Wednesday January 2, 2013

While I certainly don't agree with everything Mr. Morrissey wrote in Tuesday's letter to the editor, there are a couple of points which I found quite perceptive. The most important of which is the fact that the Prudential Committee is entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring our children (and future community children) are provided with the best education. He correctly goes on to observe they have been doing this for many years, as Mr. Morrissey states, North Bennington Graded School "is consistently rated as one of the premier elementary schools in the state." This is largely thanks to the Prudential Committee and the school's administration and teachers. As a community we owe them a deep debt of gratitude for successfully navigating our school through all these years.

With this in mind, I would also highlight Mr. Morrissey's final comment, "Perhaps the time will come when a private," (his term for the independent-public model), "school makes sense, but that time is not now." This certainly seems to sum up the entirety of Mr. Morrissey's objection to the school. It's not that an independent-public school model won't work, as we need look no further than Burr & Burton to see it succeed, instead it's Mr. Morrissey's supposition that this isn't yet necessary.

Meanwhile the Prudential Committee, which has been working on this for more than five years, our school administrators, and our teachers are asking our community to vote "yes" for this change. It would certainly seem to me that they would have a much better grasp on the changing landscape of education in Vermont, both professionally and through years of research, than Mr. Morrissey.

Much like when Mr. Morrissey is elected to the Select Board and entrusted with guiding the municipality of Bennington, we have elected the Prudential Committee to guide us towards providing our children with the best possible education. I'm confident they know more than I when it comes to sustaining an education for my grandchildren, and as such I'm voting yes. I hope everyone in the North Bennington School District will do the same.

Progress isn't protecting what has worked in the past, it's preparing to succeed in the future.

MELANIE McKENNA

North Bennington