Around Town for Oct. 4

Tiny mushrooms on a path at Ten Stones. “They were probably one inch high, and in the morning light I think they look pretty neat!” Photo by Susan Blood.

Commentary: “We’d Rather Teach.”
So there was this picture that ran in the September 19 issue of the Free Press showing a person standing behind a sign that read, “WE’D RATHER TEACH.” My first reaction was to ask, “Who decided not to?” (The person holding the sign was, in fact, teaching at the time, since she taught in South Burlington.) The Burlington teachers made the decision. They were the ones who struck, not the board.

I am not getting into reasons about what is good and what is bad with our education system. My family went the public route, and their lives—work life and family life—were apparently both positively receptive. Because learning happens through a constellation of activities, their schooling produced only a part of their learning outcomes. However, it did appear to have contributed to, what I sense to be, a good result.

I do think, though, that the logic portrayed in the paper’s picture might be addressed somewhere in the system. Who created what the sign refers to as the preferred action? Who struck? And if you’d rather be teaching, could you find a way other than striking? On whom does the greatest impact of a strike fall?

Congratulations to the following Charlotte Central School students who earned placement on the CCS teams for the Champlain Valley School District’s annual spelling bee to be held October 6. Representing the CCS fifth and sixth graders will be Josh Batchelder, Sam Dore, Hannah Stein, Nik Blasius and alternates Nina Cusick and Shana Mester. The seventh and eighth grade team will be composed of Heidi Beal, Grace McNally, Hadley Stockwell, Isabella Hackerman, Chloe Silverman, Jacqueline Postlewaite, Innogen Naylor and Aidan Devine.

Congratulations to Charlotte resident Sheila Burleigh who coached field hockey, basketball and softball at South Burlington High School for 43 years (1973-2016) and was recently one of the inductees into the South Burlington Athletic Hall of Fame. Sheila was respected as a coach and a major contributor to the Wolves’ success in her sports programs.

Sympathy is extended to family and friends of Liddell Eardensohn of Charlotte, who passed away September 14 at the age of 90. Following her marriage to Gene Eardensohn who was a member of the U.S. Air Force, they moved around this country as well as spending time in Paris, France, before settling in Vermont in 1970, where at first they ran a bed and breakfast in Fayston before moving to Charlotte. The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations in her memory be made to the McClure Miller VNA Respite House, 3113 Roosevelt Highway, Colchester, VT 05446.

Town Bite
It’s Williams Stage II
Fun Home, a musical play by Bolton’s Alison Bechdel, based on her novel of growing up, opened at the Circle-in-the-Square Theater in New York in 2015 and won a Tony Award for Best Musical. One of the actors in the original production was Charlotte resident Oscar Williams, then 11 years old, son of Tom and Zoe Williams, who portrayed Bechdel’s younger brother, Christian. Being successful does have its drawbacks, and Oscar had to leave his part behind because he physically outgrew the character.

Now the Vermont Stage Company is reproducing the play at the Flynn Theatre running from tonight, Oct. 4, through Oct. 29. Perhaps ironically, Oscar’s younger brother Rowan, 8 years old, will play Christian’s younger brother, John, in the Vermont production. Seeing his picture in the September 28 Burlington Free Press, it is uncanny how similar the two boys look.

Rowan is not new to the stage. He began with the Very Merry Theater’s production of Miss Saigon when he was only three and has been in nearly 20 productions since then.

In another local connection, Randal Pierce, who grew up just over the Charlotte town line in Shelburne, is the musical director for the local Fun Home. He may have taken a lead from his older brother, a Broadway playwright, and from his uncle, a professional actor.