Tom Newkirk for School Board

I'm not sure what happened to Thomas Newkirk's website, but it seems to have disappeared.  I've taken it upon myself to make this substitute.  It is not officially endorsed by Tom, which is why I can tease him with the above slogan and yearbook photo.  Here's a post I put together about Tom from last year's election.  Everything below this point is from Tom's official campaign materials. - Dean

Candidate—Oyster River Cooperative School District Board (At Large Seat)
Currently Vice-Chair

Tom Newkirk

  • Durham resident since 1987 and father of three children who attended and graduated from the Oyster River Schools
  • Former high school teacher and currently Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire
  • Nationally recognized author on literacy

Board Achievements this Year:

  • Established a tone of civility and respect. The Board has worked cohesively, with almost all votes—including the vote on the budget—being unanimous.
  • Established a good working relationship with our skilled new superintendent, Dr. Jim Morse.
  • Continued the important and successful work on energy reduction in our schools.
  • Taken the first steps to develop a capital improvement plan.
  • Made significant staff reductions without any involuntary lay-offs.
  • Re-started work on the Strategic Plan.

Challenges Ahead:

  • Negotiation of a new teacher contract. We need to maintain a salary and benefit package that will allow us to attract and retain the best teachers. But we will also need to ensure that benefits are comparable to competitive school systems.

  • Tuitioning in students at the high school. The options for tuitioning in new students need to be clearly presented to the public, with costs, challenges, and benefits for each. The community needs to be deeply involved in this critical decision.

  • Capital Improvements. According to a number of recent facility studies, we have 4 million dollars in needed facility improvements. We need to face up to this situation through substantial annual budget appropriations, or through a warrant article for a bond.

  • Rebalancing Student Populations in Elementary Schools. Currently Moharimet Elementary School has 80 more students than Mast Way (which is actually the larger school). We need to work toward a sensitive and sensible plan to rebalance the population.

Vote March 12 in Your Town

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