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Volume 7 Number 50 June 25, 2010 14 Pages Pelham Graduates Leave Mark in the Community staff photos by Jeff Rodgers In celebration of their accomplishments, the Class of 2010 tosses their caps in the air to mark the end of their high-school careers
by Lynne Ober In the yearly rite of passage, Pelham High
School honored seniors at an evening graduation ceremony. Because seniors need to at the school long before the 6 p.m. start, the surrounding streets quickly fill with cars. Family and friends chat on the green lawn behind the school while waiting for the ceremony. This year, the sunny skies and refreshing breeze made it a lovely evening to be outside. Some attendees took their chairs into the shade next to the portable classrooms, but most enjoyed the bright evening sunshine. Summer attire was the order for the day with temperatures soaring. Many bright balloons were tied to chair backs. Kids munched on snacks.
Members of the National Honor Society greeted all attendees and passed out programs. When the sounds of “Pomp and Circumstance, Military
March, No. 1” began, the audience stood and watched as this year’s senior class, faculty, staff, and School Board marched onto the field and took their places. The color guard from Pelham’s VFW Post presented the colors. Pelham High School Principal Dr. Dorothy Mohr greeted the audience and introduced them to the many achievements of the class. She reminded the audience that education is often thought of as the three Rs – reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic – but she told everyone that this year’s senior class also added three Rs: resourcefulness, relationships, and responsiveness. Over 80 percent of this year’s graduates plan to attend a post-secondary institution to further their education. Mohr said that faculty and staff wrote more than 300 letters of recommendation
for these students. Along the way, 94 students spent part of their high school years earning college credits. The Running Start program offers students a way to earn these credits, and Pelham graduates earned 894 college credits. A number of those students actually earned more than a full semester’s worth of credits. Mohr also outlined all of the awards earned
by this class while they were at PHS, and asked that each student who belonged to a school organization, club, or athletic team to rise and be recognized by the audience.
But perhaps the most amazing portion was
Mohr’s announcement that this class had donated 11,628 community service hours within the community. These hours benefited many community endeavors. Chelsea Ouellette devoted 1,125 community service hours while at PHS.
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Class President Tomas Gray enthusiastically greets the soon-to-be-graduated Class of 2010
Mohr spoke about this class’s commitment to PHS, the community, and to global efforts. “Good luck and enjoy the adventure that awaits you.” Dr. Frank Bass, Superintendent of Schools, also talked about this class’ extraordinary contribution to the community. “More than 11,000 hours of community service – way more than most every school in the state of NH, upwards of 160 thousand dollars raised in the American Cancer Society’s “relay for life” – stop and think about extraordinary that is – more than triple what even the most optimistic organizers would have predicted. That says something about you, the class of 2010. You serve as a role model for the rest of us; your efforts have inspired us – yes, the adults – to follow your example.” He said that because of this class’ effort, the school district as a
continued to page 10- PHS Graduation
PES Students Raise Money for Diabetes
New High School Principal Asks for Delay
in Delaying Start Time
by Barbara O’Brien Tom Murphy hasn’t quite taken over the reins of
Windham High School principal, at least not officially, but he has already asked School Board members to give him some time to assess the situation at the new high school before making any changes in the time that classes will get underway. Although Windham High School has only been in
PES gym teacher Anthony Bolduc volunteers to get dunked, over and over … and over, during the school recesses for each grade at the American Diabetes Association fundraising celebration on Friday, June 18
by Karen Plumley Pelham Elementary students participated
in a walk/fundraiser for diabetes during the week of June 11. Kids in every grade either walked or ran around the Harris Family Track & Field as many times as they could and showed their support for eradicating this devastating disease. Dedicated staff members, including school nurse Susan Hancock, organized the diabetes walk. “It was a positive and heartwarming effort by teachers, staff, children, and the community,” noted Pat Scanlon, a mom from Pelham who has a fourth-grade daughter with diabetes. The goal for the fundraiser was for the
school to raise $20,000 for the American Diabetes Association. Because students collectively exceeded this goal, a unique school-wide celebration ensued on Friday, June 18, where Unified Arts teachers and a particular member of the PES staff got a chance to show what it means to be a good sport. Included in the event, every student in the school – nearly 1,000 – had a chance to throw a ball at a dunk tank during recess, manned by the very soggy gym teacher, Mr. Anthony Bolduc. Select students from each grade were also permitted to throw a pie at Principal Alicia LaFrance. And finally, in a highly anticipated moment, the students witnessed their beloved art teacher, Mr. Peter Tselios, shave off his signature mustache and goatee. There are currently four children (and one teacher) at Pelham Elementary
School that have Type 1 diabetes. “Type 1 diabetes is very much on the rise. The school nurse [Mrs. Hancock] has had a major role in these children’s lives. She watches the kids check their blood sugar multiple times every day, giving them juice for low blood sugar, water for high blood sugar, and shots—whatever they need. This disease is a 24-hour deal with no breaks. As of yesterday [June 17], the school has raised $23,000. This is pretty amazing since just last weekend, this community raised over $160,000 in the Relay for Life cancer walk,” Scanlon said.
operation for the past year, Murphy will be the school’s second principal. Murphy, who was hired as the very first assistant principal at Windham High School, will take over the duties of principal on July 1. He will be replacing Richard Manley, who Superintendent Frank Bass originally said would be teaching social studies at the high school this coming school year, but who now says Manley is considering employment elsewhere. The topic of delaying the start time at Windham High School for 24 minutes has been on the front burner at School Board meetings for several months already and does not appear to be vanishing any time soon. It was last brought up for discussion during a School Board workshop on June 14 when an overflow crowd showed up at the SAU #28 meeting room, hoping to express opinions on the subject. The public was not allowed to comment during the meeting, however, which did not sit well with concerned parents.
Shortly after the meeting was called to order by Vice Chairman Edward Gallagher, it was pointed out by a member of the audience that the number of people in the small room exceeded what is allowed by fire code. A phone call to Fire Chief Tom McPherson confirmed that the meeting room is designated for no more than 25 people. A count of those in attendance showed that there were 30 individuals in the room. Gallagher contested the legality of the clearly posted room capacity and suggested that additional chairs be brought into the room to provide more seating. Gallagher said he didn’t feel that the room was so crowded that anyone was “uncomfortable.” As a result of the standing-room-only crowd, School Superintendent Frank Bass subsequently asked that five people leave the room. “We are in violation,” Bass said. Initially, nobody offered to vacate the room, but when Bass said the meeting would be relocated up the road to Windham High School, five people, including
two school administrators, went into the adjacent hallway. Chief McPherson did show up at the meeting a short time later to check that attendance was in compliance with the posted fire code. Once the room was down to 25 inhabitants, Bass said one of the concerns he has heard voiced is whether or not the current proposal of delaying the start time at Windham High School by 24 minutes is a “preamble” for an even later starting bell. “It’s not going to happen,” Bass said. As for the proposed delay in start time affecting students who also attend Career Technology Education (CTE), as well as Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) classes at Salem High School, Bass said administrators will “do everything possible to accommodate these students, but that there is no guarantee.” A delayed start time would also translate into a later dismissal time, which would ultimately impact those students who participate in after-school athletic activities.
Bass said he has also been asked why all high
schools across the United States aren’t starting classes at a later hour, as scientific studies have reportedly shown it benefits teenagers in multiple ways to get some extra sleep in the morning. Bass said there are two main reasons why high schools start as early as they do: bus schedules and after-school athletic events. Currently, Windham High School starts school at 7:24 a.m. Under the delayed opening proposal, classes would convene at 7:48 a.m. In order to find out what high school students think of the issue, a recent 10-question survey was put together by Murphy and School Board Student Representatives Christine Carpenter and Colby Putnam. The results of that survey showed that there are more problems with the existing schedule than just the time the school day begins. “Students have voiced their concerns loud and clear,” Murphy said. Of the 325 students currently enrolled at Windham High School (freshmen and sophomores), 200 participated in taking the survey. Murphy said major concerns expressed by those
who filled out the questionnaire include: • Not having enough time between classes to get to the next class;
continued to page 7- Delay
PES art teacher Peter Tselios dared students to raise $20,000 for the American Diabetes Association. Tey did. So, he kept his end of the bargain: to shave off his signature mustache and goatee
Sorry, there will be no newspaper on July 9th. Offices will be open again on July 12.
It’s almost time for vacation! will be on vacation the week of July 4th.
staff photos by Karen Plumley
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