Stephen Bannasch, Campaign December 2005

Shutesbury School Committee Special Election: Tuesday December 6, 2005

Campaign Statement
Absentee Voting
Meet the candidates, Wednesday November 30
How can you help?

Campaign Statement

My name is Stephen Bannasch, I am running for election to the School Committee and I'd like your vote.  I recently completed a three-year term on the School Committee where I helped develop the new mission statement, select the interim and current superintendents, and served on the Union #28 Budget and Personnel committee.

I work at Concord Consortium as the Director of Technology and have more than 25 years of experience developing innovative educational technology and curricula, managing projects, hiring people, and maintaining budgets. The Concord Consortium is a non-profit educational research and development organization that specializes in developing and adapting technology for both K-12 math and science education and teacher-professional development.

Educational Philosophy

Our school must do the best job possible to prepare our children to lead successful lives of personal and social meaning.  This means more than a narrow focus on high-stakes tests and State curriculum frameworks, it means making certain that students are involved with their hearts and their minds in projects that are meaningful. I believe that children learn best when they take an active and engaged ownership in their own learning and use this involvement to build an understanding of themselves and the world around them.  I think this is best achieved with a curriculum that emphasizes thematic and project-based learning.  The learning strategies and essential skills described in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks are learned most effectively when children use these skills in projects they have a personal investment in. It is important for the School Committee to defend this educational philosophy and approach against a general theme in education today that values a broad but shallow mastery of facts.

Open Communications

The School Committee should pass a communications policy that states we will take all practical steps to make all of the School Committee and the School's business, budget and communications as accessible to the public as possible. For example I'd like to have copies of any information sent by the superintendent to school committee members posted publicly on a web site. Of course most of the time almost no one will be interested in this information but anybody in town who is interested should be able to easily find out what the School Committee is discussing and deciding.

I encourage you to continue the conversation with me in person or by contacting me at 259-9125, email at [email protected], or visiting:

Read more extensive statements at the links below:

2 Page Campaign Statement, (pdf)
10 Page Campaign Statement, (pdf)


Dina Stander, Michael DeChiara, Mary Anne Antonellis, Emily Bayard, Sean Meyer, Joe Jerry, Kate Hart, Roger Tincknell, Randi Silnutzer, Patty Townsend, Virginia Worthington, Richard Van Emmerik, Christine Warren, Glen Warren, Chris Bonak, Lauren Holt, Ken Holt, Pam Ososky, Marc Engram, Mark Hart, Aron Goldman, Emily Bloch, Tom Kalt, Jill Cohen, Peter Corbett, Lisa Fontes, Carlos Fontes, Laura Sylvester, Steven Miller, Margie Kolchin, Daniel Greenberg, Miriam Defant, Wayne Burleson, Nancy Bristel, Barbara-Jean Tomlinson, Roo Trimble, Kristen Luschen, Susan Loring Wells, Susan Hanna-Meyer

Send me an email if you want your name added to the suppporters list.

Absentee Voting

Absentee voting is very easy in Shutesbury. If you are unable to make it to the town hall to vote because you are out of town or because of health or religious reasons you can vote by absentee ballot. You will need to fill out a form requesting an absentee ballot and send it or deliver it to the Town Clerk, Leslie Bracebridge:

Absentee Ballot Request for the Dec 6, 2005 Special Election (word)
Absentee Ballot Request for the Dec 6, 2005 Special Election (pdf)

These are not ballots! Some people misinterpreted my letter and this section of the web site and wondered if it was legal for me to distribute ballots. These are just ballot request foms, not ballots. I checked with the Seceretary of States office -- there is no problem distributing ballot request forms, it is just a list of the information that Leslie asks for with placeholders for a person to enter the data.

If you deliver the request in person to Leslie she will give you a ballot to fill out right then and there. You can also mail the request to Leslie at the following address:

Town Clerk
PO Box 264
Shutesbury, MA 01072
[email protected]

Discuss school, election or any other issues in the web forum

The focus of the Dean Brook Blog (web log) is all things Shutesbury: the school, politics, community events, wildlife sightings, you name it. Anybody can read this blog and registered users can add comments to existing topics or start new topics.

Current articles:

Meet the candidates night

Wednesday November 30th will be a Meet the Candidates night at the school from 6:30-8:30 sponsored by the School Council. The other candidate is Matt Hart who lives on the corner of West Pelham and Baker Road. Matt's a great guy and I urge you to come to the event to ask both of us questions and hear us speak. I know I would appreciate the support.

How can you help?

In the election last May I lost by 9 votes in a tight 3-way race so I need all the help I can get!

Pass along the location of this web site to people who are interested in the election.

If you know people who might be supporters of my candidacy who don't use email please let them know I am running and ask if they are willing to be listed as supporters.

If you feel strongly you can write a letter to the Hampshire Gazette supporting my candidacy. Letters can be sent to [email protected] or by U.S. mail to Letters, Daily Hampshire Gazette, 115 Conz Street, Northampton MA 01060. Please include a return address and a phone number where they can reach you between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to confirm authorship. Put "Letter to the Gazette" in the subject line of e-mail. The Gazette will consider publishing letters of support for a candidate provided the letter addresses specific issues and qualifications and is limited to 200 words.

Let me know if you want a sign. I have a few signs and can make more.

I plan to campaign across the street from the town hall on December 6 and would love company for some or all of the time.

Thanks for reading this far and considering my candidacy.

Stephen Bannasch
106 Sand Hill Road, Shutesbury, MA 01072
413 259 9125
[email protected]