Burlington voters on April 1 will take to the polls to vote for candidates for Moderator, Select Board, Assessor, School Committee and other positions. Among the town’s contested races are two open seats on the School Committee, for which three candidates are in the running.
BNEWS asked the three candidates for School Committee the same set of questions to give voters a look into why they are running and what they would hope to achieve if elected.
Here we have responses from candidate Katherine Bond, who has been sitting on the committee since 2020. These responses are unedited.
Bond is running against sitting Jeremy Brooks, who would be new to the committee, and sitting School Committee Member Carl Foss. Find Brooks’s answers here and Foss’s here.
1: Why are you seeking to be elected or re-elected to this position?
The School Committee members have a great deal of knowledge about our community and schools and are committed to advancing our district. Our schools attract families to buy homes here in Burlington, and our property values are high as a result. From experiencing our schools as a parent, I understand the difficulties and the joys faced by students, parents, and taxpayers. I am seeking re-election to address the lingering aftermath of the COVID pandemic and to focus on important issues such the curriculum, facilities improvements, and student mental health services.
2: What experience do you have that makes you a good candidate?
I am about to complete my first term on the School Committee during a most remarkable and challenging time. I am battle-tested and have gained the experience to guide our district forward. I served on the Transportation Committee and helped implement Safe Routes to School as well as a plan with the Select-board to provide rides for students from their after-school activities.
I am Vice Chair of Fox Hill new school project and served on the DEI selection committee. Most recently we have improved the quality and variety of food being served in our cafeterias with healthier and more inclusive menus.
I’m a professional with 30+ years experience as a logistics specialist. I have experience reviewing RFP’s, RFI’s and negotiating contracts with major corporations. This experience is invaluable as we move forward with the Fox Hill project and as we deal with what our next steps are for the High School and Pine Glen.
Additionally, I volunteered for the BHS Council for over 4 years, BHSA Director of Fundraising, BSTC- V.P, WFSC (Burlington Ice Palace) – Treasurer for 12 years, Coach Pop Warner Cheer- head coach 4 years and team sponsor for the BHS Varsity Figure Skating Team. These positions each require commitment and communication skill and carry significant responsibility for the well-being of other people’s children.
3: What character traits/strengths do you possess that makes you a good candidate?
As a School Committee member, my role is to listen and make informed decisions. Parents can be hesitant to call or email members or step up to the microphone in public, televised committee meetings.
Therefore, School Committee members must be accessible to families and seen as approachable and open minded. We often breach the gap between a parent and the superintendent (administration) when something needs attention.
4: What issues do you think are the most pressing facing the board/committee you are running for and what do you think should be done to address them?
My focus will be on the following issues during the upcoming term:
Filling the Assistant Superintendent position
Moving the Fox Hill School project forward
Keeping four elementary schools open
Building support and funding for the high school feasibility study
Maintaining manageable class sizes.
Continuing to close pandemic related learning gaps
Expanding K-12 mental health services
5: Anything else you’d like to add?
The job of the School Committee is to select and evaluate the Superintendent; to review and approve budgets and establish educational goals and policies. If re-elected, I will continue to fulfill to these responsibilities.
My goal is to ensure we educate and support ALL our students. We can facilitate this by ensuring our teachers get the support they need through attending seminars, provided research tools and training. We need to continue to support inclusion of all students and create a culture of kindness.