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August 26. 2014 8:50PM

New Derry school year launch honors everyday heroes


Rachal Cobban, right, of Derry Village Elementary School, is hugged by Superintendent of Schools Laura Nelson after being recognized for 30 years of service to the school district Tuesday. (Hunter McGee/Union Leader Correspondent)

DERRY — Superintendent of Schools Laura Nelson said she wanted to honor the everyday heroes in people’s lives during a program Tuesday at Pinkerton Academy.

Nelson handed out awards and paid tribute to staff members throughout the school district during the event in the Stockbridge Theatre to launch the 2014-15 school year.

“Our celebration today has several hundred superheroes gathered together for a new year,” Nelson said. “I challenge you to be someone’s hero each day.”

In planning for the program, Nelson said she considered bringing in motivational speakers. But she eventually decided to simply pay tribute to unsung people who serve others in the community every day.

And so, members of the Derry police and fire departments were invited. Police Chief Edward Garone and Fire Chief Geogre Klauber gave brief speeches, as did Griffin Morse, the new headmaster of Pinkerton Academy.

Morse said he has been welcomed into the community and is looking forward to the new year — and beyond.

“What I intend to do, not just this year but in my years at Pinkerton, is sustain and increase the momentum that starts in the Derry primary and middle schools throughout the Derry area and to make sure that we provide resources and enable students and not create barriers,” Morse said.

Nelson later handed out the World Changers Awards, which are given to those who make a difference daily in people’s lives.

Winners of the awards included: Mary Ellen Stella, Earnest P. Barka Elementary School; Kristina Hunter, Derry Village School; Robin Jackson, East Derry Memorial Elementary School; Russ Manchester, Gilbert H. Hood Middle School; Terry Stallings, Grinnell Elementary School; Marjorie Butler, South Range Elementary School; Blake Leister, West Running Brook Middle School.

Also receiving the awards were Stephen Miller, winner of the District World Changers award, and the Derry police and fire departments.

Recognized for 30 years of service: Rachel Cobban, Derry Village; and for 20 years of service: Karen Ragoza, Barka; Karen Bagley, South Range; Corinna Boisvert, Barka; Amy Landry, Derry Village; Rose McAfoose, South Range; Jane Richardson, West Running Brook; Mary Klotz, West Running Brook; and Linda Bradley, Gilbert H. Hood.

hmcgee@newstote.com


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