McCormack is pick to lead Laconia schools during interim year

LACONIA — The School Board last night voted unanimously to offer Dr. Philip McCormack the position of interim superintendent.

It also voted unanimously to give Chair Joe Cormier the right to negotiate a one-year contract that will be brought back to the full board for possible approval in two weeks.

The decision came after a 45-minute non-public session and following an hour-long interview with McCormack last week by a board subcommittee named to review candidates recommended by the N.H. School Boards Association.  McCormack was the only one interviewed.

McCormack served as the Inter-Lakes School District superintendent for eight years before his retirement in 2012. Before that he served as the superintendent of the Keene School District for 14 years.

Earlier in his career, he was the principal of the Inter-lakes High School and also the principal of Plymouth High School.

In 2003 he was named the New Hampshire Superintendent of the Year.

Most recently, McCormack served as interim superintendent in the Newfound Regional School District in Bristol during the illness and after the subsequent death of Dr. Marie Ross.

Should contract negotiations with McCormack be successful, he will guide the Laconia School District during the next year while the board searches for a permanent replacement for Superintendent Terri Forsten, who will assume the helm of the Concord School District on July 1.

Gilford schools merg vice principal positions & create new 4th grade class

GILFORD — As the final piece of the restructuring of the Gilford School District administrative team for school year 2015-16, the School Board on Monday opted to extend the job responsibilities of the Middle School vice principal to include the Elementary School.

Superintendent Kent Hemingway said Kara Lamontagne, currently the assistant principal for the Middle School alone, will work with new Middle School principal Peter Sawyer and Elementary School Principal Danielle Bolduc in a K-8 support role.

"It is an opportunity to fill in gaps in student support," Lamantagne said, adding she was very excited to take on the additional role. She said she liked the idea that she could spend time the students as they transition from the elementary school to the middle school and her constant presence in both places will make the change for them easier.

"We will have a K-8 collaboration team for structure and discipline," Lamaontagne said, noting it mirrors the way Gilmanton School does it and gives all of the high school freshman a similar jumping off point. Gilmanton 9-12 students attend Gilford High School.

Board member Chris McDonough said he would like to see a full-time assistant principal in each school however, he and other board members realize the cost would be prohibitive.

Future Middle School Principal Peter Sawyer told the board he supports the combined approach and hopes it will give him more time to bond with the students.

In other staffing-related business, the new assistant principal of the High School will be Tim Goggins — an educator from Granite Hill School in Newport. According to the Granite Hill Website, Goggins is a certified special education administrator and a crisis prevention and intervention specialist. He is expected to start this summer at Gilford High.

The board also approved hiring a fourth fourth-grade teacher for the Elementary School.

According to Hemingway, the Elementary School has currently has five full-day kindergarten sections, four sections of grades 1 through 3 and three sections of fourth grade.

With fourth grade enrollment pushing 70 students, Hemingway recommended hiring an additional fourth grade teacher. Funds for the position will come from a vacancy in the assistant teachers position at the kindergarten level.

The additional $10,000 to $15,000 dollars for the full-time fourth grade teacher came from some other internal reorganizations that were done in a non-public meeting of the School Board

He said the five kindergartens will share four teacher assistants next year rather than having an assistant in each class.

Hemingway said the board unanimously supported the additional fourth grade teacher.

The board also unanimously supported hiring three new teachers — two in Special Education and one in World Languages to replace teachers who have either retired or resigned.

Bolduc Park open house & yard sale will launch drive to fund disc golf course in memory of Chris Daigle

GILFORD — The Bolduc Park Association is holding a pair of fund-raising events to support construction of a disc golf course in memory of the late Chris Daigle of Laconia, an avid disc golfer who passed away at age 34.

Bob Bolduc, the founder of the park, said yesterday that the new course will consist of a practice tee and nine holes, all par threes and fours, ranging in length from 165 feet to more than 400 feet, placed along the cross country ski trails. Disc golf consists of tossing Frisbees into racks — or "holes on poles." The park will be the third to open in New Hampshire.

On Saturday, June 6, the park will host an open house from 8 a.m. to noon featuring free golf as well as instruction in disc golf by Dennis Grzywacz, a professional player and teacher.

Between Sunday, May 31, and Thursday, June 4, patrons of Patrick's Pub & Eatery who tell their servers they are dining in support the disc golf course will ensure that 25 percent of the cost their meals will be donated to the park. In addition, on Saturday, June 6, the park will host a yard sale to benefit the new course. Bolduc said, "we are accepting donations and anyone who wishes to offer their own wares for sale may purchase a table of $20.


CAPTION: Bob Bolduc (second from right), founder and superintendent of Bolduc Park, is joined by Isabelle Piccola and her mother, Nina, as well as, (from left) Allen Hopkins, Bert Russeau and Dave Nick, all volunteers with the Bolduc Park Association. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch).

Meredith asks state if 'advanced' signals at 3/25 would help

MEREDITH — The Board of Selectmen this week agreed to ask the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT) to present an analysis of how advanced signalization at the intersection of U.S. Route 3 and N.H. Route 25 would affect the flow of both traffic and pedestrians.

Nate Torr, the chairman of the board, said yesterday that the selectmen were responding to a query from the DOT about how the town wished to proceed after town rejected a 3/25 Advisory Committee proposal to construct three single-lane roundabouts between Lake Street and Pleasant Street in January. The DOT has earmarked $5 million in federal funds to address congestion along the 3/25 corridor.

Torr said there was no interest among the selectmen to convene what would be the third committee to address the issue of traffic along the 3/25 corridor, much less to reconsider its decision to abandon the plan to build roundabouts.

Enhanced signalization was among the many alternatives considered and dismissed by the Advisory Committee.