by Annie Collyer for the Newton-Kingston Taxpayers Association

The Sanborn Regional School District School Board, on Wednesday, October 4, reported the results of a survey they recently held, responded to by 273 people.  210 of the 273 are parents or employed by the school district, and the remaining 63 were other community members.  The purpose was to uncover priorities that the respondents have about the District and the responsibilities and qualities for the Superintendent, who is in effect the CEO for the District. 

The top 5 priorities in the District for the respondents are School Culture and Climate, Staff Retention, Having Adequate Resources, Budgeting and Raising Test Scores.  The top qualities desired in a Superintendent are Knowledgeable, Student-Centered, Professional, Approachable, and Engaged with the Community.  Also very high percentage responses added the following qualities to the list: Forward thinking, Has a Strong Vision for SAU17, Open to Feedback, Focused on Student Achievement and Open-Minded. In addition, 83% of respondents noted that they feel the Superintendent has a significant impact on the community.

This survey was designed to help the School Board fill the position of Superintendent. Currently, the District has in place an Interim Superintendent, a position which will not extend beyond this school year.  The Board is at work to determine the best course of action to satisfy the needs of the District and best deliver education to the students.

Two additional announcements were made at the School Board meeting:  one from the Student Representative and one from the Superintendent.  The Student Representative, Lauren Lanseigne, announced that the students raised $600 to help rebuild housing in areas devastated by recent disasters.  The Interim Superintendent stated that he has held five meet-and-greet events with community members in the past few weeks, and has been meeting with teachers and administrators. He has also been doing a lot of data analysis to prepare for both the budget and for updating the strategic plan with the School Board.

The School Board has asked him to present a budget on November 1, for them to evaluate and then recommend to the District Budget Committee.  The Budget Committee has the job of preparing a budget to present to the voters in February, and the School Board and Budget Committee will be holding three joint sessions to interview school department heads to gather information for the proposed budget.  All these meetings are open to the public, and the public is very much encouraged to attend.  The November 1 meeting is the first, and will be held at the High School at 6 PM.  An alternative is to watch the video and/or read the minutes of the meetings, all posted on the website.  The survey results are also posted on the website for review.

The Newton-Kingston Taxpayers Association, formed 2.5 years ago, is a NH educational non-profit, dedicated to informing voters and taxpayers about local issues.  More information can be found at   Membership is $20/year/family, and helps fund dispensing information to the public.