Samuel Jensen was named Valedictorian. He will be attending Fairfield University in the Communications/Business programs. He is the son of Dennis and Linda Jensen of Gorham. Sam's senior year extracurricular activities include: All-State soccer and basketball, baseball, basketball, Community Service Day, D.A.R. candidate, homecoming, National Honor Society (president), S.A.D.D./Inspire, soccer, student council, winter carnival and Youth and Government.
Alyssa Carlisle has been named Salutatorian. She will be attending the University of New Hampshire in the Psychology program. She is the daughter of David and Joyce Carlisle of Shelburne. Alyssa's senior year extracurricular activities include: basketball, Community Service Day, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) of which she was the treasurer, Humanitarian Group (secretary), homecoming, National Honor Society, winter carnival and part-time employment.
The following 11 students were all recognized for their achievement of a 90 average during their four years of high school.
Kyle Balon is the son of Robert and Roberta Balon of Gorham. He will be entering the U.S. Air Force. His senior year extracurricular activities include: homecoming, winter carnival and part-time employment.
Meghan Beals is the daughter of Dr. Brian and Wendy Beals of Gorham. She will be attending St. Anselm College in the English program. Meghan's senior year extracurricular activities include: Community Service Day, Humanitarian Group, homecoming, National Honor Society, peer tutoring, soccer (manager), and winter carnival.
Hailey Bowie is the daughter of Scott and Lisa Bowie of Gorham. She will be attending Lasell College in the Fashion Retaining & Merchandising/Fashion Communication and Promotion programs. Her senior year extracurricular activities include: Amigos, Cabaret, chorus, Humanitarian Group, homecoming, S.A.D.D./Inspire (co-chairperson), winter carnival, Miss Kearsarge Valley's Outstanding Teen, and part-time employment.
Natalie Drouin is the daughter of Carolyn Drouin-Wood of Gorham and Arnold Drouin, Jr. She will be attending Southern New Hampshire University in the Hospitality program. Her senior year extracurricular activities include: homecoming and part-time employment.
Hayley Holmes is the daughter of Austin and Rhonda Holmes of Gorham. She will be attending the University of New England in the Nursing program. Hayley's senior year extracurricular activities include: basketball, Humanitarian Group (vice president), homecoming, seatbelt challenge, soccer, winter carnival and part-time employment.
Ryan Mayers is the son of Shawn and Terry Mayers of Gorham. He will be attending the University of Pennsylvania in the Biochemistry in Vagelos Scholars in Molecular Life Sciences program. His senior year extracurricular activities include: alpine skiing, Future Business Leaders of America (president), Humanitarian Group (president), homecoming, National Honor Society (treasurer), Quiz Bowl (captain) and presenter at the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, Northern New England Region.
Mark McGillicuddy is the son of Earl and Victoria McGillicuddy of Gorham. He will be entering the U.S. Air Force. His senior year extracurricular activities include: alpine skiing (captain), homecoming, Quiz Bowl, winter carnival and part-time employment.
Cassandra Poulin is the daughter of Caroline Poulin of Gorham and Robert Poulin of Gorham. She will be attending Southern New Hampshire University in the Justice Studies/Sociology programs. Her senior year extracurricular activities include: Cabaret, senior class representative, homecoming, peer tutoring S.A.D.D. /Inspire (co-chairperson), soccer (captain), student council (vice president), winter carnival, Relay for Life, Merrowvista Youth Leadership staff member, S.O.S. Youth Leadership staff member and Regional Prevention Youth Council.
Megan Rousseau is the daughter of Roger and Nancy Rousseau. She will be attending Plymouth State University with an undeclared major. Her senior year extracurricular activities include: Humanitarian Group, homecoming and winter carnival.
Stephen St. Germaine is the son of Mark and Julie St. Germaine of Gorham. He will be attending White Mountains Community College in the Mobile Equipment Technology program. His senior year extracurricular activities include: band, class officer (treasurer), Gorham Fire Department, National Honor Society, Student Council, winter carnival and part-time employment.
Jessica Stewart is the daughter of Jeffrey and Jennifer Stewart of Gorham. She will be attending Lasell College in the Athletic Training program. Her senior year extracurricular activities include: All-State soccer, basketball (captain), chorus, class officer, Humanitarian Group, homecoming, National Honor Society, S.A.D.D./Inspire, soccer (captain), winter carnival and part-time employment.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 22:17
MILAN – The committee studying what kind of agreement Milan should have with the Berlin school district when the AREA agreement expires in 2015 began its work last Thursday. The committee is one of two committees looking at the future of educating Milan and Dummer students.
One committee is looking at whether or not to form a new cooperative that would include those two towns plus the towns that currently make up the GRS Cooperative.
The other committee, the AREA study committee, is looking at whether or not to extend the AREA agreement with Berlin, possible changes to such an agreement, or switch to a tuition agreement (as Dummer has with Berlin).
Because Dummer already has a tuition agreement with Berlin and that wouldn't change unless that town decides to join a cooperative, the AREA study committee includes representatives from Milan and Berlin only. The members of the AREA study committee are: Milan school board members Patricia Shute and Stephanie Price, Milan selectmen George Pozzuto and Dick Lamontagne, and Berlin school board members Donald Labrecque and Louise Valliere.
The committee began by electing Stephanie Price as chairman.
GRS Cooperative Business Administrator Pauline Plourde said the committee was formed because state statutes require a study committee two years before an AREA agreement expires. The one between Milan and Berlin expires in 2015.
"Extending the AREA agreement or going with the tuition agreement are two things that could be considered," Plourde said.
Berlin Superintendent Corinne Cascadden, representing Valliere, who could not attend that night, said she saw the job of the committee as one of "extend it or amend it."
If the committee does decide to recommend staying with Berlin it will no doubt be with amendments. Members of the committee that were involved with the last AREA agreement all agreed they thought the agreement included a choice option like Dummer has.
No one seemed quite sure why the agreement approved didn't include that. There is, however, apparently a cap with AREA agreements on the percent of students who leave to attend another school and it must be because of a "hardship manifestation", for example when a receiving district doesn't offer a program or service a student needs.
Pozzuto asked if it was possible, if Milan did decide on a tuition agreement with choice, to cap the amount of tuition paid by a town to another school.
Plourde said she would look into that, as well as what the percentage is regarding "hardship manifestation".
One difference between an AREA or tuition agreement to consider is the fact that, legally, when there's an AREA agreement the receiving school must take all students. A tuition agreement doesn't necessarily require that. A student with expensive special needs, or with severe behavioral problems, for example, could be refused.
Further discussion, however, noted that there is a provision in the Dummer/Berlin agreement that does require Berlin to take everyone and that could be included in such as agreement between Milan and Berlin. Further, both AREA and tuitions agreements require the sending district to pay if, for example, a student needs a one-on-aide that has to be hired.
"I think we should wait for information from the other committee (before meeting again) to see if there's a compelling reason to go to Gorham," Pozzuto said. "If not, the choice is AREA or tuition. I'm not interested in sending students to a school that will cost more. I'm not seeing a big enough difference educationally."
Plourde noted the other committee also said cost will be a major factor.
Because of vacations and other meetings, as well as the desire to have more information from the cooperative study committee, this committee set its next meeting date for August 19, 6:30 p.m. at the Milan Village School.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 22:17
Written by Barbara Tetreault
BERLIN – The planning board last week gave its blessing to a proposal for a high elevation hiking trail to Mount Jasper and a new parking lot at the old Cates Hill landfill that would serve both hikers and snowmobilers.
The proposal grew out of the work of the Mount Jasper subcommittee and Larry Gomes, assistant trail master for the White Mountain Ridge Runners Snowmobile Club.
The Mount Jasper subcommittee, headed by Sally Manikian, backcountry resource conservation manager for the Appalachian Mountain Club, has put together a natural inventory and management plan for the 203-acres the city owns including the summit of the 1,584-foot high mountain.
That plan, prepared by Watershed to Wildlife, Inc., of Whitefield, will be presented for public comment on June 13 at city hall auditorium at 6 p.m.
The plan recommends establishing a high-elevation hiking trail to the summit, which offers spectacular views of the city. A high-elevation trail from Cates Hill would allow access to the summit for people not able to hike up the recently constructed trail from the Berlin High School parking lot.
A proposal put together by Gomes and Manikian, identified two possible locations for a high-elevation trail. One would start at the Hillside Cemetery. But the trail preferred by Manikian and Gomes would start at the old city landfill, which has been closed for years. While a trail from the cemetery would be shorter, Manikian noted possible conflicts with traffic moving through the cemetery and the lack of winter parking there.
The proposed hiking route from the landfill would be about a mile long but would be more gradual. It would follow the existing snowmobile trail that runs along the eastern side of the landfill to connect to an existing hiking trail that goes up the north side of Mount Jasper.
The pair recommends building a new parking lot at the old landfill that would be used by both hikers and snowmobilers. The existing snowmobile trail would be re-routed slightly to use the new parking lot. That will require permission from Barry Kelley to cross a section of his property but it would have the added bonus of moving the trail onto a drier section of land.
Manikian said the big advantage of the proposal is the creation of a new parking area, with space for 10 to 12 vehicles, that would be used by both hikers and snowmobilers. City permission is needed to move the chain link fence surrounding the landfill to accommodate the parking lot.
Community Development Director Pamela Laflamme said the subcommittee is seeking the planning board's support for the recommendation and then will present the proposal to the city council.
Planning board member David Morin said his only concern is maintaining the integrity of the landfill. He said he has no objection to the proposal, which he said would increase public use of the area. He said the snowmobile club has proven to be a good neighbor.
Laflamme said the subcommittee will review the proposal with the public works director and with the state Department of Environment Services. She said there is a big buffer area around the landfill and the new parking area will not allow access to the landfill itself.
Manikian said subcommittee is recommending the property not be open to ATV use. She cited the comments of state archeologist Dr. Richard Boisvert who spoke to the subcommittee about the historic value of the rhyolite site on the property that was used by the Native Americans to make tools. Part of the property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and Boisvert expressed his concern about motorized access to the area. Mike Eastman, a local expert on the Akenaki culture, also meet with the planning board in March to talk about the sensitivity of the site.
Manikian said the Berlin High JAG Program and the Enriched Learning Center will be spending three weeks this summer on trail work on Mount Jasper. The JAG students built the lower trail and Manikian said the two student groups could work on the new trail as well. The Enriched Learning Center students will focus on erecting a kiosk at the base of the existing trail. Manikian said she is also working with Eastman on interpretive signage for the trail.
The planning board reviewed the draft management plan for the Mount Jasper property at its March meeting and made some recommendations. But overall, the board expressed its support for the plan.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 22:41
Over 150 eighth graders learned they are responsible for their choices at the 14th annual Health-a-Rama on May 9.
Androscoggin Valley Hospital in partnership with Berlin and Gorham Middle schools brought together a series of speakers and activities to teach the students about making healthy choices.
"As a hospital, we have a responsibility to help in making good decisions," said James Patry, AVH director of public relations and marketing. "We've really tried to balance having a consistent message and still have it relevant.
MARKO, Ed Gerety, and the Gorham Police Department held different lectures and activities for the students. New this year was Chucky Rosa, who replaced Danny Duvall who passed away since he spoke at last year's Health-a-Rama.
MARKO, a magician, started the morning having student volunteers aid him in his tricks. Each trick corresponded to a lesson like dealing with peer pressure, making informed decisions, and being individuals.
"Anything you put your mind to... if somebody else can do it, you can to," MARKO said. "You can't change many things in your life, but you can control how you react to those things."
Chucky Rosa spoke about his family's struggles with substance abuse. He lost his two oldest sons to drug overdoses and struggled with alcoholism himself.
Domenic Rosa died of a heroin overdose in his twenties, but started experimenting with marijuana and alcohol when he was 15. His younger brother, Vincent, died a year later from an overdose the first time he tried fentanyl.
Rosa said his sons were stubborn and they thought their drug use was something they could control.
"It [drugs] hijacks your brain," Rosa said.
He said that starting to use drugs is a mental choice and that students should chose to be an individual and choose not to experiment with drugs.
"It's not a fight you want to fight," Rosa said.
All the students received Chucky's Fight t-shirts from AVH and dog tags from the North Country Health Consortium if they pledged not to use drugs.
Felicia Voisine of Gorham said she didn't realize how bad drugs actually were.
"I learned you have to think before you act," said Hannah Rivard of Gorham.
Outside, students could drive a golf cart wearing "drunk goggles" or goggles that make you see as if you had a blood alcohol content of 0.15. Students weaved around cones, often running them over.
The day ended with a presentation by Ed Geraty, an experienced keynote speaker and leadership trainer.
"Be grateful. Be respectful. Be responsible. Be kind," was Geraty's mantra for the day.
Geraty asked students whom would they call if they only had one hour to live. Many said parents or siblings.
Geraty called Sam Sjostrom of Gorham to the stage. He said he would call his mom. Geraty pulled out his phone and told Sjostom to call her.
"I'm calling you in front of like 200 people to tell you I love you," Sjostrom said on the phone. His mom showed up moments later, a first, Geraty said.
Geraty shared stories dealing with each tenant of his mantra and stories about other students.
At the end of the day, gift cards to the Royalty, Big Adventure Center, Walmart, Saladino's, Maureen's, and the White Mt. Café were raffled to students. The grand prize were Kindle Fires, which went to Emily York of Gorham and Benjamin Bergeron of Berlin.
Last Updated on Monday, 13 May 2013 21:00