2017 Community Leader Award WINNERS
We had another great Community Leaders Event at Southern NH University on April 18, 2017. Approximately 180 attendees were greeted by the event by our Sue Willey and Dagny Cogan. Todd Rainier welcomed everyone to the event, and introduced a few VIPs in attendance, including Town Council Chair Jim Sullivan. Sullivan offered some very meaningful compliments about the event and recipients, especially Adyson Lavallee. Todd then recognized the event committee and introduced Doris Labbe as our emcee. Doris called each award winner to the podium for remarks along with the nominator. For an album of the photos, please click on the foillowing link: https://kiwanis1975.smugmug.com/Community-Leaders-2017
Kiwanis member Scott Riley recognized his dad Don Riley as Adult Volunteer of the Year. Don is a tireless volunteer with involvement as Town Moderator, Lions member, Robie’s Preservation Corp. member, and someone who never says no. He recalled the phone call he received from Todd Rainier to inform him of the award while he was on vacation. His first reaction was there must be an issue with the recent election. Don talked about the importance of team work and volunteerism in Hooksett. He thanked the election volunteers, town volunteers, and especially his wife, Joy, who often proofs his work and keeps his Irish intensity under control.
Kiwanis member Don Winterton recognized Adyson Lavallee as youth volunteer of the year. Adyson not only battled a serious illness but at the same time inspired many to raise money for cancer research and raised thousands herself for others stricken with cancer. She was earlier recognized with the Town Council’s Youth Achievement Award. Although all of the winners received applause for their efforts, the loudest was for Adyson.
Chamber member Barbara Cocci introduced Mike Terry, president of Al Terry Plumbing and Heating to receive the Small Business of the Year Award. Mike talked about being involved in the business since it was organized by his dad, Al Terry, in 1976 and even recalled going on his first “no water” call as a 12-year-old. Mike recognized his dad and all of his employees in attendance for their efforts in providing excellent service to its customers. Mike indicated that he loves having his business in Hooksett.
Mark Butler, President of Cigna in New England received the Large Business of the Year Award on behalf of Cigna in Hooksett. He began by saying that a loud “yahoo” went up in the office when Todd called him about the award. This award helps to reinforce Cigna’s community outreach. He indicated that community commitment is so important to Cigna, and creating an atmosphere where people care about more than themselves. He said you need to build volunteerism from the inside out.
Kiwanis member Heather Rainier introduced Mark Glisson as the Municipal Employee of the Year, and one of the most thoughtful people she has ever known. She indicated that it was beyond a joy to do so. She talked about Mark being the jack of all trades at the Library. He is the technology expert who can fix almost anything. He teaches technology classes and helped over 600 different residents solve problems in 2016. Mark was very gracious in accepting the award, focusing on others rather than himself. Mark stated that he was grateful and honored to receive the award. He applauded his parents, co-workers, and clients for motivating him to serve and excel. Lastly, he thanked Heather for creating and maintaining a visionary atmosphere at the Library.
Cawley Middle School Principal Matt Benson introduced Suzanne Campbell as the recipient of the Upper Elementary Educator of the Year award. Before focusing on Suzanne, he thanked Kiwanis for being such a powerful impact on his students. In addition to summarizing Suzanne’s many accomplishments, he read a letter submitted by a former student, Lauren Scarpetti, who just happened to be a former Builders Club president. Lauren stated that she would not be the person she has become in life if it were not for what she learned from Ms. Campbell. In accepting the award, Suzanne indicated that it was a very humbling experience for her. She had always wanted to be a teacher, and humorously mentioned that she started her student teaching at age 9 with her siblings. At that point in her life she also developed the “teacher look” (think that meant the look at students saying silently “don’t do that, be quiet”, etc.). She also shared a letter she recently received from a former student that she reunited with at Shaw’s after 17 years, with the student thanking Ms. Campbell for the special time she spent with her.
Hooksett Memorial School Principal Steve Harrises introduced Meghan Largy as the recipient of the Lower Elementary Educator of the Year award. He shared Meghan’s commitment to her position as a math teacher, but most importantly her commitment to her students. Meghan demonstrates the absolute best practices in teaching math. Meghan thanked her principal superintendent, peers and students for recognizing her. She absolutely loves her job as a teacher. Her primary goal as an educator is getting the students to believe in themselves. They can do everything they think they can do. She focused much of her acceptance on the student she worked with from home in 2016 using Facetime, and doing her best to make the student feel a part of the class and special classroom activities like the Halloween party.
The final award of the evening was the coveted Community Impact Award where each year, Hooksett Kiwanis selects an organization to honor which has made a long-term positive impact on the community. This year’s recipient was the Hooksett School District. After summarizing the many strengths of Hooksett’s education system, and high school choice, Doris Labbe turned the podium over to Superintendent Charles “Phil” Littlefield. He recognized and thanked many in the room for creating such an excellent school district: principals, teachers, administrative staff, school board, parents and students. He indicated that the most important recognition comes from the people you represent. School board members Mike Berry and Phil Denbow jumped in with remarks recognizing the superintendent for his long hours of work each day, outstanding demeanor, humor and accomplishments………….and sadly announcing that Dr. Littlefield is retiring.
Each award recipient received a beautiful crystal award, and citations read by Rep. Frank Kotowski from the NH House of Representatives, NH State Senate and Governor Chris Sununu.
Youth Volunteer of the Year: Adyson Lavallee
Adyson is an 8-year old student at Hooksett Memorial School who spent several months in the hospital in 2015 and 2016 battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Despite the challenges, Adyson is doing her part to give back to the community. She has become a fundraising machine raising money for cancer research. She has inspired others to join her efforts, including Cawley middle School, and the Hooksett Fire and Police Departments. Hear her full story at the Community Leaders Awards.
Adult Volunteer of the Year: Don Riley
Don is a longtime volunteer in the Hooksett Community, and is a former Citizen of the Year. In 2016 he spent many hours working with the Hooksett Lions Club, Robie’s Preservation Corporation, picking up trash as part of the “Adopt a Highway” effort, and volunteering at the Hooksett Community Food pantry. Most prominently, he volunteered to serve an extra year as Town Moderator ensuring that both the NH Presidential Primary and Presidential elections went off without a hitch.
Small Business of the Year: Al Terry Plumbing & Heating
ATPH has been a local family owned and operated business in Hooksett for over 40 years. Its involvement with the Hooksett business community include hosting Hooksett Chamber Business after Hours events and purchasing local services and products. In 2016 it initiated (a) an alternative financing program to assist families cannot afford upfront heating system repairs, and (b), reduced energy cost program. In the area of community involvement, it is a significant contributor to the Hooksett Community Food pantry, Salvation Army Bellringing, and Liberty House. In 2016 it also donated material to assist bringing irrigation to a local baseball fields.
Large Business of the Year: Cigna
Cigna is a global health service company that has had a corporate office in Hooksett for 20 years, with more than 350 employees. It continues to demonstrate a commitment to health and safety, the environment, and the local and Statewide Community. One of its most prominent initiatives is the Cigna/Elliot 5k race. Locally, it has supported Hooksett Salvation Army bellringing, Adopt-a Family, onsite blood drives, March for Babies, and the Hooksett Kiwanis 5K race. It also provides employees with a matching gift program to double employee contributions, and paid time off to perform volunteer and community service.
Lower Elementary educator of the Year: Meghan Largy
Hooksett’s Lower Elementary Educator of the Year for 2016 is Meghan Largy. Meghan is a third-grade teacher at Hooksett Memorial School. Principal Harrises views her as champion for all children. She is the “go to” person for students and staff alike. She runs a student-centered classroom where the children in her room are invested in their learning and the learning of their peers. During 2016 she included, via Facetime video communication, a student who was unable to attend class due to ongoing medical treatments. The student’s parents believe that Mrs. Largy has had a monumental and positive impact with their child’s life. Some of the countless teachings she provides every day can never be taught from textbook or standard curriculum. Meghan’s math classes serve as a district-level model, with the highest results in the Hooksett School District.
Upper Elementary educator of the Year: Suzanne Campbell
Suzanne is a sixth-grade language arts teacher at Cawley Middle School. She is driven to ensure that students are achieve academically, socially, and emotionally. One of her greatest qualities is her ability to communicate her knowledge of reading and writing by personalizing it for each child. She has worked on numerous district committees to improve the quality of education for all students. She continually volunteers her time well beyond contract hours.to provide extra support for students. In her years as a Hooksett educator, Suzanne has led and/or organized over 30 separate educational and community activities. Two of many examples of her effectiveness as an educator comes from the remarks of former students “I never liked reading or writing until I had Mrs. Campbell as a teacher”. “If I never had Mrs. Campbell as a teacher, I would not have been as successful as I am today”.
Municipal Employee of the Year: Mark Glisson
Mark is the Information Technology Specialist at the Hooksett Public Library. In that role, he is responsible for ensuring that the library’s considerable technology resources function properly. In 2016 he went way above and beyond in that role. He led the elevator reconstruction project, developed a new website, installed a new wireless system, and deployed a new 3D printing service. He met individually with over 600 residents to help them solve technology problems, and taught a half dozen educational programs a month at the Library. Mark was also recognized for his expertise serving on library professional organizations.
Community Impact Award: Hooksett School District
The Hooksett Kiwanis Foundation has selected the Hooksett School District as the recipient of its 2017 Community Impact Award. This award is presented annually to organization that has had a significant positive impact on the Hooksett Community. Prior recipients have included the Hooksett Conservation Commission, Boy Scout Troop 292 , Hooksett Youth Athletic Association and the Hooksett Community Food Pantry. The foundation of any community is the education of its citizens. Hooksett is fortunate to have an outstanding educational system because of its administrative staff, teachers, families, and school board members.
Superintendent Charles P. Littlefield and his staff lead the way for the Hooksett School District. Dr. Littlefield, working together with the Hooksett School Board, introduced the idea of memorandums of understanding designed to forge agreements with surrounding school districts. These provide multiple high school options for Hooksett’s students. Today, Hooksett enjoys high school relationships for its students with Manchester, Derry, Londonderry, Bow, Pembroke, and Goffstown. Hooksett’s system of high school choice is admired by surrounding communities, is a significant benefit for our students, and is a source of pride for our town.
Hooksett’s kindergarten through second grade students thrive at the Fred C. Underhill Elementary School, where Principal Ben Loi and his staff guide the youngest of Hooksett learners on their educational path. Third through fifth grade students progress further on their journey while attending the Hooksett Memorial School, under the guidance of Steve Harrises and the teaching staff. Hooksett’s sixth through eighth grade students attend the David R. Cawley middle school, where Matt Benson and his staff prepare Hooksett students for their future in high school and beyond.
The Hooksett School District will be honored along with other community leaders at the 7th Annual Community Leaders Awards event at Southern NH University on April 18, 2017. Additional Information, including availability of event tickets, is available on the Hooksett Kiwanis website www.hooksettkiwanis.org