CarriageTowneNews.com, Kingston, NH

School News

April 3, 2014

Public Schools Can Succeed

FREMONT — What a difference five years can make when a group of determined and focused individuals from a tiny town in New Hampshire team together vowing to make their school district one of the best in the State…. no matter what.

This tenacious group of school board members recognized the full potential of the teachers, staff, students and community members of Fremont that was not being tapped and, well, focused on tapping it – no holds barred. Current School Board Chair Ida Keane recalls her first days joining the board in 2009; “I decided to serve on the school board because I recognized the potential that our team of teachers could offer our students that was not being tapped. Our school district had lost its’ focus – student achievement. We were spending more and more and getting nowhere fast academically.”

It’s five years later and the Fremont School Board received news from Principal John Safina of Ellis School that the re-focus on student achievement had paid off. In 2009, only 63% of the students were proficient or proficient with distinction in Reading and Math (NECAP). Today, after many tough decisions, level-funded budgets and relentless focus on academic excellence, the 2009 statistics have jumped to 82% in Reading and 73% in Math.

Nobody should fool himself or herself into thinking that these results are easy to achieve. Many political battles had to be resolved, difficult administrative decisions had to be made and a dedicated group of school board members that kept their eyes on the prize contributed to the bright future of the winners – The Ellis School students. Co-Chair Andy Kohlhofer took on these tough challenges and reflects back noting, “I’m glad I could support the changes.”

There’s more work to be done. The future is forever changing as school board members come and go. Retiring member Sharon Girardi joined the board in 2009 along with Ida Keane. In closing, she shares her thoughts, “When I joined the school board in 2009, I had three goals in mind:

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    On June 17, the sophomore class of Sanborn Regional High School made a field trip to the Old Frye Town Forest, one of Kingston's five town forests, to assist the Kingston Conservation Commission in the removal of invasive plants from the area near the trailhead, notably, an extensive and aggressive patch of Japanese knotweed. This project was the culmination of the school's third year of intra-curricular collaboration with the Commission to address local environmental issues, and to make conservation an area of study and research. Congratulations from the Commission to the teachers and students for a job well done!

    Successful Conservation Collaboration Posted 5 days ago 1 Photo
  • Volunteer of the Year

    Atkinson Academy Elementary School has named its Volunteer of the Year for 2014. Timberlane Regional High School graduate Ashley Higham, right, received the award from teacher Meredith Bastien, pictured left. Ashley volunteered her services three days a week for two hours in 5-K Intensive Needs classes during the school year.

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    Sanborn Graduates Class of 2014 Posted 19 days ago 1 Photo

New England News
Obituaries
  • Alan J. Walker, 68

    Kingston, N.H. — Mr. Alan James Walker, 68, passed away peacefully at his home on July 8, 2014, after a long, brave battle with cancer.

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  • James Reese

    Raymond, NH — James Edwin Reese, 74, passed away on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, surrounded by his family and friends at his home in Raymond, N.H. He was the son of John and Ruth Reese, born on Oct. 29, 1939 in Edensburg, Pa. James graduated from Central Cambria High School in Pennsylvania before proudly serving in the U.S. Army as a food inspector. His military service was followed by 31 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a meat inspector. Mr. Reese was an avid outdoorsman and spent much of his time fishing, camping and hiking in the White Mountains. He became involved in the Boy Scouts and enjoyed passing on his vast knowledge of the wilderness to others. Throughout his retirement years he enjoyed woodworking, raising rabbits and working in his garden.

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  • Velma J. Reid

    South Hampton, NH — Velma J. Reid, 80, died peacefully on July 17, 2014 at Exeter Hospital, surrounded by family. She was born in Haverhill, Mass. on June 8, 1934, the daughter of the late George C.W. and Alta I. (Kimball) Haynes. A graduate of Haverhill High School, Velma worked at Western Electric until she had children. For years, she was a devoted “stay-at-home” mom who raised her three children in a loving, nurturing environment. She later worked various manufacturing jobs until her retirement. After retiring, she volunteered her time at various organizations and was very involved at the East Kingston Community United Methodist Church as a member of the women’s guild, assisting with the holiday fair, and helping out wherever she could. She had a passion for animals, and would donate money, food, and blankets to the NH SPCA. She loved to sew and made a personalized quilt for every member of her family. She was also a member of the “Ugly Quilts” group, which made blankets and sleeping bags for the homeless using recycled fabric. She is survived by her husband, Clyde Reid of South Hampton, N.H.; daughter, Pam Eaton of Danville, N.H.; son and daughter-in-law, Douglas and Kim Reid of Raymond, N.H.; daughter, Shirley Reid of South Hampton, N.H.; two sisters, Gwen Stuart of Haverhill, and Norma Taplin of Dracut; four grandchildren, Cheryl and Marc Welch, and Kristen and Joshua Reid, and several nieces and nephews.

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  • Carleen A. Knowlton, 80

    Danville, NH — Carleen A. (Rhoadhouse) Knowlton, 80, of Danville and formerly of Hampstead, died on July 7, 2014, at her home.

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  • Miriam O. (Graham) Graham, 84

    Kingston, NH — Miriam O. (Graham) Graham, 84, a resident of Kingston since 2001, and former longtime resident of Grafton, Mass., died peacefully, surrounded by her family, on July 11, 2014, following a long illness.

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