Keeping Promises: Governor Shumlin Visits FHTMS

Governor Peter Shumlin kept one of his campaign promises at F.H.Tuttle Middle School on December 12th when he met with school’s Discovery Team students.

Governor Peter Shumlin kept one of his campaign promises at F.H.Tuttle Middle School on December 12th when he met with school’s Discovery Team students.

On Election Day 2010, Discovery Team Algebra Instructor John Radimer and a group of students were visiting the Dorset Park Natural Area. “On our way out the door,” Radimer explained, “several students spotted candidate Shumlin campaigning. They started to scream over towards him, but I called them back because we were on a rather strict time limit.”

Shumlin heard them and responded. “He came over to say ‘Hi’ and he promised that, if elected, he would come back to visit our team,” exulted Radimer. “When I called the Governor’s office, they said he very well remembered his promise, and we tried to set a date before our next project in March. Because the Governor was going to be potentially very busy at that point with the Legislature, we compromised on December 12th.”

Governor Shumlin’s meeting with Discovery Team students turned out to be much more than just a “visit.” He began by openly telling them about his own learning disabilities, and he then described how he had played a crucial role in the formation of Putney’s Landmark College, the country’s first college for students with learning disabilities.

Shumlin first entered politics as a member of the Putney Selectboard in 1985, when the Federal Bureau of Prisons proposed that the future Landmark College campus be the site of a new Federal jail. Shumlin stepped in, helping to navigate the town away from the prospect of a new prison, and toward the construction of Landmark College. “By getting involved in little ways,” Shumlin proudly told the students, “you get big things done.”

After addressing the students on a number of topics, including the vital importance of civic responsibility, Shumlin answered several thoughtful questions that students posed to him. Among other things, he talked about the uncertain future of Vermont Yankee, the promising status of the Vermont economy, how caring Vermonters helped each other post-Irene, and the crucial importance of pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) studies.

Discovery Team students, and others in the audience, expressed their appreciation of Shumlin’s campaign promise fulfillment with frequent applause. As he left, Shumlin received a chorus of thank-yous.

SOURCE: Bill Wargo, Correspondent

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