- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - One of Vermont’s most influential educational leaders has announced he will retire at the end of August.

The Burlington Free Press reports (https://bfpne.ws/1FlaQoH ) Steve Dale will step down from his position as executive director of the Vermont School Boards Association. Dale, 65, was executive director for more than four years. He said his retirement has been in the works for several months.

The announcement comes days after lawmakers agreed to significant education governance changes that could potentially reshape school boards and districts.

Under the bill, Vermont school districts are encouraged to expand boundaries to serve at least 900 students and to take a deeper view of education quality and costs.

Dale said the school boards association has improved communication with members, helped districts with governance transitions and offered greater legal services and collective bargaining support during his tenure.

He is expected to spend the next several months helping school boards understand the education bill and communicate with their communities about possible changes.

“The role of the school board has never been more important,” said Dale.

Dale will pass the executive director role to Nicole Mace, who is general counsel for the organization.

“Steve has done a great job helping us develop our range of services and our place at the table in the statehouse,” VSBA Board President Emily Long said in a statement. “Nicole will be able to pick up that mantle and move forward seamlessly.”

The Montpelier-based Vermont School Boards Association includes about 1,500 members.

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Information from: The Burlington Free Press, https://www.burlingtonfreepress.com

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