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Cooperative School Board Candidate

Who can vote for Melissa?

Voters in all six towns:  Brentwood, East Kingston, Exeter, Kensington, Newfields and Stratham who want a fresh perspective, new voice and a pathway to change.

Melissa Hanlon : Cooperative: Image


Tell us about yourself.

I have lived in SAU16 for 17 years with my husband, Dan our two daughters Amelia (14) and Nora (12) and our two dogs Finn and Tucker. We moved to the area when Dan became a teacher at Lincoln Street school in Exeter and have lived in Brentwood the past 10 years. 

I grew up in Yarmouth Port, MA with my father who is a retired police officer, my mother, who passed away last year and my sister Jess, who now lives in Stratham with her husband Sean and their two children.

I graduated from Colby College with a BA in Economics, attended the London School of Economics and earned my law degree from Boston College. Immediately after graduating from law school, I took a job at my firm Sulloway & Hollis, where I am currently a partner. 

Why are you running for school board?

In short, to effect change. To improve the quality of education for our students by increasing collaboration among the Board, Administration, Educators and the Community, focusing all decisions on what is best for the students, and increasing transparency.

How have you prepared for this role? 

I regularly attend school board meetings, am well researched in the issues germane to our schools, and I have networked with parents, community members and education professionals to hear what they care about. Most just want their kids to receive a quality education. 

What are two key areas you feel the school board should improve?

Transparency and serving in a supervisory role to administration instead of subservient.

Should you win the election, what are your long term goals?

Increasing collaboration amongst all stakeholders, transparency and return to our prior high level of academic achievement

How are you going to accomplish your goals in year one?

Truly listen to various stakeholders and use my voice to push for change. 

If we asked someone who was not a fan of yours why you are not the right person to vote for what would they say?

Unfortunately most people equate school board elections with political elections. I believe strongly that politics do not belong in our school, and decisions should be made based on the best interests of the students, rather than political ideologies. I imagine most people who fall to the right on political spectrum would say I'm too liberal. Interestingly enough people on the left feel I am anti-public schools after I co-authored a petition last year seeking a return to full time in person learning. The truth is that I am a passionate supporter of
public schools, but I also think it is appropriate and necessary to ask questions, and to always strive to do better for our students. 

I am not interested in changing people's political ideologies--our students deserve more than being a political football. There are two other candidates who are very political and that will satisfy those two groups. However, if you are looking for change and for a voice outside of the political debate, I ask that you vote for me on March 8. 

Learn more

Melissa Hanlon : Cooperative: Team
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