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Meet the School Board candidates

Incumbents Deb Baker-Moody and Giovanna Boggero running uncontested

Feb. 9, 2012

By Steven Frank

Observer staff

 

Williston School Board incumbent candidates Deb Baker-Moody (top) and Giovanna Boggero (bottom) are running uncontested. (Courtesy photos)

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part series. Next week, the Observer profiles Selectboard candidates Terry Macaig and Chris Roy.

When residents enter the polls at the Williston Armory on March 5 to vote in the town’s annual Town Meeting elections, their ballots will offer little choice.

The results of this year’s elections were essentially determined on Jan. 30, when the deadline for individuals to declare their candidacies yielded no contested races. Incumbents make up eight of the eligible posts. The other, first constable, is vacant.

This week, the Observer profiles the two Williston School Board candidates: Deb Baker-Moody and Giovanna Boggero.

DEB BAKER-MOODY

(THREE-YEAR TERM)

Deb Baker-Moody, 50, is a Williston School Board veteran. Currently the Board’s vice chairwoman, Baker-Moody has contributed six years of service. She is the Board’s liaison for the school’s Families As Partners committee and was on the district’s consolidation/merger committee.

Now, she is priming for another three years.

“We have great schools in Williston, wonderful teachers and administrators. I feel like we really offer outstanding programs for all students. So being able to be a part of that, and deliver a budget that’s reasonable to taxpayers, is great work,” said Baker-Moody, who has fifth- and eighth-grade children at Williston Central School. She also has an 18-year-old.

Baker-Moody, an educator who taught third and fourth grade, works part-time with special needs students at South Burlington High School. According to Board chairwoman Holly Rouelle, that expertise benefits the Board.

“(Baker-Moody) understands the inner workings of a school system,” Rouelle wrote in an email to the Observer. “She really is the face of the (Board) when it comes to committee work and providing a Board presence in the school.”

The continuation of that presence will go unchallenged next month, which Baker-Moody doesn’t find surprising.

“My take on it is that people are happy with where we are,” said Baker-Moody, who has never run a contested race. “If people were really unhappy, people would step forward.“

GIOVANNA BOGGERO

(TWO-YEAR TERM)

A native of Mexico, Giovanna Boggero’s exposure to American school culture is recent.

As a result, when the 17-year Williston resident and former longtime American Express employee enrolled her first child in Allen Brook School two years ago, she wanted to see how the town’s school system worked. Boggero, 42, won an uncontested one-year seat to the School Board last year. This time, with a two-year term, she looks to use what she has learned to make a greater difference.

“One of the reasons why I decided for a two-year term is because I want to feel that I have contributed,” said Boggero, who has a kindergartner and second-grader at ABS. “My contribution will start now, now that I’m aware of what I should be doing.”

Rouelle, who called Boggero “thorough” and “thoughtful,” believes that Boggero brings unique qualities to the Board.

“(Giovanna) brings the perspective of a parent of a young child just beginning her school experience, which balances some of the other Board members, including myself, who have older children,” Rouelle said. “She is a creative, out of the box thinker who adds dimension to our Board.”

When asked about her goals for the next two years, Boggero said she plans to try to implement the exposure of world languages to children beginning in kindergarten.

“It’s proven that a brain that has the ability to speak a second language is much better versed at problem solving,” said Boggero, who would also like the school day expanded. “(Expanding the school day) is very controversial … But it’s very important. Children are being asked to do more each day but the amount of hours have remained the same.”