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School Superintendent is Finalist
for Another Job
by Barbara O’Brien Dr. Franklyn Bass has been the superintendent of SAU 28 for the past four years, but that might be changing. Bass has applied to several different school districts and is currently the finalist in at least one of them.
Bass came to SAU 28
(Pelham-Windham) in 2007, after serving as assistant superintendent in Manchester. During that time some major changes have occurred, namely the implementation of a public kindergarten program and the construction of a new high school, both in Windham. The number of assistant superintendents has also doubled during that time period, with the second assistant coming on board this past July 1.
During a phone interview
on April 18, Bass said that his decision to seek employment elsewhere is due largely to the enormous responsibility of handling a SAU that comprises two towns, each of which are quite diverse. “It’s an awful lot of responsibility, even with two assistant superintendents,” Bass said. “There is an incredible amount of demand on my time.” Bass said he is looking to relocate to a school administrative unit (SAU) where there is just “one basic system,” not two.
According to information
on the Website of SAU 70, located in Hanover, Bass is one of the finalists for the open position of superintendent. Bass attended a public “Meet and Greet” in Hanover on April 7. When asked if he was still on the final list, Bass said, “That is a good assumption.” No final agreement had been reached as of April 18, however, Bass clarified. In addition to SAU 70, Bass said he is also considering some other opportunities, all in the New England area. Bass, 59, is a resident of Manchester. The superintendent’s job in SAU 70 becomes available on July 1. SAU 70 is the first interstate
school administrative unit in the country. It is comprised of Hanover, NH, and Norwich, VT, and includes the Dresden School District, which is located in the southwest corner of Hanover. Norwich includes an elementary school for grades kindergarten through six, while Hanover has an elementary school for grades kindergarten through five. There is also the Richmond Middle School, located in Hanover. Hanover High School is located in the Dresden School District and was voted as one of the best high schools in New Hampshire in 2009. Bass also applied to the
Collier County School District, which is located in Naples, FL. “Collier is very unique,” Bass said. “It includes 50 schools, 45,000 students, and an annual budget of more than $1 billion.” “Applying there was really a shot in the dark,” Bass said,
Pelham~Windham News Volume 8 Number 39 April 22, 2011 20 Pages Windham Hosts Annual Easter Egg Hunt
by Doug Robinson The Windham Recreation Department recently hosted their annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Windham Town Hall. Over 350 children participated in the event, each looking for that golden plastic egg with that special treat wrapped inside. “I am very thankful to Windham’s Boy
Dr. Franklyn Bass
adding that he didn’t think he would get the job, but it was worth trying. “We’ve been talking about moving to Florida, eventually, anyway,” he said. Bass is not listed as a finalist on the superintendent’s list in Collier County. Windham School Board Chairman Ed Gallagher said Bass had made him aware of his attempts to seek employment elsewhere. “Dr. Bass has been very forthright,” Gallagher said. As for what board members will do to find a new superintendent, should Bass leave SAU 28, Gallagher said, “We will take whatever steps are necessary to assure that the SAU continues to run smoothly and efficiently.” Windham School Board Vice Chairman Bruce Anderson said Bass had confided in individual board members several weeks ago that he was in the process of applying for jobs in other school districts. He told the full board as a group on April 14, Anderson said. When asked why he thought Bass wanted to leave his position at SAU 28, Anderson said, “Frank likes the challenges of a new project. I’m not one bit surprised by his decision.” As for what steps might be taken should Bass vacate the superintendent’s job at SAU 28, Anderson said he feels that either of the two assistant superintendents could handle the job while the hiring process is in the works. Hiring an interim superintendent could also be an option, Anderson said. As of April 18, there had been “no conversation” between the Windham and Pelham School Boards as to how to handle the situation, Anderson noted. Former Windham School Board Chairman Barbara Coish was also very forthright in her comments about Bass’ plans to leave SAU 28. “Frank Bass and I have had a tumultuous relationship since his arrival here as superintendent in 2007,” Coish said. “It does not surprise me that Frank has chosen to apply to other districts. He has done that before,” she said. “I feel that SAU 28 has been like a ship without a captain, sailing in circles and making little forward progress for far too long,” she continued. “Change will not be a bad thing for everyone.” “I wish Frank well in
whatever he chooses to do in the future, whether it be school administration, teaching, or retirement,” Coish concluded.
Scout Troop 266 for stuffing the 4,500 eggs,” commented Windham Recreation Director Cheryl Haas. This year, three different age groups participated in the event: 0–2, 3–5, and 6–9. Eggs were scattered around Town Hall as well as the surrounding buildings. Children and parents alike toted Easter baskets shaped from the traditional plastic pail to handmade, personalized wicker
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Hundreds of young children dash off into the fields to find Easter Eggs Windham Easter Egg Hunt
baskets, complete with matching materials. Dads carried children on their shoulders and moms carried children on their hips as they participated in the fun festivities. “I am especially thankful to Al Barlow—
Madeleine and Alexander Wilson show off their giant cookie creation they recently made at the Windham Presbyterian Church’s open house
he rocks,” continued Haas. “He designed and created the hay chair for the Easter Bunny. Children and the Easter Bunny have more than enough room to sit together and have their picture taken. It’s huge.” After the Easter Egg Hunt, all were invited to participate at Windham Presbyterian Church’s open house, located directly across the street, where juice, pastries, fruits, and a variety of activities were offered
free of charge. The combined Outreach/Fellowship event also hosted tables where children could create and decorate their favorite Easter cookie design. Complete with colored frostings, sprinkles, gummy bears, M&Ms, jellybeans, and marshmallows, children created towering cookies of their dreams. Children also gathered at the popular face-painting table to have rainbows, stars, flowers, and other assorted designs painted on their faces. Children also gathered around the butterfly drawing table as each shared in the enjoyment of the provided activities.
Hundreds Hunt for Eggs on Village Green
by Robyn Hatch The Pelham Recreation Department sponsored a huge egg hunt on the Village Green on Saturday, April 16, with hundreds of children waiting to collect the eggs. Bouncy houses and food sales kept adults and children alike occupied. A white bunny walked around interacting with the children. The lawn was blocked off with orange cones to separate age groups, with several hundred eggs spread all over the lawn. Each egg was filled to the top with candies. As soon as the race started, hundreds of kids left their assigned circle in the field, and many with their parents scrambled to collect the colorful eggs. Within 20 minutes, the field was clean—what a fun day for the kids!
Nicolas Seyden counts his 20 eggs Kathryn Haley dumps her eggs
Selectmen Agree to Purchase Five Public Safety Vehicles
by Barbara O’Brien The first year’s payment for the acquisition of five new public safety vehicles is included in Windham’s 2011 operating budget, but the lease/purchase was finalized on April 11, when selectmen approved the proposals put forth by police and fire administrators. Town Administrator David Sullivan
said a variety of dealerships and makes of vehicles were represented in the bid packages received by and opened on March 24.
After reviewing the bids submitted, selectmen decided to go with the lowest quotes, including: • A fire department command vehicle (2011 Ford Expedition) from Ford of Londonderry at a cost of $25,410; • A police department utility vehicle
See page 5 for Easter Services
(Ford Expedition) from Ford of Londonderry at a cost of $25,830; • Three police cruisers (Dodge Chargers) from Bill DeLuca Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge of Haverhill, MA, at a cost of $23,216 each, for a total of $69,648. The purchase of the three police cruisers was unanimous (5 to 0), while the purchase of the fire command vehicle was approved by a vote of 3 to 2. Selectmen Roger Hohenberger and Bruce Breton voted against the purchase, while Selectmen Ross McLeod, Kathleen DiFruscia, and Phil LoChiatto voted in
favor. The vote on the police department utility vehicle was three in favor, with one opposed and one abstention. Voting in favor were McLeod, Breton, and LoChiatto. Voting in opposition was Hohenberger. DiFruscia abstained from voting due to what she felt was a lack of information. Hohenberger said he voted against purchasing the police utility vehicle and the fire command vehicle because he wanted to see the dealers bid on a package deal for all five vehicles. “I wanted to see if we could get a better price that way,” Hohenberger said. Originally, plans were to trade in the existing police utility vehicle, a 2007 Ford Expedition with about 170,000 miles on the odometer, but selectmen felt they could get a better deal if they sell the vehicle outright. Trade-ins offered by the various dealers ranged from $1,000 to $5,100. No trade-ins are being made on the cruisers or the fire department command vehicle. When questioned as to whether or not the Dodge Charger (V-6) would be powerful enough for the police department, Police Chief Gerald Lewis replied, “A V-6 is all the power we need.” The smaller engine also requires less fuel, Lewis noted; definitely a plus with the price of gasoline as high as it is and rising. This is the first time that the Windham Police Department has purchased a Dodge as a cruiser. In the past, they have always
been Fords or Chevrolets. There was also some discussion regarding the color of the new cruisers. Most of Windham’s police vehicles are a combination of white and blue. A couple of years ago, however, two black and white cruisers were added to the fleet. Lewis said the black and white combo would be his choice for the entire police department and it is recommended by national law enforcement agencies. The cost for a two-tone color scheme is a little more expensive, though, which is the reason selectmen chose, the following year, to return to the white cruiser with blue graphics. What is being proposed now is a black cruiser with white lettering and striping. “It’s all dependent on the cost,” Chief Lewis said, reiterating that a black and white cruiser would still be his preference. Selectman McLeod said he feels strongly that there needs to be a consistency of color so that people can recognize the vehicle as belonging to the police department. It was noted that the vehicles approved
by the selectmen had to be ordered no later than April 15 in order to assure availability. Assistant Town Administrator Dana Call said that financing on the five vehicles would be put out to bid through area banks. That information will be made available at a future meeting.
staff photos by Robyn Hatch
staff photos by Doug Robinson
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