Manchester’s schools will be in session today, but Manchester’s School Board won’t be. The typical Monday night meetings of the board and its committees were scheduled for tomorrow in light of the holiday the board saw fit not to give to students and teachers, but thought okay to give to itself. Yes, we know managing school calendars can be a tricky thing, especially in this city. But, given the feedback we’ve received from members of our listening audience, we thought we’d bring the school board’s holiday for us but not for you decision to your attention.
One guy who will be at work today is Mayor Ted Gatsas. He’ll be at West High School to promote the fourth annual “Make the Grade” competition. Gatsas worked with AutoFair and the NH Fisher Cats to develop a car giveaway to a Manchester high school junior or senior who makes the honor roll for the first, second and third quarters of the school year. All the kids who do that get their name tossed into the proverbial hat and from there four winners are drawn from each of the city’s three traditional high schools. The twelve finalists are given a key to the car at Fisher Cats Stadium and the kid with the key that starts the car wins. Gatsas had planned to be at West on September twenty fifth to kick things off, but that’s the day the school went into lock-down, so they had to reschedule.
Speaking of the lock-down, we note with some interest that there doesn’t appear to be a non-public session on the item to discuss security matters as advertised by Superintendent Debra Livingston. We’ll look into it, but who knows, maybe they’ll do the debriefing in public session. Don’t hold your breath though.
Oh, one more thing while we’re on the topic of schools, we have learned that following our news reports about the Alton and Londonderry school districts receiving a waiver from the Smarter Balanced Assessment for their eleventh graders that those school districts heard from the office of Mayor Gatsas. Apparently, Gatsas is curious to know how they got the waiver and will be speaking with officials in Alton this week. We’d be surprised if he wasn’t planning on similar conversations in Londonderry, but we’ll find out. According to Alton School Board Member Krista Argiropolis, U S Secretary of Education Arne Duncan approved the waiver two months ago, but somebody forgot to notify the district until a couple weeks ago. Once it was confirmed, it was publicly announced at their school board meeting last Monday.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Looks like Timberlane Regional School District Superintendent Earl “Megalo” Metzler is stooping to new lows to intimidate and obstruct Donna Green, the outspoken school board member whose questions and facts have shown this guy to be a mendacious manipulator. Metzler, who falsely accused Green of harassing staff, is now accusing Green of directly contacting staff in violation of school board policy. Seems that Green emailed a staff member at the district’s community television station to inquire about why sound was not coming from video of a particular school board meeting she wanted to watch online. She was able to get sound from several other online meetings and, therefore, thought there might be something wrong with the uploaded video. According to an email she received from Metzler’s secretary this constituted quote “communicating with district staff members to obtain free professional services for personal reasons.”
The email also alleges it’s not the first time, either. Funny thing is, Green’s husband Arthur, a member of the budget committee, is an I T guy, so she gets her professional services from him free of charge whenever she wants. Funnier thing is, Mr. Green actually identified the problem. Seems that the folks Mrs. Green was allegedly trying to get “free professional services for personal business” from recorded the meeting on only one audio channel, which is somewhat unusual, and that once her settings were changed to adjust for this anomaly, the video played just fine. I’m thinking Mr. Green should send Megalo Metzler the bill for uncovering the mistake made by district staff. Wonder how many other people had the same problem, which is an important question, by the way, because the Timberlane School Board’s pathetic minutes have time stamp references to the meeting videos. So, if there is no audio, there actually are no recorded minutes. Funny how that works, huh.
Hooksett School Board Member John Lyscars has filed a formal complaint with Manchester Central High School Principal John Vaccarezza and the Manchester Police Department against head coach Chris Laberge of the Central Boys Varsity Soccer Team. Seems that the coach appeared at a recent boys junior varsity game and had some choice words for the referees while standing next to Lyscars. Lyscars approached him about his behavior and says the coach verbally attacked him and another parent who was with him for asking him to tone it down a bit. Vaccarezza has referred the matter to the athletic directors for the school and the district for further investigation.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next.