To the Daily Sun,
Over the past few years, it has been our practice to offer a letter to the residents of Laconia during the Holiday season. The letter has typically been focused on several areas: appreciating our community for its support, celebrating our students and recognizing the good work that is being done in Laconia and in our schools. This year's letter continues that tradition.
We want to open with a special recognition Deb Gibson. She is Laconia High School's lone music teacher and and our district's Fine Arts Department Head. She has built an outstanding program throughout the past 26 years at LHS. To call Deb a "teacher" is to call Rembrandt a painter. We typically refer to her as an "icon" because of the way she mentors, molds and supports students, instills a lifelong appreciation of music into those she instructs, and for the powerful, positive impact she has on the lives of thousands of young people in a positive way.
Throughout her career, Ms. Gibson has exemplified the diligence, compassion and dedication that is required to excel as an educator. She, along with her students travel far and wide to state, regional and national events and competitions on many weekends throughout the school year. This level of commitment is truly above and beyond and merits recognition and praise. As we are in the season of gift-giving, I can honestly state that Ms. Gibson truly is a gift to our community. I am thankful for her amazing service to Laconia throughout the years. Her example and commitment have made a huge difference to many people throughout the years.
And her example is not uncommon at good ole LHS. Sachem Nation boasts many teachers who go above and beyond every day, before school and after school to help students who are committed to their future. Teachers and students can be seen working together toward academic excellence long before and after the traditional school day on a regular basis. During these times, meaningful relationships are built that can shape young people's career aspirations. To those teachers who commit themselves so fully to preparing youth for success, I humbly say thank you for your service to this community. It is abundantly evident that any students who chooses to put forth the effort required to excel at LHS can do so and the results are seen in the colleges they access, the technical programs that accept them and the scores they achieve on our nation's entrance assessments.
We are also thankful for the opportunities we get every day to help students who aren't yet sure how to go about accessing success in school. Through our district's consistent focus on Understanding by Design (UbD) and Positive Behaviors, Inventions and Supports (PBIS), we are creating structures that will support and hopefully engage the youth in our community who have not yet learned that this time in their lives matters toward the future they will live as adults. Interventions that occur both in the school day and beyond are constantly being developed to ensure students get additional support immediately so they can progress academically. Teachers, as always, have the opportunity to support these struggling students while hopefully building strong relationships with them. As we all can attest, a strong relationship is key to ensuring learning goals are met. Our youth must invest in their own future and to do so they must have adult mentors who can help them understand why education matters to that future.
Finally, we are thankful for the parents, adults and community members who stand up for our city. There is sadly a perception, held by some both inside and outside of our community, which infers Laconia isn't a great community. If this is believed, it can harm the expectations we have for ourselves and our students. Laconia is a truly a great place precisely because of the people who live here. There are so many actively involved, caring and action-oriented folks who choose to live here. We must stand up and let folks know what a great place this is to live work and play. We are privileged to work with some outstanding staff and a whole lot of outstanding students. We are honored to go to community events that are filled with participating, caring citizens. We are thrilled to go to our parks and gyms throughout the community and see them packed with young people interacting and adults who are mentoring and modeling as we work together to raise up the next generation.
Finally, we are focused on participating with any group that wants to help make Laconia even better! This is the Laconia we have grown to love and respect and we need to all stand up together to support our city and its youth. That is the best gift we can give to the next generation of Laconia Sachems.
Happy holidays to all.
The Laconia High School Administrative Team