Howard is a firefighter-elected assistant chief of that department.
But as a youth living in one of Vermont's small towns, the 34-year-old Howard
did have "heroes."
"My grandfather [Charles Tornabene] was kind of like my hero," Howard
said."My grandfather was a huge supporter and one of my friends.We could sit and talk for hours.He
was like the sun; he
Tornabene died in October 2006, and his
friendship and guidance are missed, Howard
As a child and prior to his
parents' divorce, Howard
father was a presence as well.
"My father coached baseball, soccer, basketball, all that, and I played those sports," he
said."[My father] basically got into all that to spend more time with us."
"Us" includes Howard's
five siblings, who all grew up in Pownal
.The brothers and sisters attended the Pownal Elementary School
and as each reached their teen-aged years, began the early-morning ritual that included a lengthy bus ride to the Mount Anthony Union High School
in Bennington, Vt.. Joel Howard
entered what was then called the school's "Boy's Program" in 1990.Dyslexia played a part in a decision to enter the program, which included vocational training and life skills as part of the curriculum, he
said.Howard graduated from MAUHS in 1994.
"I Like The Small Town Way Of Life"Howard is a long-time advocate of community service.He spent five years as a member of the Pownal Rescue Squad and has been involved with the town's volunteer fire fighting services for over 10 years. He is currently employed full-time as a service technician at Joe Tornabene's GMC in Pownal, and was elected to a two-year constable term in March.
Prior to the election, Howard
was appointed to the post in 2006 by town Selectmen after then-Constable Claude "Chip" Beckwith resigned the post and relocated to another community.Howard is the town's emergency management coordinator, school truancy officer, and a training officer for the Pownal Valley Volunteer Fire Department.He
is deeply committed to the safety and well-being of the community, he
"I like the small town way of life," he
is married to Clara Howard, who is very active in the community as well.
"I'm lucky," Joel Howard
The Howard household is a blended family and includes Joel Howard's
children from a previous marriage who spend many weekends at the Pownal home.
"I don't make differentiations and distinctions, I have seven kids," said Joel Howard
emphatically."And [Clara's brother] is a member of the family, period.We are not rich people, we're not the people who have everything.But we do like to be involved with the things that help other people."
As a boy, Howard
enjoyed hunting and fishing and he
continues those activities, he
"I really enjoy fishing and taking the kids out in a boat," he
studied karate for several years as a youth and admitted that he
still has an interest in martial arts and television "fight" shows.
"And I love NASCAR," he
said with a smile.
"We Really Need Something In Pownal"He
has a desire to see the town attract and retain employment opportunities, he
"We've lost everything in this town that created any revenue," he
said."The track is gone - hopefully something will come through down there - we lost the tannery and only a handful of people are working at[a Route 346-based] Mack Molding.We really need something in Pownal
for the people of Pownal
, something so that everybody doesn't have to work in other towns or even other states."The Trust and Respect
, The Expectations His
future will unfold within the town, Howard