10 - March 2, 2012 | Pelham - Windham News More Letters to our Editor continued from page 7 Windham is quickly becoming the town where most people
can’t afford to live and/or are not seeing the value of their tax dollars. Our elected leaders need to get our financial house in order. • $714,000 for architectural and engineering fees for a new school?
• $3.4 million for modular classrooms at Windham Middle School?
• $563,000 for teacher contracts because the teachers union has decided not to compromise on paying more of their healthcare costs?
• $250,000 for the development of a new sports field when the land is being donated? I ask you to join me in voting “no” on School Articles 2, 3, and 6 and Town Article 17.
Kimberly A. Smith - Windham Windham School District Update
Over the past several months, there has been discussion in our community about the cost per student to educate our students in the Windham School District. We have had numerous inquiries from citizens, and would like to take this opportunity to provide some information and context on this question. Te State does not take a straight average but rather considers several factors in their calculation of this metric. Based on economics of scale, the cost per student at
Windham High School has decreased as the number of students has increased, and we fully expect this trend to continue. In 2009, as a community, we made the decision to open Windham High School with freshmen and sophomores only. Tat sophomore class (now our senior class) is an unusually small class for us. Tat year, we also had some of the higher principle and interest payments on the high school bonds. In the 2010-2011 school year, our high school population grew to three grades with our seniors remaining at Salem High School. Between the two years, there was a 16 percent decrease in the costs per student at the high school level.
Also of note, during this period, our cost per student for our elementary population was below the state average. In the current year, we now have four classes at Windham
High School, although our senior class is unusually small with approximately 130 students. Tis is an important context for this cost metric as, with fewer students, the economies that we recognize today, and will continue to recognize in the future with a full complement of high school students, were not fully realized in the first two years after we opened the high school. In the current year (which is not yet complete), we are estimating that the overall cost per student in the District will decrease from last year and be in the $12,100-$12,300 range. Towns (including Windham) will not report to the State until the school year is complete and cost data for the school year is finalized.
As always, please feel free to reach out to any of us with questions or concerns. You can send a comment to the Windham School Board at www.windhamsd.org
Adam Steel for the Windham School Board - Windham Webber for Planning Board
We are writing this letter in support of Carolyn Webber for
Planning Board. Carolyn has been a resident of Windham for many years and has the best interests of the town and its residents in mind. She has served the town of Windham
in many capacities and seeks to continue this service to her community on the Planning Board. She is a valuable member of the community and seeks to share her time and expertise as a member of the Planning Board. She has always sought to balance the needs of the town with the desire to maintain the character of the town. Carolyn is a person who keeps and open mind and examines all of the facts before making a decision. She is an open minded and fair person. She has served on the Planning Board and we urge you to return her to the board on March 13.
Beth Talbott and Mike Specian - Windham
Support Paul Terrien for Planning Board
My husband, Paul Terrien, is running for the Planning
Board. We have been married for over 46 exciting years. Paul has a sincere interest in Windham’s future and when he expressed his desire to run for the Planning Board I was elated. He is retired and has much to offer with his diverse military and commercial career experience based upon an engineering and technical background, University of Florida education, U.S. Marine Corps aviation and 38 years with General Electric Aviation. We have been residents of Windham since 1980, purchasing an old camp on Cobbetts Pond. It was in poor condition so it became necessary to raze it. He served as the designer and architect of our proposed new home. Paul worked extensively with the Zoning and Planning Boards to arrive at acceptable and sensible solutions. His personal involvement with these boards afforded him the insight and appreciation of the competence, dedication and integrity required of the boards to maintain the trust assigned them by Windham residents. Paul’s career focused on providing engineering and technical guidance and support to foreign military and international commercial airlines conducting successful business in 63 countries and diverse cultures. He lived for three years in possibly the most polluted and abused real estate on earth, Communist China. He spent nine years in Turkey serving on the Board of Directors of two of the largest aerospace companies in the Middle East. Te successful financial, engineering, environmental and structural planning he provided to these companies required years of extensive negotiations, education, and cooperation to reach the final goals of on achieving cost production. Te inevitable commercial and residential growth in
Windham will no doubt continue to provide stress and challenges to our Planning Board and citizens. Paul believes that intelligent reasoned planning by informed members of the Planning Board and constructive inputs from a rich pool of talented citizens will produce the results we all want to achieve. Paul has no business interests or affiliations in Windham and has never previously served on a board in Windham. He has the desire, knowledge, practical experience and time to dedicate his services to the process of planned growth, character preservation and ecological conservation of Windham with fiscal responsibilities and taxpayer considerations always in mind. I proudly support Paul Terrien for Windham Planning
Board and hope you will consider doing so as well. Please vote on March 13.
Carolyn Terrien – Windham
Paul Terrien Candidate for Windham Planning Board
My name is Paul Terrien, and I have decided to run for the Windham Planning Board as I see an opportunity to
contribute my diverse engineering and technical experience to the critical process of long term strategic planning. I have lived in Windham since 1980 along with my wife, Carolyn, and over those years we have watched the inevitable growth of Windham. I am running because I believe that I can make a difference.
When we came to Windham, we purchased an old rundown camp and rebuilt it from foundation blasting on up. I was the architect and designer and became intimately familiar with the building process and avenues to get necessary approvals and final zoning permissions. My career focused on providing engineering technical guidance and support to foreign military and international commercial airlines conducting successful business in 63 countries and diverse cultures. For nine years I served as a board member of Turkish Aircraft Industries and Turkish Engine Industries GE joint venture in Turkey. I believe the tasks involved to bring these complex ventures to fruition have provided me a solid background to contribute. To guide future commercial and residential growth, long range strategic planning is essential for Windham to protect and maintain its character.
I hope to meet many of you over the next few weeks, to listen to your thoughts, and to earn your vote.
Paul Terrien - Windham Tara Picciano for Library Trustee
Te Library is in the midst of exciting times with the launching of GMILCS and they need an energetic, bright knowledgeable person as one of their new Library Trustees. I have known Tara for a few years, and know that she is a good fit and will do a great job. I highly recommend that you join me and vote for her March 13 at the Windham High School.
Carolyn B. Webber - Windham
More Support for McLeod and Hohenberger
Please join me in supporting both Ross McLeod and
Roger Hohenberger as they each run for re-election to the Windham Board of Selectman. Windham is fortunate to have these two gentlemen serve our
community. Ross Mcleod has a strong record of fiscal responsibility.
During his tenure, our Town budget has stayed relatively flat while we have still managed to construct a million dollar, much-needed salt shed. He consistently votes to award purchases or contracts to the lowest bidder and to sending work out to bid (such as the Griffin Park parking lot engineering contract). His integrity on these issues is unquestionable, and his local-focus on Windham is unparalleled. Ross has frequently reached out to me (a Windham School
Board member) on School issues to ensure coordination between School and Town concerns. He has advocated for school impact fees bringing millions of dollars to our schools over the years. Ross’s concern for the quality of life for Windham residents extends to his support of our Police and Fire Departments through public safety impact fees, support for necessary equipment for these teams, and his even spending an evening with Windham fire fighters to better understand their work and their needs. Ross is a supporter of growth in Windham, but seeks to ensure that growth is responsible and reflects Windham’s distinctive character and maintains our property values.
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2.22% Prime Rate as of 1/15/12 was 3.25% 3.875% ** APR APR Roger Hohenberger has an even longer history of
supporting of our Windham Schools and has also advocated for school impact fees. He has taken a leadership role in the arduous analysis required to establish and review these impact fees. His willingness to work with the Planning Board, Planning Department, Town, and School District to gather the necessary information and perform these analyses time and again has saved Windham thousands of dollars in consultant fees. Roger’s commitment to saving the Town money is reflected in his track record as a fiscally-prudent Selectman. He watches the Town spending diligently and also attends all School Deliberative Sessions and is vocal in watching the dollars associated with the School District Budget. Roger asks the tough questions and is comfortable making the often unpopular (but responsible) calls on Town spending. Please join me in voting for Ross McLeod and Roger
Hoehenberger on March 13. Let’s keep these two committed Selectman working for Windham!
Stephanie Wimmer – Windham
Join Me in Voting for McLeod I ask that you join me in supporting Ross McLeod for
reelection to the Board of Selectmen. I have known Ross for almost 15 years and have worked with him closely on a multitude of volunteer activities throughout the years. Ross’s track record on the BOS shows that he is a bright, dedicated, fair-minded leader in our community. He has no private agenda and is concerned only with the best interests of Windham and its residents.
Glen R. Yergeau - Windham
Please Support School Article 3 in Pelham
Tis is a Letter in support of Warrant Article 3 on the
Pelham School District ballot. Te Warrant Article reads; “Shall the Pelham School
District vote to approve the cost items included in the collective bargaining agreement reached between the School Board and PESPA (Pelham Education Support Personnel Association) which calls for the following increases in salaries and benefits at the current staffing level: Year: Estimated Increase: 2012-2013 $39,973 and further to raise and appropriate the sum of $39,973 (Tirty-nine thousand, nine hundred and seventy-three dollars) for the 2012-2013 year, such sum representing the additional costs attributable to the increase in salaries and benefits required by the new agreement over those that would be paid at the current staffing levels.” A summary of the job description of an Instructional Assistant would be: Assist students with behavioral disabilities within a classroom environment or other school setting; collaboratively support the implementation of Individual Education Plans (IEPs) under the direction of qualifies professionals. Te overwhelming majority of our support staff (under
PESPA) serve our students with special needs. However, it is important to note that we also have some ‘regular’ instructional assistants who work in the kindergarten (more support needed due to the age of the students), our libraries, and a small number of classroom IAs float between grades at the elementary school. We also have some support staff who are teacher-certified tutors who provide direct instruction to students and, on rare occasion (none right now) student- specific nurses who are considered support staff under the PESPA CBA. Please support our over 100 Instructional Aids. Tis CBA
was reached with mutual respect and understanding. Pelham School Board - Pelham
School District Treasurer a Two Way Race
by Barbara O’Brien It seems that 2012 is the year of the contested race. While
many years there aren’t even enough candidates to fill up the ballot, the interest in being elected to public office this year seems to be at an all-time high. Competition is even being seen for the job of school district treasurer in the Town of Windham. Generally, this position garners little interest, other than from Maura Pennisi, the woman who has held the job for the past 11 years. Prior to Pennisi’s election in 2001, the same woman performed the duties of school district treasurer for an amazing 51 years. Maura Pennisi, who is the current school district treasurer, said she learned a lot from her long-term predecessor. “Rose taught me well,” she told those gathered at Town Hall for the annual “Meet the Candidates Night.” When Pennisi took over the job nearly a dozen years ago, she was the person who transferred the handwritten ledgers to the computer. In addition to her duties as school district treasurer, Pennisi
also works in a management capacity for Partners in Health, a program for children in need of services. Pennisi said she has been able to maintain a positive relationship with the banks, the auditors and school district administrators and staff throughout the years that she has served as treasurer. “I have maintained accurate records, that are balanced to the penny, for the last 11 years,” Pennisi said. “I consider myself to be efficient and consistent.” All of Pennisi’s records are available at the SAU 28 office for public viewing. Pennisi’s competitor is Donna Sawyer, who moved to
Windham 10 years ago. Sawyer has an Engineering Degree and has a history of employment in the corporate world. Referring to her family and herself, she said, “We hope to be here for the rest of our lives and we want to contribute to the town in which we live.” Sawyer said she would like to bring the position of school district treasurer “into a more modern age. If elected, Sawyer said she would provide a full list of recommended changes in procedures. “I would make sure that what is a considerable investment is used as intended,” Sawyer said. “I would close any gaps.”
Election Day is slated for Tuesday, March 13. The polls will be located at Windham High School and will be open to registered voters from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Zero Percent Dropout Rate at Windham High
by Barbara O’Brien There are only 10 public high schools in New Hampshire that can boast a zero percent student dropout rate and Windham is currently one of those elite institutions. SAU 28 Assistant Superintendent Amanda Lecaroz said the main reason that the two and a half-year old high school is able to keep students going to class is that the teens are personally engaged in the learning process. “That’s the secret,” Lecaroz said. “That’s our goal, to keep Windham High School students engaged” in their own education. “Not everybody fits the same mold” when it comes to
how they learn best, Lecaroz continued, explaining the school administration’s efforts to offer flexible programs and alternative learning options. “We want to see everyone graduate,” Lecaroz emphasized.
“We’ll do everything we can to keep the dropout rate at zero percent.”
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