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Hooksett residents hear about Pinkerton plan

HOOKSETT — About 200 residents and concerned parents came out for the Hooksett School District’s High School Informational Night Monday night, including Pinkerton Academy Headmaster Mary Anderson.

Chip Underhill of Pinkerton Academy said that Anderson and other officials attended to answer any questions parents had.

“We are open to a contract that starts next year, we are saying that it can be done by fall,” Underhill said.

Superintendent Charles Littlefield said that along with being informed that Pinkerton had sent a contract for the district’s consideration after news broke that negotiations had hit a snag, he has heard that Pinkerton would potentially be open to a memorandum of understanding if negotiations on a new contract are not finalized in time.

“Any MOU with Pinkerton would be different from the other MOUs we are negotiating. Either way, it’s tough because we are on a ticking clock,” Littlefield said.

Board Chairman Trisha Korkosz said that it was a good sign that the Pinkerton officials were in attendance.

“I think they feel they need to come out here to keep the door for next year open,” Korkosz said.

Board Vice-chairman David Pearl said he did not understand why Pinkerton officials were there.

“As far as I knew we were done with Pinkerton for next year, originally they were going to be here because the board anticipated having a contract, now I don’t know what they are doing here,” Pearl said.

For some parents in attendance, the fact that Pinkerton officials were there made them feel a deal was a possibility. Donna Marin has a son in 8th grade and a daughter in Central High School. She said her son was interested in Pinkerton but became disheartened when hearing negotiations hit a snag.

“When we found out Pinkerton might not be an option we got concerned, and then we started to wonder what the situation was. We got the impression Pinkerton was a done deal from the school board, than got upset when heard it might be gone. I do feel better the the Pinkerton people here, and while I hope something gets resolved I don’t think the school board will do it because there is a lot of political infighting going on,” Marin said.

Mike DeCosta has three children in the district, and said he went to the informational night to figure out what his children’s options are.

“We don’t want them to go to Manchester high schools, and we want to find an alternative high school. Manchester is too far, the curriculum doesn’t suit us and the standards have lowered over the years. Central was a great place years ago, but we want better for our kids. This meeting tonight is a step in the right direction. It’s very progressive and it’s nice to see the school board put together all this information,” DeCosta said.

The special meeting, which included a 10-slide Powerpoint presentation from Littlefield and a question and answer session with the school board was so well attended that several requests for more chairs were made while parents stood in the back of the Cawley Middle School cafeteria. Three large flat- screen TVs were appropriated to show the current wording of three Memorandums of Understanding with Bow, Pembroke and Londonderry while iPads were made available so those in the audience could follow along.

Littlefield said he couldn’t reveal anything about the contract sent to the district from Pinkerton, saying the information is currently protected under attorney client- privilege. Another meeting is scheduled for Tuesday night where the contract will be discussed publicly following a non-public meeting between the school board and district lawyer Ed Kaplan.

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