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Pelham - Windham News 2 - April 22, 2011

Nesmith Library Receives Fellows House Sketch Gift

by Robyn Hatch Carol Pynn of the Windham Historic Commission donated a framed sketch of the Fellows House to the Nesmith Library, which was drawn by Sheila Psaledas. This house was built by James Cochrane, c.1863. It was built on the original foundation of the Town Pound. The pound was relocated to the left of the old fire station. His wife, Sarah Cochrane, raised their five children here and the family had many connections to the Town Center. One of the daughters worked at the Bartley store, which is now the Senior Center as the Fellows House.

The Fellows were the last family to occupy the property. This house is the “newest” house in the Center, with the others having been built later. Here is one of the three houses in the Village Center eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. It contains a high degree of integrity and still retains all original exterior details, making it the best preserved example of this building type in town. The open yard is enclosed by stone walls and the wooded hillside contributes to the beauty of the surroundings. Take a look at the beautiful sketch in the Nesmith Library and walk across the street the see this house in person.

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Carol Pynn, Kathleen DiFruscia, and Bonnie Parenteau present this sketch to Nesmith Library Director Carl Heidenblad

PES Kindergarten is Wild About Turtles

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by Barbara O’Brien The official report from the committee studying the feasibility of tuitioning Pelham students to the new Windham High School is not expected until sometime in May, but some residents have already come out to speak vehemently against the possibility. During April’s public School Board meeting,

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Windham resident and parent Ellen Thibodeau said she was attending the session to express her opposition to tuitioning Pelham students to the new high school. Windham High School opened in September 2009. Thibodeau said she believes the study committee has not explored one particular option and that is “to do nothing.” “Keep Windham High School for only Windham students,” Thibodeau stated. Committee members are only considering how to tuition Pelham students to Windham High School, not should they be tuitioned at all, she said. Coming to the defense of study committee members, School Board Vice Chairman Bruce Anderson said, “This committee is doing the research it deems appropriate.” The report will be presented to the School Board when the study is complete, he said, adding that he doesn’t know how individual School Board members will feel about the report once it is issued. Nothing will be done right away regarding the possibility of tuitioning Pelham students to Windham, Anderson explained, as the process needs to go through four separate entities (Windham School Board, Pelham School Board, Windham voters, and Pelham voters) before it could ever be enacted. “We’re nowhere near that at this point,” Anderson said. School Board member Stephanie Wimmer said that “Nobody on the School Board is going to take lightly the use of a $50 million asset that was built for Windham students.” School Board member Jeff Bostic said, “The new high school was not built with the intention of tuitioning in any students.” “There would have to be some very good reasons to change” that intent, he added. School Board Chairman Ed Gallagher said

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School Board members will critique the data collected by study committee members and proceed from there. The study committee was established last year at the request of Pelham School Board members. Windham School Board members felt the request should be honored and the possibility studied for its pros and cons, both financially and socially. Another Windham resident and parent also

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Opposition Expressed to Tuitioning Pelham Students to High School

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expressed her opposition to the tuition concept. Mary Jude Donovan said, “As a resident and a taxpayer, I feel the emphasis should only be on what’s best for Windham.” Donovan also said that she wanted it clear that she is not “anti-Pelham.” Another Windham resident and parent of


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school-age children, Donna Hume, said she is opposed to tuitioning students from not just Pelham, but from any other town as well. “What do School Board members need to validate this opposition by parents?” she asked. “Why are we even having this conversation?” “As a parent, I feel I can’t let my guard down” when it comes to the actions of the School Board. “You need to talk to the voters and students and get their opinions,” she told School Board members. Referring to past history with Pelham, Hume said, “I don’t want to see a town like Windham, that supports education, combine with a town that doesn’t even want to build a facility to house its own fire engine.” Hume also referred to the fact that Pelham residents “told us twice that [they] don’t want to go to Windham High School.” Now that Windham High School is complete and operational, Pelham residents want to attend, Hume said. “As members of the same SAU, we feel that we should be willing to listen to our neighbors,” Bostic said. Windham and Pelham are the two school districts that comprise SAU #28. “There’s no effort here to just sneak through anything,” Bostic said. “Pelham is not just going to show up” on the first day of school. There is more than one opinion on the tuitioning issue, Anderson emphasized. “There is another side,” he said. “There are residents who want to bring in tuition money to help with their taxes.” However, Anderson continued, “It’s not an economic decision to me, only what is in the best educational interest” of Windham students. Christine Carpenter, who serves as one of the

high school’s student representatives, said, “We’ve yet to have one year of stability of Windham High School being for Windham students.” During the first year of its operation, there were only freshmen and sophomores in attendance at the new high school. This year, there are only freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. “We haven’t even had a senior class yet,” Carpenter said. Windham High School’s first graduation ceremony will not take place until the spring of 2012. It is anticipated that the tuition study committee will present its findings sometime during the month of May. The meeting will be open to the public and input will be allowed.

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Pelham Elementary were entertained and educated by Miss Mary, better known as The Turtle Lady. Through music, storytelling, and art, Miss Mary gave students a better understanding of wild turtles, stressing the importance to leave turtles in the wild and not to claim them as pets. The visit, which was funded by the PES School Council, gave students the opportunity to meet two of Miss Mary’s rescued turtles up close, giving the children an engaging and exciting experience.

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Lindsey from Mrs. MacIntosh’s class reaches out to pet the turtle

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