Lebanon’s Peavey Won’t Run Again

  • Photographed at the school district's library in West Lebanon, N.H., on February 27, 2017, Jeff Peavey, of Lebanon, has been a member of the Lebanon and SAU 88 school boards for about 14 years. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Lebanon — After more than 14 years on the Lebanon School Board, Jeff Peavey has announced he won’t seek re-election on the March ballot.

“Fourteen years has been enough, I felt,” Peavey said during an interview on Tuesday in his West Lebanon business, The Country Cobbler.

Peavey, the school board’s chairman, said the decision also was influenced by minor health issues, as well as attempts to relieve stress.

“And that’s one big stress that I can afford to eliminate,” he said of his duties on the nine-member board.

Peavey first was elected to the board on a platform of achieving equity within Lebanon’s schools. At the time, he said, children living in different neighborhoods were taught varied curricula and received different services.

During his tenure, the district launched a multiyear consolidation process, divesting from four properties and closing the Sacred Heart, School Street and Seminary Hill schools.

Peavey said he’s proud of the effort, which ended in 2014 and resulted in the current school structure: two elementary schools, the new Lebanon Middle School and a high school.

“Even though it was hard on people, I think it is for the best now that it’s done,” he said.

Peavey also said he worked hard to craft budgets that attempt to keep tax increases low while also balancing students’ needs.

“Students come first in my book,” he said, adding the School Board always seeks to deliver the best education possible.

Superintendent Joanne Roberts, who was hired in 2014, said that Peavey will be missed.

“He helped me navigate through several challenging situations and has made many contributions to the Lebanon School District,” she said on Tuesday.

Peavey’s seat is one of three open School Board positions that will be contested by four candidates in next month’s election.

Incumbents Wendy Hall and Mary Davidson filed for three-year seats before a Tuesday night deadline.

They were joined by newcomers Tom Harkins, a Spanish teacher at The Lyme School, and Bill Sharp, a retired instrumental teacher and former Grafton County Register of Deeds.

The Lebanon City Council also will see one contested race in March.

Two current Planning Board members have filed to run for a Ward 3 seat being vacated by Councilor Sarah Welsch.

Carl Porter, a former city historian and administrative assistant at Jake’s Market & Deli, will face off against Karen Zook, a co-owner of the White River Junction craft store Scratch, for the seat.

Incumbent City Council members Jim Winny, Bruce Bronner, Timothy McNamara and Erling Heistad all are running unopposed for two-year terms.

Library Board of Trustees Stephen Taylor and Susan Desrosiers also are running unopposed for three-year terms, according to City Clerk Sandi Allard.

Melanie Benzel is running unopposed for a one-year term as school district clerk, and Gary Mayo is unopposed for a one-year term as school district moderator.

Tim Camerato can be reached at tcamerato@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.