Friday, October 31, 2008

Teachers' union endorses Cogswell, Glahn, and Williams

From the text of a letter being sent out by the CEA:
Dear Colleagues,

On Tuesday evening October 21st the Concord School Board Candidates Forum was held at Concord High School. I would like to thank all CEA members in attendance. Following the forum, members met to evaluate the performances of each of the candidates on the many questions and issues placed before them. The ad hoc committee was able to unanimously agree that Clint Cogswell would be the best candidate for the one-year open position. John Stohrer, who was not in attendance, is also running for the one-year position.

The committee was also able to agree that Bill Glahn and Eric Williams would be the best choices for two of the three-year seats that are open. The committee was unable to agree on a third candidate for the other open seat. All members present felt that Clint Cogswell, Bill Glahn, and Eric Williams were the best prepared to be on the Board. The other candidates present had some good moments during the questioning but often showed a lack of background and understanding on many of the issues. The following is a brief outline of each of the candidates, which was edited from a Concord Monitor article published on September 16th. Please vote on November 4th.

Two candidates, Clint Cogswell and John Stohrer, are vying for the one-year vacancy that will open when president Betty Hoadley retires at the end of the year. John Stohrer is a former school board member. Clint Cogswell retired as principal of Walker School in 2006.

Six candidates are running for the three, three-year seats.

Bill Glahn is wrapping up a three-year term on the board. He decided to run again because he wants to provide newer members with institutional knowledge, especially when it comes to contract negotiations as well as ideas to consolidate the city's elementary schools.

Kevin Fleming is a doctor at Concord Hospital. His family settled in Concord almost three years ago after moving around the region. Fleming is running to make sure attempts to help struggling students will not come at the cost of programs for gifted kids.

Jack Dunn grew up in New Jersey and came to Concord about a year ago. He helps run a fire protection company with offices in Salem. His wife, a medical librarian at Concord Hospital, suggested he run for the school board. The couple thinks it's a good way to contribute to their new community and to ensure a good education for their son, who is 16 months old.

Paul Halvorsen served as city councilor during the late 1990s. He is currently assistant city prosecutor. Halvorsen is also a retired member of the Air Force, and feels that being on the school board will allow him to serve his community. Paul does not have any kids of his own but his nieces and nephews attend city schools. During the forum, Halvorsen admitted that he is in favor of the many tax cap initiatives that have been springing up around the state. He does not have any kids of his own, but his nieces and nephews attend city schools.

Eric Weiner and his wife moved to Concord last year because they liked the city's schools. His children attend Rundlett Middle School and Broken Ground Elementary. Weiner is a stay-at-home dad and is running for the board because he wants to give back. He feels everybody needs to get the best education that we can afford to provide.

Eric Williams is running for the school board for the second time. He has strong feelings about two issues that will face the new board: elementary school consolidation and contract negotiations with the teachers union. He feels that the classroom teacher is the most important part of education in terms of student success.

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