School board quickly promotes Terri Forsten to replace Bob Champlin as Laconia's superintendent of schools
Published DateLACONIA — After asking fellow members for comments and getting none, School Board Chair Joe Cormier yesterday morning nominated Terri Forsten to be the next superintendent of SAU 30, the Laconia School District. A unanimous vote followed.
Forsten, of Concord, who has been the assistant superintendent in Laconia for seven years, will be paid between $116,000 to $132,000 annually depending on a pending contract negotiation between her and a subcommittee of the board. She currently earns $96,700.
Cormier said it was his desire to "remain competitive" and he said he did a salary survey of other Lakes Region communities as well as communities that are similar in size to Laconia. He said this was the range with the bulk of area superintendent earning at the higher level of the agreed upon scale.
The community was shocked last week when current Superintendent Bob Champlin announced his resignation at the end of this school year because of health issues. He will remain superintendent until June 30, when Forsten will assume the role and Cormier said he has been in phone contact with the district administrators regularly.
Champlin earned $115,000 annually, having forgone a raise in the past three years as has Forsten. He was scheduled to earn around $117,000 in the fiscal year that starts July 1 — his raise, according to Cormier, consistent with the raises earned by other district employees.
Assuming Champlin had gotten a three percent raise over the past three years. Cormier explained that he would be making $125,956.
Forsten described her ascension as "bittersweet," saying she had always aspired to be a superintendent someday.
She told the board was excited about the direction the School District is going and is looking forward to "a very strong school year."
"We have an outstanding system," she said describing the board and the employees as truly dedicated to educating Laconia's children.
Cormier said the Laconia School District plans on continuing with its current business model of having a superintendent and an assistant superintendent and will advertise for the assistant position.
Forsten has 17 years in the Laconia School District, serving from 1995 to 2005 as the principal at Pleasant Street School before being made assistant superintendent. She has worked in the Hollis, Candia, and Concord School Districts as a special education teacher and curriculum coordinator, as a special education teacher at the Lake Shore Psychiatric Hospital, as an assistant principal and a special education coordinator.
She is a graduate of Keene State College, earning her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Special Education and her Master degree at the University of New Hampshire. She has also taken graduate classes at Plymouth State University and Harvard University and is certified to hold the position of superintendent of schools.