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Pelham~Windham News

Pelham~Windham News Windham High School

Volume 8 Number 46 June 10, 2011 16 Pages

No Tuition Students to Attend

by Barbara O’Brien The vote came much more

quickly than was expected, but, nonetheless, the decision to disband the SAU 28 Tuition Study Committee and suspend any further actions toward tuitioning students from out of town to the new Windham High School was unanimous. Following a non-public session on June 7, Windham School Board Chairman Ed Gallagher announced that SAU Board members had accepted the work of the Tuition Study Committee, with gratitude, as presented, but had determined that it is not in the best educational interest of students to tuition students from Pelham or anywhere else, for that matter. Committee members had presented their report to the full SAU Board two weeks prior. At the time, it was stated that a decision on the recommendations would be made within the next couple of months. However, after listening to public input, mostly from Windham residents, SAU Board members apparently had a change of heart and made their decision much more quickly than anticipated. The Tuition Study Committee,

which had put about 10 months of work into the endeavor, was recommending that a 10-year tuition agreement be signed with Pelham to send all of its high school-aged students to

Windham High School. Those who protested said that they did not think that was in the best interest of Windham students, regardless of any financial savings that might be generated from the tuition payments. Windham School Board Vice Chairman Bruce Anderson said committee members did an excellent job of completing their assigned task. The study “was the right thing to do,” he said. After reviewing the study results, however, board members did not feel that there was a compelling enough reason to move forward with securing a tuition agreement and that the logistics involved in accomplishing the recommendation would be an immense undertaking.

Gallagher said that it is more important, at this point in time, for Windham to concentrate on its own space issues in kindergarten through eighth grade. “We have our own challenges to conquer,” he said. Pelham School Board members chose not to make any comment on how they felt about the decision or what steps they might take next to solve the space dilemma at the existing 40-year-old Pelham High School. A warrant article asking Pelham voters to approve the construction of a new high school failed to garner sufficient support this past March.

Friends of the Library of Windham Award Annual Scholarships

submitted by Stephanie Nelson Wimmer, FLOW Kelsey Chase and Madeline Smith were recognized this past Saturday by the Friends of the Library of Windham (FLOW). Amidst the energy of FLOW’s annual Strawberry Festival, Kelsey Chase was awarded this year’s FLOW Mary Long Scholarship, while Madeline Smith earned the FLOW Scholarship. Madeline Smith is the daughter of Brian and Katy Smith of Windham. A senior this past year at the Salem High School, she is headed to Villanova University in the fall to pursue a degree in International and Global Studies. In addition to being the President of the Salem High School Key Club for the past three years, Smith’s passion for both community and global service has led her to raise over $10,000 in monetary and items for Nicaraguan charities. She has made four service trips to the region and engaged her family and community in the process each time. Smith is also a junior editor of Salem High School’s Literary Magazine, and a historian and clarinet section leader for the Salem High School Blue Devil competitive marching band. Smith has volunteered at the Nesmith Library, tutored at Salem elementary schools, and shared her international volunteer experiences with local Girl and Cub Scout troops. Smith is the recipient of this year’s FLOW Scholarship. Kelsey Chase, daughter of Brad and Kristan Chase of Windham, was awarded this year’s FLOW Mary Long Scholarship. A senior this past year at Salem High School, Chase will be attending the University of Connecticut in the fall concentrating in music. Chase’s musical pursuits have included being the drum major for the Salem High School Blue Devils Band for the past two years and performing in the school’s chorus. She was a chorale participant in

PHS Honors Athletes with Varsity Awards Dinner

by Marc Ayotte The 2011 Pelham High School (PHS) sports banquet took place on Monday, June 6, on the beautifully landscaped grounds of Harris’ Pelham Inn. While the weather was simply perfect outside, PHS athletes, coaches, parents, and officials feasted, in the upstairs banquet hall, on a meal served by the friendly and efficient staff of Harris’ Pelham Inn. After a lengthy and relaxed dinner period, the business of distributing the awards was at hand. Booster Club president Peter Blake spoke briefly, as he acknowledged various guests and described the boosters’ role not only in the evening’s festivities, but also on a continuous basis throughout the year. Blake went on to indicate that through the boosters’ fundraising efforts, nearly $15,000 in scholarships were going to be awarded to the Pelham student athletes. He also spoke of their involvement in other facets of PHS athletics, such as the pole vault funding and the acquisition of new sideline custom-made chairs for the players on the sidelines of the ‘Snake Pit.’ Before turning the reins over to Pelham athletic director Todd Kress, the president of the Booster Club commended the head of Pelham High School sports for the wonderful job he did during his inaugural season at the helm. “Todd has a keen desire to increase the commitment and participation of Pelham athletes,” expressed Blake. A change in the philosophy and criteria for the distribution of the awards saw this year’s format acknowledge 12 men and 12 women from all sports combined versus last year’s ‘one award per sport’ format. This year’s recipients, who each received $400 scholarships, to be used for continuing their education, were selected resultant from a vote from all the coaches and the Athletic Department. In noting that the Booster Club “wanted to ensure athletics doesn’t come at the expense of academics,” Peter Blake discussed the criteria of the recipients maintaining a 2.5 grade point average in order to be eligible for the

continued to page 7- PHS Athlete Awards ECRWSS



HUDSON, NH 03051

PERMIT NO. 33 Postal Customer

Kelsey Chase and Madeline Smith join FLOW Strawberry Festival Chairman Jennifer Simmons during the presentation of their $4,000 scholarships

the NH All-State Music Festival this year. She is also a songwriter and dancer. The FLOW scholarships, both in the amount of $4,000, are awarded to a high school senior who is a Windham resident. Requirements include a minimum 3.0 grade point average and three letters of reference. Applicants for the FLOW Annual Scholarship may pursue any college degree program. Applicants for the FLOW Mary Long

Scholarship must be pursuing one of the following degree programs: Art, Dance, Drama/Theatre, Music, Creative Writing, Communications, Broadcast Journalism, History, Art History, Architecture, Museum Studies, Art Conservation, Film, or Graphic Arts. The Friends of the Library congratulate

this year’s exceptional recipients and wish them success in their future endeavors.


Superintendent Selected

Lacrosse Coach Matt Regan; Rich Sullivan, Male

Python Award Winner (Most Outstanding Athlete); and Wrestling Coach Bob Riddinger

Lacrosse Coach Dana Blair; Alex Catalano, Female Python

Award Winner (Most Outstanding Athlete); Field Hockey Coach Pattie Stilphen; and JV Field Hockey Coach Jackie Brown

Dr. Henry LaBranche

by Barbara O’Brien SAU 28 is welcoming back a former and well- respected administrator, while at the same time reluctantly saying goodbye to another integral member of the team. On June 7, following a non-public session of the

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full School Administrative Unit (SAU) 28 Board, it was announced that Henry LaBranche has been selected to serve as interim superintendent for both the Windham and Pelham School Districts. Dr. LaBranche will be taking over the duties of Franklyn Bass, who tendered his resignation as superintendent last month. Bass’ last day on the job will be June 17. Bass, who worked for SAU 28 for four years, has secured the position of superintendent for the Hanover, NH/Norwich, VT School District. He will begin that job on July 1. Dr. LaBranche did his first tour of duty for SAU 28 from 1975 to 1988. He was SAU 28’s first superintendent, taking on the job after Windham and Pelham split from the Hudson and Litchfield School Districts. Prior to working in Windham and Pelham, LaBranche served as superintendent in Littleton for two years. After leaving SAU 28, he was employed at the New Hampshire Department of Education; Division of Instruction for a one-year continued to page 7- La Branche Takes the Reins


Windham Grads!

staff photos by Marc Ayotte

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