MAUSD SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS-towns, terms, positions
All email addresses are [email protected]
Krista Siringo, MAUSD 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.
Erin Jipner, MAUSD Vice Chair & 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.
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.
Kevin Hanson, Bristol School Board Representative, Facilities 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.
Barbara Crandall, Monkton School Board Representative: I live with my husband in Monkton and have resided here for the past 34 years. Our three sons attended school at Monkton Central School, Mt Abe Middle School and our eldest son graduated from Mt Abe. We have been the grateful beneficiaries of the MAUSD district as our sons received a strong foundation for the remainder of their successful educational experiences.
I grew up in Connecticut. Shortly after graduating from Southern Connecticut State University with a degree in Art, I moved to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. It was there that I began working for the Vermont Arts Council as a Community Artist .
I worked for a year creating art programs and teaching art within the community. Some of these programs included Assisted Living facilities, The St. Johnsbury Recreation Dept and the St. Johnsbury Correctional Center.
The next nine years would find me teaching high school art at Lake Region H.S. in Orleans. After our move to Monkton I was hired by the Winooski School District to teach K-5 at JFK Elementary School. During those first few years I began graduate work at Rhode Island School of Design and earned my MAT degree. I would remain in Winooski for the next 31 years teaching art to a district that was small in population but rich in diversity.
I retired from teaching in 2020 after 41 years as an art educator and advocate for student learners. I believe that all students can learn if given the opportunity, appropriate resources and support. As an educator, I have had the opportunity to serve on multiple committees in leadership roles and am excited to continue advocating for students through this new opportunity on the MAUSD Board.
Kielee Pelland, Monkton School Board Representative:
I live in Monkton with my husband and three children. I have children at Monkton Central School and Mount Abraham. I grew up in Bristol and graduated from MAUHS. I enjoy learning new things, gardening, cooking, horseback riding, and camping with my family. I am a doctorate
prepared family nurse practitioner and split my time between working at UVMHN and my private micropractice in South Burlington. I previously practiced primary care in Bristol and enjoyed serving the community I grew up in. I joined the MAUSD school board to continue to serve my community and of course learn more!
Justin Pearson, Monkton School Board Representative:
After graduating Norwich University in 2010, I found myself back in Vermont in the Spring of 2015. Since then, I’ve worked for Church Hill Landscapes in Charlotte. One thing I have loved about my work is being outside, watching the seasons change, flowers grow, and the amazing properties we maintain.
In 2017 my wife Jerilyn, and I were expecting our first born and stumbled upon a beautiful home here in Monkton. Over the past 5 years it’s been wonderful meeting people in the community, from our neighbors, to the local farm stands, and volunteering at the church
When I saw there were two available seats opened for the school board I felt a pull to act. I grew up in a similar area in New York, where I had plenty of opportunities to excel from academics to sports. That’s one of my goals with being part of the school board. I want to see my children transcend and thrive during their time at MAUSD.
In my free time, you’ll see me with my family tending to my gardens and chickens, out for a hike at Ravens Ridge, camping in the ADK’s or rucking up and down our dirt road.
Kathi Apgar, New Haven School Board Representative: For the past 40 years I have lived in New Haven with my husband and sons. We were very fortunate to have the boys attend Beeman Elementary and I also served as a School Board Member for that institution. My commitment has always been to ensure that each and every student be given the best start in life with the best supports possible, housed in an educational community of caring for the entire family. To that end, I continue my own career as an Early Care and Education Specialist and work not only with young children, but teach educators in the Undergraduate and Graduate programs at Champlain College.
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.
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.
Stephen Rooney, Starksboro School Board Representative Policy and Governance Chair: 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.
Kristen Toy, Starksboro School Board Representative: In 2003, my husband Andy and I moved to Starksboro where we quickly learned it would be a great place to raise a family. Since that time, we have two daughters who began their educational journeys at the Starksboro Cooperative Preschool, graduated from Robinson and are now attending Mount Abe. During this time, I served on the Starksboro Cooperative Preschool Board, volunteered with the Four Winds nature program, attended countless sporting events, choral performances, and theatrical productions. All of which I have truly enjoyed, and still enjoy immensely. When the pandemic hit and the four of us hunkered down for that lengthy period, my already huge appreciation and admiration for our educators grew tenfold.
In October of 2022, there was an opportunity for me to join the MAUSD Board. This opportunity was the perfect way for me to give back to our community. As a member of the MAUSD board, I am committed to focusing on student achievement, building positive relationships in our towns, and ensuring all students have opportunities for success. I enjoy time with family and friends, fresh air, a good book/podcast, and lots of laughter. During free time in the warm weather, you are most likely to find me in and or, at Clifford’s Pond!
Mike Dash, Bristol School Board Representative: Finance Committee Chair: I live in Bristol with my wife and our two children (our son attends Bristol Elementary School while our daughter is still in preschool). I’m a professor
of psychology and neuroscience at Middlebury College where I teach classes on brain plasticity (i.e. learning/memory mechanisms), sensation and perception (i.e. how the brain turns physical stimuli into conscious
perceptions), and statistics. Here, I also run a research lab that studies the biological function of sleep and h
ow sleep intersects with memory. Education has always been a central part of my life and the educational opportunities that I was fortunate to receive have undoubtedly shaped my own trajectory. Whether I’m serving as an educator in the classroom or as a school board member, I am committed to working to ensure that all students have access to these life-altering opportunities.