Charter candidates in District A

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Five candidates are vying for two District A seats on the Concord School District Charter Commission in November. Tom Croteau, Matthew Fisk, Tracey Lesser, Patrice Myers and Benton “Chick” Smith are all seeking positions on the Commission, which is being formed to conduct a 10-year review of the school district charter. The members of the commission may examine, revise or establish a new school district charter, which determines the functioning of the district.

The two members of District A will be elected by voters residing in Wards 1, 2, 3 and 4 on polling day, November 2.

Tom croteau

Occupation: Retirement

Link with Concord School District: Growing up in Concord, I attended Concord schools and graduated from Concord High School. After attending undergraduate school and spending a few years in other districts as a teacher, I started teaching at Concord at Broken Ground School. After nearly twenty years there, I became a director in another district and retired after about 12 years. I later became a member of the Concord School District Board of Directors and spent nine years there, ending just a few years ago. I have spent all this time in and around Concord because this is my home, this is where my family and extended family are located and I really love this community.

Why are you a candidate for the Commission and what will you bring to this post? I am running for a seat on the Charter Commission to continue to be involved in the Concord School District, but in a different role than I previously held. I really enjoy discussing all facets of the educational process and the Charter Commission is another opportunity to look at the Concord School District through a governance lens. The charter deals with how the board operates and addresses areas such as elections, budget, finances, obligations and meeting procedures to name a few. It is extremely important that the procedures outlined in the charter are understood and followed by the school board and administration and that the charter is reviewed at times designated by an independent commission to determine if the charter is still a viable document. for the district and bring all major citizens’ questions and concerns to the table for discussion.

I will bring more than fifty years of experience in education, since I myself was a student in this system, teacher, principal, parent of three children, member of the board of directors. I also bring an immense desire to work with other open-minded people on this commission. I will be happy to be part of a committee to discuss all of these issues.

Do you think Concord voters should have a say in the school district budget or elect representatives to the school board to decide overall school expenses? I think the school district budget should be created, as it is now, with the teachers, principals and administrators of the SAU, with the contribution of the community. These are the people on the ground floor whose lives revolve around good educational practice and they know what they need to do the job of educating students. The Concord School Board, by charter, is made up of elected officials from across our city. They are elected by and represent all of its voters. Council members spend many nights from January until the end of winter discussing every item in the district budget; all questions are allowed and answered. The board of directors then holds two public meetings, especially for the presentation of the budget and the contribution of the public. It is important that every member of the community knows that they have the right to participate in every step of the process. From my experience, I believe our community and our school board members genuinely care about the students, teachers and the taxpayers they represent. My experience has shown me that board members and administrators are willing to spend an enormous amount of time and effort to create and present a responsible budget that truly represents the best interests of our schools, teachers and taxpayers.

Matthew (Matt) Fisk

Occupation: Educator

Link with the school district: I have two sons both enrolled in Concord High School. My wife and I are also graduates of the Concord school system (I attended Concord K-12 schools).

Why are you a candidate for the Commission and what will you bring to this post? : I have never held an elective position before, so I would be new to this committee. I have lived and worked in several different school systems. I believe the experiences I had would give me a different perspective when looking at the Concord School District Charter. Most importantly, I try to listen and am passionate about both education and the city I grew up in. I would love to have the opportunity to give back.

Do you think Concord voters should have a say in the school district budget or elect representatives to the school board to decide overall school expenses? : I believe that the representatives elected by the citizens of the city should be responsible for determining the budget of the school district. As a member of the Charter Commission, I would like to make sure that all governance procedures are transparent and that elected officials are held accountable and responsive to the people of Concord.

Tracey Lesser

Occupation: Chemistry professor and program coordinator for environmental sciences and sustainable agriculture at NHTI

Link with the school district: As an educator and parent of children in the school district, I understand the specific needs of students in Concord Public Schools. My daughter Frances is in first year at CHS and my daughter Jane is in second year at BMS. As a professional educator who has worked in public, private and higher education institutions, I understand the needs of learners. And, as a member of the community, I have a vested interest in ensuring that the Concord School District continues to produce well-educated, well-adjusted students within an affordable and transparent budget.

Why are you a candidate for the Commission and what will you bring to this post? My years in higher education have given me first-hand knowledge of the importance of having solid funding for education from early childhood through high school. Well-funded schools directly enable local industry to have a strong and motivated workforce. NH has an aging population and strong schools along with access to higher education and career opportunities help attract people to the state. An independent school board, elected by voters with equal representation across the city, has the ability to ensure that the needs of the current student population are met. It is the duty of the school board to ensure that all UAS employees adhere to district policies and state laws, and act in a fair and non-discriminatory manner in every interaction with staff, students, and students. parents.

Do you think Concord voters should have a say in the school district budget or elect representatives to the school board to decide overall school expenses? I believe the school board should be a fully independent elected body that has equal representation throughout the city. In order to fairly and adequately fund our schools, the elected school board must be able to establish its own budget and adjust the tax rate through an open and transparent process in order to be accountable to those concerned. ‘it represents.

Patrice Myers

This candidate did not respond to requests for comment.

Benton (Chick) Smith

Occupation: I was a serving officer in the USAF from 1966 to 1972. After leaving active service and graduating with a master’s degree in education from Springfield College, I was hired for a position with the Concord Recreation and Parks Department. I was a guidance counselor for 9 years at Merrimack Valley High School. I returned to the military to a position with the NH Air National Guard, first as a part-time guard, then working full-time with the organization. I retired in 2003 as a Deputy Adjutant General (Brigadier General rank) for the NHANG. I have been involved in a myriad of volunteer activities at Concord including the pantry at St Paul’s Church, serving as a night watchman at the First Congregational Church homeless shelter. I volunteered at Walker School and Rumford School for 10 years, volunteered with CASA, and served as a senior mentor in the Concord Friends program for eight years. I served on the board of directors of the NH Veterans Cemetery Association for over 10 years and served as an ombudsperson for the Federal Guard and Reserve Employer Support Program (ESGR). My role in this activity is to mediate issues with reservists and their civilian employers regarding their military service.

Link with the school district: I have been a Concord resident since 1973 and my wife Pam and I have been taxpayers for 42 years. My son, Michael, attended Concord schools. From 2004 to 2013, I was a golf coach at Concord High School.

Why are you a candidate for the Commission and what will you bring to this post? To date, most of my experiences have been at ground level, dealing directly with students and others for the betterment of everyone. I would like to take up the challenge of dealing with an issue at a more strategic level, hence my interest in being part of the Charter Commission. Overall, I find the current charter to be a high quality document. However, it is important to review it and make the appropriate changes to meet the needs of the changing times. I would love to have the opportunity to be part of the group that does this. I see the role of this commission to review the structure of the Concord school district in order to provide the best possible educational opportunity for every student while still being concerned about the financial implications for the citizens of Concord, which is not. an easy balancing act. I know what I don’t know and I’m ready to ask relevant questions and make decisions based on good, hard data.

Do you think Concord voters should have a say in the school district budget or elect representatives to the school board to decide overall school expenses? I have a penchant for this issue, but I want to listen to both sides of the argument and then make a final decision. I don’t think it’s a good idea to go into this process with any preconceptions of the right way to do it.


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