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Support for Gascoyne Candidacy

To the editor:            

      I am writing to endorse Shannon Gascoyne for the Amherst School Board.  I met Shannon about 7 years ago, volunteering with the Amherst PTA.  Community engagement and participation has always been important to her.  When she joined, and later chaired, the Joint Facilities Advisory Committee, I eagerly joined the committee, and worked under her leadership. Shannon is a proven leader, and a well-respected member of the community.  She is thoughtful, logical, and respectful.  She engages all stakeholders in conversation in order to come to the best solutions.

      She would make an excellent addition to the Amherst School Board.

Christine Grayson


Help Keep Amherst Livable and Scenic Roads Scenic: Vote Yes on #41 and#52

To the editor:            

      On March 14th, a number of amendments pertaining to Zoning Ordinances and the Town Building Code and supported by the Planning Board will come up for a Vote as warrant articles.  We are writing to urge Amherst Citizens to Vote Yes on Articles #41 and #52 in order to keep Amherst Rural and Livable and Scenic Roads Scenic.  Recent development is occurring at a staggering pace across Amherst with potentially high costs for all residents. Without strategic planning and updates to the Zoning and Building Codes, much of our treasured land and water resources will be put at grave risk.  As Joni Mitchell once wrote, “They paved paradise to put up a parking lot.” 

      Article 41/Amendment 3 and Article 52 Petition Warrant propose to increase minimum frontage on new lots on Scenic Roads in the Southern part of Town from 200 to 300 feet to match what is already in place in the Northern Rural Zone.  These amendments also increase the setback from 100 to 125 feet and to encourage a 50 foot buffer within the setback.  

      Amy and I completely support the proposed amendments for a number of reasons.  First, they are completely consistent with the purpose outlined in Section 3.11 Scenic Setbacks of the current Zoning Regulations which states, The purpose of this section is to preserve and enhance the rural, open character of the Town as viewed from the main roads leading through the Town and scenic roads within the Town and to prevent unsightly development along these routes.  Second, Amendments #41 and #52 represent a thoughtful and measured approach to protecting our open spaces, natural resources, and wildlife habitat that is consistent with the wishes of 91% of Amherst residents who responded to the Master Plan to keep Amherst rural as well.  These small changes are a great place to start because they will reduce traffic and increase safety concerns, protect aquifer and water resources, minimize burden on schools, public safety resources, and protect wildlife.  In addition, they will minimize what could be large financial burdens on taxpayers to support infrastructure upgrades and increasing school costs.  Please Vote YES on Articles #41 and #52 to protect the resources of Amherst and the Rural character that makes it special.


Howard and Amy Muscott


Stephanie Grund for Souhegan Cooperative School Board

To the editor:            

      During the past three years we worked on improving security at the high school, including building a new secure front entrance and securing the entrance to the annex and the annex building which will be added this summer.  Even with these changes, we will still be honoring the open campus privileges that students receive during their time at Souhegan

      We have focused on student engagement and instruction practice.  With the guidance from the Interim Superintendent, we implemented a structure to review teacher performance and to guide teachers to improve their craft.

      Also, we are working with Administration to improve the grading system to ensure that students and parents understand the performance of their student and that the system communicates to colleges, trade schools, and potential employers what the graduate is achieving.

      Finally, we are focused on working with every student to achieve their first choice when they graduate.  It might be a 4 year University, community college, or trade program.  It might be military or work.  Whatever the student is interested in doing after high school, we need to be able to provide a pathway and supports for each of them.

      I am asking for your support to stay on the school board to focus our energies on our students and the support of faculty.  We have work to do on grading and reporting, improving rigor in the classroom, providing personal pathways for students, and hiring a new Principal.  All of this needs to be done while balancing the costs to maintain our building.

      It’s a real struggle and I believe we can achieve strong outcomes by engaging our community in discussions while providing our faculty and administration with the supports needed to engage all students.

Stephanie Grund


Support for Terri Behm to the Amherst School Board

To the editor:      

      We would very much like to show our support and endorse the re-election of Terri Behm to the Amherst School Board.

      As educators who raised our families in Amherst, we are concerned citizens who have become aware of Terri through her work on CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) of which Don is the Coordinator, as well as the Congregational Church of Amherst where Susan has served as Moderator for four years, then Outreach and Communication Ministry Leader.  Terri has been leading our World Service Team for several years, originating our free Community Suppers and forging a relationship with Division for Children, Youths, Families (DCYF) in order that we can be of assistance to Foster Families. Terri was instrumental in forming our Home Starter Program, collecting donated furniture and delivering to previously un-homed families. This program has grown exponentially, from one to three clients per month to fifteen in November and December.

      Terri’s leadership on the school board has shown her leadership ability, compromising ability, and management ability. When Terri’s team at work was let go, she contacted companies until she secured a position that included hiring her whole team! Caring is what Terri is all about! She is also serving our youth as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) because she will always make time to use her unbounded skill set to help others, most especially children.  Terri is your ‘go to,’ ‘get it done’ person!! She is exactly the type of person we need and want to be representing us in driving the decisions that will best serve the children of our town. 

      Please Vote on March 14, and please consider voting for Terri Behm for Amherst School Board.


Susan and Don Holden


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