Chris Stewart (New Hampshire)
|Board Member, Manchester Board of School Committee, Ward 3|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 5, 2013|
|First elected||November 8, 2011|
|Next general||November 3, 2015|
Chris Stewart resides in Manchester, New Hampshire with his wife. He is the current Ward 3 member of the Board of School Committee, which he was first elected to in 2011. He received his B.A. from American University and graduated from both American University’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies Campaign Management Institute and the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies Lobbying Institute. Stewart has worked as a trade magazine reporter covering the Texas Legislature and as a political operative consulting on state and federal campaigns. He helped to found QuadLyfe, which supports post-secondary educational institutions adjust to mobile technology, and currently serves as the managing director for b-fresh consulting llc, specializing in social media strategy and public relations.
|Manchester School District, Ward 3 General Election, 2-year term, 2013|
|Nonpartisan||Chris Stewart Incumbent||46.6%||328|
|Source: City of Manchester, New Hampshire, "2013 Municipal General Election - November 5, 2013," accessed November 6, 2013|
Stewart reported $1,751 in contributions and $1,012.46 in expenditures to the City of Manchester, which left his campaign with $738.54 on hand.
Chris Stewart received an endorsement for his campaign from the New Hampshire Union Leader.
|Manchester School District, Ward 3 General Election, 2-year term, 2011|
|Nonpartisan||Michael J. DeBlasi Incumbent||41.8%||238|
|Source: City of Manchester, New Hampshire, "2011 Municipal General - November 8, 2011," accessed August 21, 2013|
In an interview with goodgood manchester, Stewart listed the following campaign themes for 2013:
"We need to improve our city schools and make the Manchester School District the best performing school district in New Hampshire. We can do this by insuring that there is a highly trained and well supported teacher in every classroom in the district. If our schools become known for their excellence it will attract new families to our community and jumpstart economic development."
What was at stake?
At-large incumbents Kathy Staub and David M. Wihby sought re-election, as well Sarah S. Ambrogi, Debra G. Langton, Chris Stewart, Ted Rokas, Dan Bergeron, Erika Connors, Arthur J. Beaudry and John B. Avard in their respective wards. Incumbents Roy Shoults, Dave Gelinas, Jason Cooper and Roger Beauchamp did not file for re-election and were replaced by Amy L. Bradley, Ross Terrio, Katie Desrochers and Constance "Connie" VanHouten in Wards 4, 7, 11 and 12, respectively. The only incumbent to be ousted was Dan Bergeron in Ward 6, who was beaten by challenger Robyn M. Dunphy.
On June 26, 2013, Curriculum Management Systems published its audit of the Manchester School District. The district spent $40,000 to commission the report, which criticized the size of the fifteen-member school board and its two-year terms as causes of instability in the district. The audit states that, "Declining student enrollment, funding reductions, board disharmony, aging school facilities, and disparities in student performance have been long-standing issues facing the district." The auditors acknowledge that, ."..the educational program a student experiences at one school may differ widely from the education a student receives at another school," and recommend that the school board create "written policies, plans, and procedures to provide a foundation for a consistent educational program" across the district. Board member Arthur J. Beaudry did not agree with all of the findings and recommendations in the audit, arguing that, "The board is reluctant to pursue big changes too much because that's seen as micromanaging. So they back up, or at least some board members do." Stewart took a different position and referred to the audit as "terrific."
On April 29, 2013, the school board voted to approve an $83,900 contract to train district elementary and middle school teachers in the Common Core standards for English and math. Local education activist Deborah Olszta criticized the vote and Common Core, stating, "Every student in the country is going to be doing same thing at same time. China can do this sort of thing, but in America, this is supposed to be an open and free-thinking society." Debra G. Langton and Arthur J. Beaudry voted against the contract, with Langton questioning the necessity of the contract in light of existing budgetary issues in the district.
About the districtHillsborough County, New Hampshire. The county seats of Hillsborough County are Manchester and Nashua. According to the 2010 US Census, Hillsborough County is home to 402,922 residents.
Hillsborough County outperformed the rest of New Hampshire in terms of its poverty rate, median rates of average household income and higher education achievement in 2011. The poverty rate in Hillsborough County was 7.5% compared to 8.0% for the entire state. The median household income in Hillsborough County was $70,591 compared to $64,664 for the state of New Hampshire. The US Census also found that 34.6% of Hillsborough County residents aged 25 years and older attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 33.1% in New Hampshire.
Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Chris + Stewart + Manchester + School + District"
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- b-fresh consulting llc, "Team," accessed August 23, 2013
- City of Manchester, New Hampshire, "Campaign Finance Reports Filed by Candidate," accessed December 27, 2013
- New Hampshire Union Leader, "For School Board: Our Manchester endorsements," October 31, 2013
- goodgood manchester, "Meet Chris Stewart!" May 29, 2013
- City of Manchester, New Hampshire, "Filings for Non-Partisan Municipal Primary Election," accessed August 21, 2013
- Ted Siefer, New Hampshire Union Leader, "School district audit report lands with a thud," June 29, 2013
- Manchester School District, "Curriculum Audit of the Manchester School District," June 27, 2013
- Ted Siefer, "Manchester school audit points finger at school committee itself," June 26, 2013
- Ted Siefer, New Hampshire Union Leader, "Common core education talk draws opponents in Manchester," April 30, 2013
- United States Census Bureau, "Hillsborough County, New Hampshire," accessed August 20, 2013
- New Hampshire Secretary of State, "Party Registration/Names on Checklist History," accessed August 20, 2013
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014