8 - January 6, 2012 | Pelham - Windham News
Green Sprouts Welcomes Stolarz to Their Teaching Staff
submitted by Deborah Markarian, Green Sprouts Green Sprouts Child Care recently named
Kayleen Stolarz to the position of preschool teacher for the multi-age class of 3-5 year olds. Stolarz has been a Windham resident for 22
years. She recently graduated cum laude from Plymouth State University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She also currently completed her teacher certification in New Hampshire. Kayleen stated, “It is especially important that
every child understands that they are unique, special, and able to accomplish anything that they set their minds to achieve.” She strives to provide a warm, secure learning environment, which encourages her students to love school, feel safe to express their creativity, and develop their natural
curiosity for learning new things. Green Sprouts is an eco-healthy, eco-friendly childcare that offers a preschool program as well as full and part-time care for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. The center is located at 5 Industrial Drive, Suite A. For more information call 898-0771or visit www. greensproutsllc.com
. Green Sprouts currently accepting enrollment for all programs.
New Year’s Day ‘Scramble’ at Windham CC
submitted by Joanne L. Flynn, Windham Country Club Windham Country Club held their New Year’s Day Scramble with 100 players Sunday, January 1. The 9:30 shotgun scramble winners: First - 58: L. Wieland, S. Battis, R. Stark, J. Tokanel First Mixed - 66: D. Gagnon, T. Sheehan, D. Adams, C. Smith Second – 62: M. Miller, P. Finn, B. Donnellon, B. Buonopane, Third – 62: D. Morin, J. Morin, J. Denahey, B. Zeolie Closest to Pin: Kevin Kalil, Chuck Wright, Jack Merchant, Carol Whiting, Andy Brody
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Will Pelham Voters See a Non-Binding Referendum on the March Ballot?
by Diane Chubb On Wednesday, January 4, the Pelham School Board is set to vote
on whether to submit a non-binding referendum question to voters regarding the various options facing the town to address the high school issues. The goal is to give readers more understanding of the overall issue and some of the reasons behind the opinions of various board members.
As we enter 2012, the issues regarding Pelham High School (PHS)
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have yet to be resolved, despite several years under “warning” status with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). NEASC is the organization responsible for accreditation of schools in the six New England states. The most recent NEASC letter, dated February 2011, lists several deficiencies at the existing high school, mostly related to the physical building. In the opinion of NEASC, PHS has several safety issues that still need to be addressed, as well as space issues that hamper proper curriculum development. Over the past decade, there have been several options for residents of Pelham to address the issues related to the high school. The first, a co-op with Windham, was rejected by Pelham voters twice. A petitioned warrant article for an addition was also voted down. Most recently, in 2009, a proposal for a new high school on a piece of land on Windham Road was narrowly defeated, garnering only 58 percent of the vote - the bond required 60 percent support. The State of New Hampshire did not fund building aid for schools in the most recent budget cycle. With the burden for any school construction placed squarely on the shoulders of town residents, the possibility of a new school building in Pelham has not been promising. The Pelham School Board has had several discussions regarding
various options, including potential renovation to the existing building and a tuition agreement with another school district. One of the current options being considered is a tuition agreement with Salem. PHS would be closed as a high school and all the students would be sent to Salem High School. Pelham would be responsible for paying tuition to Salem School District. This action would eliminate all of the accreditation issues related to PHS. The high school building would then be refurbished to serve the seventh and eighth grades. Memorial School would house the fifth and sixth grades, and kindergarten could move into the existing Pelham Elementary School building. Pelham School Board chair Rob Hardy and fellow board member
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Andy Ducharme see this option as a way to quickly resolve the overcrowding issues related to the entire school district, and resolve the accreditation problems. To that end, they are asking the Board to approve placing a non- binding referendum item on the Town Meeting ballot in March asking residents if this is an option they want to pursue. “The town has already rejected a coop with Windham, new on new construction and an addition to the existing building. This is the only option that has not yet been in front of the voters,” says Hardy. “I want to know if there is interest in the community. A non- binding referendum will allow us to decide whether to pursue a tuition agreement or take it off the table.”
Karen Fournier Branch Relationship Manager, Vice President - Pelham Branch
Jack Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Bank, is pleased to announce the appointment of Karen Fournier to the position of Branch Relationship Manager, Vice President at our newest location in Pelham, NH.
Karen, a resident of Pelham, brings more than 27 years of experience in banking to her role at Enterprise Bank. Her long-standing dedication to the community is evident in all of her outreach efforts, including her work with the Booster Club at Pelham High School. Karen embodies the spirit of service that is so central to Enterprise Bank. It’s that same welcoming and giving commitment that Karen intends to bring to the new Pelham, NH branch.
Enterprise Bank’s branch managers are empowered to make decisions on the local level and work closely with the communities they serve. Karen is eager to embrace the responsibilities of her new position and looks forward to assisting you with all your financial needs.
Our new Pelham branch, located at 139 Bridge Street, is slated to open in February 2012. Stop by when it opens and take advantage of the big-bank products and services offered by your local community bank.
139 Bridge St. • Pelham, New Hampshire (603) 894-5631 • Karen.Fo
But not all Board members are
in favor of putting this item on the ballot - at least not at this time. Board member Deb Ryan wants to see all the options on the ballot - not just a tuition agreement with Salem. “I would like to put all three concepts on the ballot. If we really want to get public opinion, we need to see all three options,” says Ryan. “I would also like to see the tuition concept left open to include any school, not just Salem.” Originally, Ryan was open to the concept and requested more information regarding the costs, test scores and other data. But as she learned more on her own, she
has decided she is against the option. “I had more support for going with Windham. They have the
infrastructure. Their goal is to be one of the top high schools in the country. The technology is there, and it would be a step up for Pelham students. But it is no longer an option for us.” “Salem has its own infrastructure problems,” continues Ryan.
“They currently have 12 portables to house their students. Why go from portable to portable? That is not a step up, but more of a lateral move.” In fact, if Pelham were to tuition its students to Salem, Pelham
would be required to fund an addition/renovation to Salem High School. Hardy does not have an issue with this aspect of an agreement with Salem. “Salem invests in their infrastructure. I have no issue with the school districting improving their facility, especially with our kids in there,” he says. Moreover, the Budget Committee in Salem allows infrastructure needs to be put in the school budget. In contrast, the Pelham Budget Committee requires the School Board to list any replacement or improvement costs to be listed in separate warrant articles, as demonstrated by the warrant articles for HVAC replacement or the installation of sprinklers.
Another concern of residents is the size of Salem High School. “I talked to residents who chose to move to Pelham simply because they wanted a small high school,” says Ryan. She also fears “If we don’t have a Pelham High School, we will never get one back.” Hardy points to the breadth of the Salem’s curriculum. In fact, there are students at PHS who attend vocational courses at Salem High School because they are not offered in Pelham. Salem offers more advanced placement courses, as well as classes in forensics, photography and the arts. “Last year, only three kids dropped out of Salem High School,”
says Hardy. “The SAT and NECAP data show that scores are about the same as PHS.” This information was provided to the Board by Michael Delahanty, the Superintendent in Salem. Board member Brian Carton is also against the tuition question being on the ballot, even in a non-binding referendum. “I want to keep everyone focused on the warrant articles that are
already there regarding the high school,” he says. He fears that the non-binding question would be a distraction to some who would see it as a decision of the board not to operate PHS as a high school. “I see this as only promoting a tuition agreement, and I am not
ready to do that,” says Carton. “I want to pass things for the school and build some momentum in the right direction.” He points to recent positive votes for the district, including the hiring of a school resource officer, the approval of the teacher’s contract and the installation of the modular until behind Pelham Memorial School. Hardy does not see the referendum question as a distraction. “I
trust Pelham voters to be able to read and understand that it is only a non-binding question. The high school building is not going away - it will continue to be used in one form or another.” He sees the non-binding referendum question as taking into account the diverse opinions of those in town. “It is a way for us to gage community support. We will get those 400 ‘no’ votes, but if there is still over 50 percent support for the option, we will have a more accurate idea of what will pass in Pelham.” Hardy also believes that if voters see that they are not being asked
for $40 million for a new school right now, they will be more willing to approve spending on much needed renovations to the existing building.
According to Carton, the board has not determined as a group
which option to pursue. No doubt the discussion at the January 4 meeting will be interesting.
In the meantime, the biggest concern for Hardy and Ryan is
that Pelham students continue to seek their high school education elsewhere. “There are so many Pelham students going to Lowell Catholic now, it has been nicknamed ‘Pelham High South.’ There are enough of them that they even have their own bus,” says Ryan. Enrollment at PHS has been steadily declining in recent
years,“Last year, we lost about 30 kids to private high schools,” she says. “These were top students and top athletes who left because of their fear that the school may lose accreditation.” With the loss of these students, Ryan and Hardy also fears that SAT and NECAP scores may continue to drop, thus continuing the downward cycle for PHS.
New Hampshire Presidential Primary Election
Candidate of the Democratic Party Vote For Not More Than One: Randall Terry Aldous C. Tyler John Wolfe, Jr. Ed Cowan Bob Ely Craig “Tax Freeze” Freis Bob Greene John D. Haywood Robert B. Jordan Barack Obama Cornelius Edward O’Connor Edward T. O’Donnell, Jr. Darcy G. Richardson Vermin Supreme
Candidate of the Republican Party Vote For Not More Than One: Joe Story Linden Swift James A. Vestermark Vern Wuensche Michele Bachmann Bear Betzler Timothy Brewer Herman Cain Mark Callahan Hugh Cort Randy Crow L. John Davis, Jr. Keith Drummond Newt Gingrich
Stewart J. Greenleaf Christopher V. Hill Jon Huntsman Gary Johnson Fred Karger Jeff Lawman Benjamin Linn Andy Martin Michael J. Meehan Ron Paul Rick Perry Joe Robinson Buddy Roemer Mitt Romney Kevin Rubash Rick Santorum
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