Amherst School Board

School Board Updates Community on Actions

To the editor:

Wilkins Fire Update

      As many of you are likely aware, on Thursday, July 15th there was a small fire at the Wilkins school. The fire was caused by a backpack vacuum battery and triggered the local sprinkler head. We are thankful that no one was hurt and for the prompt response of our local emergency services; however, there was extensive water and smoke damage throughout the building. Our administration quickly contacted our insurance company and a clean up crew was on site by the next day. Cleaning and drying has continued, and we anticipate the building being fully restored in plenty of time for the start of the school year. We will continue to be in touch with the community about any further developments. Videos on the progress can be viewed at the SAU39 YouTube page.

Re-opening Plans

      The Re-opening Task Force continues to work on a plan for the start of our new school year. Their final meeting will be August 4th, after which they will bring their recommendations to the SAU board for final approval on August 19. Recordings of all Re-opening Task Force meetings can be found on the SAU 39 YouTube page.

Joint Facilities Advisory Committee Update

      Work with Banwell Architects to determine the exact scope of the project along with placement on the Wilkins Elementary property along with any wetland considerations has been ongoing. Requests for proposals for both construction management and civil engineer have been posted on the SAU website, and interviews are scheduled to take place in August. Residents can expect further cost information after the construction manager has been hired and work has been done to review their estimates. 

Policy Season: 

      By the time this is released, policy season will have come to a close. The policy committee held five meetings this summer and worked on revising, refining, or adopting more than fifty policies. The committee’s recommendations will now be sent to the SAU and district boards for approval or further discussion.

Starting Dates and School Start and End Time: 

      Just a reminder that the first day of school this fall is August 31st and that our start and end times are as follows:

      Clark-Wilkins: 7:45 am to 2:25 pm

      AMS: 8:30 am to 3:24 pm.


Upcoming Meetings/Events:

August 12th, 6pm: JFAC: Brick School

August 19th, 6pm: SAU: Souhegan Learning Commons

August 25th, 6pm: ASB: Souhegan Learning Commons

August 31st: First day of school

September 7th, 6pm: ASB: Souhegan Learning Commons


Tom Gauthier, Chair

Elizabeth Kuzsma, Vice Chair

Terri Behm

Josh Conklin

Victoria Parisi

Book Shed Re-opens

To the editor:

      The Amherst Book Shed (aka the Book Swap in the red building at the Amherst Transfer Station) is now re-opened and cleaned after being closed since March 2020.  This is a wonderful resource for people to leave off books for others to take and to take as many as you like for free.  Summer’s a great time to come by and pick up some beach reads or other vacation fiction books.  Bring your kids and stock up on Children’s books or books for young adults.  If you’re in college, come on by and see if you can pick up that biology or calculus textbook you’ll need in the fall.  There’s plenty to choose from.

      My wife and I have volunteered in the Book Shed for the past few years, along with a few others.  We sort newly dropped off books onto the various labeled categories on the shelves, as well as removing soiled or damaged books.  Due to its limited space, we can’t accommodate everything.  In particular, please do not drop off:

      •    Encyclopedia sets and magazines

      •    Outdated books, e.g., Windows 3.1 manuals, 1948 Red Cross first aid manuals, 1986 AAA and Fodor’s travel guides, 1995 World Books, etc.

      •    Books without covers, books missing pages, torn or soiled books

      Take such items up the hill for recycling.  Soft cover books can be recycled in the mixed paper bins.  Hardcover books can likewise be recycled if you remove the covers, or dumped into the trash bin.  Magazines can go in with the newspaper recycling.    Old video tapes/DVDs can be left at the Still Good Shed, also recently re-opened.

      If we all do our part the Book Shed will continue to be a useful resource for book lovers.  Thank you.


Joe O’Neill


Police Response is Lacking

To the editor:

      I am writing about the closure of Amherst Street  and diversion of traffic onto Old Milford Road, and most importantly, the lack of response of the Amherst Police Department regarding the safety of this decision.

      What is basically a two lane highway is being diverted onto a small, winding residential street.  Drivers are speeding excessively, screaming obscenities to residents walking on our own street and disrupting a nice quiet street.

      When I phoned the Amherst Police to ask them to step in and help after I was nearly killed getting my mail, the officers response was “The Amherst police cannot get involved in this, it’s Continental Paving and Aspland”.  Here is the mission statement of the Amherst Police Department:


To strengthen the quality of life in Amherst

as we

Deliver exemplary service to the public with compassion

and respect whenever called upon

Enforce the laws of our town, state, and country

in a fair, firm, and impartial manner


Maintain a reputation built upon commitment,

professionalism, and uncompromising ethics


      How did the police deliver exemplary service, respect who called, or enforce the laws?  


Debra Wrobel