Tate Aldrich, LHS English teacher, named Teacher of Year


LACONIA — Filling the ranks of the bleachers of gymnasium, the teachers and students of Laconia High School rose as one on Tuesday to cheer and applaud the selection of Tate Aldrich as New Hampshire Teacher of the Year.

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A graduate of Laconia High School, whose father, Jack, teaches culinary arts at the Huot Technical Center, Aldrich returned to his alma mater after graduating from the University of New Hampshire and has begun his eighth year teaching English.

"I am so proud to be a part and a product of this city," Aldrich said in accepting the honor. "I am who I am thanks to the city of Laconia and the University of New Hampshire."

He thanked his parents, his colleagues and especially the students. "A roomful of Laconia students is more inspiring than being named Teacher of the Year," he said.

Virginia Barry, New Hampshire Commissioner of Education, presented the award, which is the highlight of the program sponsored by the New Hampshire Department of Education in partnership with Hannaford Supermarkets. As Teacher of the Year, Aldrich will be among the candidates for National Teacher of the Year, a title awarded in Washington in April.

"I'm so lucky to have the opportunity to work here," Aldrich said. "Laconia is a special place and Sachem Pride is a real thing."

This year, he is teaching freshmen and juniors, reading what he called "the traditional books — 'Animal Farm,' 'Huckleberry Finn,' 'The Great Gatsby' — taking a new look at the old standbys."

He said he seeks to relate the material to the lives of his students and to encourage them to engage in critical thinking.

"I try to get into their heads and find out how they're thinking," he said. Education, he remarked, "should be an adventure for both teachers and students. I expect a lot, and I'm reborn every day. Teaching is the best part of my day, every day."

His father said that Aldrich "had a lot of wisdom as a kid" and "wanted to be a teacher before he ever said so, by the time he was in eighth grade. He loved the learning process," he said, adding that at the end of the school day the two talk about little other than teaching. "He's my best friend," he said.

Dave Bartlett, interim principal, described Aldrich as a teacher with aspirations for his students and for himself, who both challenges and supports those in his classes.

One freshman called Aldrich "awesome," while Ashley Burgos, a junior, said she enjoyed his classes, remembered him as "honest," and added "You could go to him for help anytime you wanted."

Helen Tautkus, a senior, confessed that as a freshman she was something of a "slacker," but said that changed after joining Aldrich's class as a sophomore.

"I became more confident in myself," she said. "He inspired me to do better and I wanted to do better. I worked a lot harder because of what he taught me."

Describing Aldrich as "enigmatic and subtle," senior Ben Montembeault tacitly testified to his proficiency at teaching English. He recalled that class began with Aldrich writing down his "pet peeves" and asking his students to do the same, then matching the lists to find a suitable protocol for conducting the class. "He can be your number one cheerleader," he said, "or your number one a**kicker, but he will try to bend heaven and earth to help his students. Screw up, and he helps."

Outside the classroom, Aldrich has forged the partnership between the spelling bee and Got Lunch! program and is also engaged with Stand Up Laconia, at once serving both his alma mater and his hometown.

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Tate Aldrich addresses the students of Laconia High School after being named 2017 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year on Friday afternoon.  (Karen Bobotas/for the Laconia Daily Sun)

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Meredith sues over junk in yard


LACONIA — After months of trying to get the renter of a home on Snell Road to clean up the property, the town of Meredith has filed for an injunction or court order in Belknap County Superior Court to get her to do so.

The town says that Rachel Mount is the tenant of the property on 12 Snell Road and the property is owned by Constance Leggett of Florida.

According to the pleadings, in order to operate a junk yard, a person must obtain a license from the state and a certificate of location that would be granted by the selectmen.

In this case, the town, through photos and written statements, says that since April there have been "several large piles of trash, debris and garbage, including but not limited to a bob house packed to capacity and overflowing with 'junk.'"

Pleadings say that neither Mount nor Leggett has filed for a junk yard license or has permission to operate on at 12 Snell Road.

The town, through the efforts of the public health officer, sent letters on April 13, May 16 and July 14 instructing the defendants to remedy the problem.

A letter dated Aug. 15, 2016, from the town attorney informed Mount and Leggett the property constitutes a public nuisance and demands the defendants remedy the junk-yard conditions.

The suit asks for a fine of $275 daily since Aug. 15 for each day they have refused to bring the property into compliance. The town is also seeking attorney fees.

The town has also hedged its bet by saying that should the court find that Mount and Leggett have not violated any zoning ordinances or site plan regulation but does find a violation of the junk yard statute, that the court order a penalty of $50 per day until it is cleaned up.

Neither Leggett nor Mount has responded to the request for an injunction.

An attempt by The Sun to find Mount was unsuccessful, and only a post office box is known for Leggett.

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Trash has been piling up at 12 Snell Road in Meredith since April. (Courtesy photo)

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Ossipee woman dies in head-on collision; Alton woman, Barnstead man escape injury


OSSIPEE — An Ossipee woman died but an Alton woman and a Barnstead man were uninjured after being unable to avoid a car accident on Route 116 Tuesday at 4:08 p.m.

State Police said that Sarah Miller, 26, of Alton and Shane Perkins, 29, of Barnstead were driving in a Ford Ranger that sideswiped a Dodge pickup after it collided head-on with a Honda Accord.

Police said the Dodge 1500 pickup was being driven northbound by Jason Nason, 28, of Ossipee when his Dodge crossed the center line and collided with the Honda. The force of the crash caused the Dodge to rollover into the southbound lane, where it was sideswiped by Miller, who tried to avoid the truck, without success.

The driver of the Accord was Gary Baumann, 67, of Ossipee, who was seriously injured and taken to Huggins Hospital, where he was transferred by helicopter to Maine Medical Center. His wife and passenger, Janet Baumann, 61, died in the crash.

The State Police accident reconstruction team is investigating the crash along with Ossipee Police and the Carroll County Sheriff's Department. Police said all factors including speed, driver distraction and/or impairment are being considered.

Any one with any information is asked to call Trooper Daniel Quartulli at 603-223-8477 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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