A message to the voters of the WMRSD communities

To the Editor:

At a recent White Mountains Regional High School (WMRHS) Booster Club Meeting (the school - affiliated organization that promotes and supports high school athletics), we discussed the consequences of losing "above and beyond" teaching staff resulting from a third "NO-vote contract". Losing current staff due to insufficient pay is not an alternative that we are willing to live with for our students and our high school. As an organization, we whole-heartedly support voting YES to the teachers' contract (Article 3) during the upcoming March 13 White Mountains Regional School District (WMRSD) voting process.

For district families who have brought youth up through the WMRSD athletic system, we know that eventually we will all "bleed Spartan Blue". Until entering high school athletics, we may sport red or green spirit colors but in the end, we come together as one - the WMRHS Spartan Nation displaying our blue and white pride! The question could be asked in relation to the teachers' contract: how much blood are we willing to draw from the professionals who give day in and day out to our students? There are many who give countless hours to their classrooms and we applaud these champions. Academics are a top priority for our district and we believe that we have what it takes for success. We also know that as parents of high school athletes, there is a handful of staff who shares other gifts as coaches and adult mentors. These teachers are the ones who motivate our student-athletes to run faster, shoot more accurately, improve a batting average, jump higher, increase confidence levels or compete with greater passion! This specific group of teaching staff, as well as the best of the rest, is the ones we do not want to lose!

High school teachers like Zach Babcock, who not only stepped up to the plate as a first year teacher to coach basketball, but also serves as a junior class advisor, and spends time motivating his social studies students to dream big! Or how about veteran teacher Lori Spencer who is seen with her camera covering most high school events to support the WMRHS yearbook student team, which is just one of her many extra-curricular advisor roles!

Oh and let's not forget, Coach Jarod Mills who has spent countless hours building a premiere wrestling program here at WMRHS and also teams with the High School Athletic Administration to offer summer and pre-season work-outs for our student athletes (often times serving in a volunteer capacity.) Now let's think about how this athletic conditioning strategy has paid off with recent results: a Division III State Runner-up Plaque for the Nordic Girls' Ski Team and a D3 State Championship banner for the Varsity Girls' Basketball Team! Oh, we have only just begun!

What about that Pep Band? This addition to our high school basketball games has not only increased spirit, but the impact on school culture is off the charts! Thank you, Mr. Martins who is another example of a WMRSD teacher who gives willingly of his time! We can only cite a few of our teachers who go above and beyond. However, there are many others in our buildings who demonstrate this high level of professionalism and commitment to our students. For those who attend games on a regular basis, provide extra homework help for student-athletes, manage the clock and serve in key leadership roles - as members of Booster Club, we will thank you by voting yes to Article 3!

We also recognize the staff - administrative and support - who are there 24/7 to give of their time and expertise. For our administrative staff who schedule games and officials, facilitate school-wide Lip Dubs, enforce policies and manage all the details. Thank you! And for the unsung heroes, such as our maintenance staff who keep our buildings clean and in working order, or in extreme cases go the extra mile to make sure there is plenty of snow on location for one of the biggest Nordic high school ski races in the country. Thank you!

A school district is an amazing and complex team. It is one that should be supported and recognized for all they do. So please think about it! Let's all "bleed blue" for the White Mountains Regional School District and work together to make our future the brightest for our current and future students. Let's recognize the teaching professionals who give of their time and talents. Vote yes on March 13th!

Sincerely,

Heidi Barker

Lancaster, N.H.

Editor's Note: This letter was endorsed by the WMRHS Booster Club

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