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BRATTLEBORO — Three races for the Windham Southeast School District Board will be contested in the March election.

Board member Robin Morgan is running against Rikki Risatti for a one-year term representing Brattleboro. Morgan was appointed to the board in November after David Schoales resigned, and the remainder of the term will be filled after the election.

Jaci Reynolds and Kim Price are seeking a three-year seat representing Brattleboro on the School Board, which board member Emily Murphy Kaur is leaving after deciding against running for reelection. Reynolds served on the board from 2020 until 2022, and Price unsuccessfully ran for the board in 2020 after being on the Brattleboro Town School District Board for about four years.

Board member Michelle Luetjen Green is running for reelection, with Eva Nolan challenging her for the three-year term to represent Dummerston. And Ruby McAdoo is seeking a three-year seat representing Putney, as board member Liz Adams is not seeking reelection.

Green has served on the district and supervisory union boards for the last three years, chairing the Communications Council throughout the term and sitting on the Finance Committee for the last two years.

“This is an important time,” she said. “We are a young board, still establishing procedures post-merger and learning to collaborate with a new superintendent. Now isn’t the time to potentially have a board comprised of six board members with a year or less experience.””

In a candidate statement, Green said she’s been involved in informing the electorate about important ballot questions, two searches for a superintendent and bringing forward developmental trainings from the Vermont School Board Association. She has four school-aged children, from third grade to 12th grade, and is the board representative on the Dummerston School Leadership Council. She also volunteers in the school community.

“The relationships I have built with families, teachers, administrators, and board members have helped me understand how to best represent my community in the board room,” she said. “The time and demand has been great, but I recognize the honor in having the opportunity to support positive growth for our school district and ensuring our children’s needs are being met, our staff are supported, and our values are being represented.

In a candidate statement, Morgan said it has been an honor to serve on the board for the past three months.

“Since being elected to the Brattleboro Town School Board in 2017, I have always centered the needs of kids and teachers at the heart of this work, and I will continue to do that if elected,” she said. “This is a very challenging time to be a student, teacher, or administrator and especially so in our district which has seen a lot of turmoil over the past couple of years.”

Morgan said she has learned a lot in a short time about the inner workings of the district, and has been able to build and deepen her relationships with administrators.

“I hope to have the chance to put that learning to work to continue serving the families, staff, and communities of the Windham Southeast School District,” she said.

In a candidate statement, Nolan said she and her husband moved to Vermont to start a family about eight years ago.

“It is a dream come true,” she said. “As a woman of color with two sons (aged 2 and 5) entering the WSESD, I want to create a fair and welcoming environment in our schools.”

Nolan graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Eastern Nazarene College and worked with Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. She received counseling and support training with the crisis center and additional training to become a volunteer educator in community outreach, awareness, and prevention education.

Nolan has studied with Dummerston’s Southern Vermont Transcendental Meditation, which she said has “added so much peace to my life.” She’s currently finishing a 200-hour yoga teacher certification.

Nolan described being optimistic about the school district’s future.

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“If elected to the board, I would aim to foster an environment free from bullying and harassment for every child in the district,” she said. “Children can thrive in learning when all their basic physical and emotional needs are met. I am committed to ensuring that every child has access to mental health services, especially those who suffer from PTSD and Complex PTSD.”

Reynolds said she seeks “transparency and accountability from all people who are involved with our school community.” She also wants to help improve communications from the board and share as much information as possible.

“I would like to continue the work of the board and am well suited to represent this community,” she said in a candidate bio. “I am a woman and a member of the Sovereign Abenaki nation of Missisquoi, St. Francis/Sokoki band. Diverse representation is critical.”

Reynolds said she grew up in poverty like many other community members and understands the needs of the most vulnerable students. The experience of foster parenting provided her with tools to better understand children with complicated backgrounds, according to the bio. And as a current parent of two children in the district, she touted her firsthand experience with multi-level support and special education programming.

Currently, Reynolds serves on the district’s newly formed Special Education Parent Advisory Committee and its Independent Budget Review Committee. She also is on the board at Black Mountain Assisted Family Living, which helps provide housing for adults with disabilities.

Regarding her experience on the School Board, Reynolds said she was “discerning in my decisions, and asked for clarifying information when needed. I was supportive of our school staff and administration. I was fully supportive of the sexual assault investigation and remain so. I supported our ongoing social justice commitment.”

Reynolds said she was always respectful of fellow board members even when they disagreed and she will continue to be.

In a candidate statement, Risatti said they are running for the position “because constituents need reassurance of a permanent free universal meals offering without invasive income reporting, better quality food with daily high protein vegetarian options, more budget transparency and accountability, enabling the public to vote on article sections of the annual budget and not a $50 million yes or no ballot option, and welcoming people who were excluded from being recognized in meetings.”

Price said she thinks of serving on the board as civic duty.

“If you have an interest, you should run,” she said. “I have some experience but still also a fresh perspective, not having been on the board for a number of years. I felt that I should run again.”

In a candidate statement, McAdoo said she’s “always had a strong sense of civic responsibility and have strived to have an active, constructive role in our community, with a focus on the common good.” She’s been a member of the Putney Central School Leadership Council since inception and the school district’s Communications Council for a number of years.

“As a strong supporter of public education, I have participated in public meetings and stayed informed on the work of the WSESD Board since the merger in 2018,” she said. “I have always hoped to run for the WSESD Board when the time was right for me and my family.”

Now that her children, aged 8 and 11, are more independent, McAdoo feels compelled to run. Her hope is to support the board in “implementing systems that focus on good governance.”

“I also believe I can bring a sense of diplomacy and decorum to the WSESD Board that is critically important,” she said. “Our WSESD community has been through the ringer in recent years and we must treat each other with respect and dignity, even when we don’t see eye to eye.”

Adams told the Reformer, “I had been undecided about running for my seat again for a few reasons, but I plan to remain active on committees, attending board meetings, etc. Kids have been the focus of my life for decades and being on the board was a way of continuing to contribute to this. Ruby McAdoo reached out to me last fall to tell me that she wanted to be on the board, that she was going to run for the seat and that she had the time to do this now. I am confident that she will do a good job and that the board is in good hands.”

Adams added, “While initially I was strongly against and voted against merging our school districts for multiple reasons, making sure that the merger succeeds is important. I have worked to that end and will continue to do so.”