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Grenier named 'Champion for Children'


by Tara Giles
Sports reporter - Coos County Democrat and Berlin Reporter
April 25, 2019
BERLIN Last week, Berlin Mayor Paul Grenier was presented with the North Country School Administrators Association 2019 'Champions for Children' award. The honor goes to residents of New Hampshire who have given exemplary service to benefit the state's youth. On May 10, Grenier will head to Concord where a statewide ceremony will be held. Five recipients are chosen each year.

Grenier had no idea he was even in the running for the award.

"I was completely caught off guard. But, it's the kids in Berlin who are near and dear to my heart. I work very hard to make sure they get proper school funding." he said.

The Mayor has always been an advocate for his city's youth, even serving as a youth hockey coach. Grenier is also heavily involved with the Notre Dame Arena and serves as treasurer.

"I always made sure the athletic fields are in tip top shape as well," Grenier continued. "I spent a great deal of my adult life supporting the kids and their various activities."

Grenier made an excellent point when he explained why the city's youth is a top priority, commenting "These kids are your future. If they have a low opinion of the place they grew up, they probably won't come back after they get an education. So if you can provide kids with a good opportunity to succeed in your community, you may get some to come back, so that is the driving force behind that."

Recently, Grenier testified in Concord in front of lawmakers in regards to the lack of state funding and how that has affected Berlin, so much so that an entire elementary school was shut down.

Grenier said, "The bill is still in the Senate. The House passed their version which would increase Berlin's appropriation by over $1 million. Now it will go to the Senate where they will come up with their own version."

Grenier went on to say, "The early signs are encouraging but we're not home yet. I think my testimony made a huge difference. When I explained that we pay $20 per $1,000 just in funding schools, not even taking into consideration the municipal side, a little over half of that goes to the school. Some towns are spending four five, per thousand and getting more bang for their buck. There is a huge disparity in funding."

Garnett Hill
Salmon Press
Northern Human Services
Martin Lord Osman
Parker Village
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