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Chairing LMS PTO reinforced belief our city cares about its youth

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,
As summer comes to a close and the new school year descends upon us, I have become acutely aware that I have yet to write a very well deserved thank you to our community!
As a former chair of the Laconia Middle School PTO (Fall 2010-Summer 2013) I had the wonderful opportunity to work alongside many amazing parents, teachers and staff, administrators, students, community members and businesses.
There are so many people to thank it is hard to know where to begin. However the first thank you must go to the LMS parents and grandparents — whether it was attending our monthly meetings, various presentations, providing innumerable baked goods, chaperoning a variety of events (including middle school dances), helping in the Care Closet, decorating for events, organizing fundraisers and the list goes on. No matter what the request, parents and grandparents always came through in a big way for the children. Thank you.
To the teachers, staff and administration, your support of the LMS PTO and your students has been incredible. I had the privilege to work alongside numerous teachers, all of whom were willing to dedicate their time and energy to better the school and the students. I wish to thank a select few teachers who were particularity involved in the PTO's endeavors while I was chair. Thank you to Mrs. Steckert our PTO teacher liaison, Ms. Sims (Student Council advisor) and Ms. Columb and Mr. Schneberger (National Junior Honor Society advisor) who were always willing to collaborate with PTO whether it be for our first annual semi-formal dance, or LMS Rock-a-thon or Red Ribbon Week just to name a few. Mr. Theman, Ms. Stefanik and Mr. Clay, what would the middle school dances be without the three of you? The support of the guidance counselors, Mrs. Babcock and Mr. Schneberger, our school nurse Mrs. Reynolds, and Diane Oulette supervisor of LMS kitchen all in numerous ways helped the PTO to grow and thrive. The staff, Sue Dore, Katie Whitney, Dawn Emond, Betsy Jacobson and Deb Williams who, among many other things, sent e-mails, printed flyers and kept the calendar straight as the PTO planned events. I certainly cannot forget to thank the maintenance team that so willingly set up, and cleaned up after many an event, and may I add always did so with a smile. The administrative team Mr. Ennis, Mrs. Sottak, former principal Mr. McCollum and current principal Mr. Johnson, I do not know how each of you managed to be at so many school events to support LMS, but you did. Thank you for showing your support and dedication both during the school day and at numerous after school activities. Furthermore, it was not unusual to see our retired or current superintendent, Mr. Champlin and Mrs. Forsten, respectively support the LMS PTO events for the children and their families.
So many community members, local organizations and businesses even in these challenging times gave so generously of their resources and time. Although there are too many to list individually, there are a few that deserve recognition for consistently and wholeheartedly supporting our schools and children: The Laconia Police Department — Chief Adams, Officer Orton, Lt. Lessard and Detective Noyes; Patrick's Pub and Eatery; Lakes Region Santa Fund and Better Together.
Finally, I cannot forget to mention the children themselves! We should be very proud of the youth at LMS. So often today, the media can portray youth as uninvolved, uncaring and self-centered. That was not my experience! Whether it was babysitting younger children at the PTO meetings, helping to set up for Teacher and Staff Appreciation Breakfast, working the bake sale tables, decorating at events, helping out at the Bow Wow Fest, caroling at local nursing homes, or fundraising for friends in need, the students were always eagerly helping out with a good attitude and a beaming smile. I found the children to be respectful, caring, helpful, funny, engaging and overall a very talented and enthusiastic group of children. As our celebratory cakes at LMS say, 'LMS is the Best!'
Before having the opportunity to chair LMS PTO I believed Laconia to be a special community and one that cared deeply for its youth, now I know that to be true! Like all other communities, we have our issues and problems to solve! However, unlike many other communities Laconia's treasure is in the enormous number of people, organizations and businesses that truly care, get involved, and make a positive difference in the life of so many children, and their community at large! Way to go Laconia, keep doing great things!
Clare Persson

Chair of LMS PTO 2010-2013