01 February 2015

has this ever happened before?

**This is my personal blog. All opinions, thoughts and musings below are mine. If you do not agree, that is fine with me but I will not debate you here or anywhere else online. You have your rights, and I have mine.**

I cannot remember this phenomenon happening before. It is great to see and I am happy but WOW!! Never thought it could happen.

What you may ask has happened in our fair town of Newmarket, NH? We have SIX candidates running for the two 2 year positions on the school board. 


Being on the school board is a thankless and often hated position to be in here in Newmarket. What with our facilities issues, the fact that the cost of educating the students is increasing and we have to pay teachers to do the teaching. The people who do put themselves out there and run and are elected onto the board are just asking to be harassed by the public who think that they themselves could do the job better if they were on the board (of course those people hide behind their computer monitors to complain, do not attend meetings or even run for the school board.)

I appreciate these men and women who put themselves out there in the public eye and take the brunt of trying to run our school district. I will admit that it is not a position I could do. One because I am extremely passionate about educating the children of Newmarket and do not understand why others are not of the same thinking and would have a very hard time controlling my frustrations. And second to be on the school board, I would have to give up my substituting job and my volunteering at the school. Both of which give me so much pleasure I would be miserable without being in the elementary building. 

I do support the board in their endeavors.

Until this year.

Somehow this years board has taken a few steps backward in their thinking and what they want to accomplish. Instead of looking forward on our facilities issues, they have returned to the past to once again rehash decisions that the previous boards as well as voters have decided on. Seriously- parents do not want our kids shipped out of district to receive their education. Get that through your heads. It is not an option for us. The No votes will have to accept that and the sooner they do, the sooner we can close this gap we have in our town. As a parent, if I wanted my child to go to Dover, Somersworth, Derry, Epping, Exeter, Oyster River, Portsmouth, or any other town on the seacoast, I WOULD HAVE MOVED THERE!! I chose Newmarket and want my kids to go to the school HERE. This board seems to want to appease the No votes and waste time and money funding studies to come to the same conclusion as we started the year at.

Maybe it isn't the whole board. It could have something to do with the chairperson of the school board- Gail D-Wentworth. From watching meetings, it seems that she has switched from wanting a new school in which to educate our middle school and high school students, to shipping them off for another district to deal with. Not sure of the reasons why. But her personal agenda has now become the school board's agenda and from the number of people running for the school board this year, they are as displeased with her as I am.

I have watched the meetings and watched her pack up her belongings while another board member reads a citizen's email to the board (at the end of the meeting when the room has emptied out) only to have her face seem shocked when being called out for her lack of interest in the facility issues. I have seen her ignore the passing of a beloved Newmarket teacher until another member brought it up. That one really hurts me. As the chairperson of the school board, that should have been the first words out of her mouth at that meeting.

I have sat near her during a public session of the budget committee and town council and tried to listen to the concerned citizens speaking, only to hear the low buzz of her chatting and giggling with the ladies she was sitting with. The meeting was concerning a warrant article that the school board had previously passed and wanted on the ballot about the all day kindergarten program. She as the chairperson of the school board did not get up to speak in support of this program, but almost seemed like she wanted it to fail at the stage of getting the budget committee and town council recommendations for the ballot. As soon as the issue had the recommendation of both groups, she left.

At that meeting, she was asked by a citizen sitting behind her to please be quiet to which she made a face and then promptly made a joke out of it on her Facebook page. See below.

Yes this is what our school board chairperson has done. Yes it was on her personal Facebook page, but being an elected official, as well as the chairperson of a board, puts you under greater scrutiny than the average citizen. There is no respect in this post.

I can see why the citizens of Newmarket are up in arms to get on the school board. The only concern I have now is that we have too many people running and we don't want to split the votes and risk having another year of backwards thinking. 

Welcome to the election campaign process- Craig Dionne, Kimberley Shelton, Michael Kenison, Mary Jane Hilton, Matt Eveangelista and Al Zink. There will be more discussion about the candidates in the coming days and who I think would make an excellent addition to the school board. But I will give you a hint-- the first two candidates listed.