Thursday February 15, 2018
Laura Williams, 52, of South Burlington recently announced her candidacy for the three-year school board term that is up for election March 6. Originally from Rutland, Williams attended the University of Vermont and moved from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to South Burlington in 2010 with her daughter, Hanako, who is a junior at South Burlington High School (SBHS) and her son, Taro, who graduated from SBHS last year. Williams is a Spanish teacher at Essex High School (EHS) in Essex Junction.
This is Williams’ first time running for an elected position. The candidate expressed that she brings a depth of experience that will make her a strong member of the South Burlington School Board. In addition to teaching Spanish, Williams is the curriculum content leader for world languages at EHS and serves on South Burlington’s Natural Resources Committee. A teacher since 1993, Williams has been at EHS for seven years. She says, “I will bring a much needed perspective of a teacher to the decision making process. My roles as teacher, taxpayer, and parent make me uniquely qualified to bring a variety of different perspectives to the role of school board member.”
While Williams supports the current school budget, she expresses concern about what she describes as a strained relationship between the South Burlington School Board and the South Burlington Education Association. According to Williams, “For several years there has been a lack of trust between the board and the teachers and we need to repair that relationship so teachers can continue providing our students with excellent teaching.”
Williams says she will work to make communication transparent between the South Burlington community and the school board. “While I support the Rebel name change to the Wolves, I believe there is residual anger in the community because there are many people who believe they were not listened to. I will work to ensure that we have clear and open communication so that people in the community will feel heard.”
Expanding on the reason she is running, Williams stated, “I’m running because I believe in public education and supporting our excellent teachers. A strong education for our students is what will ensure their success and the continuing success of our community in the future.”