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Joyce Craig Says ‘Mayor Gatsas Is Failing Our Students’

Mayor Ted Gatsas (Image By Marc Nozell)

Today, the Union Leader reported through the anonymous whistleblowing of public school teachers that Manchester public schools don’t have enough math textbooks or workbooks for students. The story revealed that Manchester hasn’t had an elementary math curriculum in the city for three years, and teachers are defaulting to old, out-of-date textbooks. Teachers are being forced to reach into their own pockets to pay for school materials. As Chairman of the School Board, Mayor Gatsas has direct oversight of the school district and is not addressing critical issues in our schools that directly impact student success.

From the Mark Hayward at the Union Leader:

When Manchester schools started earlier this month, it marked the third year without a common, district-wide program for teaching mathematics in elementary schools, a situation that is drawing criticism from school officials, teachers and parents.
Critics, some who asked to speak anonymously for fear of reprisal from fellow teachers, say children in the city’s 14 elementary schools don’t get the same textbook or workbook — or even any book — that provides the tangible, step-by-step continuity that is helpful to mathematics instruction.

Without a district-wide curriculum, teachers cobble together lessons from various sources, meaning no conformity for lesson plans and teaching material in the district.

…Teachers use math workbooks left over from previous years, the teacher wrote.

They also download material from websites such as teacherspayteachers at their own expense (one 3rd-grade workbook bundle goes for $72). Lesson plans cost less for individual topics. For example, a lesson plan about sums costs $7. The district provides some materials.

…At another elementary school, a veteran teacher said teachers collaborate, but it comes down to whatever a teacher decides is best for her class. The teacher did not want her school or name published, fearing repercussions. Manchester students come from such diverse backgrounds, she said, that she’s not sure one curriculum would work for all.

“I wish we did have some kind of a book or program we all could use,” she said, “but on the other hand, I don’t know what it would be.”

She uses the teacherspayteachers website for some lessons. Her school, she said, has an active parent-teacher group that provides stipends that cover the lesson. Other schools don’t.

“There are a lot of teachers buying a lot of things,” she said. She said teachers also use their own printers at home to print out the lessons.

A teacher of more than 20 years, she relies on her experience.

“You’re pulling pieces of what you used to use, a game, a book,” she said. “For a new teacher, I don’t know what they’re doing.”

After the article published, Manchester Mayoral candidate, Joyce Craig issued this statement:

“As Chairman of the School Board, Mayor Gatsas is failing our students with his mismanagement of resources and lack of oversight of the school district. Textbooks and curriculums are a basic necessity for a quality education. Mayor Gatsas lets problems go unaddressed and shows he is not focused on leading discussions to improve student achievement.

My 13-year-old daughter is learning algebra, but she doesn’t even have an algebra textbook. There are hundreds of kids with the same problem. We can and must do better, and we can’t let Mayor Gatsas continue to shortchange our children’s education. We need fresh leadership that takes a proactive approach to solving our city’s problems and our families can’t afford more of Mayor Gatsas’ inaction.

My vision of Manchester is one where students and teachers have the resources they need to learn and succeed. As mayor, I will set goals and review results with the school board and community on a regular basis to ensure we are focused on improving student achievement.”

Joyce Craig will face off against Manchester’s current Mayor, Ted Gatsas, in the citywide elections on Nov. 7th.

Joyce Craig Garners Endorsement Of Manchester Firefighter Unions

Manchester, NH – Today in front of Manchester Fire’s Station 8, the Queen City’s two firefighter unions weighed into the contentious race for Mayor with their endorsement of former Alderman Joyce Craig.

“Manchester is in desperate need of a new vision for our city and its fire department. Over Mayor Gatsas’ tenure, staffing at the department has been reduced while the city has experienced a continuous increase in call volume and hazardous situations. As a 31 year veteran of the department, I am increasingly alarmed by the dangers and long term effects our firefighters face as they perform their mission to protect life and property. Simply stated we need a change and it must originate from the top,” said James Michael, President of the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors, IAFF Local 3820. 

“Our members pride themselves on their effective and efficient answering of every call, to every home and every business in need. We see firsthand the lack of efficiency and effectiveness in running our city, most recently through Mayor Ted Gatsas’ tall tale of saving Station 9 in his underfunded budget. As a lifelong resident of our city, I can say that smoke and mirrors does not result in a clear vision for our community. It is time that a change come to City Hall, and today we announce that Joyce is our choice as the next Mayor of Manchester,” said Jeff Duval, President of the Manchester Professional Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 856.

“I am proud to receive the support of the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors and the Manchester Professional Firefighters Association. Our firefighters risk their lives to respond to an increasing amount of emergency calls and hazardous situations with outstanding professionalism and dedication. I also want to thank our firefighters for their leadership and service implementing the Safe Station program. They have opened their doors to more than 2,000 people seeking help for substance use disorder. I look forward to working with our public safety officials to address our challenges and move Manchester forward,” said Joyce Craig, Candidate for Mayor of Manchester.

Joyce Craig is running against the current Mayor of Manchester, Ted Gatsas.  This election rematch is shaping up to be a very tight race.

The firefighters have not held anything back when talking about the failed leadership of Mayor Gatsas.  In his campaign announcement, Gatsas proclaimed he “saved a fire station from closing,” The firefighters quickly tamped that out in their statement.

“The people of Manchester are tired of Teddy’s tall tales. Mayor Gatsas’ claim to having ‘saved a fire station from closing’ skirts the fact that the Mayor’s proposed budget underfunded the Manchester Fire Department from the start. Chief Goonan and his administration warned the Board of Mayor and Aldermen repeatedly that restricting his budget would result in station closures,” said the Manchester Professional Fire Fighters Association and the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors in a joint statement.

“Not until the final warning came and sufficient plans were presented did the Board act to keep Station 9 open in an emergency meeting. Mayor Gatsas’ careless delays and ignoring public safety professionals’ warnings put lives at risk, and now he wants the credit for fixing a problem he created. Enough is enough,” the firefighters added.


Be sure to follow the NH Labor News for more updates on the Manchester Mayoral Race.

Manchester Mayoral Candidate Joyce Craig Launches ‘12 Wards in 12 Days’

Manchester, NH – Today, Joyce Craig, candidate for Mayor of Manchester, announced the launch of her ‘12 Wards in 12 Days’ tour to kick off her grassroots campaign. Joyce will meet voters in their neighborhoods, listen to their concerns, and share her ideas on how to make Manchester a better and safer place to work and live.

From Thursday, June 22 to Tuesday, July 3, Joyce Craig will participate in events and campaign activities in each of the 12 wards.

“I’m excited to work hard for every vote”, said Craig. “I want to reach people where they are; in every ward, to discuss real solutions to Manchester’s challenges. I want voters to know that I’ll work tirelessly to make Manchester a better place to live and work. Manchester has so much potential, but unless we address our struggling schools, the opioid crisis, and our deteriorating infrastructure, we’re not going to be able to move this city forward.”

The Craig campaign will launch ’12 Wards in 12 Days’ with a house party in Ward 6 on Thursday June 22 at 6pm. On Friday, Joyce will make stops in Ward 11 and will make stops and canvass in Wards 5 and 8 over the weekend. For more information or to RSVP please email craig@joycecraig.org.

The campaign will advise public events ahead of each day.

Joyce Craig Announces Campaign for Mayor of Manchester

MANCHESTER – Citing a need for new leadership in City Hall to address the many challenges facing Manchester, Joyce Craig today announced her campaign for Mayor of Manchester. 

“I’m running for Mayor because I love Manchester, and I know that we can and must do better to make our city a place where people want to live, work and raise their children,” said Joyce. “For eight years, under Mayor Gatsas, we’ve seen our city stumble from crisis to crisis.  We need a new Mayor with vision and energy. As an Alderman, I led bipartisan efforts to lower the tax rate while putting more police officers on the streets, improving our roads and investing in our schools. As Mayor, I will make smarter decisions with your hard earned money and work to bring pride and optimism back to the City of Manchester. Our city has great potential, but to get there we need new leadership, and that change must begin in the Mayor’s office.”

Born and raised in Manchester, Joyce is a former school board member and alderman, property owner and parent of children attending Manchester public schools who has seen first-hand the challenges our citizens face every day.  Joyce knows that Manchester cannot reach its full potential without the leadership in City Hall to address the many issues facing the city – including drugs and crime, the quality of our schools, our roads and infrastructure, and the need for a long term plan to promote economic development and job creation. 

Joyce and her husband, Attorney Michael Craig, have three children, William, Sarah and Kathryn. Joyce is a graduate of Manchester public schools and earned her degree in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire. Joyce worked as a marketing director in Boston for 15 years where she developed strategic plans and managed multimillion dollar budgets. She is now a self-employed property manager. Joyce is also an avid runner, who has completed 13 marathons and is currently training for her 10th consecutive Boston Marathon. 

Joyce Craig: Gatsas Cares More About Debate Rules than Manchester’s Future

MANCHESTER – This afternoon, Alderman Joyce Craig issued the following statement on yesterday’s mayoral debate.

“Yesterday, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce hosted a Mayoral debate where Ted Gatsas and I had the opportunity to address business and community leaders about the many issues facing Manchester – from the out of control heroin problem to our failing schools,” said Craig.

“Instead of talking about his record as Mayor or the issues important to our community, Mayor Gatsas accused me of violating debate rules by writing on a pad of paper provided by the Chamber to each candidate for use during the debate. After six years as Mayor, it is clear that Ted Gatsas has no interest in talking about his failed record or his lack of vision for Manchester’s future.

“During his tenure as Mayor, class sizes remain high, we lost over $9 million in tuition revenue after he lost the sending towns of Auburn, Hooksett, and Candia, and young families continue to leave Manchester for safer communities with better schools.

“As Mayor, Ted Gatsas has stood by while heroin abuse and drug-fueled crimes, like prostitution and burglary, have continued to plague our city. Last month, Manchester experienced the highest number of heroin overdoses to date. Despite this alarming trend, Mayor Gatsas failed to convince members of his own party to fund a drug court in Manchester and he refuses to join his Chief of Police and Public Health Director in supporting Medicaid Expansion to provide more options for treatment and recovery.

“For too long, Mayor Ted Gatsas’s misplaced priorities and failed leadership have held our city back. I am running for Mayor because as a former School Board Member, Alderman, marketing executive and mother, I have a record of bringing people together to solve problems, and that is exactly the kind of leadership that Manchester needs.”

Joyce Craig currently serves as the Ward 1 Alderman and is a candidate for mayor of Manchester.

Joyce Craig Announces Public Safety Endorsements

Joyce Craig MayorMANCHESTER – This afternoon, Alderman Joyce Craig announced that the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors, IAFF Local 3820, and the Manchester Professional Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 856, have endorsed her campaign for mayor of Manchester.

“Alderman Craig will confront the challenges that face our community with compassion and purpose,” said Jim Michael, President MAFS Local 3820.

 “After 6 years of failed leadership from Mayor Gatsas, we look forward to working with Alderman Craig as mayor and know she shares our passion of making our community the safest city possible,” added Jeff Duval, President, MPFFA Local 856.

“I am honored to have the support of the Manchester Association of Fire Supervisors and the Manchester Professional Firefighters Association,” said Craig.  “I commend our public safety officials for all they do and we must support them in their efforts to keep our city safe.  Emergency calls and crime have increased during the Mayor’s tenure, yet in the past he has taken actions that would have cut our critical public safety forces.  This must stop, and as mayor I look forward to working collaboratively with our public safety officials to ensure we are confronting our challenges and making Manchester a safe and welcoming city for all our families and residents.”

Joyce Craig currently serves as the Ward 1 Alderman and is a candidate for mayor of Manchester.

Manchester Education Association Recommends Joyce Craig For Mayor, Craig Announces Dates Of Public Forum

Manchester Education Association Recommends Joyce Craig for Mayor

MANCHESTER – This afternoon, Alderman Joyce Craig announced that the MEA has officially recommended her for mayor of Manchester.

“The Manchester Education Association officially recommends Joyce Craig for Mayor of Manchester,” said Sue Hannan, President, MEA. “Joyce’s long term record of understanding and supporting public education in Manchester is a clear message for all parents, educators and citizens that she is our best hope to move our schools forward.”

“I am truly honored to have the support of the Manchester Education Association and their 1000+ members,” said Craig.  “As a proud graduate of Memorial High School and the mother of three children in Manchester public schools, I understand the critical role public education plays in our city.  Good schools lead to greater economic development and safer streets, but under the Mayor’s tenure our schools have worsened and we have bigger class sizes, fewer teachers, and  fewer course offerings.  Our city has much room to improve, but we need a leader who will proactively work with others to find solutions to some of our pressing problems.  As mayor, I will work with parents, teachers, and administrators to strengthen our schools and make sure our kids have the opportunities to graduate and succeed.”

Joyce Craig is currently the Ward 1 Alderman and is a candidate for mayor of Manchester.


The campaigns for incumbent Mayor Ted Gatsas and mayoral candidate Joyce Craig have announced the following dates and locations for the Manchester Mayoral Town Hall series. 

Each town hall will begin at 6:30pm and is scheduled for 45 minutes.  The format will be that each candidate begins with a brief introduction, takes questions from audience members and concludes with a closing statement. 

The following confirmed dates and locations are: 

Thursday, October 1, 2015: 

McDonough Elementary School, 550 Lowell Street

Ward 4 Polling Location

 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015: 

Hillside Middle School, 112 Reservoir Ave.

Ward 2 Polling Location

 

Friday, October 16, 2015:

Location to be confirmed

 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015:

Location to be confirmed

 

Friday, October 23, 2015:

Location to be confirmed

 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015:

 Our Lady of the Cedars Church, 140 W. Mitchell Street

 

The Manchester municipal election is on Tuesday, November 3rd and polls are open from 6am to 7pm.

 

Joyce Craig wins Primary Nomination And To Face Mayor Gatsas In Mayoral Election 

MANCHESTER – This evening, Alderman Joyce Craig released the following statement on tonight’s municipal primary results.

“Tonight, after six years of failed leadership, growing crime and drug addition, and failing schools, the majority of voters in Manchester said they are ready for a change in the Mayor’s Office,” said Craig. “While Mayor Gatsas may have outspent our campaign, we clearly outworked him – beating him outright in his home ward – and we will continue to outwork him in the general election campaign. Since beginning our campaign, we’ve made over 20,000 calls and knocked on over 13,000 doors talking to voters about our vision for a better Manchester.

“I want to thank all of my supporters – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – who joined me in saying tonight to Ted Gatsas that we want change in Manchester, and with your help, and your energy, we will beat Gatsas and begin to build a brighter economic future for our city.”

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley released the following statement on Joyce Craig’s Manchester mayoral nomination:

“The overwhelming majority of Manchester voters sent a message loud and clear tonight: after ten years of worsening schools and increasing crime under Frank Guinta and Teddy Gatsas’ failed leadership, it’s long past time to bring change to Manchester’s corner office.”

“As an alderman, school board member, and mom, Joyce Craig has proven that she’s exactly the leader we need to defeat Gatsas and build a safer and brighter economic future for Manchester.”

SEA/SEIU Local 1984 Endorses Craig in Mayoral Race 

The State Employees’ Association, SEIU Local 1984 Board of Directors announced the vote to endorse Ward 1 Alderman Joyce Craig in the race for mayor of Manchester.

After careful consideration, the SEA/SEIU Local 1984 Political Education Committee selected Craig as the candidate who will represent the constituents and its members best.

Craig, a Manchester native, is in her sixth year as alderman for Ward 1 and was a school board member for a single term. During her public service career, which began in 2007, she has authored four fiscally responsible city budgets that were adopted by the majority of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and invested in Manchester’s public safety, roads, and schools.

Craig is a bi-partisan leader with a proven track record of finding solutions to City Hall issues.

“We are thrilled to endorse Joyce Craig for mayor of Manchester,” said John Hattan, chair of the SEA/SEIU Local 1984 Political Education Committee. “With her proven leadership skills, we are confident Joyce will lead Manchester in the right direction from day one. She understands the needs of working families and we know she will fight to protect our rights. Manchester needs a mayor with the vision to move the city forward and we know Joyce will be that leader.”

“It is time for a change in leadership,” said Jonathan Hallet, SEA/SEIU Local 1984 member and Manchester resident.

Hallet cites Craig’s commitment to the city’s schools; commitment to countering the current heroin epidemic; desire to beef up the city’s police force; and ability to recruit innovative companies to the city as some of the reasons he has decided to support Craig.

The primary for the mayor’s race is on Tuesday, September 15, 2015. The General Election is on Tuesday, November 3, 2015.

“Alderman Joyce Craig will move our city forward in so many great ways,” said Hallet. “I urge my fellow Manchester neighbors and friends to get out and vote in the September 15 primary for Alderman Joyce Craig for Mayor.”

Manchester Education Association Announces Manchester Mayoral Forum On Education

All five candidates for mayor scheduled to appear in forum moderated by Scott Spradling.

The Manchester Education Association, in collaboration with Granite State Organizing Project’s Young Organizers United, Every Child Matters in New Hampshire, and the YWCA, announced today the Mayoral Forum on Education to be held Wednesday, September 9, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the Manchester Memorial High School Auditorium.

All five candidates for mayor have agreed to appear in this forum moderated by Scott Spradling, Emmy award winning former reporter, anchor and political director for WMUR-TV in Manchester, NH.

Candidates will be asked about their vision for the children of Manchester, their schools, and what plans they each have for educational excellence in the Queen City.

“This forum is a unique opportunity for the citizens of Manchester to hear from all of the candidates who seek to lead our city on how they plan to build a brighter future for our children,” said Sue Ellen Hannan, Manchester Education Association President.

Candidates scheduled to appear in the Forum include Patrick Arnold, Joyce Craig, Ted Gatsas, Glenn Ouellette, and Jawed Alibaba Shaihk.  Doors open at 5:00 pm.

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