ARLINGTON -- The Arlington town and Battenkill Valley Supervisory Union boards met on Wednesday, despite the stormy weather, to begin to re-organize after an election cycle that saw massive turnover on both boards.

Dawn Hoyt, the only returning member of the Arlington board, was elected as chairwoman. Kevin Smith will be the new vice-chairman, and K. John Smith, who also serves on the Arlington select board, will be the clerk. Arlington will be represented on the BVSU board by K. John Smith, Hoyt, and Nicole Whalen.

At the BVSU meeting, K. John Smith was elected chairman, with Sandgate representative Jeanne Zoppel serving as vice-chairwoman. Nicole Whalen will act as clerk.

There is still an open spot on the Arlington board after elections, and Superintendent Karen Gallese recommended that the board begin accepting letters of interest for the position. After letters have been received, it will be up to the board to either appoint a candidate to the position, or hold a special election. An appointee would hold the position until the next election. A special election would require the spending of taxpayer money to warn and organize the vote. K. John Smith recommended waiting to see how many letters are received before making a decision on whether to appoint or hold an election.

The Arlington board also discussed the formation of committees.


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The board is required to have a policy committee, and Gallese recommended the formation of several other committees as well, including a technology committee. However, K. John Smith preferred to hold pat for now. "I recommend that, for the next few months, we not have any committees, that we do all our work at this table. We have three new members, and to ask them to sit on committees and talk about things they don't know anything about doesn't make much sense. I think we should learn here, together." The board agreed, and decided to hold off on forming any committees.

The BVSU board also decided to hold off on hiring a finance department. The BVSU has been utilizing Rick Pembroke and Jim Kocsis of the SVSU finance department, and will continue to do so until at least June 30. The board wanted to wait until new superintendent Judith Pullinen could have input on the hiring decisions, as she would be working most closely with the new finance department. Pullinen was offered the position after a Feb. 27 executive session, and will begin on July 1.

Arlington Memorial principal Christopher Barnes also announced the resignation of music teacher Phelan Gallagher, who will be leaving the position at the end of the school year. The job has been posted, said Barnes, who said that 45 people have already applied. A search committee will be formed within the next week or so, and will include some students as well as faculty. An audience member suggested that parents be included in the process as well, and Barnes promised to present that idea to the committee.

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at dcarson@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @DerekCarsonBB