Back in February, the town of Winchester passed a budget that was designed by the team of Jackson/Horton, who are now on our school board.
I worked hand-in-hand with Ken Dassau our superintendent, Charlie Paulin our business manager, Chris Boyle our technology director and Marie Braley our assistant to the superintendent.
We all started training for our jobs way back in January 2011, while we were still doing our regular jobs.
This group of administrative unit staff and the current school administration, and some of the past school board members put together a budget we knew would work, a bare-bones budget.
Our town voted to adopt the even smaller budget proposed by Jackson/Horton team. The team totally destroyed our administrative unit by cutting our salaries big!
I’m only going to discuss my job, which the team never, ever, even asked me what I did. They cut my salary, which in turn cut my hours, but I still have the same duties.
Meanwhile, our superintendent resigned and will be done Aug. 30, our business manager is basically just staying on for the summer, and our tech director left for a job that will pay him what he is worth in another school district.
We also lost our 7-8th grade science teacher to another school district and one of our 6th-grade teachers left also.
I was going to stay on because I love my job, my school and the staff I work with. Unfortunately, the stress of worrying what would happen in the upcoming year, losing the wonderful people I worked with in the administrative unit, knowing we were going into the school year with a budget that will never make it with the expenses that are “set,” made me ill.
I have resigned my position as accountant for Winchester School. I will miss all my co-workers but many are friends, so I will still get to see them.
What I will miss most is a job I love, children that knew my name and gave me huge hugs, and happy employees.
Wake up Winchester: Just because you passed a smaller budget does not mean we still won’t have the same expenses we knew about.
I will be hanging back and awaiting the results of this fiasco. Unfortunately, I am also a taxpayer in the town of Winchester and I know what to expect.
PATRICIA CHOTAIN KASAL
204 Manning Hill Road Winchester
Spending over 11 million dollars on a top heavy school budget is NOT fiscal responsibility Patricia. It is a proven fact that as a country we are spending nearly double over the past 10 years on education and yet our students can not compete with other students from around the world. Even poor, underdeveloped countries surpass our students in math and sciences. The United States was once #1 in the world, yet despite doubling the costs for teachers, administrators and aides according to the three-year study OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, which compares the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds in 70 countries around the world, ranked the United States 14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics. Several months ago there was another report published in the Keene Sentinel regarding Winchester ( as well as other towns ) students showing that they were far behind other students in the area despite increases in education funding and new hires here in Winchester. Despite all the chest thumping and rah rah nonsense coming out of the school system, it's obvious to all of us who bear the brunt of these tax increase, that there are serious issues that need addressing asap for the sake of the students who depend on their education to fulfill their life's dreams. How much longer are we going to continue to allow dumping millions into a failing system and turning a blind eye to the problems. Yes, we are in for a rude awaking come tax time in December when all of the spending for the school and town comes due. It's too bad that our students and taxpayers aren't getting their monies worth and that we have educators and town officials that only think of themselves first.