Representing Chittenden 7-4 District in the VT House
I am a Democrat. I was raised in a household in which Franklin
Roosevelt was revered. How could I be other than a Democrat. That said, while the donkey is the symbol of my political party, I am no mule. I listen, I think, I welcome and respect differing views… as do the majority of Democrats with whom I have crossed paths. But even though I once chaired the State Party, if my Party’s leadership in the Legislature feels it necessary to issue “marching orders” and I cannot in good conscience “fall in line,” then I must respectfully disagree and stand my ground. Perhaps I am a bit of a mule after all.
I am pro-union. My parents were both factory workers and active in their respective unions. Their goal was that my younger brother and I should have more education than they had been able to have… that education being the “open door” for us. Imagine the reaction when I called home from my fancy girls’ school college and announced that unions were a root of evil in our country. The irony is not lost of my being, many years later, President of Vermont-NEA… as well as having been active in my local union throughout my years in the
I am indeed a teacher… albeit retired at this point. Apparently, as I hopped off the bus after my first day at kindergarten, I announced that I wanted to be a teacher. My mother was aghast, and spent much energy over the next several years trying to convince me to pursue any career other than teaching… she really hoped that I would be a scientist of some sort. Ultimately, she came to be a proud advocate for teachers and teaching.
I began teaching, in Vermont, in 1966. I worked at West Rutland High School (1966-1969), Vergennes Union High School (1970-1981), and Winooski High School (1989-2008). When I retired in 2008, a group of very kind Winooski students wrote a note which I keep tucked inside a book they gave me. Here’s a snippet of what they said: “Ms. Townsend has been a wonderful, hard-working and dedicated teacher… She always has the time to help a student before or after school and she’s a fountain of knowledge….”
I do not know about wonderful, but I was hard-working and dedicated. As South Burlington’s District Chittenden 7-4 Representative to the Vermont House, I hope also to always be seen as hard-working and dedicated. The same energy, commitment, and work ethic which I demonstrated in my campaign is applied to my work as a State Representative. I take very seriously my responsibility, as well as the trust which the voters have placed in me.
President, Vermont-NEA (1981-1989)
Chair, Vermont Democratic Party
Board Member, ACLU-VT (2002-2011)
Coordinator and Driver,
American Cancer Society
Road to Recovery
(2009 to present)
French Horn Player,
Winooski HS Spartan Band (1996 to present)
Champlain Valley SC (1998 to present)
with and without my dog