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Ice Arena refusing comment on reports Laconia Leafs will not field team this season

LACONIA — The president of the board of directors of the Laconia Ice Arena refused to comment yesterday on reports that the New Hampshire Lakers, formerly the Laconia Leafs, will not be playing at all this upcoming season.
''I have no comment. I have a practice to run right now,'' said Chuck Yaeger, president of the organization, who was contacted at Waukewan Golf Course, where he is the club professional. He also coaches the Inter-Lakes High School golf team.
The Daily Sun has learned from multiple sources that Lakers plan to take a year off from competing in the newly-formed Eastern Hockey League, which starts play in September, and plan to field a team for the 2014-2015 season.
The Lakers had been looking for a new head coach to replace Joe Cardarelli, who resigned last month, and earlier this month had announced the hiring of Rocky Romanella as an assistant coach who also serve as recruiting coordinator.
The Lakers are members of the Atlantic and Metropolitan Junior Hockey Leagues. Junior hockey is a competitive level of hockey with amateur players who are 20 years or younger. The principle purpose of the program is to prepare, promote, and develop the athletes for future endeavors into a college or professional program.
The Leafs/Lakers have placed over 120 players into college and professional rinks over the last 10 years. Players on the rosters came  to Laconia from many different states, Canada and several European countries. They had been scheduled to play 44 games this upcoming season.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 08:28

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Outgoing LRCC student serving on state board of trustees

LACONIA — "I'm pretty vocal," said Madeline Maoriano of Gilford, who in her second year at Lakes Region Community College (LRCC) was one of two students recently named to the Board of Trustees of the New Hampshire Community College System.

A graduate of Gilford High School, Maoriano earned the award for excellence in French and is pursuing a major in liberal arts at LRCC. She was nominated to the Board of Trustees by Scott Kalicki, the president of LRCC.

"I made myself pretty well known at the college," Maoriano said, noting that she enjoyed an edge since her mother is a member of the faculty who teaches anatomy and physiology. Apart from admitting to being "very talkative," she serves as a student ambassador, offering tours of the college to new and prospective students and visiting high schools to tout the opportunities the college offers.

Maoriano said that the administration and faculty at LRCC are "very student oriented. They do everything they can for students," she continued, explaining that teachers take the time and make the effort to address the specific needs of individual students. As a trustee, she said, that she intends "to bring the students' perspective to the board." She said that the trustees need "to understand how students really feel about the issues."

Meanwhile, Maoriano, who contemplated transferring to the University of New Hampshire to pursue a degree in computer engineering, has chosen to stay at LRCC once she completes her liberal arts degree and turn her hand to pastry arts. "I'm not one for other people telling me what to do," she said, explaining that rather than work for someone else she intends to manage her own business. "I've always loved cooking and baking since I was very young," she said. "I'd love to have a little pastry that grew into a worldwide business."

Although Maoriano studied French for six years in school, twice-planned trips to France were cancelled, once when there was rioting in the streets of Paris and again when priority for traveling abroad fell to the students of Spanish. She is hoping for an opportunity to use her fluent French and sharpen her baking prowess in France, but is equally determined to return to the Lakes Region, where she has spent her life. "It's a beautiful area and I definitely plan on staying around," she said.

Last Updated on Friday, 23 August 2013 02:49

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Fusion Networking is rebranding of effort to engage younger workers

LACONIA — Fusion Networking introduced itself to the Lakes Region in an event held at the Margate on Lake Winnipesaukee Thursday night.
Some 200 people turned out at the resort's Lakeside Pavilion and heard Fusion President Beth San Soucie explain the group's mission.
"Fusion is looking to make connections within the Lakes Region through activities that inspire people and provide a sense of community; with this comes the opportunity to build business and social connections along the way. This is the wave of the next generation of leaders — we're paving the way,'' said San Soucie.
She said that the organization, which was first known as the Lakes Region Young Professionals group and was a committee of the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, decided that it needed to rebrand itself in order to establish its own identity..
''Being known as the Lakes Region Young Professionals group, didn't allow us to reach those that we were looking to get involved with our organization. The stigma attached to the words "young" and "professional" were holding us back from what we were looking to accomplish. It was time for a change — a fresh perspective,'' said San Soucie.
Tania Baert, who works as a commercial lender at the Bank of New Hampshire, is the treasurer of Fusion Networking and says that the group feels a dynamic approach is needed in order to accomplish one of the organization's original goals, working to convince young people that there good career opportunities for them right in New Hampshire.
''The word 'professionals' made it sound like we were too exclusive. We wanted to open up the group so that all kinds of young people could feel comfortable. We're helping people develop their own network of social and business contacts,'' says Baert.
She brought along her boyfriend, Dustin Bossey of Laconia to the event and Bossey, who runs his own company, Dustin J. Bossey Builder, said he was impressed with the turnout and the opportunity to meet new people.
''This is awesome. I've got to meet a lot of people who will now know me and hopefully think of me when they want some building work done,'' said Bossey.
Trish Laurent, who is human resource coordinator for the town of Meredith, said that she was impressed with the organization when she attended one of its events a few years ago and decided to become active with it.
She's a volunteer already with the WOW Trail organization and said that she thinks Fusion will help people become more involved in their communities.
State Senator Andrew Hosmer (D-Laconia) attended the event and said that he was thrilled to see how the organization has grown and achieved its own focus. ''We really need a young people's group in the Lakes Region and this group looks to be very dynamic and ready to make a difference.''



Dustin Bossey of Dustin J. Bossey Builders of Laconia and his girlfriend, Tania Baert, who works for the Bank of New Hampshire and is treasurer of the Fusion Networking group, were among those taking part in the organization's introduction to the public held at the Margate Resort Thursday night. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Friday, 23 August 2013 02:42

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Laconia & Gilford adopting Common Core school standards with minimum of fuss

LACONIA — As Lakes Region school children prepare to return to the classrooms next week, educators are working to ensure that their course material is compatible with the new Common Core State Standards, an educational approach that is overhauling classroom instruction across the state and most of the country.
The Common Core Initiative, which is being put forth by the U.S. Department of Education and a consortium of states and was adopted by the New Hampshire Department of Education three years ago, contains standards regarding the learning of math and English language arts/literacy curriculum that emphasize critical thinking and problem solving and are meant to better prepare students for success. New Hampshire is one of 45 states which has adopted the Common Core standards which are being rolled out ahead of new nationwide assessment tests which N.H. students are scheduled to take for the first time about 1 1/2 years from now.
Laconia School Superintendent Terri Forsten said that teachers in the district have been preparing for the transition to the sort of standards contained in Common Core for close to three years. She explained the new standards were devised under what she called the school district's "non-negotiables" — a series of skills that students need to demonstrate at various grade levels in the areas of math and language arts/literacy. As Laconia educators worked to develop the school district's own revised curriculum, they sought to incorporate many of the Common Core standards into the "non-negotiables" program.
The Gilford School District is fully behind the Common Core program as well, according to Superintendent Kent Hemingway.
"We are embracing this, and we're fully on board," he said.
He said that the district has invested considerable energy in professional staff development to ensure that teachers are knowledgeable about the Common Core standards in their respective areas. And to inform parents and other members of the public, the district has posted detailed information on its website on how the program is being implemented and how it will affect students.
For example, the special pages on the website spell out how Gilford second-graders studying English will need to write an informative composition in which they "introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points and provide a concluding statement." Likewise in math, fifth-graders will need to "calculate geometric measurement, understand the concept of volume and relate volume to multiplication and addition."
Forsten said that to date her district has not incurred any major additional expenses associated with bringing the new standards into Laconia classrooms. Teachers can make use of a variety resources, such as workshops and on-line information, to better prepare them for changes in the material they will present to students. She said that the classroom technology which teachers and students use is adequate to the needs of the new curriculum. And while some school districts may purchase new textbooks as part of the roll-out of Common Core, Laconia has no plans to do so anytime soon, preferring to wait to see how the new Common Core-compatible texts shake out, she said.
"Textbooks are not what drive our teaching," Forsten said. "They are a tool."
Likewise the implementation has not had a major impact on the Gilford school budget.
"We've made choices within our normal budget spending," Hemingway said. For example he said when the district decided to buy a new English text used in high school it chose one that placed greater emphasis on non-fiction writing — an area stressed on the Common Core standards.
Gilford's classroom technology is ample enough for any changes which Common Core will bring, he added.
On the whole Forsten sees Common Core as a positive development in education.
"Overall, the (new) standards are higher, but not necessarily (higher) across the board," she said.
According to the state Department of Education, Common Core standards specify what students should know and be able to do in each grade and by the end of high school to be college and career-ready. Common Core supporters say how students get to that point is for each school system to decide.
The first critical test of Common Core's success is expected to come in spring 2015 when the Smarter Balanced test will be required for students in Grades 3 through 8 as well as 11 for math and English language arts/literacy.
For Forsten Common Core is an improvement over No Child Left Behind, the 2001 law which required schools to test students annually and penalized those districts where too many students got poor or marginal test scores.
"No Child Left Behind had high accountability, but did not give (districts) guidance and direction that Common Core shows," she said.
Hemingway believes Common Core standards will help students develop higher levels of thinking skills which will become evident when they are tested.
"When it comes to taking a test, they will be thinking rather than guessing," he said.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 12:50

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