Ted Siefer's City Hall: School panel taps brother Gatsas to settle contract score
"It might be more like a lump of coal," Avard joked. "I don't know that he truly enjoys it. He's wiling do it. This kind of activity is not fun for anybody."
Kathy Staub is one of the more mild-mannered, reticent members of the school board, so it was surprising at Monday's meeting to hear her accused of advocating the dismemberment of children.
During the public comment period, two people called Staub out for allegedly suggesting at a recent meeting of the strategic planning committee, which she chairs, that students be "drawn and quartered" as a way of curbing truancy.
"She stated she wanted to draw and quarter students should they fail to take seriously the district's attendance requirements," Sandblade said. "Any student making such a statement would face immediate arrest. So why is it OK for a school board member, one who should be a positive role model, to utter such statements without consequence? Such statements are shocking, and she should step down."
This is the second school board meeting in a row that Staub has faced criticism for comments she made in other public forums. At the previous school board meeting, Mayor Gatsas faulted her for suggesting that the district's attempt to form its own Manchester Academic Standards was just a slight shift from Common Core. At least Staub has gained an audience.
The beginning of Monday's school board meeting was a bit like a class reunion; there were several faces we hadn't seen in awhile. It was the last scheduled full board meeting of the year, so before the newly elected board is sworn in in January, it was time to say goodbye to the seven departing members, including Donna Soucy and Jason Cooper, who resigned earlier in the year.
Gelinas was first elected to the school board in 1973 at age 22. He served for 10 years and was again elected to the school board 30 years later, in 2003.
"I didn't think I was going to do that," he said. "I'll simply say thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve with all of you."
Ted Siefer is the City Hall reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter: @tbsreporter.
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