Lack of trust in school district

I have been an employee of the Mount Anthony Union School District for 17 years. During this time our community has celebrated triumphs and experienced challenges. When facing the challenges, I have chosen to work within the system and privately with individuals to identify problems and work towards solutions. Recent events within the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union (SVSU) and its member districts have compelled me to speak publicly.

One of the SVSU Board goals is "develop and foster a culture within the SVSU community in which behavior and communication are driven by the values of respect, honesty, commitment and openness." When confidential employee documents are posted on facebook for all of the world to see, by what appears to be a person operating under an alias, there is no evidence of respect, honesty, commitment and openness. When communication between a school board, superintendent and principal includes lies, omissions or distortions, there is no respect, honesty, commitment and openness. When board members fail to respectfully listen and appropriately respond to the concerns of the community, there is a negative impact on our students.


I acknowledge I have been treated with respect as an individual employee, but the things I have observed and heard over the last twelve months, both in my own building and in the larger system, have left me feeling vulnerable and unsure of whom to trust. I know I am not alone.

Those of us who choose to work in or oversee the operations of public education are public servants. The community deserves and should expect honest, legal, ethical, respectful and competent behavior from each and every one of us. It is time for the citizens served by the members of the SVSU education system to pay attention, ask questions, raise concerns, and hold all of us accountable for our actions.


— Kristyn D. Harrington Danby