Some of us older folks remember the rock & roll singer Chuck Berry and one his very popular early songs, “School Days.” For those the lyrics, guitar riffs and rhythms bring back a lot of memories.
Last year I had the opportunity to experience part of a school day at Goffstown High School (GHS.)
Elizabeth Dubrulle had invited me to listen to one of her history lectures one morning early at GHS. Unfortunately, she had a medical issue during the night and wasn’t able to give her lecture. That left me waiting there with nothing to do until Principal McBride saw my plight.
He very casually, with no hesitation, said, “Let me give you a quick walking tour of GHS.” It is with no exaggeration when I say that I was totally unprepared for what I saw in GHS that morning.
Not only was there no bullying, horseplay or any raucous behavior in the halls, classrooms, library, labs, gym or cafeteria, all students appeared to be engaged in productive learning activities.
These students weren’t behaving at all like anything that I remembered from my high school days.
GHS students (this was before class time started) were actually reading books and were engaged in various study activities whether sitting on the floor in the halls, in the library, in the cafeteria or in the various labs. Students in the gym were also shooting hoops in a very cooperative manner.
Principal McBride obviously had an excellent rapport with both students and teachers as he was able to converse easily by first name with everyone that we met on our walk through the school.
In all my decades of experience, whenever I saw organizational behavior, both good and bad, it was most always a reflection of top management, supervision or “the boss.” It was easy to recognize.
Since effective leadership behavior is not readily apparent in another of our schools, as Scott Gross suggested (and he certainly wasn’t the first) in a recent Goffstown News “Letter to the Editor,” then that also is a reflection of “top management.” And that is where it really affects Goffstown.
If other towns are thinking of pulling their students from Goffstown because of an ineffective school leadership problem, then Goffstown will lose revenues of about $11,300 per student. Multiply those per student revenues by the potential number of students leaving Goffstown and there will be a big drop in revenues that will have to be addressed by all Goffstown taxpayers!
Since per student costs have doubled over the last decade (this year’s tax payer guide,) then there is a possibility that property taxes will again have to rise dramatically. That is a very real situation.
Scott Gross is also correct in observing that Goffstown property taxes haven’t doubled over the last decade for a number of elusive reasons. Somebody is paying for doubling student costs, however.
If that “somebody” ever decides to further down shift costs to Goffstown property tax payers, then there will also be a big surprise in our future tax bills. Concerned taxpayers need to be very vigilant!
Also remember that local school taxes only pay for about 55% of the Goffstown schools’ budgets.
Since most of the rising school costs are beyond local control, let’s address those in our backyard!