serve as the Vice Chair for the Board. I became interested in serving as a school board member because I wanted to better understand and become more involved with the system that guides the way we educate the children of our Five Town community. I am so appreciative of the strong sense of community in our schools and the way that our children are seen, loved and cared for. I also believe that this sense of community really thrives when we are all engaged and informed about the work of our schools and have opportunities to provide input into the future direction of our District. Ensuring that we provide a robust public education to ALL of our children is one of the most important - if not THE most important - responsibilities we all share.
Elizabeth Sayre MAUSD Clerk and Bristol School Board Representative: Mark Deering and I are proud of our young man, Michael. 2020 marked his freshman year at Mt. Abraham, he’s the fourth generation to benefit from all our five-towns have to offer. My gratitude for his personalized access to education and the genuine care with which it is provided, inspire me to offer my best as a community voice in return. The common goal is clear, an educational system with enough flexibility to meet our students where they are so they can reach their full potential! Reinforcing the relationship between our learning community and our greater community continues to be crucial to that success.
Patrick Lawrence, New Haven School Board Representative: Recently joining the school board in the Spring of 2022, I am excited to contribute to the future of public education in MAUSD. I believe that the quality and vitality of our schools is intertwined with the strength of our communities, so by improving educational opportunities for students we are ensuring that our small part of Vermont
remains a wonderful place to live.
I grew up attending schools in various parts of the country, culminating with a PhD in agroecology from Montana State University. Despite having completed many years of schooling, I still share much in common with secondary students who are still figuring out what they want to be in life. I work as an agricultural sustainability consultant, but am equally interested in my wife’s work in mental health as a therapist and my young daughter’s fascination with birds. In my free time, I enjoy gardening, attempting to be artistic, trail running, and splitboarding.
Stephen Rooney, Starksboro School Board Representative: While growing up in Vergennes, getting an Architectural
degree in Texas, marrying a Bristol girl (Alice Weston), and settling in Starksboro, I've been made aware time and time again that I am a product of strong families and communities supporting educational opportunity for children. Alice's father Ken (an original Mt. Abe High School Board member) first poked me with the idea of lending a hand with board work, and it occured to me that this was a great way to pay back all those who've helped me in the past, and help those who follow afterwards. I'm not sure there's a better way for a civilized world to support its future than to invest in the education of its children.
Kevin Hanson, Bristol School Board Representative, Facilities Feasibility Study Sub Committee Chair: Elected to the MAUSD board in 2018, I became interested in being part of the board to support the challenges of pupil population alignment and facilities
use resulting from the Unified District consolidation. I, my wife Patty and our two daughters all graduated from the Mt. Abe school district.
I live in Bristol and have retired twice. After a 30-year career in Facilities Management at United Technologies Aerospace Systems in Vergennes, I started up Hogback Mountain Brewing, a nano-brewery, and recently sold it to fully embark on retirement (whatever that means). I also serve on the Starksboro Meeting House Society Board as Vice President and on the Town of Bristol Planning Commission.
Sarah Malcolm LaPerle, New Haven School Board Representative: I have been on the unified board as a representative from New Haven since 2016. Prior to that, I served on the Act 46 study committee as a community member. I have always believed
that we are stronger together and that our purpose is to continue to build something better for the kids and the community, even if that means we have to change. I grew up in Addison County and graduated from Middlebury Union High School. After graduating from Williams College and then Harvard Graduate School of Education, I began teaching high school science and coaching field hockey and lacrosse in the Boston area. I returned to Vermont in 2004 and have taught chemistry and physics at nearby CVU high school ever since. I live with my husband, who is a small business owner in the community, and our two daughters, who currently attend Beeman Elementary and Mount Abe. I enjoy running, golf, skiing at the Snow Bowl, and spending time on Lake Dunmore with friends and family.
Kris Pearsall, Bristol School Board Representative: After moving to Bristol in 2010, I first decided to get involved with our local school boards by joining the Mt. Abraham Union Middle/High School board in 2014. When that board was dissolved, I decided that I wanted to stay involved with the unified school board and started taking the minutes for their meetings. I am very invested in working to provide the best educational experience and as many opportunities as possible for ALL of our students, regardless of whether they choose the traditional college path, trade or technical school, the military or other path - they all deserve support and encouragement. As a mom of two Mt. Abraham graduates (2017 and 2019), I know how special our Five Town area is. I also serve as Treasurer for Homeward Bound, Addison County's Humane Society. I love to read, and to spend time with friends and family, laughing as much as possible.
Rob Backlund, Lincoln School Board Representative: As the only child of two career public school educators, and a father of a future student at Lincoln Community School and Mt. Abe Middle and High Schools, I believe firmly in the importance, power and necessity of vibrant and well supported institutions of local public education. I am honored to serve on the Board, and I see it as an opportunity to give something back to the Five Town community that has supported my family. Currently, I am a stay-at-home Dad trying to keep pace with my daughter, Suvi and support my wife, Meredith Niles, when and where possible. In my spare time, I enjoy playing in mountains (especially on skis), household chores (I really do), advocating for Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia care and research, and tinkering with building projects.
Bailee Layn-Gordon, Monkton School Board Representative: I was born and raised on a Monkton dairy farm; which developed my work ethic and pride in my community. When I finally figured out what I wanted to do as an adult, I attended The Sage Colleges in Troy NY and graduated with my Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. I have been a school based Occupational Therapist since 2008. In this work, I train educators and adapt classroom environments/ activities for students with a wide range of physical, academic, and sensory abilities, so they can access all of their educational opportunities. My most important and cherished job is being a mom of five, ranging in age from 4-16 years old. They keep me on my toes and driving all over the state for a variety of activities. My husband serves in the VT National Guard; being a proud military wife gives me a unique perspective for families who are managing the stress of deployments and military life in our community. You may also find me co-managing the Field Days Horse Shows or at other 4-H events around the county! I think these experiences and my out of the box thinking will help me best serve my community as a MAUSD school board member!
Brad Johnson, Starksboro School Board Representative: I attended Beeman as an elementary school student , where my dad was the principal, science teacher and math teacher (!), but then moved to Massachusetts for middle and high school. I returned to Vermont to get my BA in Russian at Middlebury and thereafter worked in the Soviet Union before returning to the United States for graduate school at UMass and law school in Washington, DC. Since law school, I have maintained a private law practice in DC, with a focus on general civil matters and international development. I returned to Vermont in 2002 on a part-time basis and opened a satellite office here in 2007. After a stint in Burlington’s old north end, we acquired an old farmhouse in Starksboro, where I live with my wife, Ellen Yount, two kids (Abby and Stefan, who currently attend Mt. Abe), and a variety of household and barnyard beings. Another son, Nathaniel, is grown and is a lawyer in my DC office. Recreationally, I enjoy VW campers, fixing things, international travel, working our small “farm”, bikepacking and Nordic skiing. I got a good start in school at Beeman and I view my job as a member of the MAUSD board to help improve and make available that opportunity to all the kids in Vermont’s greatest five towns.
Erin Jipner, Bristol School Board Representative: I was born and raised in New Haven and am a graduate of Mount Abraham. I graduated from Clarkson University, BS in Psychology, Sociology, and Literature, then Southern New Hampshire University with an MS in Psychology. I am currently a PhD Candidate at Fielding Graduate University. I am studying Infant and Early Childhood Development with a focus on reflective practice and co-regulation.
In my professional life, I am a Behaviorist ( a person who specializes in the study and functional change of behavior).
My husband and I have two daughters who will attend through the MAUSD system. I hope that by serving on the board, I can employ my knowledge base to draw attention to the voice of the community and help make informed decisions about its future.