Hard-working women for Pawlet Select Board

About Us

Jessica Van Oort in her home

Jessica Van Oort grew up in rural Wisconsin in a family that practiced organic gardening and raised chickens. Three years ago she and her wife Ruth bought their first (and hopefully last) home and settled in Pawlet with their small online business. They’ve given the house a new coat of paint, fixed up the barn, and planted a big garden. Jessica has gotten involved with the community through serving on the Pawlet Planning Commission and working on the board of 350VT.

Jessica used to work as an arts professor and department chair, so she has administrative experience and knows how to be diplomatic, get people organized, and run meetings. She also does her own business taxes and knows her way around spreadsheets. On the Pawlet Select Board, she’ll bring her skills at listening to all sides of every issue, doing her homework and coming prepared, asking good questions, and building consensus. She intends to make sure that everyone in our community is heard, respected, and represented.


Maureen Brown outdoors in a knit cap

Maureen Brown spent her formative years growing up on her family’s homestead in rural Maine which gave her deep appreciation for farming and the outdoors.  She started working at a horse farm at the age of 12 mucking stalls and helping with farm chores in order to work off horseback riding lessons and developed a strong work ethic that is still a signature characteristic.  Maureen relocated to Pawlet in 2006, worked in the farming and agriculture sector teaching riding lessons to children with disabilities, and has worked as a shepherdess and cheese maker at local farms, eventually starting her own gardening business. Maureen has single handedly raised her three children, all who attended Mettowee Community school and has served on the UD 47 school board prior to its reorganization and merger. She is a founding member of her son’s school’s social justice committee and is an active volunteer for the Rutland Area NAACP. 

Maureen is committed to supporting a safe and inclusive community, understands the value of hard work while at the same time understands how vital a solid community support system can be to one’s success and well being. She is running for a 3-year position to serve and further her commitment to the Pawlet community. 

Outside of her volunteer work and running her business, Maureen enjoys the outdoors; hiking and gardening, spending time with her dogs, and staying connected to family.