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Pinkerton board to discuss accepting Hooksett students

DERRY — Pinkerton Academy's board of trustees is scheduled to meet on Thursday, and one of the topics of discussion concerns the possibility of Hooksett becoming a new sending town.

The meeting will be the first of three regular meetings the board will hold this year with the superintendents and school board members from the four sending towns — Auburn, Chester, Derry and Hampstead — said Chip Underhill, Pinkerton's executive director of public affairs.

Underhill said the meeting is informational, and no action will be taken by the trustees. The meeting isn't open to the public."Three times a year we meet formally with all the school boards and superintendents," Underhill said. "This is the first of the year."

Hooksett has agreed to enter into contract negotiations with Pinkerton to send most of its high school students there starting next September.

Hooksett's contract negotiations will not be discussed during the meeting, and the board will not take a vote, Underhill said. Trustees, though, will possibly discuss what would happen if Hooksett does become a sending town, Underhill said.

"If they say anything it would specifically be how they could be assimilated into the student body," Underhill said.

Trisha Korkosz, chairman of the Hooksett School Board, said the board is working to reach a deal with Pinkerton and could possibly have a final agreement ready to put before voters in March."We should be able to present it to voters in March," she said. "We are getting close."

The School Board is working to finalize a warrant article within approximately the next six weeks, but the article can't be formally created until there is a contract in hand, she said.Some of the points that remain to be finalized include where to send Hooksett students who might prefer, for logistical reasons, to go to another school that is closer to them, such as Manchester, Pembroke, Bow or Londonderry, Korkosz said.Hooksett is in the last year of a sending contract with the Manchester School District; that agreement was terminated last summer after a settlement was reached that got Hooksett out of the contract early

Also on the agenda for the trustees' meeting is the search for Pinkerton's next headmaster.

Headmaster Mary Anderson announced in the spring that she would be retiring at the end of the 2013-2014 school year, marking nearly four decades at the academy.

Executive search firm Carney, Sandoe & Associates was scheduled to meet earlier this year with the superintendents of the four sending towns. The board hopes to have the next headmaster in place by June, Underhill said.

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