10 High School Graduates Benefit from 2011 Scholarship Awards

Ten high school graduates have each received a $750 scholarship from New Hampshire Local Government Center (LGC) as part of its annual John B. Andrews Scholarship Fund. The scholarships are funded with proceeds from LGC's Annual Fall Classic Golf Tournament. They specifically benefit children of New Hampshire municipal, school, county and village district employees and officials of local government units that participate in LGC services or are members of the New Hampshire Municipal Association, the LGC's sister organization.

Seventy-six scholarship applications, representing 52 New Hampshire high schools, were received this past winter for review by LGC board members from schools and municipalities throughout the state. Applicants were judged on academic achievement, extracurricular school activities, community service and three letters of reference. An essay on If I were an elected official in my town/city/school district, I would be a (name position of choice), and this is what I'd do was also required of each applicant.

"This year's awardees are the thoughtful, talented and articulate sons and daughters of those who are so committed to teaching our children and serving our local municipalities," said LGC Executive Director Maura Carroll. "The students' impressive qualifications exemplify the caliber of community leaders we can look forward to in the future."

More than $55,000 in higher education funding has been awarded to high school seniors since LGC created its first scholarship fund in 2005. One scholarship for 2011 has been generously funded by the New Hampshire Government Finance Officers Association.

"… I would be a school board member so that I could make the decisions to positively impact the education … of students. … I would especially consider the input of students and parents during the processes of hiring and firing teachers. … I would develop a comprehensive system for teacher evaluations to ensure that all teachers are performing at the highest level."
Hayley L. Bacon, Greenland, NH
Portsmouth High School graduate; daughter of Librarian Susan Bacon, Greenland Central School (SAU #50)

"… I would do a remarkable job as superintendent. … my interest in education and determination to bring our schools back to being an institution of learning would never be questioned. … I would insist on getting back to basics starting with a policy on respectable student attire. … Discipline will be handled by administration and parents. Discipline issues take away from a teacher's job of teaching."
Maria Blougouras, Rochester, NH
Spaulding High School graduate; daughter of Teacher Georgia Blougouras, Rochester School Department (SAU #54)

"Students need to be held accountable, and they should receive the grades that they deserve, preparing them for the real world beyond. If I were on the school board, I would make this a priority. … Though it may upset a few parents, it will make the school a far better place, and it saves the students the humiliation of failing out of college, even making them more successful in the long run."
Benjamin Keith Couch, Barnstead, NH
Prospect Mountain High School graduate; son of Teacher Julie Couch, Barnstead Elementary School (SAU #86), and former School Board Member Keith Couch, Barnstead School District (SAU #86) and Prospect Mountain High School (SAU #301)

"… as a member of the school board I could make decisions that will benefit everyone. Oftentimes, school board members do not witness, first-hand, what takes place in the classroom settings. I would be an active member, visiting the classrooms, understanding the needs of the teachers and taking notice of potential changes that need to take place to benefit the students."
Jessica Jane Davis, Lisbon, NH
Lisbon Regional High School graduate; daughter of Teacher's Assistant Patricia Davis, White Mountains School Administrative Unit #35

"As a school board member, I would fight to keep our school open. In a small town like ours, where all activity is centered on the school and the students, closing the school would be detrimental to the town. … As a student, I have benefitted a great deal from the small class sizes, personalization of lessons and activities, and close connections that have been made with my teachers and peers."
Brooke Mae Judd, Pittsburg, NH
Pittsburgh High School graduate; daughter of Teacher Sheli Aldridge, Colebrook School District (SAU #7)

"As a selectwoman, I would improve communication in my town to encourage involvement in the community by the younger population while maintaining the small-town culture which so many members of the town have fought to preserve. … Local government should exploit social media to improve communication. If properly monitored, a Facebook page for the town could be beneficial [and] allows for online forums …"
Morgan Carey Matthews, Boscawen, NH
Merrimack Valley High School graduate; daughter of Selectperson Lorrie Carey, Town of Boscawen

"… I would be a school board member because I believe that there are issues with the way public education is viewed and run in America. … I propose that teachers be evaluated not on how long they've been employed at the school but by how well they teach and reach out to students. Teachers should be held responsible for their actions. The system in place now is not the best … for the youth of America …"
Caitlin M. Ortega, Merrimack, NH
Merrimack High School graduate; daughter of Title I Tutor Kathleen Ortega and School Board Member Christopher Ortega, Merrimack School District (SAU #26)

"… I would definitely be a school board member. I would completely overhaul the current educational system. … The system is no longer cost or educationally effective. … If we compare the United States to countries like Sweden, Finland and Norway, we see that college is free in these other countries. This is a great idea! It makes those looking for higher education able to attain it."
Jacob S. Vezina, Hartland, VT
Windsor High School graduate; son of Business Administrator James Vezina, Newport School District (SAU #43)

"… as your new School Board Chairman … I want to celebrate Newport's successes and instill a thankful and celebratory attitude in the students. … I am going to initiate a mentoring program in all schools. … Any student who is not succeeding in school will be assigned a mentor. This mentor will be an adult in the building who checks in on their student daily and is always available to the student whenever they are needed."
Sarah Wiggins, Newport, NH
Newport High School graduate; daughter of Department of Public Works Director Larry Wiggins, Town of Newport

"If I were an elected official in the town of Boscawen, I am confident I would be able to assure people their tax dollars were used in the most beneficial way. … I would have to balance the wants and needs of the people who elected me with what is the best legal choice (within governance) for the town and the majority of its residents. One of my strengths is being a good listener as well as a calculated decision maker."
Teresa Wright, Boscawen, NH
Merrimack Valley High School graduate; daughter of Town Administrator Michael Wright, Town of Boscawen

Congratulations to 2011's scholarship awardees!