Easter Bunny in Litchfield

by Lynne Ober

Emma Durand, 5, made a card for the Easter Bunny which she presented before she got her hug.

As soon as the Easter Bunny peaked through the windows of the Litchfield Middle School cafeteria, there were delighted squeals from the children waiting inside the school.  By the time the Easter Bunny walked through the door, there was an excited, happy throng of kids wanted to share high fives with their fuzzy friend.

Once again, it was time for the Litchfield Women’s Club [LWC] annual Easter Bunny Breakfast, and, as usual, they offered a charming, happy affair.

This year there was a change in the breakfast menu as members worked with Litchfield’s School District Food Director to offer stick french toast and waffles as well as the traditional pancakes and sausage.  The additional variety on the menu was a big hit with kids and parents alike.  Theresa Planty, who chaired the kitchen and breakfast coordination, said that it was a risk, but that working with the school district’s food service director, Hilda, had been a pleasure; she made everything easier than ever.

“This year the food was delivered directly to the school and was waiting for us.  In past years we had to arrive early and carry everything in.  Hilda really helped and made this more pleasant.”

Co-president Brenda Labrie said there were many members who put in time and effort.  She and co-president Donna Saunders were enjoying the joyful noise and happy chaos of the morning event.  There was a constant stream of children who wanted to climb onto the stage and see the Easter Bunny.  When not visiting with the Easter Bunny, there were games.

“We really appreciate the help of the Girl Scouts in running the games,” smiled Labrie.

There was an Easter craft that kids could make and a nail-painting table.

“Our daughters are helping with the crafts and nail painting,” said Labrie.

And as always, there was a table full of wonderful raffle items.  One of the most coveted raffles was a pair of bunny slippers.  Every girl who walked by stopped to eye the slippers.

LWC is a non-profit community service organization that sponsors many community projects; among them being Santa’s Workshop, Easter Breakfast, Candidate’s Night, holiday food baskets, blood drives, clothing drives, and school and library donations.  However, they are not all business, and several times a year members get together to socialize.  Some of their favorite events include holiday parties, couples dances, toddler playgroups, craft classes, family hikes, and annual dinner.

If you are interested in joining, contact Brenda Labrie at brendsnhu@aol.com.

Aaron Barrieau, 2, hugging the Easter Bunny

Allie Columbus, 3, watched very intently as her fingernails were polished.

Litchfield Guidance Counselor Fern Seiden Honored

by Doug Robinson

Bo Schlichter (principal), Fern Seiden (guidance counselor), Dr. Elaine Cutler (superintendent)

The New Hampshire School Counselor Association honored Griffin Memorial School Guidance Counselor Fern Seiden with their highest award:  Elementary School Counselor of the Year for the State of New Hampshire.

“Each year we search the state for the most deserving individual.  We look for school counselors who show qualities of leadership, who design and deliver creative lessons and programs for students, and who make personal connections with students.  This year we have found that exceptional school counselor here at Griffin Memorial School and her name is Mrs. Seiden,” stated the New Hampshire School Counselor Association.

The award presented to Mrs. Seiden recognized her efforts as having a positive impact on the lives of the students at Griffin Memorial School as well as providing an environment which believes in the talents and the abilities of her students.

“Mrs. Seiden helps her students make good decisions in school and in life, and she helps students do better in school.  Mrs. Seiden treats students with respect and dignity and listens when students need to talk,” commented the New Hampshire School Counselors Association.

Dr. Elaine Cutler, Litchfield Superintendent, commented, “She has the ability to reach the hearts of each and every child.  She is respected by the children and by their families.  She has a most challenging relationship to develop with the children, and she provides each and every child the one-on-one relationship they deserve.  She is most fitting of this prestigious award.”

Students also echo the sentiments of Superintendent Cutler.  “Mrs. Seiden helps me when I am in the dumps,” commented third grade student Alex Brown.  Classmate Dylan Putzlocker commented, “She is fun.  We make posters, and she takes us on field trips.”

Nominated by Griffin School Principal Bo Schlichter, he stated, “Fern displays what goes on here every day, and I am very excited for her.”

Seiden has been the school’s guidance counselor for the past six years.

“It is all about relationships,” commented Seiden.  “I have the best job.  I get to have a direct impact on a child’s life.  In my job, I get to work with parents, administrators, as well as the student body.  I work with teams and I work with individuals.  I always wanted a career that could work and help kids, and I have always wanted to work in the schools.  The administrators in Litchfield have not only partnered with me, they have encouraged me and have allowed me to develop programs that can help kids.  I am very thankful.”

“The guidance curriculum is based upon goals and priorities that were identified by staff, students, and parents in a survey that shaped our current Comprehensive Guidance Plan.  At GMS, our program is unique in that it is anchored by a school-wide Character Education program based upon Christina Matisse’s Hurt-Free Schools program.  We began to implement this program in 2005 and it was important to integrate this into the new plan in order to help staff adjust to the changes,” wrote Seiden in her application.  “This model of whole group classroom guidance integrating character education themes help unify the school community by recognizing that the goal of all learning is to develop ethical, responsible citizens.”

Seiden continued by stating that the “guidance curriculum is considered a collaborative effort within the school as well as with the community groups that provide whole group instruction that met the indicators set forth in the guidance plan.  DARE, CAP (Child Assault Preventions), Fit Kids, the TIGER program, the Peaceful Playground program, and other opportunities are offered to children at GMS.  It has been especially wonderful that the Art and Music teachers in our school have woven guidance program themes, such as diversity, recycling, and citizenship, into their program over the past three years,” stated Seiden.

“Being a guidance counselor is a very challenging job.  It is always changing, and I am challenged in developing new methods to help children reach their potential.  I not only become involved with their scholastic development, but I also become involved with the children’s social development.  I like the access of being with the children and being a part of the community in an effort to help a child.  In a community, you always have different ideas, especially when working with a team.  I know all the kids’ names by the end of the first year.  This is a perfect job.  Kids are constantly enriching my life and they make me laugh.  This is important and dynamic work and each child offers a diverse opportunity for us to learn and grow together.  It comes down to relationships, whether those relationships are one-on-one, in teams, small groups, or community based.  It is all about relationships,” stated Seiden.

Hudson Historical Society Hosts School District Appreciation Day

by Doug Robinson

Barbara Habina and Phyllis Appler are welcomed to Hudson Historical Society’s School District Appreciation Day by Historical Society Treasurer Leona Shanholtz.

Recently the Hudson Historical Society hosted an “Appreciation Day” at the Alvirne Hills House for all of Hudson’s educators and workers.

“Everyone was invited,” commented Historical Society’s Treasurer Leona Shanholtz.  “We wish to recognize everyone, from the superintendent’s office to the teachers to the maintenance departments to all staff members, including the aids, as we recognize them for their fine efforts in the Town of Hudson.”

The Alvirne Hills House “archives hold a wealth of knowledge of Hudson, (and) without the forethought and dedication of the members and donors, these valuable treasures might have been lost,” writes Historical Society member and Hudson historian Laurie Jasper in her book Images of America, Hudson, New Hampshire.

“Dr. Alfred K. Hills was born in Hudson in 1840 and became one of the chief benefactors of the town,” writes Jasper.  Alvirne Hills House was built in 1890 by Dr. Hills, as their summer home.  He died in 1920, and Jessie Hills continued to summer at Alvirne until her death in 1893, when the home was boarded up, left vacant, and targeted by vandalism.  The home was almost torn down, until a group of concerned citizens formed the Hudson Historical Society in 1966 and took the renovation of the house as its first project.  “The property is now owned by the Hudson School District and leased to the Historical Society,” writes Jasper.

The thank you reception offered refreshments, a guided tour of the House, a power point presentation, as well as a raffle of the last remaining china plate picturing the Webster Street School.

Each year, third grade students from Hudson’s elementary schools are offered a tour of the Hills House by the Historical Society and children learn about the Hills family and their contributions to the Town of Hudson.

“The Hills House provides an opportunity for both the children and residents of Hudson to have a hands-on visit with an important part of Hudson’s history.  We are very fortunate to have this House and we are very fortunate to have an active Historical Society dedicated to the preservation of this House,” commented Ben Nadeau, past chairman for Hudson’s Board of Selectmen.  “I would also like to thank the Alvirne Floral Design program for the beautiful floral arrangement which was created and donated to this wonderful event.”

Donated china plate picturing the Webster St. School

Christiansen Files Motion to Intervene

The Hudson School Board at Monday night’s meeting introduced additional information of how they will proceed with kindergarten in September.  Lars Christensen, who is now serving his seventh term as a Representative, filed a motion in Hillsborough County Superior Court claiming that the court by not granting an injunction in the Hudson kindergarten suit against the State of NH Department of Education and Commissioner Lyonel B. Tracy, that they (the court) took the inherent power of lawful vote away.  This motion to intervene asked the court to grant relief and prove that the inhabitants of Hudson have delegated their Article 32 right to “instruct” their public servants to a third party.

At a special Board of Education meeting Christiansen, a former School Board member, spoke about his motion and delivered a copy of the motion and support constitution law to the Area News Group office on Tuesday morning.

Christiansen related that courts can’t take the power of the people away under Article 8, the NH Bill of Rights.  He voiced that he has always been a constitutionalist and he now feels that the court has thrown the Bill of Rights on the ground and walked on it.

Hudson School Board Chairman Gary Rodgers stated that they (the School Board) don’t know where the court will go with Christiansen’s motion and Hudson will continue to prepare for September.  Rodgers pointed out that until the registration period ends on April 15, they won’t know how many will be attending, which will determine the number of teachers and classrooms needed. 

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