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Meet New EWSD Board Member Jack Behlendorf 

June 9, 2021

Jack Behlendorf officially joined the Essex Westford School District Board after being appointed on June 1, 2021. He will fill the previously open Essex Junction seat on the Board until the next regular election in April of 2022.

Get to know Jack a little better in this quick Q&A:

Tell us a little bit about your background and what specific strengths you bring to the EWSD Board?

I have lived in the Village for 33 years with my wife, where we raised two children (now adults, and out of the house). They attended the Essex Junction schools of Summit, Hiawatha, Fleming, ADL, and EHS before they graduated. I served on the U46 School Board in the Chittenden Central Supervisory Union for nine years; five of which I was Chairman of that Board, looking after EHS and CTE.  

I am currently a Senior Manager of Value Stream Management at Collins Aerospace in Vergennes; additionally, I have retired after 23 years of service as a Commander, having served in the US Navy and Naval Reserves. I've traveled extensively to many parts of the world, both for my professional responsibilities as well as pleasure. I look forward to using my community insights, fiscal knowledge and abilities, and leadership qualities to serve the EWSD Board through the remainder of the term for this seat.

What motivated you to want to become an EWSD Board member?

Our community continues to grow and evolve. Disruptors such as COVID-19 responses, national political influences, and Village/Town schisms could have broad implications to how, when, and what we offer in our school system. My belief is that EWSD should put the right tools in every student's toolbox, and help the students learn their proper use, so they can use those tools to become productive members of society. I can't do that in the classroom, as I am not a teacher. However, as EWSD Board members, we have the ability to affect changes in our community for generations to come.

What is the most important responsibility of a school board?

The main function of a school board is to manage public schools in accordance with state and federal law. Along with the superintendent, the school board works to make sure our schools have all of the resources they need to serve its students effectively. This includes guiding the school or district’s budget, approving bills, establishing spending priorities, in accordance with solid business practices and community input.