TOWN OF WALPOLE
HOOPER TRUSTEES with HOOPER INSTITUTE BOARD
APRIL 15, 2019
Hooper Trustees: Steven Dalessio (Chair); Peggy Pschirrer; Cheryl Mayberry
Hooper Institute Board: Becky Whippie; Karen Galloway,Marcia Galloway, Elaine Heleen
Guest: Susan Wyckoff
CALL TO ORDER: Mr. Dalessio called this Joint Meeting of the Hooper Trustees with the Hooper Institute Board to order at 7:00 PM in the Walpole Town Hall. This meeting is being recorded.
APPROVAL OF MEETING MINUTES – March 27, 2019: Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Minutes of the Joint Meeting of the Hooper Trustees with Hooper Institute Board meeting of March 27, 2019, as submitted, Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the Minutes were approved.
INTRODUCTION – Susan Wyckoff will be Attending as Chair of the Search Team: Mr. Dalessio thanked Mrs. Wyckoff for joining us as the leader for their Executive Search. He asked Mrs. Wyckoff to provide a little background of herself for the members who had not previously met her.
Mrs. Wyckoff advised when the Trustees asked her to come on-board to help with the search, she was pleased to do so since she has been an educator and teacher for over 40 years. Mrs. Wyckoff started her career in the public schools in Claremont after college graduation. She was awarded her bachelor’s degree at the University of Rhode Island in education; came to Claremont; got her master’s degree in education from Keene State and her Ph.D. from UNH. Mrs. Wyckoff loves New Hampshire and has lived here most of her adult life. She has lived in Walpole for about seven years. Mrs. Wyckoff and has heard a lot of wonderful things about the Hooper Institute. It seems they are in a good spot to capitalize on the legacy of the Institute and what the Institute brings to the community. She has been thinking about where we go from here. It is a good time to put some ideas on the table and what they are looking for in an Executive Director. Mrs. Wyckoff is happy to be a part of the Search Committee.
Mrs. Wyckoff has been on the Hooper Scholarship Committee for six years. She explained the Scholarship Committee mirrors a lot of the same values as the Institute. They are looking to promote educational endeavors in the areas of agriculture, conservation, environmental studies, etc. Since 1995 to 2019 they have given out over $400,000 to fifty applicants. They are really proud of being able to help students out. There were some adult students. She would have attended Institute Board meetings if she had been invited. Mr. Dalessio explained Mr. Tom Goins was the representative from the Hooper Scholarship Committee to the Institute Board meetings. Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned the Institute Board invites the students who received Hooper Scholarship funds to meet with them. Mrs. MarciaGalloway said they received excellent comments from the students who received the scholarships. It is amazing at how well some of them have done. Mrs. Wyckoff noted it is a good feeling for families and students. Scholarships will be awarded in early June at the Fall Mountain High School AwardsCeremony. She has not received the date yet but would love to have members of the Hooper Institute Board attend. Ms. Mayberry advised there is also a North Walpole Scholarship that is given to a North Walpole student. Mr. Dalessio said the Hooper Institute offers special community opportunities that would not normally be found outside of Walpole.
REVIEW AND FINALIZE THE JOB DESCRIPTIONS: The revised job descriptions were available. These are based on the information received at the last meeting. Mrs. MarciaGalloway had questions about splitting the job into two categories. Her thought is that it should be a full-time position. With part-time people, you sometimes do not get the same dedication, and this is such an important position. Mrs. Pschirrer said if they could find a candidate to fit both these positions it might work. Mrs. Clark was part-time. Mrs. M. Galloway asked what they were thinking of in terms of hours for the part-timers. Mr. Dalessio feels that this is a good question because Mrs. Clark had limited teaching in the schools. Mrs. Whippie did Pre-K through fourth grade. Mrs. Clark did 5th and 6th grades which included the High Tunnel. Ms. Mayberry advised Mrs. Clark did not do the 7th and 8th grades due to scheduling; there was not the same flexibility as in the lower grades. Mr. Dalessio said finding a full-time person who would do both is optimistic. Ms. Mayberry sees the educator piece, the maintenance piece and then the outreach piece for expansion. Mr. Dalessio noted they have not reached out for volunteers in terms of doing some maintenance; such as, minor repairs. They could hire a part-time handyperson. Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned they have close to $1,000,000 for maintenance. Mr. Dalessio said they could also do an expansion on the Institute building. We do not have to go back to the court for approval; just contact the NH Charitable Trust. They just need a plan. Mrs. MarciaGalloway has lived in Walpole since 1970 and there are still a lot of people in Town not connected with the Hooper. Mr. Dalessio said it is known as the building on the hill. Mrs. Wyckoff pointed out that some students who apply for scholarships started out in the Hooper programs. Ms. Mayberry said look at it as three pieces of a whole, not necessarily equally divided with someone who is a visionary and who can integrate the Hooper community on a greater level than it currently exists. The education piece is important but we have one educator who works in the grades so that is open for discussion. There are a lot of other things that Mrs. Clark spent her time doing that need to be addressed such as getting the Hooper ready for spring,facilitate the summer programs and interns. All this needs to be coordinated as well as being able to reach out into the community. Mr. Dalessio questioned if it would be harmful if a decision was made not to do the 5th and 6th grades for a year. Mrs. Pschirrer advised they will have a new science teacher starting in September. Who would take care of the High Tunnel? She observed plants growing that will be ready for harvesting soon. Ms. Mayberry said listening to how they integrate into the schools it sounds like she reinforces lessons that the teachers are doing; provides program enhancements. Mrs. Whippie replied “yes”. She advised that their job as Hooper employees is to follow the studies of the teachers’programs. If it works with what the teachers are doing, they can coordinate and work together. Mrs. Clark is gearing up for the 6th graders canoe trip. This is extra beyond the school day. This is in cooperation with the teacher and the Connecticut River Watershed Council. Mrs. Whippie said Mrs. Clark does 5th and 6th grades but they would have to check with Mrs. Clark on the 7th and 8th grades as they are subject to time constraints. Mrs. Whippie is not sure of the hours Mrs. Clark works in the schools but she is there a lot. Mrs. Pschirrer asked Mrs. Whippie about her hours in the classrooms. Mrs. Whippie replied in addition to her planning time she has 24 hours. She coordinates with teachers and is at the Primary and North Walpole Schools.
Mr. Dalessio felt the discussion was beginning to sound like they should search for a full-time person. Ms. Karen Galloway feels they will find a much more qualified candidate. It is difficult finding qualified part-timers with no benefits in the school district. Mrs. M. Galloway felt they should search for a full-time person and offer Mrs. Whippie a few more hours if she would accept them. Mrs. Whippie explained that she and Mrs. Clark have talked about lots of things; she works parts of four days at this time. A big concern has always been money. Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned that many years ago Mrs. Clark had documented that there needed to be fundraising. They have to go back to raising money. That is why they created Friends of the Hooper. Mrs. Wyckoff summarized that they envision the management of the entire program, oversight of the educational piece, budgetary piece, oversight of the fiscal plan and fundraising. That is quite a full skill set. Mrs. Pschirrer said that is correct and why they started out with two job descriptions. Ms. Mayberry explained their vision is also education but in a broader sense than just K-through 8th grade. It would include the whole community, not just the schools. It is the community out-reach piece; have adults get involved. The goal is to create enthusiasm and interest in all age groups. Mr. Dalessio stated the Trustees will do whatever they can to help raise money. Mrs. Wyckoff said they will hope for the best; they shoot for what they really want. Mr. Dalessio suggested they leave this to Mrs. Wyckoff and Mrs. Pschirrer to work the two part-time positions into one full-time position so this can be moved along faster. Mrs. Wyckofffelt education should be strong and to get behind what the Hooper Institute stands for. She would like to spend some time talking about the position. It will include benefits in accordance with the Town’s policy. Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned they have an aging population in Town that they could run some very good programs for. Mr. Dalessio summarized it sounds like they are all in agreement.
Mr. Dalessio feels they should contact local businesses for support of the summer programs. Ms. K. Galloway replied they did do this. Walpole is small and those same people are contacted by all the organizations. She does not like going back all the time to the same people. They need to be creative and come up with other ideas besides speakers. Ms. Mayberry thought about workshops. There was discussion relative to the kind of grants they received in the past. Mrs. Clark wrote the grant applications. They have to meet the criteria. Mr. Ben Daviss and Ms. Mayberry were mentioned as grant writers.
SEARCH COMMITTEE: Mr. Dalessio advised they would like to have five members on the Search Committee. Ms. Mayberry will represent the Trustees. The other four members will be Mrs. Marcia Galloway, Mrs. Becky Whippie, Mr. Joe Coneeney and Mr. Sam Jacobs. Mrs. Wyckoff would like to have the Search Committee meet at her house to talk about a firm sense of what they are looking for. A part of their job is not just screening through the applicants but talking about the Town, the Hooper and this opportunity to work as a team. Mrs. M. Galloway stated the Hooper is so unique and Walpole is so lucky to have it. Mrs. Wyckoff is looking forward to working with everyone. Mr. Dalessio advised that Mrs. Whippie was the State Educator of the Year and the NH Conservation District last year. She is on the UNH Extension Service Advisory Committee.
TIMELINE FOR ADVERTISING AND RECRUITING: Mrs. Pschirrer had a list of where they want to place the ads on April 22nd, 2019, as follows: The Keene Sentinel, Clarion, Walpolean, Antioch College, Keene State, UNH Agricultural Cooperative Extension, the Town’s website and we have the potential of putting something in The Shopper and the Valley News. Applicants have to send a resume and cover letter; all done electronically. Deadline is May 22nd, 2019. The start date will be mid-August.
Celebration Planning: The date is Sunday, June 23rd from 1:00to 4:00 PM at the Hooper Institute.
ADJOURNMENT: Mr. Dalessio declared this meeting adjourned at 8:10 PM.
Respectfully submitted, Regina Borden, Recording Secretary