The School Board held a meeting on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at Windham High School. The meeting was scheduled as a continuation of the previous week's meeting. Agenda items included Goal Setting and an update on Golden Brook School Facilities.
After calling the meeting to order, the School Board opened the meeting to public comment. The first person to speak was Windham Middle School Principal, Dan Moulis, who read a letter to the School Board on behalf of Principal Kathy Bates, Principal Rory O’Connor, and himself. They advocated that the District hire an Interim Superintendent. The letter endorsed and recommended the District's Business Administrator, Adam Steel, for the Interim Superintendent position. Current Superintendent, Winfried Feneberg, resigned in April, leaving the position vacant as of July 1, 2015.
Public comment continued for an hour or more, with the majority of residents encouraging the Board to take swift action and appoint an interim Superintendent. The School Board plans to conduct a search for an interim Superintendent and told the public that internal and external candidates can apply for the position. (Windham LINK previously stated that the Board voted not to assign the position to an internal candidate. The correct information is the Board has not decided to appoint an internal candidate.)
The first agenda item was Goal Setting. The Board distributed a spreadsheet that listed categories, projects, due dates and responsibility assignments. After extensive public input, the Board indicated they would form a sub-committee to further define their goals.
The second agenda item was an update on Golden Brook School Facilities. At a previous meeting, the Board authorized Adam Steel to consult with architects, site/civil, structural and MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing) engineers, the Fire Department, Administrators, School Board members, and Facilities Committee representatives. The group met on May 11, 2015 with Adam Steel and is scheduled to present its findings to the Board on June 2, 2015.
School Board member Tom Murray expressed an interest in gathering more input regarding options and pros & cons of different solutions. Murray indicated that he reached out to additional groups to ask if we might be able to have them offer a second and third opinion on the facilities project. The Board decided to ask the Superintendent to have Adam Steel conduct exploratory vetting of the second and third groups Murray recommended. The vetting is to determine if the groups are qualified as vendors for our District in order to proceed in reviewing the feasibility of the Option 2+ project.
To view the Board Meeting, click here or go to the following website wctv.pegcentral.com.
The next SB Meeting is Tuesday, June 2, 2015 at 7 PM at the Community Development Department.
We would like to encourage you to attend the Windham School Board Meeting on Tuesday, May 26 at 7 PM at the High School.
We ask you to consider what this will mean for our district and join us at the next school board meeting in support of appointing an interim superintendent by July 1.
Some things to consider:
1. We should appoint an interim Superintendent by July 1, based on the fact that we have several internal candidates who are qualified, including Adam Steel, Kori Becht, Rory O’Connor and Bob Dawson. (Dan Moulis is also qualified but has resigned as principal of the Middle School).
2. We have a new Principal at the High School and will have a new Assistant Principal at the High School, a new Assistant Principal at Center School, and a new Principal at Middle School. With so many changes in school leadership, it would be in the best interests of the District to appoint someone who is highly qualified and familiar with the day-to-day operations of our schools.
3. The School Board relies on the guidance and leadership of the Superintendent to determine the educational goals of the District, develop long-range plans and identify short-term objectives. In turn, the Superintendent is responsible for overall administration and leadership services of the District, including:
NEW MEETING ADDED: Special School Board Meeting on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at 7 PM at Windham High School. Please plan to attend this meeting as the Board will be discussing Goal Setting for the coming year and giving an update on facilities.
Superintendent Search Update and Timeline
Early May - The Windham School Board learned of the resignation of Superintendent Winfried Feneberg. His last day in this position is June 30, 2015.
May 5, 2015 - School Board meeting with public input then a non-public discussion regarding the Superintendent search.
May 19, 2015 - Superintendent search on the agenda for discussion. There are several current Windham School District Administrators who are qualified for the position of Superintendent. Public input was heard whether to appoint an internal Administrator to serve as interim Superintendent, due to the impending vacancy on July 1, 2015, or to conduct a search to include outside applicants. The Board voted 3-2 to conduct a search for an interim Superintendent.
July 1, 2015 - Start date of an appointed Superintendent or Superintendent position is vacant.
A typical Superintendent search can last 5-7 months and cost between $12,000 - $20,000. Ted Comstock, the Executive Director of the New Hampshire School Boards Association, recently stated that in New Hampshire,“there are many more vacancies for good superintendents than there are good superintendents to fill those.” This was reiterated by Mr. Feneberg, who also noted the long hours and demands of the job that keep qualified candidates from pursuing a career as a Superintendent. In Windham, the Superintendent is responsible for managing a District of nearly 3,000 students, a $43 million budget, and the day-to-day operations that go along with that position.
The School Board has included Goal Setting on the Agenda for three meetings since March. Goal Setting is an opportunity for the Board to discuss what they hope and plan to achieve as a collective body. During the meeting on May 19th, the Board decided to table that discussion and will include it in an additional meeting to be held next week, on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at 7:00pm at WHS. Goals, objectives and expected outcomes are important for establishing the educational direction of the School District and something Principals, teachers and staff look to for guidance. Goal setting is an essential part of planning for our School District and it is important that the Board move forward with this discussion as soon as possible.
New Assistant Principals at Windham Center School and Windham High School
Two new Assistant Principals have been hired in Windham. Our new Center School Assistant Principal, Kimberly Freccero, comes to Windham from the Nashua School District where she was an Elementary School math and science Instructional Lead. She joins Principal, Kathy Bates.
The new Windham High School Assistant Principal, Matthew Malila, was a teacher and the Chair of the Science Department at Exeter High School. He joins Bob Dawson who was recently promoted from Assistant Principal to his new role as Principal of WHS. Please join Windham LINK in welcoming Kimberly Freccero and Matthew Malila to our School District!
Windham LINK attended the School Board meeting on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at the Community Development Department. The agenda contained important items such as Goal Setting, the High School Accreditation, and Facilities. Below is an update on these and other items that were discussed at the meeting.
State Funding for Education
Members of the Windham School Board and Administration will meet with the Superintendent and School Board member(s) of the Bedford School District to discuss legislation regarding changes to the way NH funds education. The current formula for distributing education adequacy funds prohibits towns from receiving more than 108% of what they received the previous year, regardless of student population growth. According to a recent article in the Eagle Tribune, “since Fiscal Year 2012, the Windham School District has lost out on $11.7 million.”
Track and Grass Field Presentation
Windham High School Assistant Track Coach, Marjorie Dastous, appealed to the School Board to include a Warrant Article for a track and grass field on the ballot in March 2016. Currently there are 65 students on the Windham High School Track Team and 115 on the Windham Middle School Team. These teams practice on busy roads, dirt trails, and in parking lots. She noted safety concerns, injuries from training on pavement, and reminded the Board that other sports teams and the Windham community would also benefit from a track. The Board requested that Business Administrator, Adam Steel, use the track plans that were designed in 2008 to seek bids for review. To watch the video Marjorie presented to the Board, click here.
NEASC Accreditation Report
Windham High School Vice Principal, Rob Dawson, gave a presentation about the report received from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the organization that oversees the school accreditation process. Mr. Dawson shared the committee’s commendations and recommendations. The full report can be viewed here.
School Board Goal Setting
The School Board presented its list, in no particular order, of various goals they would like to see addressed in the coming year. Some of the items included:
The timeline for moving forward with an addition and renovation of Golden Brook School and a renovation to Windham Middle School was presented by the Business Administrator. Mr. Steel expects to present a rough conceptual design of what Option 2 would look to the Board on June 2, 2015. Assuming the Board approves the conceptual design, the District will move forward to narrow the cost basis by September. This would involve having an architect draw up a conceptual design, a site person doing sight plan, and a construction manager would then do a cost estimate on the whole process.
We welcome your comments, but you must be a real person. Please provide your first and last name. Any comments that are not viewed as appropriate by LINK will not be approved. Thank you!