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School Board members meet with selectmen in Lancaster


by Tara Giles
Sports reporter - Coos County Democrat and Berlin Reporter
February 27, 2019
LANCASTER — During the last Select Board meeting in Lancaster on Feb. 19, three members of the White Mountains Regional School Board were in attendance to follow up on a discussion involving hiring an SRO (Student Resource Officer) for the Lancaster Elementary School.

School Board Chair Jessica Loiacono along with board members Herb Randall and Kristen VanBergen-Buteau discussed the hiring with Lancaster's Selectmen to gain a better understanding of how the process will work.

The school board had intended to have an SRO hired and in place at Lancaster Elementary School at the start of the current school year.

Loiacono said, "In an effort to keep safety and security a priority in our school district, the full board wholeheartedly supports an SRO in all of our district school buildings, indefinitely. Our administration has adequately allotted the necessary funds in this budget, to support an SRO, as soon as a qualified candidate is found."

Loiacono added, "Each year, moving forward, the WMRSD will have funds to maintain an SRO in Lancaster during the school year when students and staff are attending."

The school year consists of 180 school days, and the SRO contract will be similar to that of Officer Patrick Carr's contract, the current SRO at the high school.

Police Chief Tim Charbonneau will begin the hiring process along with input from administration at the elementary school.

Selectman Leon Rideout said, "We have started the process of looking for a candidate for the SRO position. Having the wrong SRO could be worse than having none."

Rideout said a candidate will most likely be looked for from within the department to start.

As for what makes a good candidate, Rideout said, "Whoever is hired needs to want to be there and be flexible. They need to be good with the students and deescalating situations."

Rideout said that everyone on the board supports the SRO position and that the only delay has been getting the Lancaster Police Department back up to full strength.

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