Ten Great Years on the Burlington School Board
As of April 1, 2011, I am a member of a new club — former school board members. It has been an honor to serve the residents of Ward 5 and the children of Burlington on the School Board. I am proud of the progress that the Burlington schools have made during my decade of service on the Board, and I hope that the District’s progress continues.
Here are some of the specific reasons that I decided to run (albeit unsuccessfully) for re-election:
- Ongoing Initiatives — There are a number of important initiatives underway in the District right now: teacher negotiations, facilities upgrades, the magnet schools, addressing financial challenges, increasing the diversity of District staff, and the transformation of our schools to meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind. I believe that my experience and leadership will provide valuable assistance to the Board and the District as we work on those initiatives.
- Board Continuity — The membership of the Board has undergone significant change in the last two years. My hope is to help mentor new Board members as they familiarize themselves with the complicated issues facing the District.
- Community Service — I am a strong believer in community service in general. But I am particularly grateful for the myriad opportunities that my sons have had as they have gone through the Burlington School District. I feel that my service on the school board is a way of paying back the citizens of Burlington for the education my children have received.
- Public Education — I believe that the public education system is the heart of our democracy. We should strive to provide our children the best education possible, and in particular, one that fully prepares them for the rapidly-changing world of the 21st century.
Recent Board-Related Media
February 1, 2011: Each month, RETN tapes the monthly meeting of the Burlington School Board. Streaming video is available at: http://www.retn.org/programs/february-1-2011-meeting
February 3, 2011: I joined Superintendent Jeanne Collins, School Commissioner and Finance Chair Keith Pillsbury, and host Lauren-Glenn Davitian in a discussion of the proposed FY 12 budget for the Burlington School District. Streaming video of the discussion is available on the CCTV Web site at: http://www.cctv.org/watch-tv/programs/2011-burlington-school-district-budget-presentation.
February 6, 2011: The 2009-2010 Annual Report for the Burlington School District is now available. Click on the link to view a PDF version from the Burlington School District Web site: http://bsdweb.bsdvt.org/Board/annualreports/Feb2011.pdf
I am very grateful to my friends in Burlington for their recognition of my work on the Board and their support for my re-election.
Josh Brown and Zoe Richards, 15 Catherine Street: “With three children–two at Champlain Elementary and one who will start kindergarten in 2014–we’re deeply interested in the long-term well-being of our school system. And we’re delighted to support Fred Lane in his ongoing leadership on the school board. As his nearby neighbors, we’ve had many chances to talk with Fred about the schools: he’s caring, smart, and broad-minded. He has a realistic sense of the many trade-offs and tough choices required to meet the needs of all the children in the school system: high-performing, new Americans, and those facing many challenges. And he also has a bright vision of what our schools can–and must–accomplish to light the way for the next generation. Fred has a lot of experience on the board, which, especially in these challenging economic times, benefits us all. And, from watching him troop off to countless late-night meetings, we know he has the commitment to do the hard work required to make our school board effective.”
Greg and Ali Marchildon, 108 Ferguson Avenue: “As parents of two children in Burlington schools, it is extremely important to us that our school board is comprised of people who are committed to a bright future for all of Burlington’s kids. Fred Lane meets this test and far more. Fred brings deep experience and real knowledge of what it means to provide a world class education to all Burlington students. That said, what Fred really brings to the table is leadership and commitment. Fred is a natural leader who people respond to in very positive ways. He is open, collaborative, and smart. We strongly support Fred’s re-election to the Burlington School Board. Join us and vote for Fred on Tuesday, March 1st.”
Bill Keogh, Ward 5 City Councilor: “The Burlington School District toes a fragile line between a quality education and money to pay for it. Fred Lane has done an outstanding job in providing leadership and experience along that line. Ward 5 needs the talents Fred has to continue that effort. I urge you to support his re-election.”
Doug Dunbebin, 78 Charlotte Street: “Having experienced first hand the learning curve newly elected officials go through after taking office I believe Fred’s decade of experience should not be taken for granted. He has shown tremendous commitment to our community, our children and our schools. He has always listened to my concerns and ideas for improving our educational system with an open mind, and shared his perspectives respectfully and thoughtfully. I am pleased to support his re-election to be our school board representative.”
Ed Adrian, Ward 1 City Councilor: “As the parent of a second grader at Edmunds Elementary and a kindergartener to be, it gives me great comfort in knowing that Fred has been at the helm of the Burlington School Commission while the nation and state has been weathering the worst financial crisis since the great depression. Fred has shown that he can lead through tough times, but there is still much work to be done. It has been an eyeopening experience to serve on the Diversity and Equity Task Force that Fred created in order to address the ever-changing and complex nature of our schools in the Queen City. I look forward to once again partnering with him as we work together to help coordinate the efforts of the Commission and the City Council in order to make the school system one that we can all be proud of, without breaking the bank.”
Philip Baruth, State Senator, Chittenden County: “School boards rise or fall on the training and experience individual candidates bring with them. With Fred Lane, Burlington gets both: a guy with solid legal training and deep experience leading the Board through some very tough financial times. I served two terms with Fred, and I can tell you that no one’s understanding of the issues is sharper, and no one’s grasp of the often baffling procedures is clearer. He insists that the District provide a quality twenty-first century education for our students, at absolutely the most efficient price possible. Very tough to beat that combination.”
Vince Brennan, Ward 3 City Councilor and Chair of the Task Force on Diversity & Equity: “I would like to thank Fred and the School Board for having the courage to create this Task Force and to move forward with the changes we all want and that this community desperately deserves. Burlington has always been a leader in creating a road map for others to follow. The Task Force consists of a dynamic group of people, and is striving to ask the hard questions and to unearth and acknowledge the deep problems that we have and need to face. I give full credit to the Board’s Chair, Fred Lane for putting together this tremendous group of talented people. It was indeed your vision and foresight in selecting the most dedicated team of volunteers I have ever known.”
Nancy Kaplan, Ward 4 City Councilor: “I highly recommend Fred Lane for re-election to the Burlington School Board. Fred represents the kind of leadership that we need in these tough economic times. He brings a wealth of institutional knowledge and professional experience and leadership to the Board. The Burlington School Board has spent the last few years intensively studying the issues that directly effect our children. Under Fred’s direction the school board has put together study committees on Zero Based Budgeting, Diversity in our schools, and After school activities. We need Fred on the school board to continue the work that has been done and to provide clear and thoughtful leadership on these pressing issues.”
Carol Ode, Former Chair of the Burlington School Board and former Chair of the Vermont State Board of Education: “I have served as chair of both the Burlington School Board and the Vermont State Board of Education and I can tell you that from all that I have learned, Fred Lane’s leadership over these past years has made a significant difference in the lives of our children and the health of our community. Fred brings experience and always new ideas. Fred listens and he cares. I support his candidacy.”
Paul Hale, Former Chair of the Burlington School Board: “Having served with Fred on the Burlington School Board for four years, I witnessed first-hand how deeply Fred cares about making our schools the best they can be. From the constant improvements to our school buildings to the creation of innovative magnet schools, Burlington’s students have benefited greatly from Fred’s leadership on the Board, and we are truly fortunate for his dedicated service on their behalf.”
Bernie O’Rourke, Ward 4 School Commissioner: “As I start my fourth year on the Burlington School Board, I look back proudly at the Board’s accomplishments over that time. We voted to establish Vermont’s first two Magnet Schools. We conducted an extensive facilities audit to determine life safety, security issues and developed a far reaching master plan for our schools’ future. We proposed and passed a school construction bond that will improve the learning environment for our students and greatly improve the energy efficiency of our schools. The Board continued its on going efforts in providing 21st century learning for all of our students. There were great strides made in Diversity hiring, reflecting our schools’ multicultural makeup. We brought well-thought-out and responsible budgets to the voters. This good body of work was carried out by a board of 14 individuals from 7 wards in our city and accomplished through the respectful and committed leadership of Board Chairman Fred Lane. Fred’s devotion to Burlington’s students, his extensive knowledge of local, state and national education issues and his well-honed ability to communicate the board’s intent and decisions requires his continued service to Ward 5 and Burlington residents. Last April at the annual Burlington School Board reorganization, I had the distinct honor of nominating Fred Lane to continue as board chair. As I write this endorsement for his re-election to the School Board, my comments that evening have only been reinforced by the passing year.”
Kathy Chasan, Ward 1 School Commissioner: “I am happy to endorse Fred Lane as a candidate for school board. Fred has served as school board chair during tough financial times. His leadership has helped bring the community together to pass Burlington’s School Department budgets the last six years. Fred’s experience has helped the board navigate complex policy debates and community concerns covering a wide range of topics. During all of the above Fred’s guiding light was the goal of making Burlington schools the best they can be for all of our children.”
Alan Matson, Ward 6 School Commissioner: “Having worked with Fred on the School Board for the past two years, I think his balanced leadership has been key to the District’s ability to attack various initiatives simultaneously. We have established the State’s first magnet schools, taken on various capital improvements, refined our budgeting process and expanded our diversity recruitment efforts. Under Fred’s leadership, these initiatives will help Burlington’s youth be prepared for the 21st Century.”
Bob Hooper, former Ward 4 School Commissioner: “As a two term school board member from Ward 4, I served with Fred during his service as both chair of the Finance Committee and Board Chair. He represented the interests of Burlington with a high level of professionalism and a distinct ability to cut directly to the point of an issue, and often remarkably, to produce a solution that brought the diverse thoughts of board members together to move us forward. I fully endorse Fred in his campaign to continue his excellent service as a member of the Burlington Board of School Commissioners.”
Amy Werbel, Ward 5 School Commissioner: “Fred has led us through important transformations as our Finance Chair and School Board Chair during the past six years that I have served with him. With his leadership, we created the State’s first magnet academies; made substantial progress on upgrading facilities to improve energy efficiency, safety, and accessibility; moved forward with our goal of greater respect for diversity and cultural competence district-wide; and, most important of all — passed six budgets in a row and two construction bonds with overwhelming community support! In the coming years, we will benefit from Fred’s experience as we undertake transformation at the high school, more renovations towards accessibility at Edmunds, more inclusive hiring, and resolution of tough issues regarding the teacher’s contract. As Fred’s colleague on the school board, and as his partner, I urge you to join me in supporting Fred Lane for school board!”