Hudson District Opens: Highlights 25 Year Service Awards and Strategic Plan

by Maureen Gillum

It’s that frenetic time of year again!  Administrators, teachers, staff, parents, and students were all busy recently trying to wrap-up school shopping; squeeze in last-minute hair cuts and doctors appointments; prep classrooms and attend orientations; hit the sports fields; fill in remaining staff openings and complete budgets.  Suddenly, everything accelerates from 0 to 60, as summer ends and everyone heads back to school.  On a drizzly morning, on Tuesday, August 29, with a few minor blips with the new school buses, Hudson schools went into session to serve about 4,100 students across grades 1 - 12 and six SAU 81 schools.  Welcome to the 2006 - 2007 school year!

Firefighter Steve Benton hands out fire prevention material to Meagan Curran on the first day of school.

Another sure sign of the school year opening was last Friday morning’s annual Welcome Back Faculty and Staff breakfast and opening meeting, which virtually all of its several hundred staff members of SAU 81 attended at Alvirne High School.  School Board Chair, David Alukonis, opened the session with a brief welcome back to all district staff and commended the efforts of the hardworking custodial team on the Hudson schools looking so good for opening day.  Hudson School Superintendent, Randy Bell, then acknowledged five exceptional district employees for their 25 years of service including:

  • Len Miller, Alvirne High School, Language Arts
  • Kathy Vaillancourt, SAU 81, Administrative Assistant, Business Management
  • Deb Ballok, Alvirne High School, Art
  • Jerry Michaud, Alvirne High School, Head Custodian
  • Jim MacEachern, Alvirne High School, Language Arts

“Hudson needs people like you, who have set their roots into our community and dedicated themselves to our schools,” stated Mr. Bell, who was often visibly moved in addressing the district’s 25-year honorees, “We sincerely value what you do and thank you for your years of committed service.”  While all awarded recipients were warmly applauded by their peers, of special note was the rousing standing ovation received from the crowd for ‘AHS’ bearded lady’ (Alvirne’s head custodian, Jerry Michaud), whom Bell also called a “true educator and inspiration to all.”

Among other staff recognitions and accolades, Mr. Bell noted the district’s dedicated secretaries, SAU 81’s central office staff, the IT team, administrators, custodians, and business management team in preparing the district for the new school year.  He announced that he was “very, very happy with staff recruiting efforts this year,” and warmly welcomed the “20 diverse and exciting faculty members” across the district.  While the Superintendent admitted there were several staff openings yet to be filled at the last school board meeting (8/21/06) he later clarified a few still remain open, including AHS’ interim Vocational Director, an Agricultural teacher and special education teacher.

Bell also highlighted the district’s new professional development series offered this summer, which he said was “wildly successful” and expects the “dividends will pay back 100 times over” for the district.  This included a variety of coursework in information technology, literacy and writing, and instruction.  He thanked SAU 81’s Assistant Superintendent, Mary Ellen Ormond, for spearheading those efforts.  Mr. Bell also applauded Hudson’s terrific teachers for their “enthusiastic participation” in the professional development series and their devotion to continuous learning.

Mr. Bell also announced that the long-awaited SAU 81’s Strategic Plan, which was started by the school board in early 2005 and addressed in many administrative and staff workshops over the last year, is nearly ready for final release.  He briefly highlighted the plan’s three primary mission statements, and related goals and objectives, regarding: I) Academic Rigor and High Expectations; II) Safe and Secure Learning Environment; and III) Sound Fiscal Management and Integrity.  Acknowledging the need to engage parents and the community to help achieve every aspect of the District’s strategic plan, Bell emphasized, “We can’t do this alone, but we can take the lead in setting our goals and building the relationships needed to reach them.”

Firefighter Jason Silver hands out fire prevention material at Nottingham West Elementary School.

“Our plan, which I believe will be the most comprehensive in the state, is crucial to achieve our short and long term objectives,” said Mr. Alukonis, who originally stated at the introduction of this ‘district roadmap’ more than a year ago, “it will help us better plan our finances and more fully enable our students to succeed.”  As the District’s Strategic Plan is formally released and made available on SAU 81’s web site ( in the coming weeks, the Hudson~Litchfield News will provide more detail on this living document expected to guide our schools into the next decade.

Last but not least, Superintendent Bell light-heartedly outlined some “key lessons learned over the summer in taking up kayaking in his early 60s.”  Among them: old dogs can learn new tricks (continuous learning is imperative); always have a back-up plan (things don’t always go as expected); and don’t drive your car (twice) into the garage with the kayaks on top (learn from your mistakes).  He again thanked his faculty and emphasized that teaching is an “enormously complex and difficult task” that the district greatly values and appreciates.  Bell encouraged new and veteran teachers “to share, mentor and learn” from each other and other sources “to continuously learn and perfect their craft” and build upon “mutual respect” in dealing with colleagues and students.

The Hudson~Litchfield News also welcomes the entire SAU 81 staff to the 2006 - 2007 school year, and sincerely thanks them for their continued dedication in serving Hudson’s students, schools and families.  Welcome back and good luck also to all the Hudson students – have a safe, happy and enriching school year!

Hudson’s Honored Recipients of 25 Years of Service Awards, left to right, Jim MacEachern, Len Miller, Kathy Vaillancourt, Superintendent Bell, Deb Ballok, Jerry Michaud, and AHS Principal Bryan Lane.

Happy Birthday Presentation of Mary Academy:  80 Years Old!

by Doug Robinson

On Saturday, August 12, 2006, approximately 105 peopled gathered at the Presentation of Mary Academy to celebrate the 80th birthday of the opening of the Academy.  For 80 years, the Sisters of Presentation of Mary have served the Hudson area with a fine education.  Today, the school teaches about 340 students in grades kindergarten through the eighth grade.

The Sisters of Presentation of Mary, along with their teaching assignments, participate in ministries involving parish groups, hospital ministry, nursing in the home, educations, retreat work, and mission work for Haiti.

“Presentation of Mary Academy is an effective grace-filled vehicle of total Christian formation and academic excellence that prepares the student for life in today’s and tomorrow’s church and society.  Every student is challenged to reach full potential in all aspects of development.  Seeing each as a Child of God, we foster self-esteem, encourage self-knowledge, and nurture the giftedness, talents, and uniqueness of every student.  In emphasizing and developing sound moral and spiritual values, the student is empowered to be a confident witness and dispenser of Christian love, respect, and concern for others in the light of the Gospel,” states the Mission Statement for Presentation of Mary.

Following a parade to the cemetery they place flowers at the memorial with blessings and prayers.

The Mission Statement continues by stating “Presentation of Mary Academy offers a family-like atmosphere, allowing for open communication among its staff, parents, and students.  It challenges us to be creative in answering the needs of individual students and of neighboring communities.”

Participants of the birthday celebration not only celebrated the accomplishments of the Academy, but they also came “to remember all of those who served before them and who are buried in the cemetery on the property,” states Sister Claire Provost.  

Music for the 80th birthday celebration was provided by the American Legion Band and Representative Charlie Bass presented to the Sisters an American flag which had flown over the Capital Building in Washington.  

The beautiful arches which identify the old entrance to the Academy, are one of the oldest standing structures in the Town of Hudson, and these structures “stand tall to pay tribute to a great ministry,” continues Provost.

Presentation of Mary is a Catholic co-educational elementary school (grades K - 8).  The Academy is dedicated to quality education, fostering self esteem, and nurturing the uniqueness and talents of every student.  It was founded in 1926 and is situated on 90 serene, beautiful acres in Hudson.  PMA is owned and operated by the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary and is open to all students regardless of their religious affiliations.

The following letter has been printed with permission from the Academy:

“Today we gather to celebrate a story, and a marvelous one at that!  It’s the story of this building, Presentation of Mary Academy (PMA), but most importantly, of the people, both in the past and in the present, who have contributed of its history.

“Like all stories, there was a vision that took place long before the actual PMA story could begin.  It’s that vision that I would like to focus on right now since all major undertaking begin with a dream.

“The vision was born in the heart of the Most Reverend George-Albert Guertin, Bishop of Manchester.  In Bishop Guertin’s vision, some 85 years ago, there existed a desire for a bilingual boarding school somewhere in the Diocese of Manchester.  For several years, he carried the dream that God had placed in his heart.  When God want something, God has to make it happen, no matter what the cost.  Our community annals state that for several years, Bishop Guertin appealed to the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary for a boarding school in New Hampshire.  He didn’t give up after his first try.

“In God’s time, Bishop Guertin’s vision found enthusiastic support in the heart of Mere Marie-des-Saints-Agnes who, in Ste. Hyacinthe, was the Superior of the North American Missions.  (This is before provinces were established, and she was in charge of all the PM’s and their ministries in North America.”  Mere Marie-des-Saints-Agnes could easily envision a replica of the Ste Hyacinthe boarding school being built right here in New England.  

“Overseeing the construction of a large boarding school in the U. S. was a challenge she welcomed.  Her personal energy fueled the vision of Bishop Guertin.  Therefore, in her position of leadership, Mere Marie-des Saints-Anges brought this gigantic apostolic vision to the attention of the General Administration in Bourg St. Andeol.  Before long, came the authorization to purchase the piece of land now know as the PMA property.

“The recorded date of this purchase is August 1924.  Unfortunately, after the purchase of these many acres that surround us, Mere Marie-des-Saints-Agnes passed away in 1924 at an early age.  In Marie Rivier’s writing, she is quoted as saying:  “Through the grace of God, the vision placed in the hearts of both Bishop Guertin and Mere Marie-des-Saints-Anges lived on.  The PMA story began a new chapter.

“At that time, in 1924, Mother St. Jeanne de Valois was a General Councilor in France.  As the very first General Councilor from Canada, she followed closely the evolving dream of establishing a boarding school in New Hampshire.  When, in 1925, she was named to succeed Mere-Marie-des-Saints-Anges as Superior of the North American Missions, she was no stranger to the dream of founding a Presentation of Mary boarding school in New Hampshire.  In fact, she embraced it with zeal!  Even through the death of Mere Marie-des-Saints-Anges, God was taking care of His own vision.  When God finds open and generous hearts, He gives the grace to carry out His plans…even through challenges and setbacks.

“Today, I invite you to join me in celebrating the vision that has led us to this day.  I celebrate the memory of Bishop Guertin, the first “receiver” of God’s vision for PMA.  I celebrate the memory of Mere Marie-des-Saints-Anges, the very first Presentation of Mary sister committed to Bishop Guertin’s vision.  Above all, I celebrate the memory of Mother Ste. Jeanne de Valois, the Presentation of Mary woman who is associated with the beginnings of PMA, with the beginnings of our Province and who name, to me, has always been synonymous with compassion itself.  The story of PMA cannot be told without some chapters dedicated to these three giant servants of God.

“But it takes more than visionaries to carry out a dream.  Today, as we recount the 80 year history of the Academy, I also celebrate the hundreds of sisters, who in this very building, have kept alive Marie Rivier’s charisma in all it forms.  As you very well know, many, many sisters have played a part in this during the past eight decades.  Some of you present today have even adapted the original vision of the Academy to better meet the needs of our changing times.  That, too, took vision and courage.  To each one of you who have contributed to the story of PMA, I celebrate you today with every fiber of my being.

“It is also very fitting that, in a few minutes, together we remember the hundreds of sisters who have labored with these walls, and who have gone before us.  They are responsible for the many of the chapters of the PMA story.  They were strong, faith-filled women on whose shoulders we proudly stand today.  I know that with me, you are honored to be considered their sister in Christ.

“In honor of the eight decades of ministry, which have taken place here at PMA, eight of us will now carry the flower pots that are presently at the foot of the altar.  In procession, these flowerpots will be brought to the cemetery and will be planted very, very appropriately, around the tomb of Mother Ste. Jeanne De Valois.  This great woman leader personally directed the unfolding of PMA’s mission for the first 30 years of its history.”

PMA has currently enrolled 375 students, boys and girls, in kindergarten through the eighth grade.  The average class size is 24 students.   

For more information, contact, or call 603-889-6054.

Hudson Police Host Successful Blood Drive:  205 Pints Collected!

by Doug Robinson

“I am proud of my dad,” comments Kyle Sheahan, son of double red cell donor, Tom Sheahan, Hudson.“Blood Hero’s,” as the American Red Cross calls them, marched one by one into the Community Center this past week, filling the large room to capacity, as they volunteered to donate their blood to the American Red Cross. 

The Hudson Police Department and the American Red Cross have continued their long partnership and set a goal of receiving 200 useable pints of blood from the donors who participated in their recent blood drive.  Two hundred thirty-one volunteers came to give and the American Red Cross walked away with 205 usable pints of blood. 

The established usage figure reported by the American Red Cross is that 95 percent of the population, at some time, will need to receive blood during their lives.  This supply of blood comes from only 5 percent of the population.  Of these donors,” Red Cross research has shown that on average, those who do give blood do so 1.7 times per year.”

“We are very thankful for those who take the time out of their busy lives, come down to the Community Center, and donate a pint of their blood,” commented Captain Jason Lavoie.

“The American Red Cross responds immediately to more than 70,000 disasters, including house or apartment fires (the majority of disaster responses), hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hazardous materials spills, transportation accidents, explosions, and other natural and man-made disasters,” states the American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross responds to a disaster “every eight minutes, 365 days a year.”

The name, Katrina (which killed 1836 people), the earthquake and tsunami which destroyed the lands, homes and lives of the people who lived in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand (186,983 killed, 42,883 missing), and the rains which ravaged New Hampshire during Mother’s Day, 2006 bring back to most of us the horrific, destructive, and devastating forces which can be caused by Mother nature.  People become hurt and people need help.

Dr. Anne Todd, DMD, Hudson, and her entire staff are so committed to the Red Cross and their blood drives that they all were present to assist with registrations, answer questions, and provide help with the blood drive.  “On Monday afternoon, we usually only have a secretary accepting phone calls, so my staff was able to be here.  But, if this was on a Thursday or any other day of the week, I would close the office and we would all still be here,” commented Dr. Todd.

Dr. Todd also stated that she had been promoting the event with her patients.  “I donated the iPod for the raffle because we see at these blood drives usually 60 – 70 percent of adults who donate.  I wanted to get younger kids involved with the giving of blood.  I have a lot of younger patients in my practice, so I asked all my patients to bring their parents to the blood drive.  The iPod is hip with the kids.”

Sergeant Tad Dionne hamming it up while giving blood.  “Doesn’t hurt a bit, I’m ok!”

First in line, and 25 minutes early, was Hudson resident, Rosemary Gradie.  “I am here because it is the right thing to do.  I couldn’t give when I was younger.  I try to make every blood drive.  I also donate for the UPS blood drive.”

The process and protocols for the giving of blood have become much more regimented and extremely sanitary over the years.  “HIV and other transmissible viruses cannot be contracted through blood donation.  The equipment used is sterile and used only once, then immediately discarded, and a new needle is used for each donation.  Phlebotomists work in a sterile environment throughout the blood donation,” comments the Red Cross.

In efforts to spark more interest in the blood drive, the American Red Cross was offering raffles to create some excitement as well as help promote the event.  Two Boston Red Sox tickets and a two year lease for a 2006 Honda Accord were to be raffled off to a lucky blood donor.

Hudson and businesses from surrounding towns also stood tall and stood long, continuing their partnership with the Hudson Police Department on their semi-annual blood drive.  Raffle prizes were offered and food was provided by many generous and dedicated businesses:

Raffle prizes were offered by the following Hudson Businesses:

  • Anika Spa, $40 Gift Certificate
  • After Glow Tanning, Gift Certificate for 5 visits
  • Fuzzy Cow, $25 Gift Certificate
  • NH Fisher Cats Baseball, Base Ball Caps
  • Green Mountain Coffee, Coffee Gift Box
  • McDonalds, Gift Certificates for small French Fries
  • Flowers on the Hill, Carnations

Food for the blood drive was provided from the following local businesses:

  • Bill Cahill, Sandwich Platters
  • T-Bones, Carrot Cakes
  • Daily Grind, Clam Chowder
  • Edible Arrangements, Fruit Basket (from Londonderry)
  • Klemm’s Bakery (Windham), Donuts
  • Cozy Kitchen, Cookies and Cupcakes
  • Charmin’s, Chicken/Broccoli Alfredo
  • Nan King, Chinese Food
  • Professor’s Pizza, Pizza
  • Market Basket, Oranges
  • Pizza Man, Pizza
  • Yaw Mamma’s, Cannolis (Merrimack)
  • Green Mountain, Coffee and Cups
  • Domino’s, Pizza
  • Sam’s Club, Gift Card (use to buy table clothes, utensils, etc.)

Officer Joe Hoebeke, Support Services, stated that “We are extremely lucky to have all the different vendors participate with us.  Sandwiches, gift cards, paper plates, and we especially appreciate all the business which has come on board for this blood drive.  We are thankful for all the volunteers who have helped out.  All the police officers participate and I am especially thankful and appreciative of Jamie Allain.  Without her help, this would not have happened.  She has really stepped up to the plate, taken ownership and has just made this event happen.  She has done a fantastic job.”

Captain Jason Lavoie, Support Services, echoed Officer Hoebeke by stating, “One of the reasons this is one of the best blood drives in the area is because of the response we receive from restaurants and businesses.  They are just as responsible for the success of this blood drive as the Hudson Police Department.  People come here not just to donate their blood; they come here for the great food too.”

Since 1905 the American Red Cross has “carried on a system of national and international relief in time of peace and apply the same in mitigating the sufferings caused by pestilence, famine, fire, floods, and other great national calamities, and to devise and carry on measures for preventing the same.”  They have focused on “meeting people's immediate emergency disaster-caused needs.  When a disaster threatens or strikes, the Red Cross provides shelter, food, and health and mental health services to address basic human needs. In addition to these services, the core of Red Cross disaster relief is the assistance given to individuals and families affected by disaster to enable them to resume their normal daily activities independently.”  The Red Cross feeds emergency workers and families, assists family members with human needs such as clothing, shelter, and health needs, directs affected disaster victims to the appropriate agencies which can help them, and the American Red Cross provides blood and blood products to these disaster victims.

“The Blood Hero’s are ensuring that the safest possible blood is readily available whenever needed – for the military, for other blood centers in America and for all 5,000 of America’s hospitals,” states the American Red Cross.  Over 4 million donors give annually.  Your blood giving is “literally a gift as a result of the generous support of the American people.”

To learn more about blood donation opportunities, visit or call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543).

Give Blood - the Gift of Life

Hudson Home Receives an ‘Extreme Make-Over’ Compliments of First Baptist Church, Hudson

by Doug Robinson

Even though the waters of the St. Lawrence River have receded and the torrential rains have stopped falling from the skies, Jim and Lu Williams, longtime residents of Hudson, will never forget the horrible and helpless feeling of watching their home become destroyed by the destructive rains created by the storm of Mother’s Day 2006.

That Mother’s Day night, while six to nine inches of rain fell on the Williams home of three generations, neither Lu nor Jim Williams, both in their 70’s, could stop the damage being done to their home by the downpour of the cascading water.  They were powerless to prevent the rains from destroying their roof, their furniture, and their carpet.  The Williams watched as the rains continued to seep through the ceiling, slowly at first, and then more quickly as the rains traveled through the light fixtures.  Water fell to the floor, filling pots, pans, and whatever the Williams could do to catch the water.  As the rains continued to pound upon their humble home, water began to soak the sheet rock walls, then the furniture, and then soak the carpet.  The bedroom ceiling fixture rests silently and alone, as the bedroom has become a void of the way it used to be.  The wall is gone.  The bed is gone.  The clothes are gone.  Jim and Lu’s home has become a shell.  All that stands today is the framing for new walls, new doors, and a “new now.”

Extreme mold found during renovaation of the Williams home

Their one floor home, which has stood the test of time for parties, births, marriages, graduations, and most of all, memories, has become a victim of the rains on Mother’s Day, 2006.  

As Jim and Lu left their home in effort to find security and safety with their daughter, Stacey Fisher, Litchfield, it could be said that they left their home “with only the clothes on their backs.” 

When members of the First Baptist Church, Hudson heard about the tragedy of one of their longtime church members, they decided to visit the Williams home and see what they could do to help.  At first, their goal was to simply “inspect a leaky ceiling,” and to hopefully help the Williams “fix their ceiling.”  While performing the home inspection, not only did they witness the leaky ceilings, they also saw that the house had been overridden with black mold.  According to Craig Buckley, project director, “the damage done to the William’s humble home was going to cost the Williams tens of thousands of dollars.”

These 70 something grandparents have been displaced from their home and currently live with their daughter while volunteers from their church help restore their home and give their home an extreme makeover.

As the church members continued to inspect the William’s home, more structural issues and safety as well as health issues arose.  Upon inspection of the center support beam to the home, they learned that the entire center core to the beam had been eaten by ants.  The support beam had become rotten and ready to break.

The basement, which used to house Lu’s childhood horse, Scout, had to be completely emptied of  boxes, treasures, and “stuff” which had accumulated over the years in efforts to dry the dirt basement of any further mold developing.  Lu was unaware that her respiratory issues were a result of the years of breathing the black mold which had been growing in the walls of their home.

The leaky roof needed to be replaced and re-shingled as water was entering every room of the William’s home.  Carpets, furniture, pictures, and keepsakes had to be tossed due to the damaged done by the torrential rains.

The walls have been stripped bare and the floor which was covered with linoleum has been removed.  New wall studs have replaced the old studs which had become infested with black mold.  The leaky windows will be replaced and the electrical system will need to be upgraded. 

“The first stage, to have the roof re-shingled, is complete,” states Craig Buckley.  “The second stage involves completely gutting the house, rebuilding rotted portions of the structure, insect extermination, treating the house to remove the mold contaminate and finally rebuild.  The rebuild includes insulating, sheet rocking, painting the entire house, as well as replacement of all the windows, doors, fixtures, and upgrade to the electrical system.”

Since they left, over 100 cubic yards, or five dumpsters, of demolition has taken place in efforts to restore and rebuilt the Williams home.  

The interior of the house is in need of light fixtures, thermostats, cabinets, countertops, paint, carpet, linoleum, a front door, a back door, and doors for all the closets.  “From window shades to shower curtains and just about everything between the front door to the back door we need.  We anticipate that to complete this project, we are in need of an additional $20,000,” comments Buckley.

Members of the First Baptist Church, Hudson, have partnered with Professional Building Services, in their efforts to rebuild the Williams home.  Professional Building Services has dissected the current conditions of the Williams home and has set a plan in motion to restore the home so that Jim and Lu may return and once again sit in their living room which overlooks beautiful Ottarnic Pond.

To date, the members of the First Baptist Church have donated their time, talents, and support for the Williams.  Currently, the members of the First Baptist Church, Hudson, have personally donated over $10,000 towards the re-building of the William’s home.  According to Buckley, “$20,000 more is needed to complete the project and restore healthy living conditions to their home.” 

“I think it is wonderful thing everyone is full of kindness,” states Lu Williams.  I am very grateful for all the concern and support we have received throughout all this.  I never expected this type of help.  It is a wonderful thing for us and it is overwhelming.  I only hope I live long enough to go home to enjoy it.”

For those who wish to donate or make a contribution to this project, send a check to:  First Baptist Church of Hudson, 236 Central Street, Hudson, NH 03051, Attention “Posse Fund” on the memo line.

Hudson Postal Service Promotes from within to Fill Postmaster Position

by Doug Robinson

The United States Postal Service has promoted Laura Dugas to be the new Postmaster for the Hudson Post Office, replacing Postmaster Paul Lipnick.

Laura Dugas began her postal career as a “letter sorting machine operator” in 1977.  “I used to have to key in the zip codes so that the mail could be routed correctly.  When I first started, I unloaded trucks, unloaded parcels, and my core functions were to move the mail.”

Laura Dugas gets sworn in by Pat Deshaics the post office regional opperational manager and her husband Gary

Born in Bellows Falls, Vermont, and then subsequently raised in Claremont, New Hampshire, Dugas graduated from Stevens High School in Claremont.  After high school, she attended Bay State College, for a short period of time, and then returned home to care for her terminally ill mother.  “I felt my place was at home with her.  I took a part-time/flexible job with no guarantee of hours with the Post Office.  I worked nights, weekends, and holidays to earn money so that I could help out at home.  I knew the Post Office was a good place to work, so I gave it a try.”

During Dugas’ near three decade tenure with the Postal Service, she states, “I love what I do and I always have.  It is great to be part of a team and without the team, we are not successful.  Hudson has a great team.  They care about their customers in our community, and they know their customer.  The partnerships we have with our business in town is also very good, especially the fire department.  We work very closely with the fire department and they have always assisted us with the new developments that have come into town.  Hudson has a lot of growth development, especially with the 55 and older group.  The fire department have always kept us up to date and informed on the house numbers assigned to those new houses.  We are very thankful to the fire department for their help.”

Before beginning her career with the Postal Service, Dugas worked at Old Sacred Heart Hospital (now known as Catholic Medical Center, Manchester, NH).  While employed at Old Sacred Heart, Dugas participated with nursing services and the scheduling of the nursing staff.

Dugas career opportunities afforded to her by the Postal Service have not only rounded her managerial skills, but the opportunities provided have placed her in the “right place at the right time,” states Dugas.  “I was able to move ahead, become recognized, and then become promoted because I took advantage of any opportunity which would help me grow.” 

The United States Postal Service is a “massive organization of over 700,000 employees, with over 400 post offices in New Hampshire and Vermont alone,” comments Dugas.  “I made my progression through the ranks.  I have worked a variety of positions over the years.  At first I worked as a letter sorting machine operator, and then took a downgrade to a clerk typist position.  The hours were more compatible, especially with the caring of my mother.  I remember that I was the only one who could type, so I got the job.  I took the job as a personnel assistant.  I helped with the hiring testing, and exam coordination.  I then accepted a position as an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  Now that was an eye opening experience!”

In time, Dugas comments that she moved up in Human Resources and then requested an assignment into Postal Operations.  “I became the Postmaster in Mount Vernon, Auburn, Raymond, Londonderry, and now Hudson.  Hudson is one of the largest postal facilities in New Hampshire, next to Nashua and Manchester.  I kept looking for opportunity to improve myself and I kept trying to acquire more and more skills to make myself better for the Post Office.”

The Hudson Post Office currently employs approximately 27 mail carriers.  While 12 mail carriers drive the recognizable jeeps, 15 rural carriers drive their personal vehicle for the Post Office in the process of delivering the mail.

In addition to the mail carriers, the main postal facility employs approximately 29 employees who handle all the responsibilities of the mail as well as operate in the offices.  Every day, the Hudson Post office delivers mail to over 11,000 homes faithfully and responsibly.  The motto of the United States Postal Service is "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."  Dugas continues by stating that the Hudson carriers and employees are “highly motivated to get the mail delivered accurately and quickly.”

Dugas is most challenged with “keeping up with the progressive nature of the postal business.  Moving the mail quickly and accurately is always a challenge.”

“My husband is my biggest cheerleader, and for that reason, he is my hero.  When I take on a challenge, he stands behind me, cheering me all the way.  We have been together for 33 years and we have a wonderful son, Ross.”

When not working at the Post Office, Dugas enjoys walking, yard-work, planting flowers, and reading.  An avid pet lover, Dugas had adopted a greyhound dog from the rescue league and as participated with the adoption agencies, promoting dog adoption at various fairs throughout the State.  “Everybody loved to meet and greet these dogs,” states Dugas. 

She also is an avid reader, and her favorite author is New England author Steven King.  “I love the suspense,” comments Dugas.

“I am very happy here.  The employees are a wonderful group and the community is very good.  The Hudson Post Office did the best in the selling of stamps for Breast Cancer awareness.  We sold more stamps than any other post office in New Hampshire or Vermont, and that speaks volumes for the community.” 

17 Executive Drive, Suite One, Hudson, NH 03051 Phone: (603)880-1516 Fax: (603)879-9707
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