To the Editor:

Waterbury voters are fortunate to have two eager candidates running for the Waterbury seat on the Harwood Union school board.

I understand that they both support merging our middle school students. However, Michael Frank has said that he is in favor of the school board’s decision to move Moretown fifth- and sixth-graders, along with Harwood Middle School seventh -and eighth-graders, into Crossett Brook this fall.

Kelley Hackett instead favors waiting until the building is ready to permanently house those additional 150 students there.

We have heard from the vast majority of staff, as well as from engaged students in the affected schools, that they also would prefer more time to plan for this transition, especially to consider how it will impact education for our students. A move of this magnitude requires significant preparation.

I do not believe the fast-tracked timeline of this venture affords us either planning or preparation.

I appreciate Hackett’s qualifications, her passion for involvement in our community around organizations and efforts regarding our children. She has a long history as a leader working on The Children’s Room board, the Crossett Brook Middle School PTO as well as running a small business as a child-care provider. She’s also a graduate of the Snelling Center for Government’s Early Childhood Leadership Institute.

With three young children currently navigating their way through our school system, there is no doubt Hackett has our students’ best interests in mind. Her student-focused, thoughtful and pragmatic approach has my full support and I hope yours as well.

Scott Benson

Waterbury Center

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