Joel Elber

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Joel Elber
Joel Elber.jpg
Former candidate for
Board Member, Manchester Board of School Committee, Ward 12
Elections and appointments
Last electionSeptember 17, 2013
Term limitsN/A
High schoolChelsea Senior High School
Bachelor'sNortheastern University
OtherSalem State College
ProfessionRetired educator
Campaign website
Joel Elber campaign logo
Ballotpedia's school board candidate survey
Joel Elber was a candidate for the vacant Ward 12 seat on the Manchester Board of School Committee. He did not receive enough votes in the primary election on September 17 to continue on to the general election on November 5, 2013.


Joel Elber resides in Manchester, New Hampshire. He attended both Chelsea Senior High School and Newman Preparatory School, and graduated with a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University.[1] Elber attended Salem State College to receive his teacher certification, and then taught English and social studies at Chelsea Senior High School for 36 years until retiring in 2007.[1]



See also: Manchester School District elections (2013)


Fellow newcomers Christine Duffley and Constance VanHouten defeated Joel Elber for the vacant Ward 12 seat in the primary election on September 17, 2013.[2]

Manchester School District, Ward 12 Primary Election, 2-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngChristine Duffley 40.6% 239
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngConstance VanHouten 36.3% 214
     Nonpartisan Joel Elber 23.1% 136
Total Votes 589
Source: New Hampshire Union Leader, "Unofficial contested Manchester primary results," September 17, 2013 These results are unofficial and not certified. They will be updated once certified results are available.


Elber did not report any contributions but cited $1,350.04 in expenditures to the City of Manchester, which left his campaign $1,350.04 in debt.[3]


Joel Elber did not receive any official endorsements for his campaign.

Campaign themes

In a campaign video for Manchester TV, Elber stated that, "The school board must go to the community. By working together, we can all share in the knowledge and satisfaction that we have provided for educational needs of children... We need to ensure the district's longevity by making sure the community recognizes the value of getting an education in Manchester."[1]

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.[4] 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.

District audit

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.[5] 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."[6] 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.[6] 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."[5] Board member Christopher Stewart took a different position and referred to the audit as "terrific."[7] Christine Duffley has acknowledged that, "The findings of the recent Manchester School District audit report reveal many areas in need of improvement."[1]

Common Core

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.[8] 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."[8] 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.[8]

About the district

See also: Manchester School District, New Hampshire
Manchester School District is located in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire
Manchester School District is located in Hillsborough 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.[9]


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.[9]

Recent news

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