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GES named New Hampshire's Elementary School of the Year

Representatives from Gilford Elementary School, the EDies committee, and McDonald's join students at Gilford Elementary School after the announcement that the school was named Elementary School of the Year. (Photo by Erin Plummer) (click for larger version)
May 16, 2018
Gilford Elementary School has been named the top elementary school in the state for 2018 by the Excellence in Education Awards Program (commonly known as the EDies).

On Thursday morning, a team from the New Hampshire Excellence in Education Awards, along with Larry Johnston of McDonald's and GES Principal Danielle Bolduc, announced the award in a schoolwide assembly.

"You go to the number one elementary school for the state of New Hampshire this year," Bolduc said to the students.

The award came after an extensive application and review process that started at the beginning of the school year.

Bryan Belanger, co-chair of the EDies board of directors, said the team came to visit the school and reviewed its curriculum, culture, mission, and vision and so many other details. He said they found the school and its students are exceptional.

"You should all be very, very proud," Belanger said.

Belanger said later that from his standpoint one thing that made GES stand out was its personalized learning.

"They do everything they can to meet the students' needs," Belanger said.

Selection committee member Rebekah Gonzalez also commented on other activities, such as the maple syrup project and others that connect the school with the community.

Bolduc gave a big thank you for the members of the EDies board.

"I'm so thrilled, just so happy for the acknowledgement for all if the people that live and work in this community," Bolduc said. "It's just nice to have that recognition."

She said the teachers are at the school at 6:30 a.m. to work on their lessons and work with students. She also recognized the students as well.

"They treat each other with respect," Bolduc said. "They're all really to me everyday heroes. I see how hard they work."

Bolduc said teachers, para-educators, and students were all involved in the application process.

"That's really what our school's about," Bolduc said. "If they have an idea they step up to make it happen."

Superintendent Kirk Beitler said the award was wonderful and is a great accomplishment.

"It goes to show you the wonderful staff that we have and the students we have and the community as a whole in Gilford," said assistant principal Sean Walsh. "This is just a great recognition of all the hard work."

Belanger said this year marls the 25th anniversary of the awards. The EDies is primarily sponsored by McDonald's, who has contributed over half a million dollars to education.

The winners of the EDies are invited to attend the awards ceremony on June 9 in Manchester.

Martin Lord Osman
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