Amherst School Board Letter to the Editor: September 2022

SAU 39 Mission Statement: 

We will engage, challenge, and support all learners

      As parents scramble to find those last items on the back to school list, teachers finalize their classrooms, and students catch a few last magic moments of sunshine, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the work and changes that have happened at our schools during the summer. 

      The policy committee has met regularly all summer to review, and recommend amendments and rescissions to the policies that govern the daily operations of our schools.  The committee will be presenting a packet of policies for review at the August 25th SAU meeting.  The SAU board will have a chance to make further suggestions before the policies are then sent to the constituent boards for final approval and adoption.  Thank you to all the members of the policy committee and the administrators who spent many hours this summer fine tuning and adapting policies to meet the needs of our schools. 

      As soon as students exit our buildings in the early summer, the work of our facilities team ramps up.  From cleaning and sanitizing, to a variety of short term projects and improvements, the buildings and grounds staff revitalize our buildings each summer.  We are excited for students to come back to fresh and clean classrooms and thankful for the hard work of Facilities Director Roger Preston and his team.  

      The SAU board has also begun the important work of hiring a new superintendent.  Late last spring, a subcommittee, made up of two members from each board, was formed to explore the best process for hiring a new superintendent.  After a series of meetings and interviews with three search firms, the committee made the recommendation to the SAU board to hire local firm NESDEC to aid in the search.  The SAU board unanimously approved NESDEC’s hiring and we are excited to partner with NESDEC to find the next leader of the SAU.  That process will begin in the coming weeks and discussions at the individual and SAU board levels will continue this fall.  We also look forward to engaging the community in this process, so be on the lookout for opportunities to make your voice heard. 

      Turning our attention to more recent happenings, the Amherst School Board met twice in August.  The highlights of those meetings included the development of board goals, a discussion of this year’s budget schedule, enrollment updates, and news from our various subcommittees. 

      At our August 18th meeting, the board was also pleased to begin a new approach with the Ways and Means committee, carving out time at each meeting to hear directly from members. The board is committed to improving communication between the two groups.  

      By the time you read this, our schools will once again be full of skilled teachers and eager students, new friendships will be blooming, and the constant hum of learning will fill our classrooms. We hope you have had a relaxing and invigorating summer and we look forward to the work ahead this year.  If you wish to reach out to the board please email us at ASB@sau39.org

JFAC Update:

      The Amherst School Board, Amherst Building and Grounds Committee, and the SAU 39 Joint Facilities Advisory Committee are reviewing the facility proposals from the March 2022 ballot.  At the May 2, 2022 Amherst School Board Meeting, the Board agreed to make the elementary school the priority project, while continuing to explore separate options for the middle school. In meeting the July deadline, SAU personnel submitted the state building aid application for the elementary project to NH Department of Education. In August, SAU personnel and an Amherst School Board member conducted a site visit of Clark and Wilkins buildings with the NH Department of Education. The district will get final word of our ranking in January and will share that information along the way. 

      Please inform yourself and ask questions- jfac.sau39.org/faq/ 

      The site will be continually under construction as we work to educate voters and review the project.

      You can follow progress on social media:

AmherstNHFacilities on Instagram

Joint Facilities Advisory Committee on Facebook


Upcoming Meetings and Events: 

  • September 8th, 11am: Amherst Building and Grounds Subcommittee: Brick School

  • September 13th: Late Start

  • September 13th, 5pm: JFAC meeting: Brick School

  • September 15th, 6pm: ASB meeting: Souhegan Learning Commons

  • September 22nd, 6pm: SAU meeting: Souhegan Learning Commons



Tom Gauthier, Chair

Victoria Parisi, Vice Chair

Terri Behm

Josh Conklin

Jason White

"Wire Fraud is Real"

To the Editor: 

      Before wiring any money, call the intended recipient at a number you know is valid to confirm the instructions. Additionally, please note that the sender does not have authority to bind a party to a real estate contract via written or verbal communication.


Carole Byatt