DEREK CARSON Staff Writer

ARLINGTON -- In 2013, the town of Arlington avoided the consolidation of its school system, saw its health center become federally certified, and hired a new principal for the middle and high school:

January 31 - The United States Postal Service released a commemorative stamp featuring the Arlington Green Bridge, which is also known as the West Arlington Bridge, shown in autumn. According to the Postal Service, the covered bridge was built in 1852 and was named for the village green that it overlooked.

April 10 - The Arlington school board hired Christopher Barnes to be the new principal of Arlington Memorial Middle School and High School. Barnes, who replaced the retiring Kerry Csizmesia, had been assistant principal of Mount Greylock Regional School in Williamstown, Mass. since 2011. Prior to that he had spent most of his career as a teacher and administrator in and around Baltimore, Md.

May 22 - The Arlington Fire Department looked into the possibility of purchasing a "command vehicle" to reduce the liability of volunteers using their own vehicles in responding to fire scenes. Fire Chief Jamie Paustian informed the select board of a 1999 Ford Explorer in Granville, N.Y. being sold by an individual for $3,400.

August 22 - The Battenkill Valley Supervisory Union announced that it would not be consolidating with either the Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union to the north or the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union to the south. The decision came after months of deliberation between the state and BVSU. Prior to appearing before the state Board of Education, BVSU held a non-binding town meeting to discuss the issue. "All but one person said we should remain the same," said BVSU chairwoman Maureen Harvey, "People were very passionate. They believe we're doing a good job with our schools.

November 8 - Senator Bernie Sanders announced that the Battenkill Valley Heath Center will operate as a federally qualified health center, beginning in January, after receiving a $775,000 grant. It will be the first federally qualified healthcare center in Bennington County.

November 15 - Fisher Elementary reached its fundraising goal of $36,594 to restore the school's playground, thanks in large part to a $10,000 donation from local manufacturer Mack Molding. The playground had been in need of repair since 2011. Phase one of the renovations was scheduled to begin in December, with the installation of a "multi-student playground structure," a swing set, and a merry-go-round.

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at dcarson@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @DerekCarsonBB