Joining Our School Board

School board members are your neighbors, your colleagues, your kids’ coaches. School board members volunteer for the job because they hope to help ensure excellent opportunities for our children and a strong future for our communities.

If you have an interest in joining our school board, please review the FAQs below to get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about becoming an HUUSD board member.

Join the School Board FAQs

What is the HUUSD?

The Harwood Unified Union School District -- HUUSD -- became operational on July 1, 2017, after our six towns voted to merge their town school districts into one unified district, in response to Vermont’s Act 46. The HUUSD currently has about 1,800 students in its seven schools, preK through 12th grade.

What do Vermont school boards do?

While it is not the job of school boards or school board members to run schools, it is the responsibility of boards to see that the district and its schools are run well.

Broadly speaking, Vermont school boards undertake the following responsibilities:

  • Work to identify and build a shared vision for education in the community.
  • Develop and adopt a budget to support the vision.
  • Establish policies parameters.
  • Hire and work with a superintendent to lead and manage the district.
  • Monitor progress toward the vision, and assure accountability for results
  • Engage the community in supporting the education of students.

[Source: Vermont State School Boards Association website:, accessed on 12/10/20]

How do school board meetings work?

Like all public bodies, the school board operates according to the Open Meeting Law — the spirit of which is that all decisions are made through a public and transparent process. Written agendas must be warned at least two days prior to the meeting and provide the opportunity for public comment. In addition to the 14 board members, the District’s Superintendent, and the Director of Finance and Operations also attend, and present materials and answer questions. Meetings are run according to Robert’s Rules of Order

Who can join the HUUSD board?

Almost any registered voter can run for their town’s seat on the HUUSD board. No prior experience is necessary. You don’t need to be a parent or to have lived here for any particular amount of time. Our community benefits from having members of different ages, and with different backgrounds and life experiences at the board table. While HUUSD employees’ spouses or domestic partners may serve on the Board, District employees themselves may not, as this would create a conflict of interest in budgeting or contract negotiations. (Employees may provide public comment as a member of the District or participate in other ways.) 

How do I get my name on the ballot?

School Board members are elected by Australian ballot by voters from their town of residence on Town Meeting Day in March. Usually, candidates would need to file a petition signed by at least 30 voters or one percent of registered voters in the town, whichever is less.

Where and when does the Board meet?

The Board meets in the library at Harwood Union High School (or via Zoom), typically on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month, starting at 6 PM. Additional meetings can be expected for board training, board retreats, community forums, or during budget planning. Also, the HUUSD Annual Meeting is at 6 PM on the Monday directly before Town Meeting Day. School Board members make it a priority to attend every meeting (it is rare for someone to miss more than one meeting a year).

How much work is there outside of board meetings?

One of the biggest obligations is preparing for meetings by reading the board meeting files — a collection of documents linked into each agenda — that inform discussion and decision making. Board work also includes occasional phone calls and emails from community members. Board emails are considered public records and members are advised to keep this in mind when engaging in any written correspondence.

What is the stipend for Board members?

Board members receive an annual $750 stipend.

How long is a board term?

Board terms are three years. You should plan to be sworn in by your town clerk as soon as possible after election on Town Meeting Day, but certainly before your first meeting.

Who is on the board?

The HUUSD Board has 14 members. There are two each from the towns of Duxbury, Fayston, Moretown, Waitsfield and Warren; the town of Waterbury has 4 members. The number of members is a reflection of town populations.

What is weighted voting?

Each board member has a vote worth a numerical value between 5% and 10% that directly correlates to town population, as indicated in the most recent decennial census. All of the votes together add up to 100%.

Do I represent my town or do I represent the whole six-town community?

School board members are chosen by their town’s voters, but have the responsibility to serve the entire District. We are considered “trustees” of the District and our duty is to act in the best interest of all our students and the entire District.

What are other ways to support our schools besides joining the school board?

There are many ways you can support our schools! 

  • Write letters, make public comments, or participate in school board meetings or forums to share your opinion. 
  • Volunteer directly with students through teaching opportunities like ECO or other science programs; chaperone school field trips or special programs like the ski programs; mentor students through Everybody Wins, Brainado or High School internships… 
  • Join PTO, PTA, Parent Advisory or Booster clubs that are in each of the schools. 
  • Check out the website of whichever school you’re interested in connecting with for more information and ideas.

How do I find out more?