“Thank you SaveSAU16! Thank you for making it your mission to lift our school system back to academic excellence. As a mom of three students and a former school psychologist, I have a passion for education. It has been so reassuring to know that the diverse group of supporters of SaveSAU16 share my passion for creating optimal learning environments for all students and teachers. First and foremost, our students need us to fight for the quality of their education. Our dedicated teachers also need our backing to achieve their goals of inspiring, nurturing, and guiding each generation of learners to success. Our teachers have gone above and beyond to get the students through this pandemic, and we applaud them. This is not the time for the administration to further burden them with experimentation and new curriculum, trying out new social emotional programs and/or adding more responsibilities to their overflowing plates. We need to let the teachers focus on getting back to teaching the core subjects. Students' emotional health goes hand in hand with their success in the classroom. Teachers have to be sensitive to students' emotional health, but it is not their primary job. We are very fortunate to live in a place where most of our students have support from parents, guardians, caregivers, counselors, psychologists, nurses, administrators, mentors, coaches, church members and more. We cannot forget the students who are less fortunate and that is why we have all of the support and specialized staff in our schools and communities. It can be very hard to focus on learning for these students and we need that staff to be able to help them and not be over-burdened by other agendas. We are so fortunate that SaveSAU16 is bringing the primary focus back to academic excellence and backing school board candidates that share this vision.”
Tammy MacNeil M.Ed./CAGS
"I stand with SaveSAU16 because I don’t want our children to fall farther behind. The school rankings and academics are the reason I moved to the SAU. The focus on academics has decayed in favor of divisive programs and focus on fringe political and social justice items that don’t belong in schools and certainly not at the expense of fundamentals. I grew up in a family of teachers and learned of their tremendous value early on in life. My grandfather was forced to drop out of school to support his family in the early 1900's and his stories of how valuable a solid academic base is for everyone have stuck with me. I grew up with the golden rule in school and we didn't need more than that. Students were taught to solve problems, not just mimic and regurgitate what they were told. Problem solving ability and self-reliance are byproducts of how I was taught. Those days are gone."
Matthew Forrest, BS Marine Engineering, US Coast Guard
"It’s time to bring back academic focus and leave behind identity politics. It’s time for our children to show their face with confidence and thrive. And it’s time for SAU16’s ratings to reflect what taxpayers invest in."
Stratham mother of two
"I am a scientist, a veteran and leader, a widowed single mother, and an SAU16 taxpayer. My mother and sister are teachers. My sister was District Teacher of the Year and won a Congressional teaching award in 2021. Due to a career in which I moved 14 times, my two sons attended ten different schools (six public, one parochial, and four private). I moved to Exeter in 2016, where my youngest attended PEA. We were told the public schools were also outstanding – and once seriously considered switching to EHS. Sadly, the SAU16 decline has been objectively obvious. I attended or watched recent school board meetings and was shocked by the lack of concern with academics, the promotion of polarizing policies, and the refusal to address concerns raised by parents.
I worked at the Office of Naval Research, where my $305M budget went mostly to academic institutions nation-wide, along with public and private labs, conducting science and technology research. This community needs young researchers in scientific and technical fields - with strong reading and writing skills in addition to math, physics, chemistry, etc. My current company is also hiring – mostly engineers and software developers. My friends and colleagues at other companies are competing to hire from the same limited talent pool. There is a HUGE demand for technically skilled Critical Thinkers and Problem Solvers – and they are hard to find.
Many people moved to this area due to the excellent reputation of SAU16 schools. Now, families are leaving SAU16 in unprecedented numbers. Many wonder if plummeting school performance, combined with high (and increasing) taxes and budgets, will impact the local housing market. This school district is among the wealthiest I have seen, yet still failing – it’s not about money. This school district desperately needs LEADERSHIP and FOCUS. We need new, effective leaders who will focus on local challenges without being distracted by politics or national agendas. We need fewer cheerleaders, and more change-leaders to get SAU16 schools back on track academically."
CAPT Robin Tyner, USN (ret)