Mascenic approves full-day kindergarten; Matson overturns Pellerito

By ASHLEY SAARI

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 03-29-2023 12:37 PM

The Mascenic School District will start full-day kindergarten in the fall after receiving supportive votes from both Greenville and New Ipswich polls on Tuesday.

Mascenic currently only provides a half-day schedule for kindergarten. The proposal for full-day services will cost a total of $133,439 in salaries and benefits, but will eliminate about $73,530 in transportation costs, due to cutting the mid-day bus run. The net cost for the coming year, and what was requested of voters to run the program, is $59,909.

Keryn Matson, the winning candidate to fill the New Ipswich School Board seat on Tuesday, said she was in favor of the measure.

“Two and a half hours just isn’t enough to learn everything that’s needed today,” Matson said.

Greenville voters supported full-day kindergarten in a 98-40 vote, and New Ipswich in a 563-452 vote.

The proposed budget was one of the most contentious votes in New Ipswich on the school ballot, though ultimately, it also was supported by both towns.

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The $20.79 million budget was supported 111-35 in Greenville and 571-454 in New Ipswich.

Matson said that while she’ll be looking at the budget closely in her new term, and determining if there are areas that it is sensible to reduce, that inflation has impacted all areas of fixed costs, and acknowledged the district is facing that same difficulty.

“Everyone’s budget has gone up this year,” Matson said.

Voters also approved a collective bargaining agreement for the next three years for support staff.

Voters approved a $64,976 increase for the coming year, $34,784 for 2024, and $35,522 for 2025, in a total 743-427 vote between both towns.

Voters also approved adding $50,000 into the maintenance capital reserve and $10,000 into the food service capital reserve. Both are expected to come from the end of year fund balance, and not have an impact on this coming year’s taxation.

Voters approved the maintenance reserve in a 843-323 overall vote, and the food service reserve in a 837-300 overall vote at the polls.

Matson was the run-away winner in a four-way race for a single New Ipswich seat on the School Board, overturning two-term incumbent Michael Pellerito, who came in second in the contest. Matson was the strong front-runner, with a total of 536 votes, compared to Pellerito’s 157. Jesus Cantu Trevino took third with 89 votes, and John Schaumloffel with 65.

Thomas Falter, the at-large representative from Greenville will retain his seat on the board, after running unopposed, with 134 votes from Greenville and 763 from New Ipswich. Moderator Bob Romeril, also running for re-election unopposed, had 133 votes in Greenville and 909 in New Ipswich.

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.

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