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School board hands out numerous awards

Profile Bank's Ken Wilman honored with Champion for Children Award

KENNETH WILMAN (left) is congratulated by Principal Bonnie Jean Kuras (right) for receiving the Champion of Children Award. Tim Croes. (click for larger version)
June 15, 2011
ALTON — Several awards and recognitions were given out during the Alton School Board meeting on Monday, June 13.

Spencer Goossens, the son of board member Lynda Goossens, was presented with a $1,000 scholarship that was presented by John Widmer, a representative of the New Hampshire School Board Association.

Kenneth Wilman was presented with the New Hampshire School Administrators Champion for Children Award. The award is given to citizens who have given distinguished public service to benefit children and reflects the special service that these citizens give on a voluntary basis. Wilman was not selected at the state level, but was recognized as the SAU #72 recipient. Wilman is the President of Profile Bank.

Catherine Dix-Herndon was recognized as the Special Education Director of the Year, and Marlee Quann and Pamela Forbes were nominated for Teacher of the Year.

Several degrees were recognized: Kathy O'Blenes; Bachelor of Arts, Joan Rees; Master of Education, Stephanie Colcord; Master of Education, Cheryl Wood; Master of Arts, Deborah Sanville; Associates in Behavorial Studies and John Bishop; Certificate of High School Equivalency.

Denise Perry was presented with a Principal Endorsement, Sarah Spears was recognized for a track movement for a Bachelor of Science and Karen St. Laurent and Theresa Riordan were recognized for their Para-Educator II Certification.

Melissa McNeil, for math, Denise Perry, for MS language arts, and Sydney Leggett, for math, were recognized as Highly Qualified Teachers.

Sharon Rouleau was recognized for retiring as a Special Education Para-Educator.

The board held a pair of public hearings, one for accepting unanticipated revenues and one for withdrawal funds from the Buildings and Grounds Capital Reserve Fund.

O'Blenes informed the board that $3,100 was coming from the New Hampshire Electric Co-op for upgrades that were done to the gymnasium and the art room and that a total of $16,778.28 was coming back by using the E-rate program for internet and phone services.

Chair Terri Noyes asked if there was a way to keep these funds in the buildings and grounds funds as opposed to returning them back to the town, and O'Blenes said a warrant article would have to have been set up to do this.

There was no public input on the subject, and Noyes suggested drafting a warrant article in the future to use the funds from the E-rate system to pay for a new telephone system that wouldn't impact the tax rate. The board approved the acceptance of the unanticipated revenues.

The second public hearing was to withdraw a total of $44,989.31, with $14,989.31 being for the windows and bathrooms that were renovated last year and $30,000 for the conceptual design for improvements to Alton Central School, to be paid to Chip Krause of CMK Architects.

Barbara Howard questioned the $30,000 total to be paid to Krause for the design work, pointing out that he has completed the conceptual design at a cost of $20,000 and the 3D drawings at a cost of $3,000, but that he hasn't completed a cost estimate with a cost of $7,000.

Superintendent Kathy Holt said that the withdrawal is an authorization to take $30,000 out of buildings and grounds fund and that the $7,000 will be paid to Krause after he completes the cost estimate for the project.

Howard asked the board about a statement made by attorney Barbara Lowman that was made during the deliberative session in February about already paying Krause for the services.

Noyes said she couldn't recall if Lowman said that and that the board would look into it.

Howard also questioned when the contract ran out with Krause and when it was renewed.

Vice-chair Krista Argiropolis said that contract expired last June and was extended at a meeting in January, which was not an emergency meeting.

Howard suggested continually updating buildings and grounds projects, and Argiropolis suggested that the finance subcommittee that is part of the buildings and grounds committee work on having more transparency when it comes to financing.

Holt pointed out that there is no line item in the budget for architectural fees, and that paying for the services would need to come out of the Buildings and Grounds Capital Reserve Fund.

Howard questioned the board's actions on paying for the project, and Noyes asked Howard to move to another point.

Steve Miller questioned the board and asked if Krause was authorized to do work in excess of the $30,000 he was being paid for the conceptual design, and Noyes said that he is under contract for this project but nothing further at this time.

Miller asked about the cost of the renovation and asked if the cost would be around $250 per square foot. Holt said that the cost estimate will be coming from Krause for the project if it is put forward to a full vote before the town.

Miller questioned Krause creating the conceptual design with no financial limits, and Holt said that the building is designed with the state standards as guidelines.

Howard introduced using local contractors on the project as a way to save money, with a state moratorium on reimbursing projects. Holt said that the school isn't required to use union employees and that a general contractor would be hired for the project and that they may or may not use union subcontractors.

Steve Parker brought up the right to work issue, and Noyes asked for this discussion at another time.

Miller asked if the board would go out to bid for the renovation, and Argiropolis said the project wouldn't be put out to bid.

She explained that no school would put an architectural project out to bid and that the New Hampshire School Board Association has seen cost savings by continuing to work with the same architect on projects.

Miller asked if the school had a quid pro quo relationship with Krause.

Member Jeff St. Cyr took offense to his statement.

"There is no we do something for you, you do something for us relationship," St. Cyr said.

Parker questioned if Krause gets a percentage of the project cost. O'Blenes wasn't sure but she believes it is somewhere under 5 percent.

The board approved the withdrawal of $44,989.31 to pay for architectural services to be taken out of the Buildings and Grounds Capital Reserve Fund. Noyes said the balance in the fund prior to the withdrawal was $247,929.53.

Earlier in the meeting, the board approved a new para-educator and a liaison to work with classroom teachers during the summer months to work with children considered homeless by the educational definition.

Wyatt questioned why other organizations in town aren't utilized, and Leggett said that they are and that school is obligated to meet their education needs.

Principal Bonnie Jean Kuras said that the liaison is in contact with the town.

St. Cyr asked if a member of the administration could fulfill this role, and Leggett said that is too great of a risk to not have someone at the position.

Wyatt asked how many hours a week are required and was told that it is between four and fives hours a week.

The board approved the summer school staff with a total cost of $47,302, with the majority coming from district funds and some monies coming from a special education staff grant and Title I funding.

The board authorized Holt to accept oil bids that will be issued on June 22, with a one-day turnaround.

The financial report for May includes $630.321.93 in payables and a payroll of $486,498.02.

The enrollment at ACS is currently 569 students and the enrollment at Prospect Mountain High School is 261 students.

Noyes talked about the process of getting the school board meetings on DVD. Holt pointed out that minutes are the official record.

Argiropolis suggested mailing the DVDs to the public access channel and having them mailed back to the library with a return receipt to ensure delivery.

Argiropolis said that she is working with Bob Longabaugh to set up a system to get the meetings on DVD.

Kuras talked about the Winni Walk of Wonder, which raised more than $6,000 for different charities, involved about 400 students and was sponsored by the ACS National Junior Honor Society.

Kuras also spoke about a pen pal program that is being held in second grade between ACS students and students at Barnstead Elementary School.

Kuras said that the students from BES recently visited ACS and hung out with their pen pals.

Kuras said that this would be her last board meeting, and Noyes thanked her years of service on behalf of the board.

A party will be held for Kuras today, Thursday, at ACS from 3 to 5 p.m.

The next scheduled Alton School Board meeting will be held on Monday, June 27, at 6 p.m. at the ACS music room.

Tim Croes can be reached at tcroes@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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