Newspapers to host forum for WSESD board candidates

Early voting underway for school board race beginning Feb. 9

BRATTLEBORO — The Commons and the Brattleboro Reformer will jointly host a candidates' forum for the Windham Southeast School Board on Wednesday, Feb. 16, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The Windham Southeast School District includes all public schools within Guilford, Brattleboro, Dummerston, and Putney. Early voting begins Wednesday, Feb. 9 and concludes on Town Meeting Day, Tuesday, March 1.

To access the link for the forum and resources for the election, visit

Voters in the four towns will select one representative each for Guilford, Brattleboro, and Dummerston. Appearing on the ballots throughout the district are Lana Dever and Peter “Fish” Case, who are competing for the Brattleboro seat; Deborah Stanford and David Wheeler, who are vying for the Dummerston seat; and incumbent Shaun Murphy, who is running unopposed for the Guilford seat.

All school board members represent all of the four towns equally, and all voters from each of the four towns get to vote on each seat.

All five candidates have been invited to participate in the forum, with the final lineup expected to be confirmed by Friday, Feb. 11.

Following five-minute introductory remarks from each candidate, the participants will answer questions from Reformer News Editor Melanie Winters, Commons Editor Jeff Potter, and Dummerston Town Moderator Cindy Jerome, as well as questions submitted from voters in advance and during the forum via the Zoom chat feature.

Organizers of the forum emphasize that the program is designed to provide a respectful environment for candidates to introduce themselves, explain why they are running for office, and discuss the educational issues and challenges facing the region's schools.

The forum will be recorded and broadcast on Brattleboro Community Television (BCTV), with links for the stream shared via social media and through the two newspapers' readership digitally.

“We hope that an annual candidate forum for the school district will continue year after year as a place for voters to get to know the candidates before voting,” said Jaime Contois, a member of the Putney Central School Leadership Council, who is coordinating the effort.

Early ballots will be mailed to voters upon request from the town clerk's office.

All early voter absentee ballot requests must be submitted by 5 p.m. or by the close of the town clerk's office on the day before the election, according to information from the office of Secretary of State Jim Condos.

“All ballots must be returned to the town clerk's office before the close of the office on the day before the election, or to the polling place before 7 p.m. on the day of the election, in order to be counted,” the state website says.

For further information about absentee ballots and early voting, visit

For more information about the WSESD election and the candidates' forum, contact Contois at 603-504-2906 or Potter at [email protected].

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