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200 LHS student athletes compiled an average grade of 84

To The Daily Sun,

Laconia High School Athletics has a lot to celebrate here at the conclusion of the fall season. With one-third of the student body participating in a sport, we saw great effort, camaraderie, successes, and school pride.

The commitment started somewhere in the middle of August and finished in November.

The balance between family, school, and sport can be quite difficult. This is an important time in life where students are pressed into a chaotic time-management frenzy. They are quickly learning important life lessons on how to meet obligations by prioritizing and planning week to week, instead of day to day.

Data supports that students who are involved in a sport and are on a busy schedule fare better than those who are not. Higher grade-point averages, better attendance, lower dropout rate, and a stronger commitment to their school are the results. We have seen this all come to a head this fall.

The close to 200 Laconia High School student-athletes completed this fall marking period with an average grade of 84, a solid "B." The eight athletic programs offered were consistent in which team final averages all hovered in the "B" range. This success can be attributed to the effort of students, parents, teachers, and coaches. Mandatory study halls, teacher extra help, and review sessions before and after school, coaches' flexibility in making time possible and prioritizing school work, and parents for putting up with some of those late nights and early mornings to assist their child in getting work completed. Everyone working together in this community has resulted in the great successes of our student athletes in the classroom.

Competition is often a breeding ground for character. In an athletic department that preaches "Good people first, good players second," our goal is to teach our student-athletes to play hard and earn opponents' respect by giving our best effort while we exemplify sportsmanship. The NHIAA has an evaluation tool at the conclusion of the season in each sport where teams are rated as "meets expectations," "above expectations," or  "below expectations" in the categories of player behavior, coach behavior, fan behavior, and school climate.

Laconia High School scored at "above" or "meets expectations" in 365 out of 367 ratings. We are closing in on perfection. Once again, this takes commitment from all; the players, coaches, and fans. Thanks to all for your efforts in doing what is right. We all represent our community. Please, when you attend a sporting event, follow the NHIAA motto of, "Let the players play, the coaches' coach, and the officials officiate." We have the most beautiful sporting facilities in the state of New Hampshire, let's welcome our invited teams, officials, and fans and treat them with class.

School pride is at an all-time high in recent years. 2015 Homecoming was amazing. The student body engrossed themselves in spirit and pride. The alumni were welcomed back with open arms and proudly led the charge in Sachem Pride. Our parade was the biggest this city has seen in years. As we celebrate a great fall and move into the winter season Sachem Nation is prouder than ever. Go Sachems!

Craig Kozens

Athletic Director

Dean of Students

Head Football Coach

Laconia High School


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I'm not responsible for current board's inability to control spending

To The Daily Sun,

What is going on in the Gilmanton Selectmen's Office? It seems to me Selectmen Rachel Hatch and Michael Jean are on a power trip. Without warning, they recently ousted Don Guarino as chairman of the board. Why? They claim Don was creating a "hostile work environment," but he is the only one asking questions on our behalf.

Isn't it a conflict of interest for Vice Chairman Rachel Hatch to vote Guarino out when she automatically fills his seat? Could she legally even vote on ousting him? Why even have a vice chairman on a three-person board? Hatch and Jean need to put on their big boy/girl pants and do their job rather than having a hissy fit just because they don't want to answer Guarino's tough questions.

A recent Daily Sun front page article incorrectly stated why our taxes have increased so significantly. The article wrongly named me and Steve McCormack as being on the current board and being responsible for this spike. As everyone knows we are no longer selectmen. I asked for a correction and apology from the Daily Sun for again maligning me in the newspaper. A "clarification" was on page 15 of the Friday paper, but no apology. There were several corrections listed in the paper that day. How hard is it to get the facts straight?

It is my understanding Town Clerk Cornett has been telling people who come in to complain about their taxes to call Brett Currier or Don Guarino. Why would Cornett be slandering me, a private citizen, while she is being paid by the people to do her job? I am not responsible for the current board's inability to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. Your taxes on the municipal side did not increase while I was a selectman.

The Budget Committee is also placing blame for the tax increase on the previous Board of Selectmen. This, too, is a false statement. Perhaps the Budget Committee should stop rubber-stamping everything that crosses their desk and say no to the "wish lists" presented to them.

Current Selectboard members Hatch and Jean are handing out raises to the employees like your money doesn't matter. Why are selectmen considering a 1.5 percent cost-of-living raise this year for employees? Our senior citizens aren't getting any increase in their Social Security, yet it is of no consequence to Hatch and Jean.

They should be ashamed of themselves, as this is placing a hardship on our seniors and struggling families. Those two selectmen need to start representing the taxpayers and not just the town's employees.

The new Town Administrator needs to bring financial matters to a formal meeting so there is clear transparency surrounding these issues. Instead, he is making decisions through emails which prevents the taxpayers from knowing about them. Mr. Guarino has every right to question this method, making decisions in this manner is illegal. Don Guarino is the only one looking out for the taxpayers.

Why would Hatch and Jean give a probationary employee, new Town Administrator Mr. Branscomb, a $15,000 raise to be disbursed over a three-year period? He took the job knowing what his salary would be.

He was only on the job two months and threatened to quit. Wouldn't it have made more sense for him to have finished his probationary period before renegotiating his contract?

Let the selectmen know you are sick of the corruption, cronyism and cover-ups that are happening within our selectmen's Office.

Brett Currier



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