DUMMERSTON -- There's a new face on Dummerston Town School Board.
Katey Everest of East Dummerston was appointed to the board this week to fill a vacancy left by the May 28 death of longtime member Roger Aquadro.
Everest said she is a the parent of a second-grader and wanted to participate in school administration.
"I just strongly believe in parental involvement in the school," she said.
Aquadro's death -- the 77-year-old Marine Corps veteran fell ill while taking part in Memorial Day services -- came as a shock to many who knew him as an active, vital community servant.
He had served a stint as board chairman at Brattleboro Union High School and had been a school board member in Dummerston for about a decade.
He often volunteered his time to the school in ways that went beyond normal board functions, Principal Jo Carol Ratti said.
"Roger Aquadro was a gift to any organization that he was connected to," Ratti said. "He just helped in any way he could for the kids to have a good school year."
Aquadro had been the Dummerston board's vice president. On Tuesday, board member Rick Mills was selected to take that post.
After Everest's appointment, the board spent much of its session discussing difficulties with bus routes. Ratti said such issues are not new.
"Transportation has been an issue for a long time," Ratti said. "There are no sidewalks. There are dirt roads, blind curves . . . so
However, the new school year brought additional headaches as First Student, the school's Brattleboro-based bus contractor, had modified some bus routes due to Dummerston's covered-bridge renovation.
Though the bridge project was finished ahead of schedule and before school began, some of those modified routes and schedules had remained in effect.
But there have been complaints "every day," Ratti said. The board tweaked one route Tuesday to address a parental concern.
Ratti said she is working with the bus company to address any remaining issues and is communicating bus-route changes to parents this week.
Otherwise, Ratti said the school year started relatively smoothly. Enrollment at Dummerston School, which houses students in kindergarten through eighth grade, stands at 166.
That's close to what had been projected, but it's also down by about 20 students from last year, Ratti said.
Mike Faher can be reached at email@example.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.