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School Superintendent Jack Robertson retiring after 20 years


October 25, 2012
OSSIPEE — At the Oct. 15 Governor Wentworth Regional School Board meeting held at Ossipee Central School it was announced that Superintendent Jack Robertson would be retiring at the end of the current school year.

After 20 years of serving as the district's superintendent School Board Chair Stacy Trites said that it was, "much to our good fortune [that he stayed on as long as he did], he's done a lot for us and we wouldn't be the school district we are today without his presence."

The district will post the position internally for the remainder of the month before seeking other possible candidates.

Another bit of regrettable news for the district is that Jim Rines, school board representative of Ossipee, will not be seeking reelection when his term expires this March. Rines has served the board faithfully for 20 years.

In addition to Rines' position on the board three more seats will be open for candidates to vie for as well.

The terms for Effingham representative Diane Drelick and Donald Meader, a member-at-large, both expire in March, though it has not been announced whether either plans to rerun.

Given Kathleen King's resignation earlier in the school year the district will also be looking to fill the seat of New Durham representative to the school board.

However, for now the at large members of the board unanimously voted to appoint Wendi Fenderson, former New Durham representative, to fill the vacancy for the next five months until March elections.

While several New Durham residents submitted their names for the spot, on behalf of the at-large members (the only board members who could vote on this decision per NH RSA) Charlene Seibel said Fenderson was chosen because of her recent experience as a board member, familiarity with the board's policies, and most importantly because the district's voters had already voted for her once.

For any of the four open seats the filing period begins Jan. 23 and runs through Feb. 1.

In that same vein the Board set its 2013-14 budget timeline. At its Dec. 3 meeting the proposed budget will be presented in entirety in the hope of obtaining preliminary budget adoption. Final budget adoption is expected to occur at the board's Jan. 7 meeting and the district's Deliberative Session is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 2.

Other news

Assistant Superintendent Kathleen Cuddy-Egbert reported that since hearing from representatives of the Middleton School Board about the possibility of the town's 7-12 grade students attending Kingswood Regional Middle and High Schools, she and Robertson have been in touch with them.

Middleton school board has now discussed their intention of pursuing new opportunities for its roughly 150 middle and high school students with Farmington, where Middleton junior and high school students currently attend the Henry Wilson Memorial School and Farmington High School respectively.

Farmington has recently developed a new Area Agreement to which they will want a prompt reply. Cuddy-Egbert said that the Governor Wentworth administration would be providing more information to Middleton to help that school board with its decision.

The board is interested in learning of what kind of support the proposal is getting from Middleton residents.

Any decision to include Middleton junior and high school students into the district as tuition-paying students would have to go to the state before it could take effect.

The Middleton School Board will return after the board has had a chance to review Robertson's forthcoming analysis that is to include an abstract of what an agreement with Middleton might look like, the financial impact of such an agreement, and factors such as student capacity and staffing.

Cuddy-Egbert also spoke of N.H. Commissioner of Education Virginia Barry's recent decision to move forward with the No Child Left Behind waiver concept regardless of whether or not the N.H. Department of Education provides the waiver.

Barry's intention, Cuddy-Egbert said, is to move away from shaming schools and taking a more supportive approach.

The concept includes four key principles such as preparing students to be college and career ready, to have differentiated recognition for school districts, to implement effective instruction and leadership, and to reduce duplication and unnecessary paperwork.

In part these principles mean the implementation of personalized education for students and putting into action the Common Core Standards curriculum, both of which Cuddy-Egbert said Governor Wentworth is ahead of the curve on.

"Whether or not we get the waiver," said Cuddy-Egbert, "this is the direction we are going in."

The school board will meet again on Monday evening, Nov. 5, beginning at 7 p.m. at Tuftonboro Central School.

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