BRETTON WOODS – Continuing to tour New Hampshire this month and speak on two of her prime topics — economic growth and education — U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., spent Friday in the North Country where she received the Walter R. Peterson Award for her contributions to higher education.
Education was in the spotlight on Friday when Shaheen arrived in mid-winter conditions at the Mount Washington Hotel for the White Mountains Community College community awards luncheon.
“Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s involvement in education and educational issues spans her career, from her early career as a school teacher and business owner to her service as a state senator,” WMCC Chancellor Ross Gittell told the audience of about 90 people.
“As a three-term governor, Jeanne Shaheen’s support for higher education was central to her service in the corner office, and her return to private life marked a return to higher education as director of Harvard’s Institute of Politics,” he said.
Seated at a table adorned with chocolates, courtesy of New Hampshire Culinary Institute students, Shaheen was presented with an etching of the Androscoggin River and the centerpiece from the table, a replica of the college logo created by WMCC welding students.
The Peterson Award recognizes individuals whose contributions reflect the former Hampshire governor’s “values of public service and devotion to higher education.”
Friday evening at the Red Jacket Inn in North Conway, Shaheen plunged once again into her theme of business, jobs and the economy when she addressed attendees at the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council’s annual dinner.
“New Hampshire’s economy is making progress, but we all have to do more to help create jobs. The Mount Washington Valley Economic Council does great work encouraging job creation and economic development in the region, and they deserve a lot of credit for what they’ve accomplished in recent years” she said.
Echoing the remarks she delivered earlier in the month in Manchester, Shaheen said, “We must do more in Washington to boost job creation by investing in infrastructure projects, energy initiatives, advanced manufacturing, research and development and education.
“And we also need to rein in wasteful spending on duplicative federal programs. I’ve been working to advance bipartisan initiatives that will help create jobs and that will remain my focus in the future because that’s what’s best for our economy.”
At the afternoon event, WMCC President Katharine Eneguess introduced three student “success stories.”
They were: Wanda Riff, a 2013 dual major graduate of WMCC who earned an associate’s degree in early childhood education and a certificate in special education; Megan Maguire of Bethlehem, also in the class of 2013, who’s now employed at the Mount Washington Hotel as a banquet chef; and Brian Inkell, who lost his job when Ethan Allen — one of the North Country’s largest employers — closed its doors.
Inkell then decided to take advantage of Federal Trade Act money and enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at WMCC, and it was “nothing but full steam ahead,” once he made that decision, Eneguess said.