By Nancy Rineman
Hampton Union, Friday, February 9, 2007
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
[Nancy Rineman photo]
HAMPTON -- Marston School is one of three finalists for an 'ED'ie -- a NH Excellence in Education award for elementary school of the year.
The Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Selection Committees for the N.H. Excellence in Education Awards honors Granite State schools each year. A voluntary committee of Marston staff, including classroom teachers, teachers from integrated arts, special education, guidance and Principal David O'Connor, nominated the Hampton elementary school.
Teacher Liz Dowst said the process began in the fall when she and staff members Alison Griffin, Bobbie Schutts, Jennifer Lansberry, Sue Antico, Laurie Sullivan and Shannon Adams worked together on a self-assessment of their school.
"What sparked a lot of us to join the committee is knowing that Marston does many unique and wonderful things," Dowst said. "Things like the variety show, family fitness nights, the student leadership group, and the mutual respect among staff members."
Dowst said committee members were notified in December that they were being invited to Concord to make a 15-minute presentation to a selection committee. The Marston committee members were contacted and told they were finalists on Jan. 11, Dowst said.
"Now we are preparing for a site visit at either the end of February or the first week or two of March," Dowst said.
Dowst said school staff will do their best to show a well-rounded view of the school, students, staff, programs, and "the exciting learning opportunities that happen at Marston."
Marston Principal David O'Connor said he feels the recognition by the 'ED'ies Committee is a "big deal" to the Marston staff and parents as well.
"It's an opportunity to share it with the rest of the area," O'Connor said.
O'Connor said he and staff members met this week to create a statement expressing what the recognition means to the school. Staff members were commended for their efforts and their success.
"The fact that we have been recognized as one of three finalists across the state is quite an accomplishment," O'Connor said. "It says something about our school and our community.
"It is an honor to be considered for this prestigious award."
The winner of this year's 'ED'ies award will be announced before April vacation, and in June, Marston School staff members will be among those recognized at a banquet at the Center of New Hampshire in Manchester.