Biographical sketch of 2016 Community Recognition Recipients
Youth Volunteer of the Year: Karina Ithier.
Karina currently ranks third in her senior class at Manchester West High School. Her principal sums it up well, stating that “few exhibit the leadership qualities and dedication to their community like Karina. This leadership and dedication goes well beyond her high Grade Point Average, her role as the President of the school’s Key Club, her amazing abilities as an actress with the Theatre Knights program, or her involvement with Student Council. Karina’s leadership and dedication takes on far more meaning considering her selflessness and her constant desire to improve her surrounding community both at West and for her home town of Hooksett”. In addition, she has worked as a volunteer at the Hooksett Public Library bell ringer for the Salvation Army, and alter server at her church.
Adult Volunteer of the Year: Jeff Scott
Jeff Scott has been the scout master of Troop 292 for almost 15 years. During that time he has devoted himself to the members of the troop. It is a common saying among the other adult volunteers in Troop 292 that being the scout master is Jeff’s full time occupation. Every week he spends multiple hours planning, running scout meetings, leading camping trips, and meeting individually with the scouts to mentor them in advancement. No other individual has ever led Hooksett’s Boy Scouts for so many years and with such devotion to scouting. His work with the troop and individually with the boys developing leadership, citizenship, and outdoor skills clearly meshes with Kiwanis goals of improving the world one child at a time. Many of the Eagle Projects and Scout service projects performed under his leadership directly benefit the Town of Hooksett. In 2015 four additional scouts achieved the rank of Eagle, bringing the all time number in excess of 50 Eagle Scouts.
Small Business of the Year: New England’s Tap House Grill.
New England’s Tap House Grille is a leader in the local community because the owners’ mission has been, and always will be, to make Hooksett a better place to live and do business. While the initial goal may have been to give Hooksett a place to enjoy a great bite to eat or a local brew, the Tap House has become so much more than that. The owners have made it their mission to support local farmers, brewers, suppliers, and other businesses. For many, the Tap House is more than a restaurant; over the last three years, the small business has become an anchor in the Hooksett community. Its outreach to the Hooksett Community includes support to many local charitable causes and fundraisers.
Large Business of the Year: Market Basket.
Market Basket opened its Hooksett store in September 2011. Products are sold at low prices with a business model of low markup with profit derived from volume sold, focusing on excellent customer service, cleanliness and high quality offerings, commitment to employees, and adapting to consumers’ evolving needs. The 2014 unprecedented company-wide protest, where employees, suppliers and customers banded together to preserve the company’s business model made national headlines. Market Basket has provided space for a donation bin for the Hooksett Food Pantry, provided space for numerous community causes, provided exclusive access for the Salvation Army bell ringers, and when it struggled for volunteers, store management encouraged employees to take part in bell ringing activities.
Lower Elementary educator of the Year: Janet Champagne:
Janet Champagne is a grade 4 teacher at Hooksett Memorial School. Principal Stephen Harrises states that in his 23 years in the education field, he has had an opportunity to work with hundreds of educational professionals in Hooksett, throughout New Hampshire, and nationally. Janet Champagne is a shining star in this profession and a true champion for all children. At Hooksett Memorial, she is the “go to” person for both students and staff. She has the unique ability to relate to and support a wide spectrum of students, from special needs to those with academic excellence. Her enthusiasm for learning motivates her students to perform their best. She presents her lessons using the skills of problem solving, creative thinking, and collaboration, skills that all children will need in order to be successful. Janet and her family have been members of the Hooksett community for twenty years. They are actively involved in the community and have volunteered many hours to support the schools and their community.
Upper Elementary educator of the Year: Kimberly Harriman
Kimberly Harriman is the grade 6, 7, and 8 special education teacher at Cawley Middle School. Principal Matthew Benson shared that she has dedicated her professional career to the students, parents and Hooksett Community. She is driven to ensure that students achieve academically, socially and emotionally. She has made a profound impact on students, parents, colleagues and the Hooksett Community. Kimberly works with students who have multiple learning disabilities and some students who struggle to develop friendships and social skills. Her students have a strong feeling of belonging and being valued by Kimberly. Kimberly uses her personal lunch to eat with a group of students who might be overwhelmed with the amount of people in the cafeteria. She also started an afterschool club for sixth, seventh and eighth grade students in 2009 as she realized many of her students did not have a structured time working with an adult after leaving Cawley to complete their homework. She also volunteers twice a week after school working with 10 – 15 students, and has also participated in Salvation Army bell ringing and making bread for the homeless
Municipal Employee of the Year: Kris McGovern
Kris McGovern is the Head Custodian at Fred C. Underhill School, a position she tackles with a vengeance. Underhill educators state “Kris is a cracker jack custodial engineer! She is energetic, caring, and dynamic. As an employee and a person, she produces A+ job performance, regardless of the workload she must complete. Kris is tireless when it comes to making our school sparkle. Every morning when students and staff arrive, she is sanitizing doorknobs/phones, cleaning windows, or dusting out the cobwebs. She is always ready to offer help when you are trying to balance your bags and boxes without spilling your coffee at the beginning of the day. If you bring a minor problem to her attention, something that can easily wait, she is on it....and taking care of right away”. Kris has also shown her dedication to the Hooksett community as a whole by volunteering in several capacities. She has volunteered extensively for the Hooksett Youth Association, coaching soccer, basketball, softball, baseball and even the cheerleading team! She also works with the New Morning after school program at Underhill. In summary, Kris McGovern’s passion for excellence is second to none! Underhill school shines, and so does she.
Community Impact Award: Hooksett Community Food pantry
The pantry continues to be operated by community volunteers. In 2015 volunteers contributed over 3,000 hours of their time sorting and distributing over 65,000 items to Hooksett families in need. The HCFP averages 200 appointments per month, serving an average of 74 families (188 persons). Each year the HCFP distributes over 65,000 food items at a value of $100,000. Much of this would otherwise need to be raised by property taxes, local churches and non-profit organizations.
The Pantry is open when Town Hall is open, and serves qualified clients by appointment. It has commercial grade freezers and refrigerators, and accepts non-perishable/non-expired food items, fresh produce, dairy, meats, etc. It supports Hooksett Family Services, the Holiday Food Basket program, Fun in the Sun summer program, and the Hooksett Branch of the Salvation Army.