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Community service helps WRHS staff lead by example

Members of the Winnisquam Regional High School faculty and staff hit the roads last week to collect trash along Route 132 between Sanbornton and Tilton, as well as at the high school’s football field, and in the Tilton Municipal parking lot. Shown working near Lancaster Hill Road are Assistant Principal Andrew Brauch, teacher Sandy Found, Principal Dr. Ronna Cadarette, and Catherine Rand, also a faculty member. (Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
October 12, 2011
TILTON — Sunshine came out just in time for the Winnisquam Regional High School faculty and staff to get out and get busy for the annual community day, picking up roadside trash on Route 132, cleaning the high school football field, the Tilton Municipal parking lot, and pitching in to put community gardens in Sanbornton to bed for the winter.

This year marked the second year of their new initiative to lead by example, and give back to the towns within the school district through projects they request help with.

WRHS Principal Dr. Ronna Cadarette said the school believes it vital to show their appreciation to the three towns and teach students the importance of community service. The district's mission statement says "We're in this together and on the move," and bright blue tee shirts faculty and staff wore as they worked last Thursday helped to broadcast their message.

"We do this to help support the Tilton-Northfield Rotary's motto of Service Above Self, and we do it in the spirit of Ellen Barry and Dave Tryon," Cadarette said.

Barry was a long time teacher at WRHS who passed away three years ago, when the school also lost Tryon, a beloved Chem Free instructor who was very involved in the Pines Community Center and other youth groups and organizations.

"They really represented the spirit of the community, the importance of giving back and being a good role model," she said.

Groups of teachers and staff members donned safety vests as they set out to collect cans, bottles and other trash along the road.

Caderette said they were eager to see who would find the most unique item amongst the shrubs and trees long the roadside, such as the skateboard and carburetor they found last year.

"So far this year, the bell-shaped cookie cutter is in the lead, but we're not done yet," she laughed.

For newly appointed assistant principal Andrew Brauch, it was the first year of participation in the after school project. He said he was really enjoying himself as he walked the shoulders of Route 132 between Sanbornton and Tilton, waving to students who drove by and tooted their horns whenever they spied the groups from WRHS.

"It sets a good example for students," he said. "They may think this is tedious, but we're out here to show them it can be fun to give back."

In Sanbornton, many of the volunteers were enjoying not only their time working outside, but also a few stray beans and other vegetables still clinging to the vines they pulled from the ground. Any quantities of food they harvested were given to the Sanbornton Town Food Pantry.

"It's the perfect day to work in a garden. The kind of day this type of work was meant for," said school librarian Marcia Dionne.

Jennifer Gornnett of the Ag Center said the best way to teach is to lead by example, and she was happy to do so by assisting the Sanbornton Community Garden.

"Actions speak louder than words," Gornnett said.

Selectman Karen Ober and fellow master gardener Kathy Mitchell oversaw the project, and were very grateful for the help in the community garden they helped develop last year.

"Their help is immeasurable. This has been all about a community and volunteers manning the garden from beginning to end. To have the school here today to help put it all to bed is all part of an amazing labor of love," Ober said.

An Uno's Dough Raiser was also held last Thursday, where a portion of the money collected through dinner and take-out orders benefited the Rotary scholarship program for local graduates.

Salmon Press
Martin Lord Osman
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