BRSU superintendent announces retirement

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SUNDERLAND — Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union Superintendent Jackie Wilson announced her retirement Tuesday with her final day more than a year away.

Wilson will work through June 30, 2020, providing the BRSU board plenty of time to find her replacement and ensure a smooth transition.

"After 27 years as a teacher, principal and superintendent, it's time to start the process of moving on to the next chapter," Wilson said.

BRSU board Chairman Jim Salsgiver said the board will be looking for someone to continue and to build on what what Wilson started.

"We will explore both internal and external candidates," Salsgiver said. "We will be looking for someone who can build on the solid foundation Jackie has put in place."

Wilson has guided the BRSU through the Act 46 merger process creating two new school districts, shepherding the BRSU through the complicated process and getting buy-in from parents, teachers and communities to get votes successfully passed throughout the newly formed district.

The supervisory union successfully created the Mettawee School District serving Pawlet and Rupert students and the Taconic & Green School District made up of Currier Memorial School, The Dorset School, Flood Brook School, Manchester Elementary Middle School, and Sunderland Elementary School. The district serves the towns of Danby, Dorset, Landgrove, Londonderry, Manchester, Mount Tabor, Peru, Sunderland and Weston.

"Jackie has successfully guided the BRSU through a period of major change," Salsgiver said. "With the successful Act 46 mergers of both the Taconic & Green and Mettawee School Districts, Jackie set an example that was admired by her peers in public and private education across all of Vermont."

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Wilson said the supervisory union will continue to focus on improving offerings to students and teachers in the classroom.

"We've made great strides in our instructional leadership skills, but we can do more." Wilson said. "This work in teacher development is vital as we fully implement proficiency based learning over the next 12 months."

The SU will also continue to engage the public.

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"All the BRSU Boards are eager to implement a process of reaching out to the public for more engagement in our public education," Wilson said. "We need to hear the perspective from all segments of the local community. Parents and students, of course, but also our taxpayers, our teachers and other education professionals, independent schools serving all age groups, and home town businesses."

The mergers have created benefits to taxpayers that will allow the supervisory union to provide more services while saving taxpayers money.

According to a press release, in the first year of operation, the Taconic & Green and Mettawee School Districts, have been able to take advantage of their newly consolidated structures to generate educational upgrades and efficiencies throughout the schools. Both operational school districts in the BRSU are moving forward on a path set to provide students and families with the tools needed to thrive in the 21st Century.

In the BRSU's remaining Winhall School District, meanwhile, the local Board and BRSU Staff have put in motion a strategy to provide long term financial planning and tax rate stability in this K-12 school-choice community.

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That will lead to quality candidates as the BRSU board works to find Wilson's replacement.

"Our new school governance structures and notable progress should attract solid candidates," Salsgiver said. "With all the recent merger activity, our board members are experienced at successfully navigating transitions. We see this leadership change as an opportunity to continue the good work."

Wilson said she isn't sure what's next, but said her husband retired in January.

"Right now, I just don't know." Wilson said. "I started work scooping ice cream as a 12-year-old on Cape Cod and haven't looked back. All I know is that my husband, Jeff (Wilson), retired this January and he seems to be thriving. By next June I'll be ready to join him."

Salsgiver said Wilson will be missed.

"We will miss her judgement and passion for education," Salsgiver said.

Contact Darren Marcy at dmarcy@manchesterjournal.com or by cell at 802-681-6534.


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