Thursday January 21, 2016
Martin LaLonde has served on the South Burlington School Board for the past six years, and announces his candidacy for re-election to an additional three-year term on March 1, 2016. In explaining why he is running, LaLonde stated, “continuity of representation on the board will best serve South Burlington as the district addresses mounting challenges to the effective delivery of an excellent public education in our community.”
During LaLonde’s previous three-year term, the school board continued to oversee the administration’s implementation of state education initiatives, including proficiency-based graduation, personalized learning plans, and alternative pathways to graduation, while achieving the educational outcomes that the community expects of the district. The board also successfully negotiated multi-year employment contracts with administrators, teachers, and staff. It engaged with the community and city council in a continuing Master Planning process to consider how the infrastructure of the city and schools might change over the coming years for the betterment of the community and school district.
“We have accomplished a great deal,” said LaLonde, “but there is still work to be done on these issues. That is why I am running again.”
Looking ahead, the class of 2020 will be the first to graduate under proficiency-based graduation requirements, and the board will need to make certain that the transition to this new approach is smooth and transparent. The board must also ensure that the administration establishes meaningful measurements of student progress towards the outcomes the community expects.
This coming fall, the board will once again engage in negotiations with the teachers’ association, addressing many of the same issues that were before it during the past three negotiations in which LaLonde has been involved. Over the next few months, the board will be bringing the Master Planning process to a conclusion, recommending how and where the community should invest its resources for infrastructure improvements.
LaLonde explained that his “engagement and experience over the past six years on the school board will benefit South Burlington as we proceed to grapple with these issues.”
In addition, LaLonde believes that his continued work on the school board benefits the community as it informs his work in the legislature as one of South Burlington’s four state representatives. Similarly, his role as a legislator allows him to closely follow and work to influence legislation related to education that may impact the school district. He hopes to continue to combine these roles to the benefit of South Burlington.
With continued community support and the efforts of the district’s employees, LaLonde feels that the school board can continue to provide an exemplary education to our children. He adds, “I hope to have the community’s votes in order to assist with these endeavors.”