By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, Tuesday, January 10, 2006
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
[Photo by Jay Reiter]
HAMPTON -- Susan Kepner says she will not be running for another three-year term after serving 18 years on the Winnacunnet Cooperative School Board.
Kepner, currently the chairwoman of the board, said it’s time for some new blood.
"I think it’s somebody else’s turn." she said.
Kepner said the last year on the board has been very time consuming.
She attended weekly building meetings, served on the Seacoast Educational Support Personnel Association’s negotiating team as well as handled all the duties that go along with being chairwoman.
There was also that "spur" issue.
"This has been an incredible year and while I love it, I have not had a chance of doing a lot of things that I’d like to be doing," Kepner said. "If this year wasn’t as tough, I think my decision would have been that much harder."
Kepner said she decided to run for School Board in 1988 to make positive changes.
And while on the School Board she said she tried to live up to the motto that is displayed on her button "we must be the change we wish to see in the world."
"It’s a quote from Gandhi," Kepner said. "It has always stuck with me. People have no right to complain about an issue unless they try and do something about it."
Over the years, she has worked with large budgets, hired personnel, negotiated teacher contracts, developed policy, and worked on two building committees.
While she is Hampton’s representative on the board, Kepner said she and other members of the board looked out for the best interest of the entire school and not just the students from their town.
"We’ve been a real team and not just four individuals representing their town," Kepner said. "We always said it’s Winnacunnet’s kids. We don’t always agree on everything, but we agree every kid should have the opportunity to be successful and learn."
Kepner said one of the things she is most proud of is getting to see the new auditorium constructed 10 years ago and the recent passage of the $26 million building and renovation project.
She’s also proud the School Board never followed suit with other schools in eliminating art and music from the high school for budgetary reasons.
"Over the years, we have tried to offer courses to keep kids in school," Kepner said. "I’m proud that we were able to keep music and art."
Kepner said she doesn’t plan on walking off into the sunset.
"I’m always going to be interested in what happens in education," Kepner said. "I plan on staying involved. I also have interests in politics both state and nationally."
While she ran for a seat on the state House of Representatives last year, Kepner said that will probably not be in the cards.