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Still no vice-chair for Prospect Mountain board

August 24, 2011
ALTON — The Prospect Mountain High School Board met on Monday, Aug. 22, and despite having it on every agenda since the election in March, decided not to elect a vice-chair.

Terri Noyes requested that the board vote on the issue using the state statute, "one man, one vote."

Chair Eunice Landry opened the meeting with a prepared statement asking that Noyes withdraw her request, and Noyes declined to withdraw her request.

Without a full board in attendance (Krista Argiropolis was not in attendance), Noyes asked that the issue once again be delayed until a full board was present.

Noyes claimed that in the past, members of the Barnstead side of the board were instructed to have made a decision on whom they were going to vote for prior to the meeting.

Diane Beijer objected to Noyes' statement, and deliberation on the issue will be held at the next meeting.

With the "one man, one vote" statute, the Alton and Barnstead boards split up and deliberate separately.

There are 10 members on the board, five from Barnstead and five from Alton, and if a five-to-five vote is presented, mediation is the next step.

If mediation doesn't work out, the issue is then presented to the New Hampshire Department of Education.

The two nominations casts for the position of vice-chair at a previous meeting were for Jeffrey St. Cyr and Lynda Goossens.

Goossens attempted to nominate Sandy Wyatt for the position, but she politely declined.

During this debate, member Kathy Preston asked the board to consider that they are serving the children of the communities of Alton and Barnstead and they should leave the squabbling out of the meeting.

Shirley Lane, the treasurer at PMHS, submitted her letter of resignation effective on Aug. 31, but the board refused to accept the letter of resignation and they are currently in mediation to resolve the issue.

Superintendent Paul Bartolomucci announced that the anticipated enrollment at PMHS when they open their doors for the first day of school on Monday, Aug. 29, will be 541 students.

This number is a small increase from the enrollment at the end of the year, which was 531 students.

The split between Alton and Barnstead is 281 students from Alton and 260 students from Barnstead.

Bartolomucci also announced that the tower constructed near the tennis courts that is being used to gather data for the wind power feasibility is up and running.

Principal Jay Fitzpatrick announced that there are seven new teachers at PMHS, with six being full-time and one being a long-term substitute teacher.

He also talked about the progress of creating common final exams for the core classes; math, science, English, etc., and a senior project where seniors will be paired up with incoming freshmen students as part of a mentoring program.

Fitzpatrick announced that 14 out of the possible 16 slots were filled during the summer school program, with a pair of students completing their requirements to obtain their high school diploma.

Beijer asked about the community service program, and was told by Fitzpatrick that it will be limited to juniors and seniors during this first year.

Noyes asked about the cost, and was told that it is about $2,000 for the faculty advisor.

Fitzpatrick announced that PMHS is being awarded a NHIAA Sportsmanship Award.

St. Cyr talked about funding a math position using fund benefits for one year through attrition. The position was previously funded through a federal grant that recently ran out.

The board approved a bid for snow removal totaling $24,500 by R & K Landscaping. The costs associated with this bid are for a loader at a rate of $85 an hour and the use of a bobcat with a cost of $45 an hour.

The board approved changes to the lunch program that are being mandated by the Federal Government.

The cost for childrens' lunches will go from $2.25 to $2.50, the cost of milk will go from $.35 to $.40, the cost for teachers' lunches will go from $3 to $3.50, the cost of childrens' breakfast will go from $1.25 to $1.75 and the cost of adult breakfast will go from $1.50 to $1.75.

The 2013 Budget calendar was discussed by the board. The budget committee will meet throughout the month of September and into October.

The budget will be presented on Oct. 18, and on Nov. 1, the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 budget will presented and a final version is required by Dec. 6 that will go to the ballot.

A two percent increase for the staff is being recommended by the budget committee.

The issue of finding a new well was discussed at length. Gilford Well has been unable to find a good spot for a new well.

Preston suggested bringing a friend who could simply use the "dowsing" process to locate ground water by way of a "devining rod."

The issue with the two wells on the site of the high school is that one well only can draw 30 gallons and the other can barely draw anything, and all of the water is filtered.

St. Cyr and Bartolomucci disagreed about the improvements to the school during the summer months.

St. Cyr was disappointed in the improvements that were done to the school during the summer months and pointed to several issues that he says as an area of concern: The air conditioning system that was hit by lighting, which will cost $8,000 to fix, the server room, where the computers are dying, with a cost of $8,000 and the voicemail system that is dying with a cost of $6,800 to replace.

"I am not pleased with some of the renovations," St. Cyr said. "But there are some positive things."

St. Cyr also talked about improperly locking up the storage locker, with a cost of $90 a month.

St. Cyr brought a piece of grass that he pulled out of the infield as an example of improper maintenance to the fields.

When St. Cyr questioned the SAU office about maintenance during the summer months, he was told that the custodians don't work outside during the summer months, and the company contracted to the mow the fields doesn't have maintaining the infield worked into their contract.

He pointed out that if the field was simply raked every once in a while, it would prevent the seeds from settling and growing in the infield of the baseball field.

Wyatt brought up the issue of the hurdles being outside for the summer months and replacing the stainless steel bolts on the hurdles with normal bolts that are beginning to rust.

St. Cyr asked Bartolomucci if Business Administrator Chuck Stuart brought forward an e-mail at Buildings and Grounds meeting several weeks ago that was sent directly to Bartolomucci.

Bartolomucci said that he forwarded the e-mail to Stuart, but members of the committee said that it wasn't discussed in detail at the buildings and grounds committee meeting, as St. Cyr requested.

Members of the committee claimed that Stuart said, "he was working on the list."

St. Cyr questioned how often administrators walk the school and fields.

Fitzpatrick said that he walks the halls of the school every day, and Bartolomucci claimed that the athletic director walks the fields but is in and out during the summer months.

Other business

The board approved the senior class trip to Lake George with tentative dates of May 25 through May 27, and they approved a foreign exchange student, who will be staying in Barnstead, pending confirmation that the student is coming through PAX and will be insured through PAX.

The board was presented with an updated version of the student/parent handbook, which is available online through the PMHS Web site at www.pmhschool.com.

Some of the changes included in the new handbook are the establishment of a homeroom period, a new bell schedule and removal of the wording requiring midterms and final exams to count for 10 percent of the final grade.

The board discussed an update on the administrative insurance.

With the school changing to Primex for insurance, Bartolomucci isn't covered under their policy.

Stuart did some research and found a company out of state that provides Business Management Indemnity Insurance.

Beijer suggested that the board look into going back to LGC for insurance if the cost savings are negated by this additional insurance.

During the second pubic input, Richie Lane suggested that the board look into having a storage tank as a way to fix the problems with the irrigation and water system at PMHS.

The next scheduled Prospect Mountain High School Board meeting is on Tuesday, Sept 6, at 6:30 p.m. at the PMHS library.

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

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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