EATON — While no one is officially on the ballot for an open three-year seat on the Eaton School Board, Danielle "Nella" Thompson is hoping voters will write her in today so she can continue on the board.
Town voting takes place today at the Eaton Town Hall from from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Thompson, 46, was appointed on Oct. 7, 2019, to fill out one year of September Quint, who announced her resignation from the Eaton School Board in May of that year. She was elected in March 2020 to complete the term.
A local Realtor, Thompson made a video to announce her candidacy, and supporter John Hartman sent it to the Sun over the weekend as did MWV Republican Chairman Steven Steiner, who says the committee is backing Thompson.
"Due to a glitch in the system, I was unable to get on the ballot for next Tuesday," Thompson says in the video. "So what I'm asking everyone to do is write in a vote for me. I will continue to work hard for the town of Eaton."
Asked what the glitch was that kept her from filing, Thompson said one issue was she didn't realize her term was expiring.
"I had just been elected in March of last year," she said.
She said in mid-February, fellow board member Chris Kennedy contacted her by email about getting on the ballot. She tried asking the town again last week and was told the filing period had ended in January.
She said it would have been "nice" to have a reminder and that there was some "confusion" about whether she was to file with the town or the school district and that she was getting contradictory instructions on that.
The Sun asked Eaton Town Administrator Lianne Boelzner about Thompson and the ballot issue.
"Nella is not on the ballot because she did not sign up to be on the ballot," said Boelzner. "Candidates are to sign up with the town or school clerk in January. The deadlines are advertised in the paper, on the town website and at the (Eaton) store, as they are every year. Once a candidate misses that deadline, the ballots are printed without their names."
A public notice for the Eaton School District published in the Sun said the filing period was Jan. 20-29.
Thompson has a 6-year-old son, Camden, who attends Northeast Woodland Public Chartered School in North Conway. Camden appeared in another video Thompson made and which Steiner shared Monday.
"Please vote for for my mom," said Camden, adding she is on the Eaton School Board. "And vote for Trump."
In her first video, Thompson addresses some of the issues facing the Eaton School District.
"One of my concerns is how our budget for the school board is quickly approaching $1 million for the small amount of students that we have," said Thompson.
"My other concern is the curriculum that the SAU is currently teaching our children. I personally feel that our parents should have school choice, whether it's to send your child to the public school, a private school or the new charter school that we have in the area."
A chart that Hartman sent the Sun shows that Eaton, which has 23 students in the district, will be paying nearly $913,000 to the Conway School District in 2021 and that figure excludes the passage of any window bond and warrant articles.
According to Hartman, at 23 students in Eaton, the cost per student works out to almost $40,000.
Thompson told the Sun that Chatham, Hale's and Hart's Location send their students to Fryeburg Academy.
"We can send our kids over to Fryeburg for a full ride, and it would still be less than half of what it's costing to send them to the SAU," said Thompson, adding that Fryeburg Academy would cost $18,000 per high school student.