By Lani Duke
Elementary budget passed
FAIR HAVEN—Only 10 more people voted for the Fair Haven Grade School budget than voted against it May 3. Voting “yes” were 137; “no,” 127. The community had turned it down 378 to 345 on March 1. Officials ascribe the Town Meeting Day loss to voters’ misunderstanding of the ballot items, which must by law include per-pupil spending and the percentage increase in per-pupil cost compared to the current year. The total budget did not go up, but the pupil count dropped and the district lost offsetting revenues, so the per-pupil cost rose. Confused by the numbers, Fair Haven voters turned down that first budget but approved one trimmed down only slightly.
Pedestrian trail on Haystack receives grant funding
PAWLET—The Friends of Haystack recently received state funds for pedestrian trail improvements on Haystack Mountain. The Pawlet group received $12,700, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation announced May 2. The greater Pawlet community joined with the non-profit in 2013 to raise more than $130,000 to buy more than 65.5 acres on Haystack Mountain’s summit. It lies alongside more than 900 acres owned or under conservation easements by the Vermont Land Trust and the Nature Conservancy. The area may also benefit from statewide funds given to the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (V.A.S.T.), intended for trail system grooming.
Helping a fellow teacher
POULTNEY—Poultney High instructional assistant Amanda Posch has been sidelined from her job for the past two months, the result of a car accident that left her with a shattered heel bone and extended recuperation. Instructional assistants lack much in the way of sick days or other emergency relief. Other school staffers have coordinated an effort to make and bring food, and have planned a May 5 benefit dinner at the Poultney American Legion post to raise funds to help the Posch family. Poultney High math teacher Christie Gloss and social studies teacher Janet Chandler have been doing most of the coordinating, but the spaghetti dinner had the support of the entire community, extending beyond the school alone.
Award bestowed on Village School teacher
BENSON—The Vermont Information Technology Association for Learning (VITA-Learn) recently selected Benson Village School’s Archie Clark as an “IGNITED Educator.” Standing for “Identify-Gather-Nourish-Innovative-Transformative Educators,” the award recognizes educators who embody those qualities in their teaching practice. Clark teaches sixth, seventh, and eighth grade science and social studies.
Playground faces an upgrade
CASTLETON—In response to a report by Castleton Village School’s Chief of Maintenance James Fowler on the shape of the school’s much loved “kid’s castle” play area, the School Board decided to form a playground committee. An examination prompted by the school’s insurance company last September brought on the conclusion that the structure, built in 1991, needs to be repaired. Replacing it would cost between $50,000 and $90,000. The wood needs to be totally removed, and wood chips installed underfoot to replace the sand.
Summer of fun on the horizon—plan ahead
For many people, summer begins either when local schools let out or with Memorial Day activities the last weekend of May. In the Lakes Region, both Green Mountain College and Castleton University plan commencement exercises on May 14, but local schools do not wrap up their activities for yet another month.
Memorial Day weekend in Vermont has an additional component. The Saturday and Sunday of May 28-29 are Vermont Open Studio Weekend. Among the Lakes Region participants are Brookside Woodworking and Karen Deets Stained Glass of Fair Haven, and Rising Meadow Pottery of Middletown Springs.
Poultney plans a Memorial Day parade May 30 beginning at 10:30 a.m. in front of Stewart’s and marching west on Main Street. Hubbardton’s Memorial Day Remembrance at the Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Site begins at noon; the 15 minute ceremony honors the soldiers at Hubbardton with battlefield flags being raised to full-mast.
June sees Vermont music starting to warm up the atmosphere. Keep your ears open for summer outdoor concerts in Poultney, Fair Haven, and Castleton, as well as at the farmers’ markets.
Be cautious about hopping into large bodies of water in early summer. Vermont water can stay cold far into mid-summer.