Front Page Candia Deerfield Northwood Nottingham This Week's Poll

2021 Candidates for School Positions

From Left: Wellington, Langlois, Klipa, Baker, Gross
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Start Date:Issue Date:

All candidates running for school office were asked to submit a statement of up to 350 words. The candidates included here are those who responded. The statements have not been edited.

Christina Baker - School Board 3 years

I have lived in Deerfield for almost 8 years.

As a mom of three kids with two currently enrolled in DCS and one soon to be enrolled, my relationship with DCS will span almost 15 years. I’ve attended school board meetings off and on through the years. This past year, I took a more serious interest and as of July 2020, I have missed only three board meetings. Outside of the administration and the board members themselves, there is no one else in the community as well versed in the issues facing our board. In addition to my career in marketing, I co-founded and currently manage New Hampshire Young Veterans Network, a nonprofit run solely by volunteers. This makes me uniquely suited to enhance communication between the board and the community, as well as an understanding of the importance of creative thinking to achieve goals on a limited budget.

The space issue at DCS has now reached fever pitch. I would push for specific timelines and metrics for the board to meet to ensure there is trackable progress on this issue. The high school contract is another issue that needs to be a priority. The time is right for Deerfield to be able to provide options that reflect the needs and desires of the parents. Most of the schools around us are seeing decreased enrollment putting Deerfield in a much better position to negotiate. I would like to see us use this to our advantage. I would also push to increase transparency of the School Board and enhance communication, making it easier for parents to get informed and provide feedback.

 Georgianne Klipa – School Board for 3 years

 My name is Georgianne (Gigi) Klipa and I am running for a second term as a member of the Deerfield Community School Board.

I have worked with every grade level from preschool through college during my 39 year career in education.  Both of my children attended Deerfield and we have been residents since 1987.  These experiences (teacher, parent, administrator, community member) allow me to have multiple perspectives from which to draw on when working to find unique solutions to the ever present challenges in public education.  I am acutely aware of the importance of understanding the financial impact and sometimes burden each household carries to educate our children.  At the same time, I recognize the profound responsibility we have to support the most important human resource we have; our children. I consistently work to hold the tension of these two concepts that can sometimes be at odds.

Through navigating what was probably the most intense and difficult year Deerfield has ever experienced, I am humbled and at the same time proud of the work the board has accomplished. and I feel privileged to have been a part of it.  Our diverse perspectives made for many long evenings, however I believe we modeled how to disagree while holding each other in high regard for the health and safety of the community.  As if navigating a pandemic was not challenging enough, we thoughtfully crafted a budget, kicked off the high school contract exploration committee and successfully vetted architects for the building expansion project.  If re-elected I hope to support the building expansion project to a warrant and subsequently bring it to fruition. 

Ultimately, what I strive to bring to my work on the board is a sense of the importance of relationships. It is how we compassionately and respectfully interact with our constituents, administrators, teachers and students that creates the positive energy to accomplish important work.

Please do not hesitate to reach out regarding my candidacy or with any questions or concern you might have within the context of my work on the board.

[email protected]

 
 Zach Langlois - School Board 3 years
 
Hello Deerfield Residents!
 
I am seeking re-election to the Deerfield School Board. I have been a member of the school board for the last six years, as well as the school board’s representative for the Municipal Budget Committee. I am currently serving as the Chairman of the School Board. I have lived in Deerfield my entire life, and have enjoyed every minute of it. I have been selling construction equipment for the last 16 years and prior to that I owned and operated a small business in town. My wife, Ashley, has been an educator in Derry for 16 years. We have two children currently at DCS. They are in fourth and sixth grade.
 
We have a few big tasks ahead of us in the next few years. First, the board is working to determine the best choice for our high school aged students. In the last year, the board has established a sub-committee to look into our options. With this, I am hoping we will have a school(s) that will be best for all of our students moving forward.
 
Another big task is the potential to expand the DCS facility. As we are all well aware, our physical space is at a premium. We started this process by performing an engineering analysis and a demographic study. I recognize the need for additional space. I look forward to continuing the work we have already begun, in an effort to bring a reasonable and appropriate expansion before the voters. If re-elected, I plan to continue pushing for improvements in test scores for all of our students. I’ll also continue working with administration to help develop best practices for education.
 
Education will continue to change, and for our children's sake, it is imperative that we move forward with it. I plan to continue to be mindful of the impact of costs associated with the school, while remembering that investing in the education of our kids creates a successful community in the future. Over the past year we have seen challenges that we could’ve never anticipated. I am very proud of the work that the board was able to accomplish during this time. There were many tough decisions that had to be made this year. I stand by the decisions that I made, and felt they were the best decisions based on the information that we had. I would like to ask for your consideration when you vote on June 8th. If anyone has questions please feel free to email at [email protected]
 
Respectfully, Zach Langlois

Jenny Wellington – School Board 3 years

For 10 years I have lived in Deerfield with my husband and our rescue cats. For the last 19 years, I have been a teacher helping students achieve their goals and triumph over challenges both personal and academic. During my career, I’ve collaborated with parents, students, teachers, and community members to solve problems in unique ways. I believe that when students achieve, communities succeed, and this is why I’m running for Deerfield School Board.

 Originally from Pennsylvania, I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and, in 2002, moved to New York city to teach 7th grade in the Bronx. I earned an MA in English Education and helped hire teachers for the NYC department of Education. In 2008, I moved to New Hampshire to attend UNH and teach undergraduate writing classes. After graduation, I was excited to teach at Pittsfield Middle High School (PMHS) because they were transforming the district using Stidemt-Centered Learning (SCL) to improve student achievement and civic engagement. 
 
While at PMHS, I helped establish Restorative Justice (RJ), a program still used today, which offers an alternative to traditional punishment. When an incident happens, RJ uses mediation to understand all points of view and then uses personal responsibility to make the situation right. As the Humanities chair, I worked with teachers to align rubrics for Competency-Based Education (CBE) while ensuring we developed a rigorous curriculum. Currently I work for the virtual Learning Academy charter School (VLACS) based in Exeter, NH and as a consultant for schools all over New England. I have worked with many districts on how to use SCL and CBE to create rich experiences and also as a way to  make up gaps in learning, something that will be useful as we see more education losses caused by the pandemic.
 
If elected, I will serve Deerfield as I have served all my students: with integrity, empathy, and by including all voices in creative solutions that ensure student success now and for future generations in Deerfield. 
 


Erik Gross - School Treasurer (Write-In Candidate)
 
My name is Erik Gross and I am running as a write-in candidate for the Treasurer position in the Deerfield School District at the June 8, 2021 election. 
 
For a number of years, I have served as the School District’s Moderator, as well as Assistant Moderator for the Town of Deerfield.  I have assisted and presided at numerous town and school deliberative sessions and voting days over the past 6 years.  I also served many years ago on the Municipal Budget Committee, and currently serve on the finance committee of Bear-Paw Regional Greenways.  I have been a finance professional for over 30 years, and for the past 6½ years have served as the Treasurer of the University of New Hampshire Foundation.  I am very familiar with managing bank accounts, forecasting cash flows, monthly reconciliations and annual audits.  I would welcome the opportunity to contribute my time and talent to the role of Deerfield’s School District Treasurer.  Thank you for your consideration.