New Huot Center program to focus on hospitality & tourism administration

LACONIA — A program specializing in Hospitality and Tourism Administration is in the works for the Huot Regional Technical Educaiton Center, said Director Dave Warrender at last night's School Board meeting.

Warrender said he has been working with community partners about developing the new program and is working to get approval from the State Department of Education.

The Law Enforcement Program is close to gaining state approval, he said, and although it is one one class offered for one semester this school year, with approval it will expand to two classes — one in each semesters.

This is Warrender's first year as Huot Center director and last night was the first time he had made any presentations to the full board. Along with getting the existing program ready, he said he is examining other possible programs for the future including Fire/EMT and welding.

With school scheduled to begin on August 27, the Huot Center has 568 students enrolled — up from 420 students last year.

Of those, about one half are from Laconia while Belmont, Gilford, Inter-Lakes Regional School District, Winnisquam Regional School District and Franklin — in that order of enrollment percentage — comprise the balance.

Automotive is the most popular program with Health, Mechanical Engineering and Multimedia coming in at two, three and four.

He said interest in the Law Enforcement, Pre-Technical, and Bio-Technical programs are growing but for this year they'll only be offered for one semester.

New classes include Medical Billing and Coding and Warrender said it was practically full within days of the center telling students and parents about it.

"I have 24 students in a class designed for 20," Warrender said.

In other business, the board approved filling the Court Liaison position and a Behavioral Specialist at the high school. Both are being filled using money transfers from other line times including savings from teacher retirements from the entire district and savings in special education.
Superintendent Teri Forsten said the district added one kindergarten class to Woodland Heights Elementary School, bringing the total number of kindergarten classes to eight.

She said the class sizes at Woodland Heights average 16 to 17 students while the Elm Street School kindergarten classes average 22 students per class. She said parents with children at Elm Street who would like to transfer their children to Woodland Heights should contact the school district.