New Hampshire

Mary Hill

Position: Principal

School: Grinnell Elementary School

School District: Derry School District

City, State: Derry, New Hampshire

About the Nominee: Mary Hill was nominated by a colleague, Tammie Lampes. Ms. Hill is a LifeChanger in her school and community for so many reasons. She is positively affecting the lives of students and families, as well as her staff. Her ability to multi-task as principal and leader of her Title One school helps to make her school a success. Every day, she spends time in the classrooms modeling her love for learning and celebrating her students' efforts. She is quick to praise staff and accepts and respects opinions and suggestions. Ms. Hill has the innate ability to understand the issues and complexities that arise from the ever-changing dynamics of families. She works closely with them to find positive solutions for their struggles. She demonstrates kindness and empathy to all of her families. Ms. Hill has also nurtured and developed a tremendous level of trust with her most needy families, always keeping the well-being of her students first. She leads by example with her positive attitude and kindness, but she also demonstrates steadiness and resolve during emergency situations.

Ms. Hill's open door policy and ability to connect with her staff, whom she considers family, demonstrates her strong leadership qualities. These leadership qualities are also evident in her tireless implementation of NH/DOE guidelines associated with Title One Schools. She willingly takes on other responsibilities, including numerous school district committees and working closely with the PTA, Salvation Army and other local and state organizations. Most of all, Ms. Hill truly cares about her families and the well-being of each and every student and staff member. She thoroughly enjoys watching students learning and reaching their potential. In her words "I am a proud principal," emphasizing the word "pal." The community of Grinnell Elementary School is a team comprised of families, students, staff and administration working together to see students and their families succeed. Ms. Hill is a dedicated and devoted principal who changes lives every day in a positive way!

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Marcia Murphy

Position: Seventh Grade Guidance Counselor

School: Woodbury School

School District: Salem School District

City, State: Salem, New Hampshire

About the Nominee: LifeChanger is the perfect word to describe Marcia Murphy. She goes above and beyond to improve the health, wellness and overall well-being of the students at Woodbury Middle School. Over the past several years, she has taken on ambitious initiatives such as her mission to support her school's homeless population. She and a partner created a program called TIPS (Technology is Power). This program provides Woodbury's neediest students with opportunities to stay after school and complete homework with teacher assistance. Throughout the year, students in the TIPS program have the opportunity to make food for their families and do a variety of fun activities. Students also attend meaningful field trips when school is not in session to provide them with educational experiences they may not get to have with their families. Ms. Murphy ensures that the students in the TIPS program have access to a computer at home during the school year.

Over the past several years, she has also reached out to students that are part of Woodbury's free and reduced lunch program to ensure they are getting proper nutrition while they're at school. Additionally, she has provided food for students and families in need over the weekend through the End 68 Hours of Hunger Program.

Another passion of Ms. Murphy's is working with students on team building and self-esteem. She is in charge of the ABE Program, also known as Adventure Based Education. Every student in grades 6-8 participates in ABE. Ms. Murphy continues using ABE strategies in an after-school program called Adventure Club. Students are given the opportunity to work together in smaller groups to practice the skills they learn in ABE. Along with ABE, Ms. Murphy has set up a student advisory board that meets with the school principal. This advisory board has become a leadership opportunity for students. They have had training outside of school with Ms. Murphy and the principal to build their leadership skills.

Finally, Ms. Murphy heads up the Signs of Suicide program (SOS). She worked closely with staff members this year to implement this new initiative. Every seventh grade student participated in a class taught by Ms. Murphy and other Family and Consumer Science teachers to understand how to identify a person contemplating suicide. They also learned the steps they can take to prevent a tragedy. This program has been well received by staff, students, families and the local community.

Ms. Murphy is Woodbury's LifeChanger. Her school is a better place because of her dedication to students, whether she is helping a homeless student after school, teaching students to be team players or helping them understand how to help a friend.

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Joy Gobin

Position: Extended Learning Opportunity Coordinator

School: Lebanon High School

School District: SAU #88 - Lebanon School District

City, State: Lebanon, New Hampshire

About the Nominee: Joy Gobin was nominated by a colleague and friend, Bonnie Robinson. Ms. Gobin coordinates Lebanon High School's highly-regarded Extended Learning Opportunity (ELO) program. This program allows students to pursue their education outside of the traditional classroom environment. Each year, more than 200 students earn high school credits through internships, independent studies, performing groups, online classes, college classes and private study. All of these opportunities fulfill a student’s interest or need and have become a hallmark of an LHS education. Through ELOs, students distinguish themselves in unique and creative ways.

Ms. Gobin is a strong advocate for a wide range of students. She works with each student to customize a personalized learning pathway. Every day, she champions her students' success and makes a beneficial difference in their lives. This has a profound effect on her school’s climate and culture. The ELO program is admired by students, parents, teachers and community members, all of whom participate in students’ learning experiences. Ms. Gobin is an upbeat, smiley individual who has found her niche in this life-changing program. She has provided the means and support for all students to explore and learn outside of the traditional seven-period day, from the special ed student who thrives as a teaching intern at one of Lebanon's elementary schools to the young man who accelerated his math program so he could take a course at Dartmouth.

Ms. Gobin's leadership is not limited to the ELO program. She serves on her school's Administrative Council, chairs the District Professional Learning and Development Team and participates on the Educator Effectiveness and Evaluation Committee. Ms. Gobin also demonstrates leadership in quieter ways, whether it's reaching out to others in need, facilitating conversation and collaboration or encouraging a spirit of inclusiveness for all. She is highly involved in her community as a member of the Rotary Club and as a volunteer for several other organizations.

Ms. Gobin's ethics and philosophies are deeply rooted in thirty years of educational experience. As a special educator and reading specialist, she has touched students’ lives for many years. Remarkably, she remains vital and committed to making a difference every day. There is no pretense to Ms. Gobin - she is a genuine teacher, friend, leader and advocate. LHS is lucky to have Ms. Gobin as its ELO Coordinator; she is a LifeChanger!

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Kelly Gennett

Position: First Grade Teacher

School: Woodman Park School

School District: Dover School District

City, State: Dover, New Hampshire

About the Nominee: Kelly Gennett was nominated by the parent of one of her students, who wishes to remain anonymous. Her dedication to her work at Woodman Park School (WPS) has a positive impact on all students, as well as the greater Dover community. Her nominator states that they knew Ms. Gennett was different within the first week of school this year. Their son came home with a new level of engagement and excitement about school. He continually said, "We have a great class this year." His positive outlook on his classmates and newfound confidence in himself came from Ms. Gennett's immediate ability to ensure the students felt safe and appreciated as soon as they walked into the classroom. She demonstrates respect and care for all of her students. She expects her students to be kind and courteous to others, and she recognizes these behaviors with positive reinforcement. Furthermore, Ms. Gennett holds herself to the same standard, demonstrating the ability to be calm, patient and understanding for her students despite language barriers, disabilities and the natural energy of first graders. She demonstrates how to treat others by treating her students the way she expects them to act in her classroom.

Ms. Gennett's work to enhance student learning and opportunities goes beyond her own classroom. For the past seven years, she has run homework labs and enrichment programs with the Seymour Osman Community Center's after school program at WPS. Prior to WPS, she taught pre-school and after school Kindergarten at Garrison Family Early Childhood Center in Dover, NH. Additionally, she is the founder, director and teacher of Camp BEYOND, a summer enrichment program hosted at WPS. She just completed her 4th summer of Camp BEYOND, which was a great success!

Ms. Gennett's positive energy and enthusiasm transcends to all areas of her professional work. Her commitment to the teaching profession nourishes the atmosphere of WPS and the Dover community. She has an immense impact on the lives of her school's diverse students, and she undoubtedly is a LifeChanger for the many lives she touches through her incredible work.

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Stella Edwards

Position: Secretary School: Colebrook Academy

School District: Colebrook School District / School Administrative Unit #7

City, State: Colebrook, New Hampshire

About the Nominee: Stella Edwards was nominated by her principal, Mark Fiorentino.

Stella Edwards recently began her 38th year working at Colebrook Academy. She has worked for seven principals including her nominator, Mark Fiorentino, and has truly given her life to her school, district, and community. Upon the completion of the 2016-2017 school year, Mrs. Edwards will be retiring, taking a vast amount of knowledge with her.

This knowledge spans more than three generations of students entering the halls of Colebrook Academy. Her presence has transcended into the community; many students have gone away, only to come back and realize Colebrook is a pretty neat place to live and raise a family. Students know her by Stella, not Mrs. Edwards, because that is how they have been brought up by their parents. Principal Fiorentino says that when writing about a LifeChanger, she is the person who comes to mind. He thinks about what she does on a daily basis under his tenure, such as taking notes and making phone calls, and can only imagine how much she's done for those that came before him.

While serving as the secretary to the principal, Mrs. Edward's job entails being the office manager, preparing students to sign up for drivers ed., and serving as a part-time nurse, substitute coordinator, and sounding board for students, staff and administrators. She has put in countless hours tracking and calculating grades so that report cards and warnings go out on time. Most importantly, she has been like a surrogate mother to the students and staff. Mrs. Edwards is the matriarch of Colebrook Academy; she has touched countless lives throughout the years she has spent at the school!

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