Aimee Menard is a Competent and Effective Leader

By Dean Barker

In the previous issue of the Beacon, I was delighted to read about the three excellent candidates running for Andover School Board. Thank you all for choosing to serve the school community!

Any of these candidates would be a welcome addition to the board, but I already know that one of my two votes will be going to current Andover School Board Chair Aimee Menard.

As I enter what is likely to be my final year of service on the Board, I have come to appreciate the role experience and institutional memory play in overseeing the various areas of Andover Elementary/Middle School. In “normal” times, the crafting and passage of a budget that successfully meets the needs of students while at the same time being mindful of the burden on taxpayers is typically the most challenging of the various responsibilities we are engaged in. This past year added the herculean challenge of achieving a safe learning environment in the face of a deadly and rapidly shifting pandemic, often without firm guidance from state and national leadership.

In her role as Chair, I observed Aimee competently and effectively navigate these choppy waters, negotiate a new teacher contract, and much more, all amid the challenges of presiding over remote meetings when necessary. What impresses me most is her willingness to listen to all community stakeholders, even when those voices may advocate widely divergent paths.

Aimee Menard brought calm, forward-thinking leadership to the Andover School Board during what was easily the most turbulent time of my seven years on it. I hope you will join me in voting for her re-election!