Thanks to the efforts of high school teachers, dedicated educational professionals, and college faculty partners across the Community College System of NH (CCSNH), Running Start is giving more and more students and families a sound and affordable way to begin their college careers.
Many high school teachers, administrators, and staff members have taken on additional responsibilities to make this happen, and the CCSNH recognizes those individuals who have gone above and beyond to promote the opportunities offered through Running Start. Beginning in 2007, CCSNH began to acknowledge the Running Start advocacy efforts of one person within each region served by the seven campuses of CCSNH. Each of the seven individuals selected for a CCSNH Running Start Advocate Award is honored at a public event. Below you can read about the people who have received the Running Start Advocate of the Year Award for White Mountains Community College.
Recipient: Michael Brosnan
Position: Social Studies Teacher and Department Chair, Gorham High School, Gorham NH
Principal: Mr. Keith Parent
Michael Brosnan began his teaching career in Sweden and after living in Israel and Austria settled in the North Country where he now teaches economics, psychology, sociology, and history at Gorham High School, and chairs its Social Studies department. Mike's list of achievements is long and impressive and speaks to his commitment to public education in school and community, his breadth of public education experience, his innovation in education, his ability to articulate educational vision, and his ability to inspire and challenge educators and students. Mike holds degrees in Political Science, English, Social Studies, Third Word Education, Liberal Arts, and Administration. He was a Japanese Fulbright Memorial recipient, a National Science Foundation recipient for Psychology, and The Grange Citizen of the Year for NH. He has also been awarded the John Marshall award by the NH Bar, been a recipient of an award to study at the Navajo Nation by the Center for Civic Education, and has received the Tilloton Teaching Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching.
Knowing this, it should be no surprise to learn that Mike is also an exceptional advocate for the Running Start program. In fact, in September 2000 Michael became the first person in the North Country to offer the Running Start option to his students, when he began his Running Start partnership with White Mountains Community College and offered the Running Start opportunity to his Psychology students. Today, because of Mike's vigorous advocacy for the Running Start program, Gorham High School, with a population of fewer than 150 students, offers its juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn college credits through Running Start in eight different courses, including English, science, mathematics, humanities, and history. This year, because of the continued commitment Mike and his fellow Running Start colleagues have shown to their students, their school, and their community, more than 40% of the graduating seniors at Gorham High School will graduate with college credits, some of them with enough WMCC credits to start their college careers as second-semester freshmen or first semester sophomores. This is a story that Mike loves to tell each year.
For these reasons, Michael Brosnan is WMCC's 2012 Running Start Advocate of the Year.
Recipient: Dr. Stephen Torrey
Position: Science Teacher and Running Start Liaison, Groveton High School, Groveton NH
Principal: Mr. Pierre Couture
(Left-Right: Paul Holloway, Chairperson, CCSNH Board of Trustees; Dr.Stephen Torrey; and Governor John Lynch)
Dr. Torrey began teaching at Groveton High School in 2004. When one looks at Dr. Torrey's curriculum vitae (which includes Doctor of Osteopathy, Master of Public Health, Secondary Education Certification, and most impressively a 22-year career with the US Navy where he achieved the rank of Captain) it is hard to imagine that he might want to teach high school students. Yet, when you see Dr. Torrey in his classroom, observe his interactions with students, and watch his presentations to his classes, you are left with no doubt of his absolute dedication to his students and his school.
Consider this: When Dr. Torrey arrived at Groveton High School, there were no Running Start partnerships there. Two years later, Dr. Torrey became the first teacher to offer a Running Start opportunity to Groveton High School students. In the years since, he has tirelessly advocated the program to his administration, his fellow teachers, his students, and the community. Today, thanks to his persistent advocacy, five other Groveton High School teachers have Running Start partnerships with WMCC and a total of nine courses are offered in this small North Country high school.
Because Groveton's economy was based mostly on the paper industry, when its only paper mill shut its doors, even the $100 tuition was a considerable cost to many of the families. So that no eligible student might be denied the opportunity to benefit from Running Start, Dr. Torrey called on a local foundation to provide scholarships for students in need. He advocated the merits of Running Start to the foundation's Board of Directors and insisted that now, more than ever, many families needed help in sending their children to college. The foundation was convinced of the worthiness of Running Start and awarded scholarships to supplement those offered by CCSNH.
This year, twenty-six students are participating in Running Start at Groveton High School. Without Dr. Torrey, Groveton High School would not have such a successful Running Start story to tell.
For these reasons, Dr. Stephen Torrey is WMCC's recipient of the 2011 Running Start Advocate of the Year award.
Recipient: Jon Dugan-Henriksen
Position: Social Studies Teacher and Department Chair, White Mountains Regional High School, Whitefield, NH
Principal: Mr. Erik Anderson
(Left-Right: Paul Holloway, Chairperson, CCSNH Board of Trustees; Dugan-Henriksen; Governor John Lynch, and Dr. Richard Gustafson, CCSNH Chancellor)
Jon Dugan-Henriksen began his partnership with Running Start in 2000, when he became one of the first teachers at White Mountains Regional High School to offer a WMCC course to the students through Running Start. That year he offered Psychology. The following year he added Sociology as a Running Start option. He now also offers WMCC's U.S. History to 1877 and America in the 20th Century to his students.
This year, Jay's commitment to offering exceptional benefits to students extended beyond his classroom at White Mountains Regional High School to a classroom at Woodsville High School, 35 miles away. Dugan-Henriksen adapted his US History courses to a video format so that he would be able to offer the Running Start advantage to students at Woodsville High School. "Jay has done an exceptional job to create one classroom out of two, thereby increasing the number of college credits available through Running Start to Woodsville High School students," says Erik Anderson, Principal of White Mountains Regional High School, who attended the award ceremony with Dugan-Henriksen.
Next year Mr. Dugan-Henriksen will also offer Psychology and Sociology via video in other North Country schools that do not offer these courses. In doing so, Dugan-Henriksen has taken personal responsibility for the mission of Running Start by urging students in a community larger than just his own high school to meet the challenge of a college course.
Recipient: Colleen Clogston
Position: English Instructor, Colebrook Academy, Colebrook NH
Principal: Ms. Joanne Melanson
Colleen Clogston began her partnership with Running Start in 2007, when she became the first teacher at Colebrook Academy to offer a White Mountains Community College course to Colebrook Academy seniors through Running Start. At the end of that school year, when Colleen’s position was eliminated, a great many parents championed her rehire as a part-time teacher so that she might continue to offer the Running Start advantage to their children. Colleen agreed to do so and taught WMCC’s College Composition course at night to a full class of 22 Colebrook Academy students, after a full day of working at another job. Her students were rewarded for their efforts when these colleges accepted their WMCC College Composition credits for transfer: Northeastern University, Husson College, WMCC, NHTI, Dickinson College, Keene State College, UNH, Lyndon State College, Thomas College, Plymouth State University, Great Bay Community College.
Advocate Award nominees are encouraged to invite a guest to the award ceremony. In the true spirit of a Running Start advocate, Colleen chose to invite a math teacher from Colebrook Academy in the hopes of convincing him to participate in Running Start and thus expand the Running Start options to the Academy students.
Recipient: Tom Sweeny
Position: Math Instructor and Department Head, Berlin High School, Berlin, NH
Principal: Mr. Gary Bisson
Tom Sweeny, a Berlin High School Mathematics Teacher since 1972, and an adjunct math instructor since 1999 at White Mountains Community College (then known as New Hampshire Community Technical College). Tom has been a Running Start advocate since the program's inception on the Berlin Campus of WMCC.
As the Mathematics Department Chairperson, he recruited five qualified math teachers in his own department to become Running Start affiliated, and he has helped his fellow math teachers to recruit registrations from students by passionately promoting the economic and academic advantages of participating in Running Start. At the beginning of every school year, Tom continues his advocacy for Running Start by speaking to the entire BHS faculty, urging them to become Running Start qualified teachers, and by urging students to meet the challenge of a college course.