February 20, 2019

School, selectboard positions uncontested

Kevin Mara

Josilyn Adams

Terry Macaig

Joy Limoge

Newcomer to replace Mara representing Williston on school board

By Jason Starr

Observer staff

With two children on the cusp of entering Williston’s public schools, Josilyn Adams is selling her business and embarking on a journey of public service with an uncontested candidacy for a two-year seat on the Champlain Valley School Board.

Adams and current board member Brendan McMahon were the only two candidates to file petitions to have their names appear on the Town Meeting Day ballot to fill the two open seats representing Williston on the school board. The deadline to file was Monday.

Kevin Mara, who served as the chairman of the former Williston School Board for five years, is not seeking re-election. The Williston School Board, along with the seven other former school boards that consolidated into the Champlain Valley School District, dissolved last year. Mara has served on the consolidated board since it was formed in July.

All of the elected positions up for Town Meeting Day vote in Williston are uncontested, including two seats on the Williston Selectboard. Board chairman Terry Macaig is running to retain his three-year seat, and board member Joy Limoge is running to retain her two-year seat.

Also on the ballot will be Lauren Koumjian for a three-year term on the Board of Listers, Diane Downer for a one-year term on the Board of Library Trustees and Charity Clark for a five-year term on the Board of Library Trustees.

A native of New Hampshire, Adams moved with her husband and two children from Burlington to Williston in 2015. She is a co-owner of Burlington Vermont Moms Blog, where she runs the company’s events. She plans to sell the company this spring to focus on parenting and service on the school board.

Adams has a 4-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son.

“We are just entering the public schools and we will be in it for the next 17 years, so I just want to be actively involved and have a positive impact on my kids and other kids in our neighborhood who will be going to the (public) schools,” she said.

Adams has attended several school board meetings as an audience member this school year and has been mentored by Amanda Marvin, the third Williston representative on the board who is not up for re-election this year. Adams said her focus will be on what is best for students, teachers and administrators.

Mara is stepping aside after a total of eight years of school board service. His two children have graduated Champlain Valley Union High School and are attending college.

“My kids are through the system and I thought it was a good time to transition to someone else who has kids in the schools,” Mara said.

As Williston School Board chairman, Mara helped lead the district through the consolidation and spearheaded the $20 million bond proposal voters passed in 2016 to renovate Williston Central School.

Mara has been encouraged by the results of the consolidation after seven months on the Champlain Valley School Board.

“It changes your perspective,” he said. “Nobody is thinking about just the town they are elected from. They are thinking about how everyone is affected. It’s a big change, and I think it’s a good thing.”

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