Two candidates vie for school board seat in Merrimack
Incumbent George Markwell will take on newcomer Cinda Guagliumi for the single, three-year term.
He was a member of the school board from 2005-2008, and has been serving his second term since 2011. Markwell previously sat on the school district budget committee from 2010-2011.
His experience on the board, budget committee and other town panels have provided him with the understanding of what it takes to achieve a good education while maintaining a fiscally responsible budget, according to Markwell.
"I think work needs to start with contracts. The school board must continue pressuring the state legislators to provide a contribution pension plan for our staff going forward," said Markwell.
"I think all districts are facing similar issues around Common Core and funding of their budgets," he said. "What will the true cost of Common Core be, and how will it impact our students? The board has a duty to review curriculum and policy. With Common Core, the local control is questionable, and it threatens higher standards we want for our students."
"Capital repairs must be in line with enrollment and the taxpayers' ability to pay for them," he said. "I will carefully review proposals to make sure they are in the best interest of students and the taxpayers we represent."
Guagliumi, of 22 Ministerial Dr., is a professional services manager for
She has degrees in business administration and organizational leadership, and currently serves on the Merrimack School District Budget Committee as chairman.
"As a mother of two young children in the Merrimack School District, I want them — and all of our town's children — to have a quality education that prepares them for a successful future," said Guagliumi. "I understand that we must be very smart with our resources and must respect our taxpayers and their ability to support our schools."
"One of the largest contributors to our costs and our quality is our staff. A priority this year is to update the process we use to evaluate teacher performance," she said. "It needs to be consistent with state goals, as well as being a fair measurement tool for our administrators."
She is committed to doing her homework, performing careful analysis and understanding different viewpoints before making decisions, said Guagliumi.
"The current budget on the ballot for the voters' approval is over $68 million, and is up 2.63 percent from the prior year," she noted.