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MASCENIC SCHOOL DISTRICT

15-year school rep resigns

NEW IPSWICH — With elections over, and two new members of the School Board elected and sworn in, the Mascenic School Board should be getting their new board up to speed and ready to move the district forward — but the resignation of a longtime board member on Monday means the first order of business will be finding a new New Ipswich representative.

Chris Lund, who has been a member of the School Board for the past 15 years, submitted his resignation at the School Board meeting Monday. Lund was one of the three New Ipswich representatives on the board, and his position will have to be filled by an appointment until voters have the opportunity to make their own selection next year at the polls.

Lund said in an interview Tuesday that his resignation is not unplanned. He said he had plans to retire two years ago. He decided to make a run for one last term two years ago, however, because he had to maintain his position on the Mascenic School Board in order to fulfill obligations as a member of the N.H. School Board Association.

Now, however, that obligation has ended, he said, and he felt it was time to step down from his position on the Mascenic School Board as well. Lund declined to comment on why he chose to resign following the district elections, as opposed to before.

Another motivating factor, he said, was that his position on the board took a lot of time, time he would like to reinvest in his job.

“The board, particularly the time when I was chair, took a tremendous amount of time out of my law practice,” he said. “I’m going to get back into rebuilding my law practice. It was time to retire, 15 years was enough time for me.”

Lund was the chair of the board for 11 consecutive years between 2001 and 2011, leading the district through several major changes, including Mason’s withdrawal from the Mascenic School District, realigning the district, multiple superintendent searches, and the building of Highbridge Hill Elementary School in New Ipswich.

He has also been involved with the creation of the Mascenic Educational Endowment Foundation, Mascenic’s firefighter program and the technology center at Mascenic Regional High School.

“We’ve done some fairly nice things around here, and at a minimal cost to taxpayers, and I’m very proud about that,” said Lund.

Lund decided not to continue as the chair of the board last year, in anticipation of stepping down. The position was taken up by Chad Gibson last year. Gibson was not reelected at the polls on Tuesday. The former vice-chair, Tara Sousa, was appointed the new chair at Monday’s meeting.

Sousa said that after consulting with the district’s counsel, Will Phillips, it was determined that in cooperative school districts when a member resigns the other members that represent the same constituency are responsible for appointing a replacement. The seat will then be open during the next scheduled election in March.

The replacement for Lund will be chosen by the two other New Ipswich residents on the board, Jeff Salmonson and the newly elected Jim Kingston. Sousa, who is an at-large member of the board and was elected by both New Ipswich and Greenville residents, will not be included in the process.

Kingston said during Monday’s meeting that he and Salmonson will be determining the selection process in the coming weeks, and will advertise the open position in local papers as well as the district’s website. Candidates must be New Ipswich residents.

Resident Mark Mansfield asked if there would be an interview process to select a candidate. Salmonson said he and Kingston had yet to discuss the process they would use.

In an interview Tuesday, Gibson said he hadn’t decided whether to throw his hat in the ring for a second time to seek the open seat.

“I’ve gotten a lot of calls asking if I will and encouraging me to do so, but I just haven’t made a decision yet,” he said.

Interested candidates may submit a brief resume to Supt. Betsey Cox Buteau up until March 28. Applicants may email their resume to bcoxbuteau@mascenic.org or mail it to the SAU office in Greenville.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.

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