Vernon School Board Keeps 'Distinction' Streak Going

VERNON, CT — The Vernon Board of Education has been honored as a “Board of Distinction” by the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, commonly known as CABE.

The award was announced recently at the organization’s annual convention.

The award recognizes boards of education that work effectively as teams, a trait CABE says is shared by boards that “exhibit the most effective leadership.” The Board of Distinction award only goes to school boards that are consistently top performers in CABE’s annual review process. This is the eighth year in a row that Vernon’s board has received this award.

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Only 17 districts statewide have achieved such recognition over that time span.

“The Vernon Board of Education consistently goes above and beyond in its work to ensure Vernon’s students have a demanding curriculum, great teachers and grow academically each year,” CABE Executive Director Patrice McCarthy said. “A smoothly operating board that works together as a team and that is focused on student achievement creates a school environment where great things happen each day.”

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Vernon Superintendent of Schools Joseph Macary, who was honored as “Superintendent of the Year” for 2023 by the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, said serving on a Board of Education is one of the most important responsibilities a person can take on. There is an enormous time commitment, much to learn and digest and myriad decisions to make.

“Vernon has a board of education that is committed to investing the time necessary to understand the challenges we face,” Macary said. “At the same time, the board sets high standards of teaching and learning for all students.”

Two Vernon elementary schools, Northeast and Maple Street, were named Schools of Distinction by the Connecticut Department of Education. Skinner Road School was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School, one of only four in Connecticut to receive that honor.

“We are proud of what our students have achieved over the past year,” Macary said. “And we expect even greater things as we move forward.”

Former Board of Education Chairwoman Anne Fischer praised her former colleagues for their devotion and commitment. Serving on a board is much more than attending a meeting once or twice a month, she said. Board members serve on multiple committees, and serve as liaisons to schools and committees.

“The board works collaboratively and is focused on what is best for Vernon students, and what makes our schools and community stronger,” she said.

Newly elected Board of Education Chair,an Paul Grabowski said that in his short time on the board he has learned the board is a team that is focused on continual improvement in the Vernon Public Schools.

“We are all on the same page, along with Dr. Macary and Assistant Superintendent Robert Testa, in getting the most out of our students,” he said. “A strong focus for the board and Dr. Macary is our Vision of the Graduate. We want every Vernon student to experience success in a career or secondary education and to be a critical thinker, a collaborator, a communicator, a resilient individual and a responsible citizen. I am grateful to CABE for recognizing the Vernon Board of Education’s commitment and our belief that all children can learn and achieve using a whole child approach.”

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