Voters Guide 2019: Ward 2 Candidates

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Ward 2

Alderman

Tyler Chase did not respond to the candidate questionnaire.


Will Stewart (incumbent) did not respond to the candidate questionnaire.


Board of School Committee

Kathleen Kelley Arnold, 48, was appointed to take over the Ward 2 school committee seat. She has been a licensed insurance broker for 20 years. For the last 12years, she has owned and operated the Richard E. Kelley Insurance Agency, an independent insurance brokerage in Manchester.

Click here to see her website.

What qualifies you to hold this office?
I was born and raised in Manchester, and I graduated from Catholic and public schools. I’m a mom to two wonderful children, and a local business owner. I served on the School Board for a decade from 2001 through 2011. I have a record of working with anyone who wants to improve educational opportunities for Manchester students and families – regardless of political ideology or party label. When the Ward 2 seat became vacant earlier this year, I was appointed to fill the remainder of the current term by a bipartisan and unanimous vote of the Board of Mayor & Aldermen.
What will you do to get an agreement on a teachers’ contract?
I have and will continue working with the Superintendent and my colleagues on the School Board negotiations committee to bargain in good faith with the dedicated professionals of our school district. I have and will continue to foster open lines of communication, because the only way to reach agreement is to sit at table together, to talk about the issues, and to find common ground.
The state has sent $20.8M in one-time funding to the city. How would you propose spending that money?
Additional funding received from the State is one-time money. It shouldn’t be used for operational expenses. I’d like to see the funding go towards building upgrades to improve safety for students and teachers, technology infrastructure improvements, and other capital projects in our neighborhood schools.
A young family is considering a move to Manchester, what would be your top three selling points?
Let’s start with our history. We’re a former mill town on a river, once at the forefront of the industrial revolution. We have always been New Hampshire’s most diverse community. We saw the birth of credit unions, video games, and the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary. Our present has selling points too. We see our millyard growing with industries of higher education, technology, and advanced manufacturing. And that growth continues. Culturally, we boast the writings of John Clayton, the illustrations of Peter Noonan, the comedy of Adam Sandler, and many, many others. We have great restaurants and entertainment venues. What is most appealing, however, is our future. Throughout our more than 170-year history, we have always endured struggles… and overcome them. Manchester has always enjoyed an abundance of people willing to roll up their sleeves to tackle community challenges. I can’t wait to see where we go.
What is the most important step the Board of School Committee can take to immediately improve all schools?
The district must fill vacancies, particularly teachers and para-educators. Our dedicated school professionals are under tremendous strain. The School Board can accomplish this by offering competitive wages to keep and recruit quality educators. We can also immediately improve how we communicate with parents and families in our community. Open and regular lines of communication will help us boast the district’s offerings, opportunities, and success stories.
How can MSD and the community work together to prepare today’s first-graders for a 2032 economy?
Remarkably. we don’t even know what jobs and industries will be pursued by today’s first graders. Some of them have yet to be invented. What we do know, however. is that providing quality instruction of fundamentals with rigor and high expectations will better prepare our youth for higher education and life. Offering students the best opportunities to become proficient and masterful in reading, writing, and mathematics will help ensure their bright future.

Sean Parr, 42, is Associate Professor of Music at Saint Anselm College.

Click here to see his website.

What qualifies you to hold this office? 
As a lifelong educator, tenured college professor and math tutor, I have experience with educational assessment, accreditation, and curriculum reform. I am also honored to be endorsed by Manchester’s teachers’ union—the MEA. My children attend public school — Smyth Road Elementary School, where I am also a volunteer. I am also an experienced writer, editor, and researcher.
What will you do to get an agreement on a teachers’ contract?
Everything I can—I think we need to get back to the negotiating table quickly and come to a consensus on a contract, one that honors our teachers and accounts for the promotion steps they’ve lost in the past several years. I also think we need to consider multi-year teachers’ contracts and plan for the future.
The state has sent $20.8M in one-time funding to the city. How would you propose spending that money?
I think it’s important to listen to the priorities of our school administrators and teachers, so I would start there. I’ve already visited schools that serve Ward 2 students and met with principals, who have shared some of their hopes, such as improving staffing—special education staff and paraprofessionals especially—and facilities concerns, including a flooding problem at Central that remains unresolved. After these urgent issues are resolved, I would then turn to working with the Board, the Superintendent, teachers, staff, and parents in considering how the funding could be used towards a vision for our schools’ future.
A young family is considering a move to Manchester, what would be your top three selling points?
Manchester is a city on the way up. We have a wonderful, friendly, diverse population, with great energy and goodwill. Our city has many vital small businesses, as well as beautiful neighborhoods, parks, programs, and traditions.
What is the most important step the Board of School Committee can take to immediately improve all schools.
Work together to solve pressing issues—contracts, staffing, facilities—quickly and with an eye to a long-term vision for the district.
How can MSD and the community work together to prepare today’s first-graders for a 2032 economy?
We can all work together by reinforcing and connecting what our children learn in school to their lives at home and in the community. We can encourage teamwork, and instill a love of learning, reading, art, music, and exercise. We can extol the value of critical thinking, of being active, informed citizens, of solving complex problems, and the importance of empathy. And we can help students and parents understand the many great possibilities our future holds when we work together as a community.