2014 School Board Candidate Bio’s

P lease scroll down to see all of the Candidate Bios – note alphabetical

Randy Crapo

My name is Robert Randall “Randy” Crapo and I am running for a position on the Rye School Board. It has been a long time goal of mine to serve our community in such a capacity. Good citizenship has always been important to me and that is why I have served on the Jenness Beach Commission for over 23 years, serving as the Chairman for 15 years and as the Budget Committee Representative for over 10 years.

Throughout my 43 years as a resident of Rye, I have been keenly aware that our community is based on the strong educational foundation that we provide to our children. That is why I am excited at the opportunity to serve on the Rye School Board at this time. My family has benefited greatly from the wonderful Rye school community and I feel that it is time for me to give back and support our future. I have two children and two grandchildren that have received quality educations from the Rye schools. I have seen first hand the positive results of hard work and dedication on behalf of our educators and students. I have also witnessed the challenges involved in educational leadership, through my wife’s (Debra Crapo) 15 years as a Rye School Board member and my daughter’s (Stephanie Lafreniere) career in K-12 education administration. I have always respected the uniqueness of the educational system and the challenges to meet the needs of all stakeholders, while being fiscally responsible.

I believe that our community has always focused on the development of the whole child, helping all students experience success and become productive citizens. In the climate of increased accountability and assessment, I think it is important for our community to maintain our focus on providing a complete educational experience for our children that is relevant to the ever changing world around us and celebrates the learning accomplishments of each child.

My professional life has always focused on the development and improvement of systems. I have over 40 years of experience as an administrator in Information Technology security, consulting, business administration and accounting. I have an MBA from Suffolk University and a BS in Accounting from Merrimack College. I also served as an Army Infantry Officer. Throughout my professional, military and community work, I have always been credited for being open to multiple perspectives and being able to see the larger picture, while focusing on the details involved. I am considered a person who uses common sense and deductive reasoning at all times.

I understand the role of the School Board, to support the implementation of policies and practices that provide an equitable education to all of our students. I have no particular interest to promote, no hidden agenda. I would just enjoy the opportunity to serve and would take the responsibility seriously. As a member, I would listen to and investigate all information available on an issue before I form an opinion and cast my vote. I would make sure Rye tax payers know their tax dollars are well spent and accounted for in the schools.

I believe the children of Rye are our most precious asset. The world they will grow up in will most certainly be challenging in ways that we cannot even conceive at this point in time. It is our job to give them a solid educational base, fostering the very best in all of them and contributing to their continued success.

I ask that you cast your vote for me, Randy Crapo, for Rye School Board on March 11, 2014. I will make you proud you elected me.

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Kate Hillman

My name is Kate Hillman and I am running for the Rye School Board.   I have been a resident of Rye for 15 years and the seacoast for majority of my life having grown up in Portsmouth.  I have two children in Rye Schools, Isabella in 7th grade and Julianna in 5th grade.

By profession, I am a Human Resources Director.  The past 10 years, I’ve worked for Home Brands which is known locally by its brand name of Sheds USA.   My role as a senior manager within this company includes fiscal responsibility with specific oversight for a salaries and benefits budget similar in size to our Rye School District.

As a parent in the Rye school system, I have been actively engaged in the schools over the past 8 years.    I became a board member with the Rye Education Foundation in 2009.   This year, I volunteered to become co-Chair of the REF Grants Committee.

As the only non-incumbent candidate who attends essentially every school board meeting, I have heard discussions, first hand, about how our teachers and leaders have embraced the Common Core and are well on their way towards full implementation of these higher standards.  I offer unequivocal support of the Standards and the move toward the Smarter Balanced Assessment in the spring of 2015.  The Common Core State Standards raise expectations over our current standards by as much as one grade level.  I am running for Rye School Board because like many Rye parents, I am concerned about the level of rigor in our schools for all of our students and especially our higher performing students.  The Common Core Standards and the Smarter Balanced Assessment offers New Hampshire, along with the 45 other states that have adopted the standards, the chance to raise expectations so that our students can reach the levels of learning experienced by students in leading countries.

I am prepared to work alongside our school board team to achieve the goals the community, administration and board establish together.  Specifically, I am interested in working with the board to develop a community of students whose learning potential is maximized and who have a sense of responsibility to their school and local communities.

I have the skill set needed for a school board member and have actively engaged in the school board process and Rye School system.   I am interested in working with the school board team and administration toward enhancing Rye Schools.  If you feel my background and experience would support you as a community member, your children as students and you as parent, I’d appreciate your support.

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Jeanne Moynahan

I have lived in Rye for 57 years. I attended Rye Elementary and Rye Junior High Schools and St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Dover. Ken, my husband of 44 years, was a Rye firefighter for 39 years and together, we are now retired and living on a fixed income. We have four children: Jennifer, Tim, Brian and Anna. All of our children attended the Rye schools and Portsmouth High School. We also have 7 grandchildren. Our grandson is a freshman at Portsmouth High School. We currently take care of three of our grandchildren while their parents work. Hannah, age 11, Abigail, age 5 1/2, are both students at Rye Elementary, and Declan, age 5.
I have dedicated myself to community service all of my life and was the first “Champion for Children” chosen by the NH School Administrators Association in 1994. I am presently the chairperson of the school board and serve on the SAU 50 Policy Committee. I am on the Safe Routes to School Task Force and am the Transportation Coordinator for Rye Emergency Management. I have been a parent volunteer, room parent, and held several positions within the PTO/PTA. I was the Rye Schools Crossing Guard, ensuring the safety of our children, whether they were walking, riding bikes or buses, or being transported by their parents.
In my fifteen years of school board service, our town has grown with an influx of new families with school-age children. I’ve worked through major change, including the expansion of our schools and currently the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and a new teacher evaluation plan. I hope to use my experience and history to continue the work our board has done setting goals and action plans for the future.
I love Rye and it’s children.  I always have and I always will.
Thank You!
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Alissa Tweedie

My name is Alissa (Blais) Tweedie and I am running for the School Board in the town of Rye. I am a third-generation resident of the town and a veteran of the U.S. Navy. I attended Rye Elementary, Rye Junior High, and graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1998. I joined the Navy after graduation and served in the intelligence field for 10 years, including the second Gulf War. At present, I work as a security manager at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. I am married, and my husband, Ray, and I have three children, Emmah, Isabella and Raymond.

I briefly served as the president of the PTA a couple of years ago. I am an active volunteer with RES and serve as the room parent of my stepdaughter’s class. I have been the speaker at the elementary school’s Veterans Day ceremony for the past two years, where I have shared my experience and service stories with our children and guests.

I am running for the School Board in order to be directly involved in the many important decisions that will face our board in the near future and in order to increase the level of the board’s communication in the community. I think that the board has made good strides with communication and I have some ideas for further improvement.

First of all, our room parents can be a great resource, as they are frequently at the school and interacting with other parents. I will reach out to these resources. Secondly, I will work to add the necessary funds to our budget and work with our school staff to have school board meetings streamed live to the Web so those who cannot attend can still tune in. I’ll also work to develop a policy to archive these meetings. Lastly, I will look to potentially change our meeting times in order to increase participation. I think the more people and ideas we have, the more productive the board can be. And I will always be open to suggestions and ways to improve.

Some of the decisions and challenges that the board and we, the town, will face surround budgets and Common Core. The schools budget is the largest set of expenditures in town. People costs and, more specifically, health care costs are skyrocketing and uncertain as a result of the Affordable Care Act. These issues will force us to be careful and creative with our finances. I do not want to see our children suffer as a result of these issues. And I will work hard to ensure that we get our children what they need while being respectful of taxpayers and especially those who are on fixed incomes.

Common Core is an initiative by the state and federal government to reform our curriculum. I have many reservations about this program, its implementation and its costs. Just recently, questions have arisen from teacher unions about implementation problems and issues with the assessment vehicles for this program. We are being told to expect potentially lower test scores while we “get used to” this program. How are lower scores better? What are we rushing into? I think the jury may still be out on Common Core and I, for one, am apprehensive about rushing into something that hasn’t been thoroughly vetted. Further, why would we give up local control of our schools and hand over such important parts of our curriculum when what we are doing works well? I think what we need to do is ask many more questions about this program in order to make sure it is what is best for Rye. I will ask those questions and make sure we have open forums where everyone can ask their questions and be heard. I am not against standards, but I have reservations about giving up our local control. I want the very best education possible for my kids and yours. I think we may be rushing into this huge and important change. We need to slow down, ask more questions, get more information, and then make this decision together as a community. I will use my seat on the board to do just that. Our children and the taxpayers in our town deserve nothing short of this.

I promise to work tirelessly on these issues and do what is best. I understand the time requirements and what it means to be a board member. Like my service to our country in the Navy, I take being a School Board member seriously and I am prepared to roll up my sleeves and get to work.

I would be honored to serve the town of Rye as a School Board member and I ask for your support and your vote on March 11.

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Glenn Walker

My name is Glenn Walker and I am running for school board. I am a NH native and have lived in the area since 1987, and on Brackett Road in Rye for the past 15 years with my wife Elizabeth Fairchild. I have two children in the Rye school system – 7th grader Ben and 3rd grader Samantha Walker. I have a BS in Business Administration from UNH. For the past 20 years, I’ve worked for a small local engineering firm as an energy and evaluation specialist serving municipalities nationwide. As such I have vast experience working with towns and school boards, advising them on fiscal issues, skills and knowledge I can transfer to serving the citizens of Rye.

I believe in our school system. As a small, relatively affluent town, Rye provides wonderful educational resources to its students. As I describe our schools to people in other communities, I have to refrain from bragging. In many ways, we are able to offer a “private school like” experience, with small class sizes, high teacher to student ratios, subjects that many public schools either don’t offer or have had to cut back on (i.e., music, art, gym, world language), special services, and open door policies of both teachers and administrators. We are truly lucky to have such schools in our community. However, there is always room for improvement and evaluations are key to determining if goals have been met successfully. As a Rye school board member, I would promote the highest caliber of teaching and the Common Core State Standards, as well as support learning experiences that maximize each child’s potential, while remaining fiscally responsible.

If these ideals match your own, I ask for your vote on March 11th for Glenn Walker for Rye School Board.

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