The Rotary Club of 
Barre, Vermont
Chartered 1924
District 7850
PO Box 167
Barre, VT 05641
Granite Chips
Granite Chips   February 21 2024
The Room was Alive with the Sound of Music
Thirteen Rotarians and three guests recited the Pledge of Allegiance and then Joe expressed gratitude for all of us being here, the presence of Art Zorn and President Eddie’s recently found cane.
Art then led us in singing My Country ‘Tis of Thee and then on the return of our guest speaker, Superintendent Chris Hennessey, Glory to Spaulding and When the Tide Goes Rollin’ In. Art gave a Happy Dollar as he noted Chris cares about kids. That’s true of the teachers and staff in the district, Chris chimed in.
Since Last We Met
No birthdays or anniversaries.
On this day in history: Malcolm X, who articulated concepts of racial pride and black nationalism in the United States, was assassinated on this day in 1965.
On this day in history: In 1972 U.S. President Richard M. Nixon paid a state visit to China, ending a 21-year estrangement between the communist country and the United States.
Rotarians Offer Concession Speeches
Another protracted account of the happenings at the BOR Concession Stand began with Tony offering two Happy Dollars in recognition of yeoman's service provided by Karl in his never ending quest of making the Concession Stand operation a rousing success. Tony extolled the virtues of his fellow Rotarian, noting the countless hours that Karl has toiled to maintain high standards of service while walking on his immaculate clean floors and keeping an eye on a well-oiled popcorn machine; and simultaneously demanding excellence of others. Kudos to Karl.
Not to be outdone, Karl anteed up with five Happy Dollars and thanked Joe for “service before the show.” Joe had come to the BOR to see the “show,” but was pressed into service by the Manager du Jour. Eager to please and feeling the need to be needed, Joe gladly rose to the occasion. Karl noted that one of his outstanding performances (the show must go on) was the retrieval of “pretzels from the warehouse” for which he was awarded the “clean the popcorn machine” duty. (A Corn is Popped!)
In his concession speech, Joe gave two Sad Dollars in lamenting the tragic loss of Spaulding to South Burlington. Alas, he left us with a teaser---Karl, you have to tell the “Pizza Story.” (Not Mystic.”) 
Once upon a time…(expurgated) Karl and volunteers were talking about selling pizza as part of the Bill of Fare of the Concession Stand. So when eight pizzas arrived from Domino’s, Karl assumed that one of the volunteers had ordered it and he put it up for sale or gave it away. Fast forward, a gentleman appears at the Concession Stand asking if Domino’s had delivered pizzas for the South Burlington Hockey Team. Oops…someone purloined his pizzas! Karl tried to explain what happened, but it seems that the guy just walked away to break the news to the visiting team: “Win some (the game); Lose some (pizza).” Karl was left holding the dough.
Go Tell It On the Mountain
President Eddie announced that an evening meeting featuring a dynamic speaker, and with other service clubs, is scheduled for Wednesday, April 3, 2024 at the Reynolds House. Details to follow.
Nicole announced that she has received ten Community Grant applications. The deadline is March 1, 2024 and the decision meeting is Wednesday, March 6, 2024 at 6 p.m. at the Community National Bank. Awards will be given out at Pie for Brunch on Saturday, April 6, 2024. She is asking that each Rotarian donate four pies. She also reminded us that donations for the silent auction would be greatly appreciated. 
There are a few spots left for those Rotarians wishing to volunteer at the Drop N Swap to be held on April 20 and 21. Help is needed to set up on Friday, April 19, the drop off  on Saturday, and the swapping on Sunday. 
Signed up sheets for the two events were passed around at the meeting. Contact Nicole if you would like to help.
The Budget (abridged) by Chris Hennessey, Superintendent, Barre Unified Union School District 
Sandwiched between Rotary shenanigans and jury duty, Chris took to the floor to discuss the 2024 district school budget. He made it clear from the start that understanding school budgets, funding and property taxes was a challenge. (As a prominent legislator recently told his fellow lawmakers, I defy any of you to get up at Town Meeting and explain how education is funded.) Chris referred us to the district website ( where the budget is presented and funding is explained in easily understood videos. In the time he had with us, he did review the provisions of Act 127 and highlighted the problems inherent within. The law was intended to equalize educational opportunity, but doesn’t seem to be working that way this year, its first year of implementation. Calculations by the Vermont Department of Education indicate property tax increases could be 20% or more. The legislature is working to address the problem.
Taking questions, George asked: “If we are spending more, why isn’t proficiency improving?”  Chris attributed that to societal influences such as drug abuse, poverty and economic pressures. He continued to answer questions and made the following points:
  • It costs more to educate children from low income families.
  • Salaries and benefits account for 75%-80% of a district’s budget.
  • The pool of applicants for teaching and staff positions is dwindling and consequently school districts cannot be as selective as they once were.
  • Housing is a crucial issue in the recruitment of qualified staff and faculty.
  • It’s more expensive to operate schools than in the past.
  • Schools are the most vulnerable institutions in our society.
  • There is increasing pressure on schools to deliver.
Within a short time frame, Chris was able to cover a lot of territory and Rotarians appreciated his knowledge, commitment to providing a quality education to the children of Barre and his passion for doing so. A well deserved round of applause ushered him out of the room on his hurried way to jury duty. 
Until next time...that's all Rotarians.....
Club Information
Barre, VT
Service above self!
Wednesdays at 12:00 p.m.
The Aldrich Public Library
6 Washington Street
Barre, VT 05641
United States of America
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Feb 28, 2024
Club Visioning continued
Feb 28, 2024
Develop goals and objectives for the club
Mar 27, 2024
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Apr 17, 2024 12:00 PM
Barre Civic Center
Apr 24, 2024
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Angelina Debeaupuis
February 22, 2023
1 year
Upcoming Events
Rotary Club of Barre, VT - Meeting Feb. 28, 2024
Aldrich Public Library
Feb. 28, 2024
12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
320 North Main Street
Apr. 06, 2024 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
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Barre Auditorium Basement
Apr. 20, 2024
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20 Auditorium Hill
Apr. 21, 2024
12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
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