Written by Barbara Tetreault
BERLIN – Once a year since 1981, the Sylvia Evans Citizenship Award recognizes the extraordinary and often unrecognized achievements of women in Coos County.
This year, Susan Cloutier was honored for her more than 30 years of work with children. She started as a teacher and specialist with Tri-County CAP Head Start, then became head of the Gorham Community Learning Center, and now serves as director of the Early Childhood Center at White Mountains Community College. She has also been a key leader in the Coos Coalition for Young Children and Families.
Introducing Cloutier at Friday's ceremony at White Mountains Community College, Cathy McDowell and Angela Brown spoke about her work on behalf of children and families.
Both speakers described Cloutier gentle nature and quiet determination. McDowell said at the Gorham Community Learning Center, Cloutier pushed the board and staff to achieve accreditation by the National Association for the Education of the Young Child – one of only two childcare centers in the North Country to earn that status.
Referring to the phase that it takes a village to raise a child, Brown said Cloutier recognizes that children thrive if families thrive. She said the best way to honor Cloutier is to demonstrate concern and dedication to families in the North Country.
"Sue has helped to raise the standards for high quality early education in Coos which will make a real and positive difference for the future of the children that she has touched," said Adele Woods, CEO of Coos County Family Health Services, which sponsors the Sylvia Evans Award.
In accepting the award from 2014 recipient Elsie Hall, Cloutier said she shares the award with all those who work with her.
"I'm just so honored and humbled by this award," she said.
McDowell noted she started the Sylvia Evans award when she was head of Coos County Family Health Services because she felt there was no local award that recognized the contributions of women. McDowell said she is pleased that the award not only has continued, but also under Woods, was expanded to include the Young Leadership Award. This year Emily Grone of Gorham High and Holly Sullivan of Berlin High were the recipients of the Sylvia Evans Young Leadership Award.
In her introduction of Grone, Gorham Middle and High School Guidance Counselor Christine Lemoine described her as a "poised, confident, strong, self-assured, a role model, a strong leader, and one of the most well-rounded skilled seniors that I have ever had the pleasure of working with."
Lemoine called Grone the school's "go to" person who always goes above and beyond what is expected. She is chief editor of the yearbook, student council vice president, senior class president, national honor society president, a member of the Humanitarian and Inspire Clubs, and participates in the annual cabaret. In addition, Grone is the co-manager/owner of Scoggins Cool Shack. She plans to pursue a career in business/planning/technology.
Introducing Holly Sullivan, Berlin High science teacher Bethany Sargent said she demonstrates a persistence and maturity that make her a standout.
"She consistently exhibits the qualities of leadership in her academic success, her role as captain and mentor in sports, and her dedication and commitment to her community," Sargent said.
Sullivan is a member of the national honor society and attended St. Paul's Advance Studies program in law and government last year. She followed that with a five-week intensive program in the legal system and then took a weeklong criminal justice course at White Mountains Regional College. She is also a three sport athlete and as co-captain of field hockey helped lead her team to the state championship the past two years.
She plans a career in law enforcement and has attended the N.H. Police Cadet Training Program and has been accepted for the program's advance study this summer.
Serving as master of ceremonies for the presentations, was Woods. A former recipient of the award, Woods is retiring this week from Coos County Family Health Services where she has served for 34 years.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 March 2015 12:06
Written by Barbara Tetreault
BERLIN – The mobile diesel technology program will remain at White Mountains Community College for the foreseeable future.
WMCC President Matt Wood said the $5 million appropriation to build a mobile diesel and marine engine facility at Lakes Region Community College has been pulled from the system's capital budget request to the legislature.
In an e-mail, Wood said he has worked hard to keep the program at WMCC and is working on revamping it. He said the college has signed several new agreements with industry to help support the program this coming fall and into the future.
"There is no plan in place at this time to move the program. We will continue to work with our industry partners, and leadership at the college and system level, to ensure a strong program that meets workforce needs and offers opportunities for professional and economic advancement for students and graduates," Community College System of N.H. Communications Director Shannon Reid confirmed in an e-mail.
The program teaches students to diagnose, service, and repair diesel-powered trucks and equipment. Over a year ago, Chancellor Ross Gittell said the college system was planning to move the program to Laconia once the legislature approved funds to build a new facility there. At the time, Gittell said the decision was generated by the desire of the program's industrial partners to have it more centrally located. An appropriation of $5 million to build a combined mobile diesel and marine engine facility at Lakes Region Community College was included in the capital budget.
Reid said as discussions continued the college system "felt a clear vision of what the facilities and programmatic plan should be for a relocation was not evident". She said there was also no assurance that the capital appropriation would be approved and Jan. 13 minutes of the board's facilities and capital budget committee noted, " industry is not in a position to assist in supporting a move/program restructure."
There was also local opposition to the move. The Berlin city council and the Berlin Industrial Development and Park Authority expressed concern about losing the program at a meeting with college officials. Local businessmen Bob Chapman of Chapman Scrap Metal and Demolition and Richard Carrier of Milan Lumber Company raised the issue with Gov. Maggie Hassan at a roundtable last April.
Last June, Wood was appointed interim president at WMCC and Reid said he became part of the conversation. As the college system put together its fiscal 2016-17 legislative budget, the decision was made not to pursue relocating the mobile diesel program and it was not included in the capital budget.
Last Updated on Monday, 30 March 2015 21:32
Written by Kirstan Lukasak
GORHAM – The Mushroom Miracles from Edward Fenn Elementary School won first place in the New Hampshire Destination Imagination tournament advancing them to the Global competition in May.
Coach Shannon Wydra and students John Micucci, Hannah Fox, Connor Doherty, Carson Roberge, Lucas Smith and Alec Wydra will be traveling to Knoxville, Tenn. to compete May 20-23.
The Mushroom Miracles were selected at the Destination Imagination state finals Saturday at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton.
The team competed in the scientific challenge, Making Waves, which involved both sound and sound waves. Along with an original skit, the team was required to build a sound machine which produced two different sounds, visualize sound waves in two different ways that corresponded with the sounds, and speed up or slow down the narrative pace of their story.
The Mushroom Miracles are the first team from the GRS Cooperative to quality for the Destination Imagination Global Finals.
They will join other New Hampshire teams to compete in creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving with teams from 15 countries and virtually every state at Destination Imagination Global Finals.
Teams compete in open-ended challenges that require student teams to apply science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM), in addition to improvisation, theater arts and presentation skills.
These challenges must be solved strictly by the team of up to seven students. Teams compete within the chosen Challenge and age level.
The Mushroom Miracles will now shift gears to fund raising, to help pay for the trip to the largest competition and celebration of creative problem solving in the World, Destination Imagination Global Finals.
Last Updated on Monday, 30 March 2015 21:32
Parent Category: News Written by Kirstan Lukasak
GORHAM – Emergency Services will be terminated by the end of April to Shelburne and Randolph if contracts are not agreed upon and signed. Services that will be terminated include EMS, fire and police.
After last year's deadline for contract agreements was not met, the town wanted to begin work early on negotiations. Throughout 2014 the boards have debated how the costs of services should be handled.
The original contract was only good through Dec. of last year, but because town meetings are held in the spring, Gorham has continued to provide services in good faith.
There are specific terms in the contract that the two towns do not agree upon. Gorham provides police coverage for fire and EMS as needed based on the nature of the incident. Randolph and Shelburne do not believe that this is necessary and do not want to pay for the additional coverage.
"There is not easy answer here, and we have attempted to create a fair contract." I am a little surprised that the police issue has become a big deal," said Director of Emergency Services Chad Miller.
The contract has a disclaimer that states that either of the towns can challenge the decision to call out police officers to secure a scene. Miller assured the board of selectmen that they do their best not to use police unless it's absolutely necessary.
"As the people that go there to take care of the sick and injured, I do my best not to bother the police department unless it is absolutely needed to keep people safe," said Miller.
Boards from Shelburne and Randolph were invited to Monday night's selectmen meeting, but did not come.
"We have always been one community. I would like to talk to them one more time to see if there is anything we can do," said Selectmen Terry Oliver.
The Gorham selectmen emphasized that they are not willing to negotiate any details of the contract, but are in favor of meeting to discuss the contracts in detail.
The next meeting of the board of selectmen will be held Monday, April 6, starting at 6 p.m. at the Gorham Town Hall.
Last Updated on Friday, 27 March 2015 20:38