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Amherst Schools are a Valuable Resource

To the editor:            

      My name is Ellen Grudzien and I am running for the position of Moderator for the Amherst School District.  Many parents and children in town know me as Miss Ellen!  As well as being a resident of Amherst since 2003,  I am also the founder of The Amherst Preschool and have been welcoming students in families from our district since 2009.  

      Our young family moved to Amherst for the strong education system and the progressive educational philosophy of our high school. Both of our children graduated from Souehgan after attending the Amherst School District.  They are now off adulting successfully!

      I am a passionate supporter of public education, which led me to begin volunteering my time with the Souhegan Advisory Finance Committee as an appointed member and eventually joining the Amherst School Board as an elected member.  During my time on both I spent many hours becoming familiar with our school budgets as well as  receiving quite an education of the time it takes to create, facilitate and eventually have a budget approved by the voters.  My passion to support our schools and be a vocal advocate was also born in reaction to years of negativity, false claims and in some instances attempts to amend budgets without thought toward the impact on both our teachers and students.  

      The role of Moderator is a crucial one to the systems I mentioned above.  The appointment of Ways and Means members, a deep understanding of the warrant articles brought forth by the school board, and eventually managing the summit of all this hard work at the Deliberative meeting each year.  

      Our schools in Amherst are a  valuable resource to all of our citizens.  Many, like myself, would comment that our schools are what drew them here.  Our continued commitment to serve our school community, whether it be with a vote, or as a volunteer, will continue to set the tone for the success to come.  For this reason I ask for your support on Tuesday March 14th.


Ellen Grudzien


We Deserve Better from the School Board

To the editor:      

      The Amherst School Board has decided to solve a number of problems by building one of the largest elementary school buildings in the state.  They believe that it is not enough to fix the building where needed, or add new systems if necessary.  They have determined that a building 50 years old is at end of life.  Will the same people demolish and rebuild their homes that are 50 years old?

      It appears to make this need more pressing, the school board believes it is wise to take preschoolers and kindergartens from their building, because it is inconvenient for adults to drive lunches less than 1 mile to the full-day kindergarten students.  What additional trauma is caused by placing such very young and small children with an additional 750 older and bigger children in a huge building?  If that is not enough, someone has decided, that after 50 years, it is inappropriate to have 5th grade in the middle school.  So, move additional grades to the elementary school, thus creating the big problem that needs to be solved.

      Sadly, the school board is using this building project to hide behind the real problem, the failure to provide the quality education this community’s children deserve.  We all deserve better.  There is too much that can go wrong with this half-baked plan.  Please vote no and elect more practical candidates who will work to achieve the most reasonable solutions for our schools and town.

Denise Fregault


Behm is Committed to Fiscal Responsibility

To the editor:            

      I’m writing today to share my support for Terri Behm as a candidate for the Amherst School Board. 

      I first got to know Terri when she served on the Amherst School District Ways & Means committee. During her time on the committee she worked hard to analyze the budget, line item by line item. She asked hard questions of the administration in order to identify and understand the need for every expenditure. Terri and I then served together for 5 years as members of the Amherst School Board. During this time Terri continued to demonstrate her commitment to fiscal responsibility by deeply exploring the budget. 

      Terri consistently shows her passion for helping our students and schools reach their highest potential. As a Board member she keeps her ear to the ground, listening to the needs of students, teachers, and administration.  She does her own research into various evidence based educational best practices, and frequently raises awareness of tough problems facing our students and the community. She isn’t afraid to raise controversial opinions when it is in the best interest of the students and school. A great example of her passion and willingness to push forward with controversial topics is her leadership on school start times. A community member presented to the Board scientific data that supported the need for later start times for older students. Although Terri wasn’t sure about the need for a change in the beginning, she recognized the need for more research into the topic. She ultimately helped initiate a change but remains committed to working through any challenges that are faced. 

      Terri has strong opinions about the direction of our schools but never tries to strong-arm her fellow board members or the administration. Instead, she is a great listener who works with others to understand all perspectives, engages in civil discourse, and ultimately helps to solve problems by building consensus.

      Working with Terri is always a pleasure, not because we always agree but because Terri is a constant source of passion and positivity who listens carefully and speaks thoughtfully.  More than ever our schools need her heart and her dedication. I am excited she has chosen to serve again and I hope you will join me in voting for her on March 14th. 


Elizabeth Kuzsma


Support for Dokmo, Rosenblatt and Sorens

To the editor:            

      We have lived here for 43 years and deeply value the past work of planning boards that created this wonderful town. We are very concerned with the direction things are headed. We oppose warrant articles 40, 41 and 52. These articles take away rights of property owners like ourselves wanting to create a lot for our children to build a home. They make no sense with respect to conservation and create restrictions for homeowners on scenic roads. They make it harder for developers to create moderately priced homes for seniors and young adults. These are, simply, not in the best interest of the town. 

      We oppose petition article 51. It places unnecessary restrictions on development of the industrial zone. Such issues are best handled on a per application basis by the planning board. 

      We support Cynthia Dokmo, Arnold Rosenblatt, and Jason Sorens for planning board. Cynthia and Arnie are current board members with a good understanding of our town values. Jason is extremely knowledgeable regarding zoning regulations and planning. He understands the need to balance growth while encouraging conservation and growing our commercial base to offset property taxes. Please join us. Vote for these excellent candidates.

Wendy Rannenberg

Richard Hart

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