Super Senior: Maida Townsend
BURLINGTON, Vt. –
It’s rehearsal time at Winooski High School and the song is “The Final Countdown.” But it’s far from the final countdown for Maida Townsend. She’s not a graduating senior, but a Super Senior. She’s been playing in the band longer than these kids have been alive.
“It helps them see that people at any generation can make music, they don’t have to stop playing their instrument when they graduate from high school,” said Maida.
It only seems natural that the former French teacher would play the French horn. Maida retired from Winooski High School in 2008, ready for fun and adventure, but a family issue put that on hold.
“Well, it was actually two weeks,” said Maida.
Her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
“The decline was rapid from there,” said Maida.
It was a two-year journey. She moved her mom, Judy, from New York to Vermont, but it was also a bonding time for the two strong-willed women.
“We each were our own challenge to each other,” said Maida.
Her mother wanted to see her go into science; Maida wanted to be a teacher ever since she was a young girl. Maida prevailed.
After her mother died, Maida took on another challenge in running for the Vermont Statehouse, representing South Burlington.
“The things I care about, I care about deeply,” said Maida.
Maida has been in the Legislature for two terms. She says with budget woes, this year is the most stressful.
Maida relieves her stress at Leddy Park in Burlington. She’s the first to arrive almost every morning before 6 a.m.
“It frees my mind from all the issues that are in the Legislature that I really think about intensely,” said Maida.
Maida is a serious figure skater. She trains four days a week and is a member of “On Thin Ice,” an adult ice troupe. The 70-year-old put on skates for the first time when she was in her 50s.
Reporter Joe Carroll: So, you are consistently trying to get better?
Maida: I am.
Maida’s coach for the last 15 years is Martha Harding.
Carroll: Is she one of your older students?
Harding: Yes, she’s my oldest student.
But there is a silly side on the ice; Maida’s even donned a Snoopy outfit for a performance.
Carroll: The end goal?
Maida: I have no end goal here. I love being out here, it keeps my body moving and my mind clear.
She’s a woman who takes on every challenge with grace.
Maida can also been seen walking her dog named Sissy, which she’s describes as her rock.
-By Joe Carroll
Original article (including a video) can be found here