Moving With The Winds Of Change
The winds of winter are sweeping across the state, bringing days that fluctuate between balmy and bitter.
Likewise, winds of change are sweeping through town offices, ruffling the usual order and sweeping the pathways open for new appointments.
Longtime Senior Center Director Marilyn Place unexpectedly resigned in mid-December. Her nearly 30 years of service has not gone unheralded by many who were touched by her attentions during those three decades. Letters to the editor have appeared and off the record voices have expressed not only confusion at her sudden leave-taking, but deep gratitude for having been in her orbit over the years.
Ms Place found her “place” in the heart of the senior community, and her leave-taking after three decades will be palpable to those who worked with her, played with her, confided in her, and laughed and cried with her.
Likewise, the resignations of Center for Health and Wellness Director Jennifer Crane and Social Services Director Ann LoBosco have caught many off guard. Their leadership — Ms Crane for the past two and a half years and Ms LoBosco in her position for the past two years (plus a previous five years as assistant to the director in the Social Services Department) — has been appreciated by the many who have reached out and found aid through both of these women.
It is interesting that all are women in “helping” positions: guiding people through aging issues, mental health issues, and the many issues that afflict the less fortunate population. Now, it seems, each of these women will help themselves, responding in a positive manner to life changes. The response moves them away from their current positions, but as their guidance to others promoted, to lifestyles that fit where they find themselves as a new year is underway.
Don’t be fooled by the low number of years in the positions occupied by Ms Crane and Ms LoBosco. Prior to those positions, these two women dedicated themselves to helping others for many years in different venues. These most recent positions were the result of having proved themselves as valuable contributors to society, locally and further afield. The impact they have made on lives over the course of their careers is not unremarkable.
Newtown has been privileged over the years to have women in positions of power. Seeing qualified women take the helm and implement meaningful changes is vitally important to the younger generation of women. Seeing, as well, that these women are willing to change as the times dictate they should is an equally powerful message for women of all ages.
Change can be fraught with fear. We applaud our former directors for the courage to leap into a new future, showing every resident of Newtown/Sandy Hook that whether the wind blows gently or hard, moving with it means moving forward.
Three women are on to new adventures, and we wish them the best. Newtown will miss them, even as we look forward to new commissions of others who will embrace and be embraced by our town.
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