On February 28, 2024

A school for everyone

Dear Editor,

My name is Elizabeth Wellington and I live in South Pomfret. My husband grew up in the Upper Valley and we moved here to raise a family in this community. I’m voting YES for our new Woodstock middle/high school.

As a relative newcomer to our area, it’s been a joy to discover each town’s local character on foot and through conversations. Pomfret is different from Reading; so are the needs of its people. God bless those differences and the nuances of this place.

Each of our school board members reflect these differences. They have varying backgrounds, priorities, life experiences, occupations and educations. Some grew up here. Some did not. The overwhelming majority do not live in “town” but out in the hills and the valleys. I doubt they saw eye to eye over the details of the new school proposal. How could they all, given the breadth and depth of difference across our communities?

Even in my brief time here, I’ve learned that loyalty to one’s own constituents on municipal boards is fierce, as it should be. Every school board member would have voted what best served their specific neighbors — seniors and kids alike —  not as part of any overarching agenda for the district. That means that 15 out of 16 present school board members from towns in our district — Killington, Bridgewater, Barnard, Reading, Plymouth, Woodstock and Pomfret — voted in support of this new school for different reasons, all in accordance with their own town’s needs.

When I was considering whether to vote for this new school, I couldn’t help but imagine the room full of people from every corner of our district debating this issue since 2016 over coffee late into the night. Every board member did enough due diligence to answer for their vote, knowing the future of their beloved community rested on their choice.

That is exceptional and a big part of why I’m voting YES for our new school.

Elizabeth Wellington, South Pomfret

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