Pelham - Windham News February 4, 2011 - 5
More Letters to our Editor
Continued from Page 3 I feel as though I bring some of the
knowledge, skills, and abilities required to help Windham’s residents sort out the future of the Windham School system. I hope you join me at the debate and
drive all of the candidates to exceed your expectations.
Joel Dube - Windham
Michelle Farrell for School Board
I am writing to announce my candidacy for re-election to the three- year term on the Windham School Board. I have had the honor of serving as your representative for the past year and have made an impact on the following key initiatives: • Facilities Master Plan. Over the past year, my primary focus and commitment was on the creation of a Facilities Master Plan. Our schools are facing critical space issues and very difficult decisions are being made in order to accommodate our present students. Through extensive research and analysis, the first phase of the Facilities Master Plan was completed. The plan is a pragmatic and affordable direction to ensure long-term academic excellence for the Town of Windham.
• Leading effort to leverage 75-percent state funding for kindergarten. What I bring to the Windham School Board: • As a School Board member for the past year, I am fully informed of the issues facing our schools.
• I have volunteered for over seven years in the Windham schools, working directly with the principals, teachers, and students.
• As a Health Care Administrator, I am required to work within tight budgets to provide children with quality medical and educational services.
• I have a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
• I am an experienced leader that is both fiscally responsible and knowledgeable about the educational needs of our town.
• I am a 13-year resident of Windham. My husband and I are proud to be raising our three daughters in the Windham School District.
• Ongoing commitment to transparency and open communication. Experience:
The importance of education has
always been a central part of my life. I have a Bachelor of Science Degree from Boston University. While directing the Physical Therapy Department and Clinical Education Curriculum at Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Jersey, I graduated from Seton Hall University with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. For the past 11 years, I have worked as the Director of Family Services for the Special Friends Foundation, where I assist families in obtaining medical and educational services. Focus for the next year: • Completion of the second phase of the Facilities Master Plan to ensure long-term academic excellence for the district that is both pragmatic and fiscally responsible.
• Commitment to communication – listening and ensuring I understand and represent the voice and opinions of all Windham residents. I’m a strong believer in information-sharing. I am committed to making the issues, considerations, and decisions easily available and accessible to the Windham community. Lastly, I would like to say how proud I am to be a resident of Windham and a member of the School Board. This is a very exciting time for Windham. We are now educating our students from pre- school through grade 12 and will soon have our very own graduating class from
Windham High School! I would sincerely appreciate your vote
on March 8. It would be an honor to be re-elected to serve a three-year position on the Windham School Board. Thank you.
Michelle Farrell - Windham
Educational Challenges and Opportunities
The town of Windham has consistently
strived to provide all the resources needed to educate all of our students. Our community knows how crucial and important a quality education is to the future success of our children. Together, in an effort to provide our students with a comprehensive education, we have overcome many difficult challenges. Each year, as taxpayers and voters, we exert our influence on how our children will be educated and by whom. Most people take this responsibility seriously and are informed, engaged, and involved citizens who strive for providing the best educational opportunities for our students. Windham’s reputation and historical record exemplifies this commitment and illuminates what we prioritize and how much we value education. Clearly, the nascent qualities of our new High School define our desire for educational excellence and our obligation to the next generation. Once again, on March 4, we are
going to the ballot box and will vote on several important issues concerning long- and short-term education in Windham. For the prescient voter, the issue of addressing overcrowding is long overdue. With due diligence, the School Board and the School Administration have recommended clear steps that need to be taken to mitigate kindergarten through eighth grade (K-8) overcrowding. Experts in Education, Facilities Planning, Staffing and Administration, Evaluative Statistics, and Cost (budget) performed the needed and appropriate studies. The results of this comprehensive analysis and adjunct studies can be seen online (Town of Windham) and at the School Administration Offices. The most logical, cost-effective, and least disruptive step is to take advantage of State reimbursement (75 percent) and build an addition at Golden Brook School. This means a “yes” vote on Article 2 of the School Warrant budget. This will be the first phase of a conservative “taxpayer conscious” master plan for alleviating overcrowding in our schools. The facts are clear and unambiguous; the State of New Hampshire will pay for 75 percent of the costs (this reimbursement may not be available next year), building can be completed in six months, and the cost to the individual taxpayer is
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negligible. Remember, this option has been recommended by the School Board, School Administration, all of the School Principals, and building and planning experts/consultants.
While other options (all with some merit) have been considered and delineated in the above-referenced facilities analysis, none offer the holistic value of a yes vote on Article 2. The least desirable option, despite rhetoric promulgated by some, is to move the eighth grade to the high school. It should be noted that there is a reason why less than one (1) percent of high schools nationwide have a seventh-eighth grade combined with the traditional high school grades; every education professional of merit recommends against it! The schools that do include these lower grades were purposefully built for including and separating these educationally/emotionally disparate students, or are inner city schools with property or space constraints. Please Vote yes on Article 2.
John InDelicato, Ph.D. - Windham
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