Ferenc throws his hat in the ring for ConVal School Board

PETERBOROUGH — Voters will have a choice when they go to the polls Tuesday to elect a representative to the ConVal School Board.

Gary Carpenter, a Peterborough business owner and advocate for veterans and people with disabilities, was the only Peterborough resident to file for the job. But last week, Tom Ferenc, who is the principal at Green Mountain Union High School in Chester, Vt., said he plans to run as a write-in candidate.

Carpenter, who ran for a seat on the board in 2012, has lived in Peterborough more than 17 years and four of his seven children attended ConVal schools. A disabled veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force, Carpenter works at Phoenix House in Keene, where he said he’s designed and put into place vocational programs for addicts. He also owns a company called Mind Whistle, which offers training for people with disabilities.

In an email to the Ledger-Transcript, Carpenter said major issues facing the district are declining enrollment, developing a budget that can improve education while understanding the constraints of the district, and addressing alternative energy issues.

“For both talented high-functioning students and children with special education needs and everyone else in between, I will attempt to stop the boredom by suggesting innovative programs,” he wrote. “Boredom can lead to future dropouts which sometimes can lead to addiction challenges and poverty.”

Ferenc, who was named the Vermont High School Principal of the Year in 2012, got his start in teaching as a substitute teacher at ConVal High School about 15 years ago, after spending more than 20 years in sales and marketing in the private sector. He then became a biology teacher at ConVal before becoming assistant principal and later principal at Fall Mountain High School. He went to work at Green Mountain Union in 2007.

Ferenc said last week that he has lived in the ConVal district for almost 30 years and has been a Peterborough resident for 20 years.

“This has been our home, and I want to give back,” he said. “I’ve been working in school systems for a long time. I’m a certified teacher and principal. My goal is to help improve student learning, in a fiscally responsible way.”

Ferenc said he did not expect to have difficulties getting to School Board meetings, which are held on Tuesdays.

“My meetings here in Vermont are on Thursdays,” he said.

Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.

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