It’s Official!  Christine Brennan, the Principal of Manchester’s Beech Street Elementary School, will be New Hampshire’s next deputy commissioner of education. Her nomination by Governor Christopher Sununu was unanimously confirmed by the Executive Council.  She’s expected to start by the end of the month.

Brennan: It’s official

Brennan was first hired to work in Manchester’s schools as a first grade teacher at Henry Wilson Elementary School in nineteen eight seven.  She has also worked as a literacy specialist and assistant principal in the district.

Her soon to be boss, Commissioner Frank Edelblut commended Brennan saying she has worked with some of the state’s most challenged students and had a singular focus of helping them thrive.

Superintendent Dr. Bolgen Vargas thanked Brennan for her more than three decades of service to the district and said he was looking forward to working with her in a different capacity to serve Manchester’s students.

Brennan said she was excited to have the opportunity to make sure children across the state receive a quality education, saying, quote: 

“As educators, we play a critical part in children’s lives.“ 

She praised her Manchester colleagues for doing, quote:

“a wonderful job of putting kids first.”

Vargas: Gets more than he asked for

At its meeting on Tuesday night, the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the Board of School Committee’s request to redesign space at West High School to facilitate the relocation of the school district’s offices.  Superintendent Dr. Bolgen Vargas proposed a preliminary budget and plan for more than one point three million dollars renovations at the school board’s September twenty fifth meeting.  While the plan drew some questions and concerns, the board forwarded the outline to the Board of Aldermen to obtain permission to spend forty five thousand dollars for an architect to finalize plans and figures.

Gatsas: Proposal approved

The discussion among the mayor and aldermen was tense at times, leading Mayor Ted Gatsas to suggest Vargas take forty five thousand dollars out of the district’s budget and reimburse the funds once the bonds for the project were approved.  Others wanted to know if the district could use money from current projects to get things started and reimburse those funds once the West project began.  The short answer to that confusing discussion was “no,” both because the district had committed all of its project funds and because the Board of Mayor and Aldermen would have to approve the reallocation.

Vargas took some heat for correcting the record on available funds and disagreed with suggestions that the district had the money in his operating budget to pay for the design, stating that if he didn’t need the money, he wouldn’t be asking for it.  He also said he was wanted to move things along efficiently, hoping not to have to come back to the board each month for additional approvals. 

Long: Hoops eliminated

A motion by Board Chairman Pat Long to advance the district forty five thousand dollars from the city’s contingency account and be reimbursed after the bonds for the project were issued went down in flames with aldermen Tom Katsiantonis of Ward Eight, Kevin Cavanaugh of Ward One, Ron Ludwig of Ward Two and Christopher Herbert of Ward Four voting with Long, who said he didn’t want the district to have to jump through multiple hoops to move the project along.

Following that vote, Gatsas asked for a motion to approve up to one point four million dollars in bonding for the project so that Vargas knew he had the money to reimburse the forty five thousand dollars needed for the design work.  That passed unanimously.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

N H Healthy Families is sponsoring Rebound: The Chris Herren Story at Manchester’s Central High School on today.  Joined by Mayor Ted Gatsas, all students and faculty will hear this inspiring presentation where he shares his story of descent into addiction, a miraculous recovery and his mission to make a difference.


So, who’s is this guy, you ask?  He’s a basketball legend from Fall River, MA, who dreamed of one day playing for his hometown Boston Celtics.  An All-American, Herren  broke scoring records, was recruited by top colleges and was featured in Sports Illustrated.  He realized his lifelong dream playing in the N B A when he was drafted in 1 9 9 9 and was traded to the Boston Celtics after his rookie season.

Herren lost it all due to substance abuse.

Alcohol and drug-free since August 1st, 2008, he has refocused his life to put his sobriety and family above all else while helping others achieve the same through his work and inspiring story.  Gatsas said Herren’s presentation creates an opportunity to increase education and public awareness about the dangers of substance abuse and that he believed his message of hope and recovery will resonate with students and faculty.



Yesterday, we announced that Ward Six school board candidate Jon DiPietro had organized a candidate round table, moderated by Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut.  Today, we get to report, thanks to members of our Large and Loyal Listening Audience, that certain candidates are complaining they’ve not been invited to attend. 


In a Facebook post less than three hours after DiPietro announced the event, Ward Two candidate David Scannell actually shared the invitation on his own Facebook page, complaining that while it was billed as a non-partisan event, he had not been invited.  


He took the opportunity to accuse Edelblut of agreeing to appear with quote “only favored candidates,” thus violating his pledge to the Executive Council to be non-partisan.  Citing his quote “nice relationship” with Edelblut, he said he was going to call him.  That was several days ago and Scannell either hasn’t called or reported the results of the call.  He has, however, “updated” everybody that he doesn’t think Edelblut should attend because DiPietro’s opponent hadn’t yet announced he would attend.

Van Houten

Not to be outdone, Ward Twelve incumbent Connie Van Houten shared Scannell’s post and complaint within a half hour, to complain, herself, that she, too, had not been invited.  Of course, she also expressed her expectation Edelblut would honor his pledge of non-partisanship. 

In the comment threads below both posts, DiPietro, did his best, in vain, to explain that nobody had been specifically invited and that the invitation was sent to the press and shared on multiple Facebook sites as an open invitation, which is how Scannell found out about it in the first place, a fact that he and Van Houten apparently hoped people would overlook in reading their complaint, which a sad number of people apparently did as they cat called DiPietro for issuing an open invitation rather than specifically inviting each and every candidate.


NOTE:  After going off the air, we received this from another member of our Large and Loyal Listening Audience.  It’s a Facebook post from Ward Five School Board Candidate Kathy Staub, who saw the invitation on the morning after it was posted, but still complained she had not being invited. 

So I turn off Facebook last night to get some work done and this shows up this morning. The sponsor of this event is running for school board and he set this up without inviting all the candidates. He is a digital marketing professional. He probably possesses the skills to have done that. Was he intentionally exclusive? Did he tell the Commissioner he wasn’t inviting all the candidates

Have you ever seen so many people complain about not being invited to something after they were invited to something?  Click here for an editorial.

Upgrades will shut system down

Starting today and continuing through the tenth, city, town and D M V offices across the state will be unable to process auto registrations while state computer systems are upgraded.  Local offices will be open for all other business.

That’s NEWS from our own backyard!  Girard at large hour ___ is next!