I have served Gilford community on School Board for 22 years

To The Daily Sun,

My name is Susan Allen, and I am running for re-election of a three-year seat on the Gilford School Board. I have been honored to serve the Gilford community for the past 22 years, as well as serve in different capacities on the New Hampshire School Board Association. I do not take this responsibility lightly and I believe my experience is a valuable asset to the School District and community.

Professionally, I have been a real estate paralegal for the past 30 years and continuously have heard buyers and current residents of Gilford echo the words, "We moved to Gilford because of the schools." Those words speak volumes. I have been a resident of this wonderful community for 35 years, and I, too, moved to Gilford because of the schools.

The Gilford School District has so much to be proud of. Our school district focuses on individualized learning — meeting the needs of every student. I have been fortunate to volunteer at the elementary school in my granddaughter's class and witnessed first-hand how our exemplary staff is differentiating instruction to meet the needs of our learners, utilizing modern forms of technology and best practices. This continues to be a focus and is something I believe very strongly in because every student learns at a different pace.

In addition to supporting the growth of our students, continued effort to provide valuable professional development for our staff is crucial. Gilford continues to be in the forefront of transitioning instruction to align with new initiatives, balancing mastery with rigor and depth. I am proud of the effort our staff and administration has displayed, as well as the vision established to continue work in this area.

Community service has become an important part in all our schools. Giving back to the community is a message that we hope to instill in all our students. I have and will continue to endorse making this a crucial part of our students' education.

We are so fortunate to have a dedicated staff and supportive community that play a vital role in nurturing our students.

I would appreciate your vote on March 10 so I can continue the work we have started.

Susan D. Allen


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We're blessed to be part of this amazing Holderness community

To The Daily Sun,

A huge thank you to our local Holderness Fire Department, and surrounding towns of Ashland, Center Harbor, Plymouth, Meredith and Campton/Thornton.

It was certainly devastating to get the call that our home was on fire, but by the time we arrived, these professionals had things well under control. Words can't express the extent of our gratitude for the support, kindness and compassion we we've been shown by the firefighters, friends, family, teachers, co-workers and the town as a whole.

While we won't be back in our home for many months, we're feeling very blessed to be a part of this amazing community.

Greg, Amy, Jessica, Megan & Katie Ogden


  • Category: Letters
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'Phil' didn't really see his shadow; I say bring on the Spring!

To The Daily Sun

When "Punxutawney (Bantam World Atlas spelling) Phil", the world's most celebrated groundhog/woodchuck, emerged from his burrow, he could not have seen any shadow because it was too overcast, according to the AP.

Nevertheless, his top-hated handlers, the "Inner Circle" announced a shadow-sighting, i.e., six more weeks of winter; my feeling is, "no shadow, boogie on in, Spring!"

I cry, "Foul!" The current Inner Circle should become the Outahere Circle" and be replaced. Phil (and the sun) rule! 

Bill Carberry


  • Category: Letters
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I'm 100% in support of meeting needs of all Shaker students

To The Daily Sun,

This year's district meeting has a few agenda items that have warranted extra attention from the voters of the communities it serves — Belmont and Canterbury.

Though the Shaker Regional School Boad has offered several hearings to address the needs of the district, once again the only informed voters will be those who attended the hearings and asked their questions.

I write this letter in the hope of informing those who have not attended and in the hope that those who did attend will be reminded that the decisions this district will vote on are not simple and are not necessarily about a budget.

As a recent retiree of the district, and one who spent 20 of her 21 years as a kindergarten/readiness teacher, my concerns, as always, center around our students and meeting their needs.

The proposal to incorporate a universal pre-kindergarten program to this district and offer all-day kindergarten is certainly about meeting those needs and building a strong foundation for future learning, but it comes with a "wave of side effects" that should not be overlooked.

Canterbury Elementary, with a lower school population than its counterpart Belmont Elementary, will most likely see the fewest side effects, if any, and the early intervention benefits from offering pre-K and all-day kindergarten will be immeasurable to the students of that specific community.

Belmont Elementary, on the other hand, is faced with a space issue in its building because of its population and currently is over capacity without considering a universal pre-K program or all-day kindergarten option.

The solution the school administration offers, which is to me the first "tidal wave" of this proposal, is to create a classroom from an existing room that is already being utilized to its fullest by other students who are in need of necessary supports during their day in order to be successful learners. If this is done, the ripple effect continues. Those displaced students from that classroom will then be placed in their regular grade-level classrooms without the small group support and intervention they were receiving for longer periods of time during the day — a scenario for them which can be stressful, overwhelming, and can cause other issues that get in the way of their learning.

In addition, the educators and specialists who once supported them in a small group will now be spread throughout the grade levels to service these students which in turn means not always being available to them when they might need the support the most. This, in turn, affects the entire classroom. The classroom teacher, who is now managing a larger, needier classroom population, will have to become an added support for those struggling children, which takes away from the rest of the students in the classroom.

Negative social behaviors of young children tend to escalate when they are overwhelmed, unsupported, over-challenged and over-placed. Having an increase of "escalated behaviors" will then require the attention of other important school-wide support services in the building: nurse, guidance, and administration. This increased demand will again mean affecting more of the school population, as those additional professionals will need to be removed from their regular duties to attend to the additional problems that have been created. The surging tide persists.

I am 100 percent in support of early intervention. I am 100 percent in support of offering a universal pre-K program in our district. I have been, like many, trying to educate others in the value of implementing an all-day kindergarten program for our children to replace the half-day program we currently offer. But more importantly I am 100 percent in support of effectively meeting the needs of all our students on a daily basis in all grade levels. To ignore some so others can thrive should never be an acceptable solution in education.

I urge the voters of this district who want universal pre-K and/or all-day kindergarten to not choose one over the other right now. They are both important, but these scenarios, either in isolation or together, are not possible at this time if we want to consider nurturing the social, emotional, and academic needs of all the students of this district.

Jayne Hastings


  • Category: Letters
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Accidents happen but very preventable accidents shouldn't

To The Daily Sun,

Finally and way overdue I have the chance to thank all the Bridgewater and Plymouth EMS/EMT personnel for the help you've given me since I moved to Plymouth from Bridgewater. The EMS service in Bridgewater waved good-bye and probably figured that it wouldn't be long until I introduced myself to the Plymouth EMS. It only took a few months until I had to dial those life-saving numbers again. The good part was the ride to the hospital would be a lot shorter and that was good for all us.

So, for those of you that still smoke, are using a old smoky woodstove or are planning to start, just watching me should be a good enough reason not to ever start. But you could also keep these guys in constant practice.

Starting in February 2011, until last week, I think I've called and taken about 10 rides in the local ambulances and I keep coming back due to my chronic COPD and bad lungs. There should have only been that one ride back in February 2011, but nothing in life has a guarantee.

On a side note I'm really disturbed about that lady from NYC who wasn't able to be saved despite all the heroic efforts of the hiking community. She paid her price and her husband will be paying his for a while. The bottom line is that it never should have happened to begin with. By putting herself first and by not thinking and turning back at the first chance she had could have cost others their lives. Accidents do happen, but preventable accidents shouldn't get the chance. Having been on both sides makes me believe in the laws of Karma.

As for the rest of us we should just feel really lucky to have a group of dedicated people, many working for free, who will put you before themselves.

Jon Hoyt

Bridgewater & Plymouth

  • Category: Letters
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