|Board Member, Manchester Board of School Committee, Ward 12|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 5, 2013|
|First elected||November 5, 2013|
|Next general||November 3, 2015|
|High school||West High School|
Constance VanHouten resides in Manchester, New Hampshire. She graduated from West High School, which is a part of the Manchester School District. VanHouten taught English at Memorial High School for 36 years before retiring in 2007, although she still teaches in a limited capacity through ESL programs and at Manchester Community College.
|Manchester School District, Ward 12 General Election, 2-year term, 2013|
|Source: City of Manchester, New Hampshire, "2013 Municipal General Election - November 5, 2013," accessed November 6, 2013|
|Manchester School District, Ward 12 Primary Election, 2-year term, 2013|
|Source: City of Manchester, New Hampshire, "2013 Non-Partisan Municipal Primary Election," accessed December 18, 2013|
VanHouten reported $2,495.99 in contributions and $1,187.68 in expenditures to the City of Manchester, which left her campaign with $1,308.31 on hand.
Constance VanHouten did not receive any official endorsements for her campaign.
In a campaign video for Manchester TV, VanHouten stated that, "As a school board member, I will look at issues through the eyes of a city taxpayer and a Ward 12 resident, and as someone who has been inside the school system. Our school district has many outstanding qualities, but it's at a pivotal transition point. The face of our city and of education in our city is changing. There is new leadership. We are a city of great diversity. The future of West High School, the school which many Ward 12 students attend, is unclear, and that is a critical issue for Ward 12 and for the city."
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." Board member Christopher Stewart took a different position and referred to the audit as "terrific." Christine Duffley has acknowledged that, "The findings of the recent Manchester School District audit report reveal many areas in need of improvement."
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 district
Manchester School District is located in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. The county seats are Manchester and Nashua. Hillsborough County is home to 402,922 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau. In the 2011-2012 school year, Manchester School District was the largest school district in New Hampshire and served 14,680 students.
Hillsborough County overperformed compared to the rest of New Hampshire in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 34.6 percent of Hillsborough County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 33.1 percent for New Hampshire as a whole. The median household income for Hillsborough County was $70,591 compared to $64,664 for the state of New Hampshire. The percentage of people below poverty level for Hillsborough County was 7.5 percent while it was 8.0 percent for the state of 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, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Constance + VanHouten + Manchester + School + District"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Manchester TV, "Ward 12," accessed August 30, 2013
- City of Manchester, New Hampshire, "Campaign Finance Reports Filed by Candidate," accessed December 27, 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
- National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed April 22, 2014
- 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