Andrew Morton, New Haven School Board Representative: The lucky father of two daughters who attend Beeman Elementary School in New Haven, I'm also married to a high school teacher. I'm a full-time psychotherapist in private practice, I've taught psychology and social work courses at the Community College of Vermont part-time and I served both in the United States Army and the Vermont National Guard as a musician. In my free time, I'm with my family out looking for swimming holes in the New Haven River, making homemade pasta or practicing my skill as an amateur photographer.
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!
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.
Dave Sharpe, Bristol School Board Representative: I was born in Detroit, Michigan to a Baptist minister and his wife. I moved with my family to Erie, Pennsylvania where I spent most of my childhood. The family moved to Youngstown, Ohio in 1963 where I met my future wife Pat. Upon graduation from Kalamazoo College in 1968 with a B.A. in Chemistry, I joined VISTA and served in Vermont as the building coordinator for the Addison County self-help housing project. My wife and I fell in love with the state, purchased land and built our own home with the help of friends. Pat and I have two sons who were born in 1971 and 1973. Our sons Jason and Matthew both graduated from Mount Abraham High School in Bristol and The University of Vermont. We owned and operated Hill Automotive for 18 years before I shifted gears in 1991 to teach Automotive Technology at the regional technical center in Middlebury and subsequently at the Center for Technology in Essex Junction. I also enjoyed coaching basketball at Middlebury Union High School. During my 40 years in Bristol, I started the 5-town men's basketball league and represented the community on the regional solid waste district. I am a former member and chair of the local planning commission and the Bristol Selectboard. I retired from the Vermont Legislature after 16 years of service on the Ways and Means Committee and as Chair of the Education Committee. I remain an active member of the community as a member of the Bristol Historical Society, Bristol Recreation Club and the MAUSD School Board.
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.
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.
Kristin Blanchette, Monkton School Board Representative: This is my second year on the MAUSD Board, I was on the Monkton Board for 7 years. I am on the Community Engagement and Negotiation Committees. My hope is that every child will be nurtured and supported by adults, schools and the community so all children can reach their potential and have a good and satisfying life.
I am the Mom of Cora (sophomore at Boston University), Anni and Ian (11th and 9th graders at Mt. Abe). My kids have attended 5 town schools since Kindergarten. I was Chair of the Monkton PTO for 7 years, a softball coach, Girl Scout leader and am currently on the Board of Mt. Abe Little League. I am a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, with a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Antioch University and a B.A. in Psychology from St. Michael’s College. I grew up in Lexington Mass, and moved to Vermont in 1985, my husband Otto and I moved to Monkton in 1999. I have worked for Social Service agencies in schools in Chittenden and Addison Counties for almost 20 years. Currently I work as a Child and Family Therapist at the Howard Center in Burlington, spending three days a week in the South Burlington Elementary schools, and two in the clinic. Wishing you and your kids the best! Go Eagles!