Goodbye to 2015, with a glance back and a look ahead to 2016. Again this year, The Martha’s Vineyard Times invited several Island leaders and community members to consider some of the accomplishments and challenges of the past year and peer ahead to the New Year.
Matthew D’Andrea, a former elementary school principal in Mattapoisett, was named assistant superintendent for the Vineyard Public Schools in August 2013 by Superintendent Dr. James H. Weiss. Following the retirement of Mr. Weiss, in January 2015, Mr. D’Andrea was named the new Martha’s Vineyard Superintendent of Public Schools. Read his essay here.
Cynthia Mitchell is CEO of the Island Health Care Community Health Center in Edgartown. She is a longtime West Tisbury selectman, having served on the board almost 18 years, and has a long history of involvement in town and Island affairs. She has served as chairman of the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital board and the Dukes County Health Council. Read her essay here.
Brian Packish, a lifelong resident of Oak Bluffs, is chairman of the planning board and of the streetscape master plan project. He also serves with many other town and civic groups. He is the father of a 14-year-old daughter, and he owns and operates a landscape company in Oak Bluffs. Read his essay here.Julianne “Juli” Vanderhoop, the mother of two children, is the owner of the Orange Peel Bakery, a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), and one of three members of the Aquinnah board of selectmen. She has also served on the Aquinnah Board of Health and the Wampanoag tribe education committee for the past seven years. Read her essay here.
David Vigneault moved to Martha’s Vineyard in 1987 to help establish employment and community programs for Islanders with disabilities. Work with community advocates on housing initiatives led to committee and board appointments and work as the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority’s executive director since 2005. He lives in West Tisbury with his wife, Sarah Vail, and teenage daughters Willa and Ava. Read his essay here.