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February 22, 2013

Pelham seeks School Board candidate

PELHAM — Less than three weeks before Town Meeting, this town of nearly 13,000 residents has two pending School Board vacancies and only one candidate.

Incumbents Andy Ducharme and Rob Hardy are stepping down, but only Tom Gellar signed up for the available three-year terms.

From Main Street to Town Hall and the school district, people are waiting for someone to step up and run.

“I certainly hope that another candidate steps forward and would encourage anyone interested in serving on the board to let the public know that,” School Board Chairman Brian Carton said, “and to share with voters some information about themselves.”

The board has a lot of important work ahead, so there’s a chance for someone to make a difference in the community by serving.

School officials are pointing toward bringing a high school renovation and expansion project before voters next year.

Meanwhile, after years in a combined district with Windham, Pelham is becoming a standalone School Administrative Unit of its own this summer.

“It’s a chance to have a positive impact on something that you care about,” Carton said.

“There’s a lot to learn, and it’s a lot of work, and it takes some patience, but in the end a School Board member does have a chance to make a positive difference,” Carton said.

Hardy agrees the opportunity to shape the future of local schools is there.

“We need leadership-driven people to step up and drive the solutions needed to the polls,” Hardy said. “The high school is paramount and needs to be put on the front burner.”

Ducharme said there is important work to do. Besides the high school issue, he said the school district will deal with evolving policies, technology and safety matters.

“If there is anyone out there that believes that they can put the time in and be a true advocate for the students of Pelham, they can make a difference,” Ducharme said.

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