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From left, Principal of the Year Gene Connolly of Concord High School, Elementary School Principal of the Year Lois Costa of Adeline C. Marston Elementary School in Hampton, and William Lonergan, Assistant Principal of the Year, of Pinkerton Academy. (DAN SEUFERT)

Award winner speaks out: Everyone in education works hard

MEREDITH — Gene Connolly said he was humbled and honored to receive the Principal of the Year award Thursday from the New Hampshire Association of School Principals.

But he said there should have been a huge group of people accepting the honor with him.

"It's a great moment, but it really reflects back on the school and in education in general. Everyone in education works hard," said Connolly, the principal of Concord High School, at the awards ceremony Thursday afternoon.

In awarding Connolly the honor, the association noted his ability to remove obstacles from students' learning and for his "gift for developing lasting relationships with all of the over 1,700 students at his school."

"As a result of high student expectations and a supportive learning environment, Gene has helped to create a school where all students have the opportunity to thrive," the association said in a statement.

Assistant Principal of the Year winner William Lonergan of Pinkerton Academy in Derry had a similar view.

"There's so many people in the school doing so much work, they make me look good," he said.

Lonergan was instrumental in the development of the school's Freshman Academy program, according to NHASP officials. He also worked with parents, teachers and students to conduct successful professional learning communities within the Freshman Academy program, among other achievements.

Lois Costa of Adeline C. Marston Elementary School in Hampton was named Elementary School Principal of the Year. Through her efforts, her school was named a Reward School this year in New Hampshire Education Commissioner Virginia Barry's Circle of Excellence Program, according to the association.

Role Model awards went to Assistant Principal Kelly Parker of the South Meadow School in Peterborough, Principal Debora Bamforth of the Daniel J. Bakie Elementary School in Kingston, and Brian Pickering of ConVal Regional High School in Peterborough.


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