Girls, Giggles, and Glamour

by Ashley Iannaco and Alexandra Scafidi

Make-up might be intimidating to most girls, but we learned first-hand about the right way, and the wrong way, to apply it.  As part of their summer teen program “Hooked on Teens,” Nesmith library in Windham hosted a make-up and skin care clinic on Saturday, August 5.  The class was taught by professionals Carolyn Wilt and Gwen Goodman from Mary Kay cosmetics.  With the consultants’ help twelve teenage girls learned how to accentuate their natural beauty with some subtle, yet youthful make-up, ranging from colorful shades of eye shadow and liner, to the diverse tones of foundation.

When we arrived, we first spoke about the skin care products we were presently using, and then we got to sample many moisturizers, cleansers, and exfoliants to help improve our skin’s radiance and glow.  We were taught to always wash your face in an upward motion, because your pores face down.  We were also taught to wash your face whenever you brush your teeth; it’s just a good way to remember.  Once we learned how to clean our skin, we perfected the rest of our make-up including foundation, eye shadow, eye liner, mascara and lip gloss.  Everyone seemed to enjoy playing with the makeup and trying on different shades. 

We feel that it is a parent’s decision as to when girls should be allowed to wear makeup.  When girls are ready for makeup, we recommend that they get tips for putting it on.  It is important to know how to take care of your skin and put a minimal amount of make-up on so that you don’t hide your natural beauty behind layers of cosmetics. 

This class was a lot of fun and it really helped us to learn the best way to take care of our skin and apply make-up that matches our skin tone. 

Nesmith Skin Care 0001:  The girls learning the proper way to wash their face. 

Nesmith Skin Care 0009 & 0010:  Consultant Carolyn Wilt helps the girls apply eye shadow.

Nesmith Skin Care 0011:  Eyeliner is not as easy as it looks.

Nesmith Skin Care 0015:  The finished products.  From left: Alex Scafidi, Ashley Iannaco, Kelly Michal, and Lindsey Wolfe

Nesmith Skin Care 0016:  The finished products.  From left:  Kelly Michal, Anna Cino, Amanda Reny, Brittany Fetzner, and Denise Jones

Bad News Forces a Scramble

by Lynne Ober

Windham voters approved two warrant articles for their high school.  One was for the purchase of land, including a road and site work, and the other for the school.

As soon as the land purchase was approved, site plans and school designs became areas of concern and work.  With Team Design, who had worked extensively with the district on this project before the warrants were passed, became the architects.

Now the bids have come back and the project is between $12 and $13 million too much.  A number of questions were asked, but not answered about how this could happen.

Carl Dubois from Harvey Construction, the construction management firm for the high school, has acted as agent / consultant for the school district.  His role was to assist the architects, prepare bid packages, ensure that the project was put out to bid and review the bids that came back.

Once the dust cleared from bids Dubois’ role morphed into reducing costs and assisting with the evaluation of what those cost reductions would mean.

According to the school board Harvey Construction is in the process of compiling and verifying all of the bids that have come in for the site and building for the high school project.

“Initial analysis has shown that the bids are in the range of $12 - $13 million higher than the budgeted costs for the high school,” School Board Chairman Bruce Anderson confirmed at the school board meeting.

Dubois and other Harvey staff are analyzing the cause for the increase, and are also in the process of identifying all potential cost savings through value engineering and potential change in scope of the project.

According to Dubois, the building, as bid, is $34,000,000 and the road and site work, as bid, are $11,000,000 for a total of $45,000,000.  Original estimates for the road and site work were in the $5,500,000 range.

The road, which was recently approved by Selectmen, has undergone a number of changes including the mandate that utilities be put underground.  [See previous Pelham~Windham News article on this topic]  Months ago the school board requested that utilities be aboveground, but Selectmen did not agree.  

Dubois told the school board that while value engineering will help reduce the costs, it would not be able to trim the total amount from the bids.  Dubois described value engineering as a process of taking a design, and optimizing or altering it based on several factors, one of which is selection and cost of materials.  “The result will be a design that provides the same function and performance at reduced cost.”

According to SAU personnel, “Harvey will be presenting various options to the School Board for their consideration.  Once an option is identified, Harvey will provide a Guaranteed Maximum Price for that option.  The Guaranteed Maximum Price eliminates the risk of cost overruns for that specified scope of work.  Potential scenarios that will be presented to the board will include an initial construction phase coupled with additional phase(s) based on increased funding.  GMPs will be provided for those potential additional phases.”

The bottom line question is can the school still open in 2008?  School Board member Bruce Anderson flatly stated that if work isn’t started in August, the school won’t open in 2008.

As a result of this latest snag, some residents have posted on the Windham message board a desire to once again try to work with Pelham or Salem on a Coop High School.

Some Windham residents express themselves with signs.

Board Behavior and Practices to be Reviewed

by Lynne Ober

Pelham School Board Chairman Mike Conrad announced that the Pelham School Board would jointly review its policies and the New Hampshire School Board Association’s (NHSBA) best practices for school board members. 

This agenda item has been added because there have been numerous incidents where school board members have acted outside of their role.

The reality is that a school board member only has authority when acting within the joint confines of total school board action.  According to NHSBA written best practices for an individual school board member, “A fundamental rule, often not understood by new board members and sometimes not followed by experienced board members, is that they have no authority beyond that exercised at the board table.  When the meeting is called to order each member is empowered with the right to vote on each issue.  When the meeting is adjourned, that power is gone.”

Pelham School Board has adopted a policy that states, “All powers of the school board lie in its’ action as a corporate body.  Individual board members may not exercise authority over District affairs.

An individual board member, including the chairperson, has power only when the board by vote has delegated authority to him or her.”

Conrad wants the board to jointly review their practices and to agree to follow policies.  

NHSBA makes it clear how the public interacts with school boards under best practices.  “School Board meetings are meetings of the board in public.  School Board meetings are not meetings of the public with the board.  Your constituents have the right to see board action in public but are not entitled to interrupt the proceedings of the board.  Citizens do not have a ‘right’ to speak at a board meeting.  Most boards do allow a reasonable limited amount of time for citizen input at the beginning or end of a meeting.  For hot topics a separate public input session for the board to listen to community members opinions are not only appropriate, but to be encouraged.”

Appropriate interaction with the public has also been an issue for the Pelham School Board with the majority of the members wanting items from the public on the agenda and the minority disagreeing with that practice.

Frequently school boards, as other elected boards, do hold public hearings to discuss hot topics and to hear from their constituents.  This is an opportunity for the public to speak without asking to be on the agenda.

According to Conrad, he wants the board to basic principles of being a good school board member.  He cited these as:

  1. No member of the school board has any authority outside of the school board meetings.
  2. Any communication from board members must go through the Superintendent.
  3. Any communication from a school district employee to the board must go through the superintendent.
  4. Any request may be asked, "Is this the will of the board?”  If not, the request will be put on the next agenda and discussed as a board.

As Conrad pointed out, Pelham School Board policies cover the role, authority, and duties of each and every school board member. 

One of the important pieces of those policies states, “The decisions of the board shall be binding until rescinded by the board at a duly called regular or special meeting.”  Because decisions are made by a majority vote, it is conceivable that an individual member might not be in the majority and, thus might not agree with the decision, but according to established policy that member is still bound to support the majority.

Conrad is expecting to have a lively discussion on the policies and practices relating to this topic at the next school board meeting.

According to NHSBA, “The leadership team should be focused on end results.  The board should ask questions of What?, Why?, How Much? and How Well?  Board action should be focused on Mission, Goals, Policies, Standards, Advocacy, and Communication.  The method the board uses to give direction is that of the vote, at a properly convened meeting of the board as a whole.”

“We need to be in agreement as a board on accomplishing the mission, goals, writing policies, setting standards, and communicating with each other.  Recently it seems that we might be a bit off track,” Conrad concluded.

Tennis Tournament under Hot Skies

by Lynne Ober

Every year Pelham has a summer instructional tennis program taught by Phyllis Morris, who loves to share her love of tennis with any and everyone.

Georgia Pendergast age 7 of Pelham.

The tournament date is set early and looked forward to all season. 

This year Mother Nature threw a red-hot monkey wrench into the plans – she scheduled a summer scorcher for tournament day.

“I wish we could have a better day, but I hate to cancel because everyone is so excited,” worried Morris.

So with temperatures predicted to break records, the tennis tournament kicked off promptly at 8:30 a.m.  “At least we are starting early,” smiled Morris.

The matches were hotly (pun intended) contested from the smallest to the largest competitor.  They all came to show off their best tennis skills.

Morris thanked both Chunky’s Cinema Pub and McDonald’s for supporting the tennis tournament.  “Both groups are wonderful.”

As the morning wore on, many participants went for a slow, cooling run in the sprinklers.

If you missed the tournament this year, try to stop by next year and watch the intensity, the sportsmanship, and the great tennis.

Approximately 70 children participated in various age divisions.  These children had to hit a series of 50 balls and were scored on how many were hit into the proper area.  The results are as follows:

5 and 6 year old girls

First, Kayli Keenan

Second, Amira Eid

Third, Yanique Rigaud

5 and 6 year old boys

First, Brian Schwab

Second, Hunter Duggan

Third, Tyler Longo

7 and 8 year old girls

First, Pooja Puttigampala

Second, Allyson Muller

Third, Maggie Barros

7 and 8 year old boys

First, Joey Halpin

Second, Andrew Fyfe

Third, Glenn Lueteritz

9, 10, and 11 year old girls

First, Hanna Schaffer

Second, Xandria Perron

Third, Mary Kate McCarthy

9, 10, and 11 year old boys

First, TJ Riguad

Second, Liam Muller

Third, Kyle Owens

Mackenzie Wagner age 4

The following is the result of the regular tournament play for the 12 and 13year old boys and girls.  The children had to play regular games to complete a set:

First place, boys

Aditia Puttigampale

Runner Up

Matthew Smith

Consolation Round winner

Adam Duff Marsh

First place, girls

Katie Smolko

Consolation Round winner

Jennifer Hunt

Houses Proposed for a Section of Camp Runnels

by Lynne Ober

Rumors have floated about for months, but finally houses may become reality on a section of Girl Scout Camp Runnels in Pelham

The Andover-based Girl Scouts Council is selling approximately 12 acres of wooded land.  Although Spar and Spindle Council reported a profit of $37,000 last year, they have deemed these acres as not needed.

Site plan showing housing layouts.

Unfortunately when Pelham’s Conservation Commission has looked at protected acreage in the past, they have included the acres in Camp Runnels.  This will be a shock to their land protection plan as well as a shock to people wishing to protect the wetlands around this land.

The approximately 12 acres would be home to nine new housing lots along Webster Avenue.

The Pelham Planning Board is working with the developer on his site plan for the new homes.  Already the board has heard a number of emotional pleas against building on this property.

Although the developer contends that his development will not impact protected aquifers, the development is near Little Island Pond and questions and concerns about the impact on this protected pond have already been raised.  Residents contend that building has already had an impact on the quality of water in Little Island Pond and that any additional building will have more negative impact.

Because there is no town water or sewer, the proposed homes would each have a drinking well for water and a septic system.  A primary concern will be whether or not the development will have an impact on the water quality of Little Island Pond.

But it is not all clear sailing for the Girl Scouts or the developer.  According to Town Administrator Tom Gaydos, there are concerns that the Girl Scouts should be paying property taxes for the 300 acres in Camp Runnels.  Gaydos believes that if they have development plans, they should be treated as any other developer who would be making a profit.  He also noted that the Town has sent emergency personnel when needed to the camp even through they are not paying taxes.  “That has a cost to all taxpayers,” he noted.

The Girl Scouts fired back with a statement that this was a one time deal and that the Girl Scouts allow the Fire Department to use the camp in the winter for training drills and ask no payment for that usage.

Long time Girl Scout and Girl Scout Leader Eleanor Burton spoke against the proposed development at the June Planning Board meeting.  She spoke for others who also wanted the area preserved.

The developer has asked for a number of waivers that the Planning Board must rule on.  Among them is a request not to have to provide a landscaping plan for the site.

Overall site plan showing location of Little Island Pond to new housing development.

Not Your Typical Summer Job

by Diane Chubb

Two students from Pelham High School are getting a taste of the working world this summer, working for Adam Steel, Pelham's Director of Technology.  And the taxpayers in Pelham are reaping the benefits by getting more for their money. 

Steel is responsible for maintaining approximated 550 computer devices owned by the Pelham School District.  He needs to ensure that teachers and students have access to technology that is reliable, capable, and fosters learning through the use of computer technology.

In the past, the District has contracted with two companies to provide the support needed at the rate of $35 an hour.

Lauren Maruca and Shannon Mansfield

“It became apparent in my first year on the job that the taxpayers of Pelham were not getting enough efficiency out of the approximately $60,000 budgeted for this purpose,” said Steel. 

Additionally, Steel determined that the passage of the technology plan by Pelham voters would require more man-hours to implement.  “We are attempting to rebuild the entire computer network in one summer- consolidating three sets of servers into one, replacing all network hardware, migrating user files to a completely new system, etc.  Something had to give.”

Steel's solution?  Hire students to do the job. 

“Students make sense for many reasons.  First, it is the vision of our District to prepare students to be lifelong learners.  Students working for our District earn the opportunity to receive on-the-job training in the computer field.  They also receive work experience working in a situation where they have great responsibility.”

Lauren Maruca and Shannon Mansfield were the first students selected to work during this summer.  Steel informed each of the students that the job they accepted was not a typical high school job.  Although the job would allow them a lot of flexibility, it also required that they be trusted to work independently at times and to find ways to solve problems on their own.

Neither Maruca or Mansfield had much computer experience prior to taking their jobs this summer.  “I use computers every day, like most teens, but I didn't know much about the technical side,” said Maruca. 

Mansfield added, “Adam warned us that we would be computer geeks by the end of the summer.” 

Both girls love their jobs and the flexibility offered, but they also acknowledge the responsibility that goes with it.  Maruca especially appreciates the flexibility because she on the Junior Olympic softball team.  “I would not be able to have a regular summer job because I would not be able to leave to attend practice,” she said. 

Although neither of the students expects to pursue a technical computer career, they like that they are learning more about computers.  Maruca would like to be a veterinarian, and acknowledges that more and more of the field utilizes computers. 

Finding workers was not difficult.  Steel found that there was a large pool of students from which to choose. 

The students are not the only ones who benefit from their summer jobs.  As the students are paid $9 for the first year they work for the District, the town saves about $25 an hour (including District costs for Social Security and other fees not included in their hourly wage) over using the outside contractor.  As a result, the District will get a more efficient delivery of technical support to staff and students. 

“The purpose of this move is not to save money - we expect to spend the full $60,000 this year, instead, we are looking to provide a much higher level of technical support to the District through a more efficient means of service delivery,” Steel clarified.

“Going forward, I plan on expanding the program as needed to make sure we can get the job done efficiently and quickly.  Our goal for this school year is to have every technical support request from teachers handled and solved on the same day it is submitted.  Obviously there will be times when parts are needed or some other contingency will prevent us from reaching that level of service.  But by having a number of students available to meet the demand will allow to reach that goal.”

Currently, the students work directly for Steel, servicing all three school buildings in Pelham.  Steel is pleased with the job that the students are doing, and believes their work will make a difference. 

“Right now, the building administrators wouldn't notice anything different since the students are doing mostly setup work for next school year.  However, once the school year starts, the building administrators should see a big difference.” 

17 Executive Drive, Suite One, Hudson, NH 03051 Phone: (603)880-1516 Fax: (603)879-9707
email: Copyright © 2005-2009 Area News Group