Todd Small of the Whiteman-Davidson American Legion Post 49 in Northfield recently presented Tilton School headmaster James Clements with a plaque for his support of a ceremony coordinated by Post 49 members at Riverfront Park on Dec. 7, 2011, marking the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. (Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
January 11, 2012TILTON — James Clements, headmaster of Tilton School, was recently the recipient of a plaque of appreciation from the Whiteman-Davidson American Legion Post 49 in Northfield for his assistance in providing the refreshments during a Pearl Harbor Day Memorial tribute in December.
Clements was further thanked for all the Tilton School has done under his leadership to aid both veterans and the community.
"We were very impressed and most grateful for the work you and your staff did at our Pearl Harbor Day remembrance, and just wanted to say thank you for the cake and your support of veterans over the years," said Post 49 representative Todd Small last Friday.
Clements was surprised to receive the plaque, and thanked the Legion members who were on hand for the presentation. He said that as a history teacher of many years, he has always appreciated the men and women who served, and even sacrificed their lives for the nation. Post 49, he said, paid a great tribute to the memory of those who were lost 70 years ago at Pearl Harbor.
"It was nice to see someone stop and do it right," Clements said.
He also congratulated them on including Gov. John Lynch in the ceremony.
"We didn't give the governor a choice," joked John Chase, one of the coordinators of the event.
Besides four representatives of Post 49, school officials and a few residents were on hand as Clements was thanked by the veterans' organization. Tilton Budget Committee member Scott Davis said he was compelled to be on hand to give his thanks to Clements, as well.
"Helping out on that day was just a little bit of what he (Clements) does for the community. I just wanted to be here to let him know we appreciate him," Davis said.
Tilton-Northfield Fire District Commissioner Pat Clark serves with Clements on the board of directors for Spaulding Youth Center in Northfield, and said he, too, wanted to show his gratitude.
"Jim has just been incredible in his support of these two communities, and I wanted to let him know that by coming down here today," said Clark.
Throughout his 14 years as headmaster, Clements has, among many other contributions, donated meeting space for town boards and committees, provided the school's pond as a site for the annual Tilton-Northfield Rotary Fishing Derby, allowed students and staff the opportunity to participate in activities at local elementary schools, Halloween, Christmas and other communitywide celebrations and events. The school has even opened the doors of their indoor skating arena to local citizens on a weekly basis each winter.
Clements announced last summer that he would retire from his position at Tilton School at the end of the 2011-12 school year, and Peter Saliba has since been named his successor.
After the presentation to Clements last week, Harold Harbour of Post 49 told him he would be greatly missed, but Clements assured Harbour that Saliba would quickly become a big part of the community when he takes the helm in July.
"Several people have come and gone from here over the years, and life goes on. We're just happy as a school to be a part of all the things you do around town. That's part of how communities are built- everybody does a little bit to get things done," said Clements.
Earlier in the week, Winnisquam Regional High School music director Kirk Young was also presented a plaque from the Legion for singing the National Anthem during the Pearl Har