The State Board of Education elected officers at its March 20, 2012 meeting, the Department of Education announced today. Stephan Morse of Newfane was elected Board chair, and Kathy Larsen of Wilmington will continue serving as vice-chair. ‘My approach as Board chair is to be all inclusive, and hopefully reach consensus on key issues,’ said Morse. ‘I plan to meet frequently with education leaders. There will be differences along the way, but the goal is to find agreement where we can. We owe it to our students to speak with one voice.’ Morse was born in Springfield, Vermont on April 1, 1947. He served as Newfane Zoning Administrator from 1971-74; on the Board of Selectman from 1974-77 and as chairman from 1975-77. Morse served in the Vermont House of Representatives from 1977 to 1984. He was Assistant Majority Leader in the Vermont House of Representatives in 1979 and Majority Leader in 1980. He served as Vermont Speaker of the House from 1981-84. He served as President and C.E.O. of the Windham Foundation until 2008. Most recently he served on the Next Generation Commission in 2006 and was appointed to the District #2 Environmental Commission in 2008. In 2009, Morse was appointed to chair the task force examining the Vermont State Colleges and University of Vermont systems to determine what academic and administrative efficiencies could be achieved through their consolidation. Morse was reappointed to the Board after filling a vacant seat, and his term will expire in 2017. Kathy Larsen of Wilmington spent her 33-year career teaching Vermont students. She spent one year as a paraprofessional, 24 years as a primary grade teacher, and eight as an elementary teaching principal. After one year in Williston, she spent the rest of her career at Deerfield Valley Elementary School, retiring in 2005. She also does mentoring and Formative Assessment Project trainings, as well as some substitute teaching to stay in touch with students and acting as interim principal. She serves as a member of the advisory board for the Wings Community Program afterschool program and the Deerfield Valley Health Care Volunteers local healthcare assistance program. Her term expires in 2013.In addition, new Board member Bonnie Johnson-Aten, who was appointed by Governor Shumlin earlier this month, participated in her first meeting. Johnson-Aten, a resident of Montpelier, has served as principal at Edmunds Middle School in Burlington since 2006, replaces Fayneese Miller of South Burlington, whose term on the board expired in February.She has previously worked as House Director at Champlain Valley High School, and Assistant Principal and Dean of Students at U-32 in Washington County. In addition, Johnson-Aten was Policy Analyst for former Gov. Howard Dean, and Diversity-Equity Coordinator for the Burlington School District. She received her Masters in Education from Union Institute & University at Vermont College in Montpelier.More information about the State Board, including membership and meeting agendas, can be found at http://education.vermont.gov/new/html/mainboard.html(link is external). VTDOE 3.20.2012
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