Laurie Ballou

Laurie Ballou

What is your favorite location, place, building, or spot in Royalton? Why?

The school because I grew up there and have many wonderful memories there.  My children are now going through the same building.  You start at one end of the building and graduate out of the other, and there's really nothing like the sense of community it brings to the whole town. 

What do you think makes Royalton unique or different from other places you have lived or visited?

I really haven't gone very far. I lived in Burlington for a while and that was certainly very different. It's the sense of community in the small town, and the way that everyone holds together for the betterment of the community.

What is the most challenging aspect of life in a small Vermont town like Royalton?

The challenge I see now, I'm not sure I would have seen this 20 years ago, is keeping people staying here, and wanting the kids to want to do what my husband and I did which was go away to college and come back and raise a family here. Because so many of our classmates have left.  We do have classmates that are here and our children are all going to school together but the vast majority are not fostering that sense of community and economics so that the kids want to come back.

What Royalton resident made a positive difference in your life?

That would be really hard to pinpoint one person because it really is a community effort.

What do you want people to know about your town?

I think i find that when i meet people, they tend to think that there's a lot of negative aspects to a small town. And even people from larger towns in Vermont, I think there's a negative aspect to that and they don't seem to understand that the loss of identity you get in a larger community and how the small town identity helps you find the best of yourself.

What is your wish for your life? What is a wish for your town?

For my town-my life is only a small piece of the town. To find a way to instill the sense of community I found here into our youth so that some of them will come back and keep their roots here.