SAU 36 teachers seek to engage with the public



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The teachers union is asking WMRSD teachers to wear this button as a way to engage with the public. (click for larger version)
May 25, 2011
WHITEFIELD — "We seek better communication and a favorable vote on a teachers' contract in March 2012," WMRHS social studies teacher Jon "Jay" Dugan-Henriksen told the WMRSD school board on Monday night. Teachers' union president Dugan-Henriksen gave each board member a blue campaign-style button, identical to those that all District teachers are being encouraged to wear.

"Ask me why I teach in SAU 36 — White Mountains Regional School District," the button reads.

"We have fences to mend and bridges to build," Dugan-Henriksen explained. "We hope to engage with the public."

District voters turned down the proposed teachers' contract in March, but supported the support staff's contract.

The board also held two executive sessions. The first was held to discuss SAU Interim Superintendent Dr. Harry Fensom's recommendations for administrative nominations. When the board returned to public session, it tabled any approvals until its June 13 meeting.

A second executive session was held in which board member Rep. Herb Richardson recused himself.

His daughter, Kate Richardson, the WMRHS choral music teacher, said in public session that when she was appointed to be the track coach she signed a contract to be paid a stipend of $3,029. When her first paycheck arrived, Richardson complained it was for substantially less than expected.

When Richardson asked why, she was told that there was an error had been made in the contract that both she and Dr. Fensom had signed. A new lower figure had been penciled in, without her being notified or agreeing to it.

Richardson asked the board to pay her the dollar total listed on the original signed contract.

The board went into executive session and later agreed in public session to seek a legal opinion.

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