Granite Fitness donates $2,500 to SEED
DOVER — The Seacoast Educational Endowment for Dover, a nonprofit organization dedicated to elevating academic excellence in the public schools of Dover, NH, recently accepted a $2,500 donation to promote health and wellness at Dover Middle School.
Granite Fitness and Performance is a best-in-class fitness center located on Locust Street in Dover. As a lifelong Dover resident and athlete, Granite Fitness owner Ian Duffy is committed to giving back to his community. “It is very important to introduce good health and exercise habits to adolescents and teens,” Duffy said. “Staying fit can help improve academic performance, build confidence, and lower your risk of chronic disease.”
Studies show that regular physical activity can help teens learn to cope with the physical and emotional challenges they face every day. The donation will help DMS purchase kettlebells in various sizes, cast iron weights and storage racks. All of this equipment will be used in the DMS physical education program.
In its tenth year, SEED is fully funded by community donations to provide Dover educators with access to tools, training, and curriculum not otherwise available through traditional school budgets. For more information on SEED, visit www.DoverSEED.org.
NHED will implement a new state student information system
CONCORD — The New Hampshire Department of Education announced that it will implement a new web-based Statewide Student Information System intended to save schools a great deal of time and money.
The new data collection system, which was approved by the Governor and Executive Council, will be available to all public schools and districts in New Hampshire. NHED’s Educational Resources and Analytics Division is contracting with Alma Technologies, Inc., of Portland, Oregon, to purchase and implement the State Student Information System.
“This contract will replace the existing i4see system that was first implemented in 2001 and is difficult to adapt to ever-changing state and federal reporting guidelines,” said Frank Edelblut, education commissioner. “The new system takes advantage of technological advances and is designed to empower educators by enabling real-time data collection that will improve analysis and reporting. This upgrade will also improve efficiencies throughout the New Hampshire school system, while also generating significant money and labor savings.”
The $2,489,900 contract with Alma Technologies will conclude in December 2026, with a five-year extension option. The project, which has been a priority for NHED since 2017, will initially be funded by a competitive State Longitudinal Data Systems grant that was awarded to the Department in 2020; the remaining state funds for the project were allocated to NHED in the last biennial state budget.
“Alma is excited to have been selected as NHED’s statewide solution,” said Andrew Herman, co-founder and CEO of Alma. “We are unwaveringly committed to this partnership and support New Hampshire’s modern and progressive approach to education. Alma looks forward to partnering with both the New Hampshire Department of Education and New Hampshire’s K-12 districts to successfully realize her educational visions.”
There are currently 38 school districts and 10 charter schools in New Hampshire using Alma. School districts will continue to have autonomy to select their own provider, however, Alma will offer priority pricing. This is the first State Level Solution contract issued by Alma Technologies.
Monarch School CEO to retire next year
ROCHESTER — New England Monarch School announced that Executive Director Diane Bessey will retire at the end of the 2022-2023 school year.
“I found my life’s work at Monarch School of New England. It has been my privilege to work with such dedicated staff members who are committed to ensuring that students and their families have every opportunity possible,” said Bessey.
Bessey served as a physical therapist for the Monarch School of New England from 1998 to 2006, at which point she was promoted to director of the program. She assumed the position of Executive Director in 2009.
Raymond Benoit, Vice President of the Monarch School of New England Board of Trustees, stated, “Diane’s consistent leadership has helped the school through some difficult times, most recently the COVID-19 pandemic. The school has come across in a very strong position, with well-established programs and a waiting list for students. The Board of Directors has every confidence that the show on MSNE will continue to thrive and grow, thanks to the foundation laid by Diane’s hard work.”
Jean Parsons, President of the Monarch School of New England Board of Trustees, added, “The board is deeply appreciative of Diane’s 25 years of service. Under her leadership, the school has expanded its facilities and increased student enrollment. Their commitment has also ensured that New England Monarch School remained at the forefront of important initiatives in special education, such as preparing young adults with disabilities for community-based workforce development.”
Parsons continued, “The board of directors formed a committee that defined the strategy and timeline to search for the next CEO of MSNE. We anticipate that the process will begin after the new school year begins in the fall. We are looking at this as an opportunity to identify who will guide the school’s journey through the next 25 years. Since Diane will be staying through the end of the school year, we anticipate a smooth transition.”
About Monarch School of New England: Monarch School of New England is a not-for-profit day school for students ages 5-21 with significant disabilities. The school supports students with special needs to reach their greatest potential through a comprehensive approach that integrates both education and therapy, ensuring successful transitions to school and the community. For more information visit: www.monarchschoolne.org.
GBCC Social Sciences Department Chair publishes article in Anthropology News
PORTSMOUTH — Dr. Aimee E. Huard, professor and chair of Social Studies at Great Bay Community College, is drawing national attention for a course she designed to help students make better college and career decisions.
Huard, an anthropologist, recently published an article in Anthropology News highlighting how Great Bay students use ethnographic methods to analyze changing cultures in the workplace. The article Exploring Careers with Ethnography is based on Huard’s experience with his popular Introduction to Ethnography: The World of Work course. Anthropology News is the award-winning membership journal of the American Anthropological Association, published on the web and bi-monthly in print.
Introduced four years ago, the course approaches work life as a cultural system of norms, with students exploring careers through cultural meaning embedded in workplace expectations and values. They use anthropological research techniques to test myths and stereotypes and gain insight into what motivates people who are successful in their careers. Through their own research based on interviews with working professionals, students find it easier to see the difference between a job and a career.
In an interview, Huard said she was pleased to highlight the work of community college and community college students in a prestigious professional journal. “In a lot of literature, the focus is on four-year-olds. You don’t see a lot of attention being paid to community colleges, so having something published in a widely read journal like Anthropology News is important,” Ella Huard said. “Community college students do a really great job in sometimes challenging conditions. Most work full time, most have outside obligations, and the fact that they are so dedicated to their education should be celebrated and highlighted.”
The article considers the world of college students as they grapple with the purpose of college and career choices. Article link: www.anthropology-news.org/articles/exploring-careers-with-ethnography/